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

Share this Blog
8
+

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.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 490 - 440

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog Index

490. DDR
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
good morning all asnother day another screen name
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
487. IKE
From Tampa,FL. discussion....

WITH THE HIGH OVERHEAD AND RESULTING LIGHT WIND FLOW...A
SEABREEZE WILL DEVELOP BOTH THURSDAY AND FRIDAY AFTERNOONS.
MOISTURE APPEARS TO LIMITED FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN SOME
INCREASED CUMULUS CLOUD COVER ON THURSDAY BUT BY FRIDAY...THE
RIDGE IS CENTERED OVER NORTHERN FLORIDA AND WE COULD SEE SOME
ISOLATED STORMS DEVELOP IN THE AFTERNOON AS THE SEABREEZES
COLLIDE OVER OUR SOUTHERN COUNTIES WHERE SOME INCREASED MOISTURE
IN THE EASTERLY FLOW IS ALSO EXPECTED. HAVE INTRODUCED SOME 20%
POPS FRIDAY AFTERNOON TO ACCOUNT FOR THIS OVER AREAS GENERALLY
SOUTH OF TAMPA BAY FOR NOW.

.LONG TERM (FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY)...
RIDGING ALOFT FROM THE CENTRAL GULF COAST TO THE UPPER GREAT
LAKES AND A BROAD UPPER LOW OVER THE NE MID-ATLANTIC STATES AND
NEW ENGLAND SLOWLY SLIDE EAST WITH THE RIDGE REACHING FL AND
ATLANTIC COASTAL WATERS TUE. SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE
ATLANTIC RIDGES WEST ACROSS FL TO THE GULF...WITH ITS AXIS
MEANDERING OVER CENTRAL AND NORTH FL. THE UPPER RIDGING DOMINATES
KEEPING THE FORECAST PARTLY CLOUDY AND RAIN FREE WITH
TEMPERATURES RUNNING SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Gearsts:
To put a smile on your faces?^^

OMG.
Where did that come from?
It wasnt there yesterday.
And it's coming our way.
Only thing to save us from that, is Lift Off.
I'm about to go into Rupture....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24871
483. IKE
Orlando,FL. extended.....

SAT-TUES...HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE AXIS AT THE SFC REMAINS NEAR CENTRAL
FLORIDA OVER THE WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK AS AN UPPER LEVEL
RIDGE BUILDS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. EASTERLY FLOW WILL
CONTINUE OVER THE REGION WITH EAST COAST SEA BREEZE DEVELOPMENT
EXPECTED EACH DAY. AIRMASS REMAINS RELATIVELY DRY THROUGH THE PERIOD
WITH NO RAIN IN THE FORECAST. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPS WILL CONTINUE WITH
HIGHS IN THE UPPER 80S ALONG THE COAST AND LOW 90S OVER THE
INTERIOR. PARTLY SUNNY SKIES EXPECTED DURING THE DAY...BECOMING
MOSTLY CLEAR EACH EVENING.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
482. IKE

Quoting Gearsts:
To put a smile on your faces?^^
A buzz-saw....heading west!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
To put a smile on your faces?^^
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2000
477. IKE

Quoting DestinJeff:


First ever. Actually the cruise is inexpensive. However, wife "stuff for cruise" purchases leading up to it our through the roof.
Have a good time.

................................................. .................................................. .

Looking at the latest GFS and ECMWF, I don't see much chance of rain for our area until Memorial Day weekend. Looks like high pressure builds in and hangs around until the end of next week.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
post 473.
To read that, first thing in the morning, has put a smile on my face that might very well last all day.
Maybe even until the 21st.........

Thanks, Jeff.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24871
474. IKE
You go on a cruise. I go to the Tom Thumb for gas and a pack of Jewel Sweet cigars and a Coke. Yeehaw!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
472. IKE
Looks like the rainy weather is moving away from the islands. Hot late May sun should really warm up the Caribbean and GOM.

Season may start slow but should have plenty of fireworks...stay tuned!

