La Niña fades to neutral; April the globe's 4th - 7th warmest on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:12 PM GMT on May 17, 2011

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April 2011 was the globe's 7th warmest April on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated April the 4th warmest on record, tied with April 2005. April 2011 global ocean temperatures were the 11th warmest on record, and land temperatures were the 6th warmest on record. The UK had its hottest April on record, with rainfall only 21% of average. Huge fires burned through Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland, fanned by strong spring winds.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for April, 2011. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

La Niña fades to neutral
The La Niña that began in June 2010 is now transitioning to neutral conditions, according to the Climate Prediction Center. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America are now just 0.4°C below average, the first time since June 2010 that these temperatures have not been 0.5°C or more cooler than average, the threshold for a La Niña. However, it is possible that these water could cool a bit again over the next few weeks, so NOAA has not yet declared an official end to this La Niña episode. Equatorial SSTs were 0.5°C below average in the central Pacific, and average to above-average temperatures have emerged in the eastern Pacific. While this signals the end to La Niña, the CPC cautions that the atmosphere is still behaving like La Niña is continuing. An animation of SSTs since February shows the weakening La Niña nicely. Springtime is the most common time for a La Niña event to end; since 1950, half of all La Niñas ended in March, April, or May.

Arctic sea ice 5th lowest on record
Arctic sea ice declined slowly through most of April, and had the 5th lowest extent since satellite record began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. However, sea ice extent began declining more quickly toward the end of the month, and as of May 16 was the second lowest on record.

I'll have more on the Mississippi River flood next post. If you haven't seen it, read my post, America's Achilles' heel: the Mississippi River Old River Control Structure.

Jeff Masters and Angela Fritz

Angela is a new wunderground hire, with a Masters degree in Meteorology, who will be helping out with my blog and the site's weather education and climate change content.

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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting clwstmchasr:


C'mon Ike, 288hours out and you are getting excited with the GFS. You have really changed from last year:)
what you did not get the memo 2011 year of upcasting
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54418
Quoting aquak9:


there's not even a camel fart out there to wishcast on.
Actually....Check out the visible, just north of Puerto Rico...Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
86. IKE

Quoting clwstmchasr:


C'mon Ike, 288hours out and you are getting excited with the GFS. You have really changed from last year:)
The ~New Ike.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
overwash,

That would be a negative. I am at a call center in Russia. My name Peggy.
O.K. Just checking, I had a hunch.
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
Quoting alfabob:

Just the opposite of that; cold water needs to come from somewhere. Since the Arctic is constantly melting throughout the summer, its providing as much cooling to the tropics as it can. When there's no ice left, then the source is gone; although there will be some lag. You can already see SST rising on the returning end of the conveyor belt (from the Arctic).

much of the colder water from the arctic is in the deep water conveyor currents, and therefore won't be visible on SST maps.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
288 hour 12Z GFS...


That is a large circulation. Time to start thinking about late May and early June.....HeresLink a Wiki link.......................................Just six hours after crossing the Isle of Youth, Alma hit western Cuba. Because it crossed at one of the narrowest points of the island, the hurricane didn't weaken at all. On the contrary, upon reaching the Gulf of Mexico, Alma reached major hurricane status with peak winds of 130 mi/h late on June 8. It passed between the Dry Tortugas and Key West, Florida at that intensity, and began a north-northwest motion in response to an upper level cyclone developing over the extreme northern Gulf of Mexico.ne storms ............Hurricane Alma was a powerful storm in 1966 that formed in early June....
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79. IKE

Quoting overwash12:
You don't by any chance live in Fl., do you?
Teh possibility is...he does.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
Can you wishcast the shower curtain man to lose the ability to blog?
You don't by any chance live in Fl., do you?
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
Anyone have a good link for the location of the ITCZ? Can you Wu mail it to me? Thanks in advance.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:

I'm wishcasting an invest. The GFS is in my corner. WOOHOO!


there's not even a camel fart out there to wishcast on.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 168 Comments: 26066
72. IKE

Quoting aquak9:


still unacceptable
I'm wishcasting an invest. The GFS is in my corner. WOOHOO!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
288 hour 12Z GFS...




still unacceptable
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 168 Comments: 26066
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
Spam is a good plan.
Spam will make a decent sandwich when the power is out and no fridge to keep stuff fresh..Lost power for 17 days when Charley hit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
68. IKE
288 hour 12Z GFS...


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Quoting alfabob:
Yep, Greenland should hold out for a while even though things will be accelerating in terms of sheet ice melting (max 100 years). I watched a documentary on hulu about ice-cores they dug up in Antarctic, and basically they are saying that once the tipping point is reached, things start melting very fast. So since there is so much ice left, this could potentially cool things down a little bit if we get to that point. I can't seem to find the link now but its somewhere under documentaries.
greenland is at a poss high risk due to meltwater channeling under the sheet therefore actually melting it from the top down and the bottom up which in turn can lead to a sliding away of the sheet into the sea and it could come as a single event imagine for a moment half the sheet sliding into the sea in one quick jolt
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54418
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Hey Yall.....I hit 50 on Sunday and I have seen lots of changes weather wise (it always seemed like winter was colder in Florida when I was a kid and melting ice and the like in the Artic/greenland). I am still on the fence on GW but lots of undeniable heat anomolies worldwide over the last several years. Gonna be interesting to see what the next 20 years will bring climate wise assuming we make it past 2012 and I live another 20......... :)
It was colder back then. Seemed like there were stronger severe thunderstorms back then too....The climate is changing sure.
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Yeah buddy! I have it figured out. If a hurricane comes, I am in the truck and outta here. The house can fend for itself. I have good insurance and a fast truck. Don't need anymore than that!!! LOL
Sounds like a plan. Been through my share of storms. If my truck is not quick enough, I will catch a flight.
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Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
SQUAWK, are you related to that Chapman woman who wrote:

"You've got a fast truck
I've got a can of Spam and a weather radio"

Nope. But I also have a couple of cans of Spam.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Yall.....I hit 50 on Sunday and I have seen lots of changes weather wise (it always seemed like winter was colder in Florida when I was a kid and melting ice and the like in the Artic/greenland). I am still on the fence on GW but lots of undeniable heat anomolies worldwide over the last several years. Gonna be interesting to see what the next 20 years will bring climate wise assuming we make it past 2012 and I live another 20......... :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
EPA's Air Filter & Cartridge RadNet Laboratory Analysis - Based on RadNet Laboratory Analysis

THAT'S what Grampa Simpson yelled!


Trustable data? Ehh...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
Wuzup Squawk...Ya ready for hurricane season.?..


Yeah buddy! I have it figured out. If a hurricane comes, I am in the truck and outta here. The house can fend for itself. I have good insurance and a fast truck. Don't need anymore than that!!! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
I watched a documentary on hulu about ice-cores they dug up in Antarctic, and basically they are saying that once the tipping point is reached, things start melting very fast.

What is the ETA on the "tipping point"?
already passed faster and faster we are going
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54418
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
49. KEEPEROFTHEGATE 12:27 PM EDT on May 17, 2011

full tropical entry with severe section



Is that in reference to this:


Los Angeles (CNN) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child more
than 10 years ago outside of his marriage to Maria Shriver, a source
close to the former California governor confirmed to CNN on Tuesday
it can be what ever you want it to be
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54418
EPA's Air Filter & Cartridge RadNet Laboratory Analysis - Based on RadNet Laboratory Analysis

Data for US Monitors - Japan Nuclear contamination

Link

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
full tropical entry with severe section

Link
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54418
Quoting RastaSteve:
April was in the top ten warmest in Tampa and Orlando. I was not a believer a few years ago but the facts speak for themselves as the globe is getting warmer and as a result it's causing more moisture to be released into the jetstream causing more extreme flooding and extreme snow events. How this will relate to hurricanes for years to come is unknown. I think there is some thought between scientist that hurricanes will decrease in number but increase in strength.


How many mid-latitude cyclones have had fujiwara this season? The last two back to back... It's nuts.
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1526
47. IKE
Quoting hydrus:
Do you have any good news.?..the last time gas was over four bucks it damn near wiped me out.
No good news...but at least you're not the Terminator....

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child more
than 10 years ago outside of his marriage to Maria Shriver, a source
close to the former California governor confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Alfabob,thanks. Greenland is my biggest concern,living only 7 to 8 feet above sealevel!
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
Quoting hydrus:
This one is even better overwash....Link
Have to wait and see what impact the ice melt will cause down the road, It may cause more cold water to flow to the tropics in the conveyor of ocean currents.
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
Quoting VAstorms:

The good news is that oil prices are going down and gasoline is too.
And may that trend continue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Japan's irradiated waters: How worried should we be?
Link

Data released by Japanese scientists show cesium-137 concentrations in the waters immediately adjacent to the reactors at levels more than 1 million times higher than previously existed and 10 to 100 times higher in the waters off Japan than values measured in the Black Sea after Chernobyl. For the oceans, this is the largest accidental release of radiation we have ever seen.

But what do these high values mean for ocean life and human health? What will it mean 25 years from now?

We know the ocean has the ability to mix and dilute even these alarmingly high concentrations of contaminants. Indeed, just 15 miles offshore the levels of some contaminants, including cesium-137, with its relatively long 30-year half-life, are already 100 to 1,000 times lower than waters near the reactors, and thus pose little direct hazard for human exposure. We also know that over the short-term, isotopes such as iodine-131, which has an eight-day half-life and has been found in milk and spinach, will decay to insignificant levels.

But there is still too much that we don't know. We still have not measured the full complement of radionuclides released to the oceans, including the highly toxic plutonium. We have not mapped where contaminants are going and how fast they are spreading, so we can't confirm how well our models are predicting dispersion and dilution of these substances.

The groundwater around Fukushima and sediments in the seafloor nearby will likely remain contaminated for decades to come, yet no radionuclide data exist from these sources. There are also large gaps in our knowledge of how marine life assimilates radioactive contaminants, how the process may vary depending on different life stages, or how contaminants will transfer up the food chain to fish and other marine animals. This information will be essential for short-term assessments of threats to transportation, health, fisheries and ocean ecosystems, and for informing nuclear industry regulatory policies and oceanography for decades to come.


"After 25 years, we are just beginning to grasp Chernobyl's legacy. Now Fukushima presents similar challenges, but with the added complication of leaving its imprint on the ocean, a complex system that is vital to human health and the world economy".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
36. hydrus 12:00 PM EDT on May 17, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:


Yes! it's not gonna just be you, it'll be everyone when it comesI would like to post my feelings on this subject, but I cant.


Stifling your feelings is unhealthy.
Letting the fly will insure myself a lengthy ban...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
Do you have any good news.?..the last time gas was over four bucks it damn near wiped me out.

The good news is that oil prices are going down and gasoline is too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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