13 days...
17 hours...
44 minutes....and it starts.....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
471. BVI
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Good morning. Finnally the sun comes out and that is a respite from the rainy pattern of the past few days in Puerto Rico,but anyway,the usual afternoon diurnal showers will fall.

By the way,here is the NOAA announcement of the release of their hurricane outlook set for tommorow.

Link


Nice to wake up to a sunny morning in the British Virgin Islands as well after days of heavy rain, although the rain was desperately needed as we have had a very dry few months.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning. Finnally the sun comes out and that is a respite from the rainy pattern of the past few days in Puerto Rico,but anyway,the usual afternoon diurnal showers will fall.

By the way,here is the NOAA announcement of the release of their hurricane outlook set for tommorow.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2000
468. IKE
deleted...double post.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
467. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
we won't go out in a blaze of glory, no...we'll just be all shriveled up, and glowing.

It is a beautiful morning tho, final stretch of last moon cycle a'fore Season™.
Shriveled up like a prune out in the July sun.

49.6 outside my 2nd story window...right now.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting aspectre:
280 belizeit "I think Mitch actually only hit Honduras as a TD or TS but they got 5 feet of rain in 48 hrs"
290 HurricaneSwirl "...Mitch rapidly weakened from a category 5 to a category 1 right before landfall. But anyway Honduras was the landfall location in central america for Mitch."

Only in the most trivial meaning of 'hit': ie (center of the eye) landfall&after.

10/28 00GMT 16.6n85.6w - 160mph 933mb Cat.5
10/28 06GMT 16.3n85.6w - 150mph 938mb upperCat.4
Note that Guanaja(GJA)Honduras was ~21miles of the center or less, probably in the eyewall, probably experienced those Cat.5 winds decreasing down to Cat.4
10/28 12GMT 16.3n85.6w - 135mph 948mb lowerCat.4
Movement stalled for the next 6hours as Mitch's winds decreased from Cat.4 to Cat.3
Coastal mainlandHonduras was close enough (~25miles) to the eyewall to have possibly experienced some Cat.4winds, certainly experienced some Cat.3 winds
10/28 18GMT 16.3n85.7w - 110mph 959mb Cat.2
Moved closer to Guanaja for the next 6hours, which probably experienced Cat.2 winds during this period.
Coastal mainlandHonduras probably experienced high Cat.1 winds
10/29 00GMT 16.2n85.8w - 100mph 970mb Cat.2
Guanaja probably far enough away to be experiencing Cat.1 winds, and coastal mainlandHonduras only slightly milder Cat.1 winds
10/29 06GMT 16.1n85.8w -- 85mph 979mb Cat.1
Winds at Guanaja probably dropped to TropicalStorm strength, while coastal mainland Honduras still experiencing Cat.1 winds
10/29 12GMT 15.9n85.7w -- 80mph 987mb Cat.1
After landfall.

36hours of Mitch smacking Honduras with hurricane-force winds can't be described with "rapidly weakened". Nor can Mitch be properly portrayed as having "...only hit Honduras as a TD or TS"


We never said it wasn't bad. Mitch officially made landfall in Honduras as a Category 1, and that's all I was trying to point out in that post.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
we won't go out in a blaze of glory, no...we'll just be all shriveled up, and glowing.

It is a beautiful morning tho, final stretch of last moon cycle a'fore Season™.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 177 Comments: 26628
464. IKE
Tallahassee,FL. long-term....

LONG TERM...
(SATURDAY THROUGH NEXT WEDNESDAY) GUIDANCE IS IN A BIT BETTER
AGREEMENT FROM THIS TIME YESTERDAY. THE EURO AND UKMET RESEMBLE
EACH OTHER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PERIOD AND THE EURO HAS NOW
TRENDED CLOSER TO THE GFS SOLUTION WHICH CLOSELY MATCHES ITS
ENSEMBLE MEMBERS THAT ARE CLUSTERED AROUND A RATHER COMMON
SOLUTION THAT IS ALSO SUPPORTED BY THE SREF MEAN. HAVE DECIDED TO
TAKE A BLEND OF THE GFS AN EURO FOR THIS PACKAGE TO ACCOUNT FOR
SMALL UNCERTAINTIES BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT SUITES OF MODEL DATA.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US IS HIGHLY AMPLIFIED DEEP LAYER RIDGING TO
START THE PERIOD THAT IS FORECAST TO ONLY GRADUALLY MOVE EASTWARD
AND FLATTEN OUT THROUGH THE WEEKEND AND THE FIRST PART OF NEXT WEEK.
AS HIGH PRESSURE KEEPS US HOT AND DRY...NO MENTIONABLE RAIN CHANCES
ARE EXPECTED DURING THE EXTENDED PERIOD AND HIGH TEMPERATURES ARE
FORECAST TO RUN 5 TO 15 DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE. A FEW ISOLATED
SEABREEZE STORMS ARE POSSIBLE EARLY NEXT WEEK AS THE RIDGE SLOWLY
BREAKS DOWN BUT CERTAINLY NOTHING TO PUT A DENT IN OUR RAINFALL
DEFICIT WHICH IS CURRENTLY ABOUT 10 INCHES BELOW AVERAGE FOR THE
YEAR FOR TALLAHASSEE.


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
463. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
good morning all

has coffee. needs qpf and fuku update.

oh never mind, we're all gonna die anyway, right?

(sigh) has coffee...
Yeah we are. That's what sucks about this.

................................................. .................................................

5 day QPF...just for aquak.....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
good morning all

has coffee. needs qpf and fuku update.

oh never mind, we're all gonna die anyway, right?

(sigh) has coffee...
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 177 Comments: 26628
461. IKE
OLDWICK, N.J. May 17 (BestWire)  As insurers continue to process and pay claims related to a month of violent storms, Risk Management Solutions estimated insured losses from a twister outbreak April 25 through April 28 will total $3.5 billion to $6 billion, the highest figure to date from modeling firms.

If the top of the estimate is reached, the storms will be the costliest tornado and thunderstorm event in the United States.

The estimate includes losses from personal, commercial, automobile, and industrial lines of business in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and other states, and represents structure, contents, and time-element coverages, RMS said. Alabama experienced the majority of the violent tornadoes and accounted for approximately 70% of the overall loss, RMS said.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Skyepony:


The world did okay today. They got a big fire out that was burning China & some nearby countries. The flood is looking hopeful at the moment. The LA drought is paying off. Okay, yeah there's an Olympic size pool of radioactive water under 1 & they found some plague carrying fleas on a rapidly dying colony of maybe Prairie Dogs in Arizona..


I got to disagree about ENSO. Becoming more sure we may see El Niño conditions at least briefly. ESPI measures the amount of Precip across certain areas of the Pacific. When it goes neg, less rain than usual, waters warm & ENSO goes positive. When ESPI gets below -1 ENSO usually gets above 0.5 (ESPI is blue El Nino Black in that link). ESPI was down to -1.05 week before last. Last week it hovered in the mid -.90s, shot up to -.85. Dropping again to -.92 today. Not a sure bet yet but brings a bit of doubt to neutral all summer.


Thanks for keeping up with it all Skye... Unfortunately, I did hear about a deadly fungus affecting North America's bats today and over a million have died already. If that population drop continues, we'll probably get a spike in insect and rodent population afterward.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thank you WaterWitch, and please come back to visit often!

believe me i would love to eyestosea.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gulfbreeze:
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? IF YOU THINK GULPORT IS BEAUTIFUL YOU NEED TO COME SEE PENSACOLA BEACH!!!


northern california. white sand and water you can swim in is a huge difference from our beaches. bodega bay is beautiful too, just in a different way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
454 kimoskee "...the 21st...I'm buying a spaceship, anybody want to join me?"

Why spend the money? If ya wanna space out, it'd be cheaper to just Rapture.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gulfbreeze:
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? IF YOU THINK GULPORT IS BEAUTIFUL YOU NEED TO COME SEE PENSACOLA BEACH!!!


Whoa there, Gulfport (since reconstruction) has been transformed. It's not the old GP with murkie waters and dull sand. It's just beautiful and I for one, am so proud of our entire Gulf Coast and invite all to come check it out. Thank you WaterWitch, and please come back to visit often!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Alarmist Video in Youtube

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting hydrus:
Yes....According to billboards around this country, on the 21st, Jesus is back and turns every bit of warm water into wine...Come on over and pull up a glass.



Yes, we have the same billboards here in Jamaica. They're doing a really good job of frightening the children. They just spent an hour of TV time discussing it with one of the believers. (shaking my head) As if we don't have enough to worry about. I'm coming for a glass of wine.

Oh and the guy said that there would be massive earthquakes on the 21st that would make the Japanese one pale in comparison. I'm buying a spaceship, anybody want to join me? :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
452. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting KoritheMan:

Yes, but it's also important to remember that 2004 featured a Modiki El Nino, with much of the observed warming occurring in the central Pacific as opposed to the eastern.

Given that much of the upward motion would thus be concentrated in the central Pacific region during such events, it is perhaps not surprising that the impact of vertical shear on the Atlantic was negligible at best.


That year El NINO conditions didn't show up to July & it was sudden. Even though it was weak it was late enough that the atmosphere was still feeling the long set neutral that we'd just come out of. It's one thing that skews a tight correlation between enso & 'cane season. The atmosphere lags. That & like you mentioned ENSO events don't always propogate the same.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3metres/second equals 10.8kilometres/hour equals ~6.71mph
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting Skyepony:


Doldrums have several similar definitions. The equatorial part has kinda been tossed when looking at global doldrums monitoring, at least by NOAA.
Ah, didn't know that. Appreciate the correction.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
448. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting KoritheMan:


Doldrums are the area of relatively calm near equatorial surface winds.

I think Skye mistakenly postulated a misnomer, and instead meant to use the term "trade winds", instead.


Doldrums have several similar definitions. The equatorial part has kinda been tossed when looking at global doldrums monitoring, at least by NOAA. I was wrong about the qualifications though.. It takes a daily average of 3 m/s or less not 3 mph.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting Skyepony:

2004 is a good example of that.
Yes, but it's also important to remember that 2004 featured a Modiki El Nino, with much of the observed warming occurring in the central Pacific as opposed to the eastern.

Given that much of the upward motion would thus be concentrated in the central Pacific region during such events, it is perhaps not surprising that the impact of vertical shear on the Atlantic was negligible at best.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting melwerle:


Always watching Pottery - and worrying about everyone in the path of serious weather. Just not much to say since we've been back here in San Diego.

Oh wait...we had mist today and it was cold (64 DEGREES). We had an earthquake last easter in 2010.

Not much to contribute but I'm always around seeing that everyone is doing alright...lurking and checking on you guys.

All is well here too.
You keep well.

I'm out....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24871
445. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting TomTaylor:
Thanks for the update Skye!

just curious, where do you get all these global updates?


Many global ones here & news. ESPI #s come from TRMM.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Gearsts:
Whats that ?explain!


Doldrums are the area of relatively calm near equatorial surface winds.

I think Skye mistakenly postulated a misnomer, and instead meant to use the term "trade winds".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

heheheh
Long time no see, Mel.


Always watching Pottery - and worrying about everyone in the path of serious weather. Just not much to say since we've been back here in San Diego.

Oh wait...we had mist today and it was cold (64 DEGREES). We had an earthquake last easter in 2010.

Not much to contribute but I'm always around seeing that everyone is doing alright...lurking and checking on you guys.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gee Skye.
Thanks for the summary of the Good News.
Real glad I did,nt ask for the Bad....

LOL, Good One!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24871
441. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Gearsts:
Whats that ?explain!


The colors on the map corresponds to the number of days the wind has averaged..I think less than 3 mph. No wind warms the waters.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 490 - 440

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Overcast
28 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron