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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Quoting belizeit:
I think Mitch actually only hit Honduras as a TD or TS but they got 5 feet of rain in 48 hrs


Actually, you're right, 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.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Now here is a way-too-close-for-comfort view of the Tuscaloosa tornado taken by a foolish but lucky man. (Voice-over in Spanish)



The guy shooting the video was either flexing his beer muscles or not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 807
The latest from Africa



Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting belizeit:
I think if waves develop closer to the Caribbean they have a greater chance to go trough the Herbert box and then hit the United States of America While waves that develop immediately tend to curve out to sea
Yes, theoretically, waves should form into storms closer to the United States than they did last year, and additionally, there is definitely more heat close to home this year.

So we are at a higher risk than we were last year for a direct impact
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting IKE:

I'm wishcasting an invest. The GFS is in my corner. WOOHOO!
lol
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Atlantis,the Final rollover.

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Quoting TomTaylor:

SSTs are not near what they were last year

take a look again





N of Cuba, in the Gulf, and W Carib, 2011 is warmer, however, over the entire eastern half of the Atlantic, temps are significantly cooler.

This means it will take longer for an emerging wave off of Africa to form into a storm, meaning a lower likelihood of development.

Also, this year will likely be a neutral year/weak La Nina, so relative to last year, there will be more upward motion in the EPAC. This means there will be more sheer in the Atlantic, further hampering formation.
I think if waves develop closer to the Caribbean they have a greater chance to go trough the Herbert box and then hit the United States of America While waves that develop immediately tend to curve out to sea
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I have a question....SST's are already near what they were last year, TCHP is building at a fairly good clip because of the clear skies in the Caribbean, wind shear is expected to be lower than last year, not as much dry air/SAL as last year....So why is this year predicted lower than last year?

SSTs are not near what they were last year

take a look again





N of Cuba, in the Gulf, and W Carib, 2011 is warmer, however, over the entire eastern two thirds of the Atlantic (east of 70W), temps are significantly cooler.

This means it will take longer for an emerging wave off of Africa to form into a storm, meaning a lower likelihood of development.

Also, this year will likely be a neutral year/weak La Nina, so relative to last year, there will be more upward motion in the EPAC. This means there will be more sheer in the Atlantic, further hampering formation.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Impact
Impact by area Region

Direct deaths Damage

Panama 3 Unknown
Costa Rica 7 $92 million
Jamaica 3 Unknown
Nicaragua 3,800 $1 billion
Honduras 14,600 $3.8 billion
Guatemala 268 $748 million
El Salvador 240 $400 million
Belize 11 $50,000
Mexico 9 Unknown
United States 2 $40 million
Offshore 3 N/A
Total 18,974 $6 billion

Hurricane Mitch was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since the Great Hurricane of 1780, displacing the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 as the second-deadliest on record. Nearly eleven thousand people were confirmed dead, and almost as many reported missing. Deaths were mostly from flooding and mudslides in Central America, where the slow-moving hurricane and then tropical storm dropped nearly 3 feet (900 mm) of rain. The flooding and mudslides damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes, with total damage amounting to over $5 billion (1998 USD, $6 billion 2006 USD), most of which was in Honduras and Nicaragua. Prior to Mitch, the deadliest hurricane in Central America was Hurricane Fifi in 1974, which killed an estimated 8,000,-10,000.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Belize didn't get a CAT 5 either, that was Honduras. What Belize did get however, was a torrential rainfall as Mitch slowly made its way all the way around Belize, probably putting Belize under the longest lasting rainfall.

I think Mitch actually only hit Honduras as a TD or TS but they got 5 feet of rain in 48 hrs
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Belize didn't get a CAT 5 either, that was Honduras. What Belize did get however, was a torrential rainfall as Mitch slowly made its way all the way around Belize, probably putting Belize under the longest lasting rainfall.


My mistake, I did know that it devastated a part of Central America but I forgot which. I was only a little child when Mitch formed. I'm 13.
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 419 Comments: 679
Check this out we have a low of off Guatemala
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Quoting hurricaneben:


Yeah I hear it was terrible for you guys in Belize. Here in FL, I dont think it was as bad--but still we got minor damage and scattered power outages, I think it hit us as a minimal hurricane or strong TS. Nothing like a CAT 5 but still kinda nasty.


Belize didn't get a CAT 5 either, that was Honduras. What Belize did get however, was a torrential rainfall as Mitch slowly made its way all the way around Belize, probably putting Belize under the longest lasting rainfall.

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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Based on climatology less than 10%.


I think this season will start sometime in between the very end of this month and Mid to Late June. The timing of the start should be a bit earlier than last year--Alex formed on, I think, June 25 or 26. I'd say May 30-June 25 for this season but we'll see how it pans out.
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 419 Comments: 679
Quoting hurricaneben:


Yeah I hear it was terrible for you guys in Belize. Here in FL, I dont think it was as bad--but still we got minor damage and scattered power outages, I think it hit us as a minimal hurricane or strong TS. Nothing like a CAT 5 but still kinda nasty.
Hurricane Mitch only gave us a lot of rain but the storm stalled at our doorsteps causing the hurricane shelters to run out of food so people had to return to there homes before the all clear was given
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Quoting belizeit:
Maybe the picture is neat but i still remembered the horror it brought us .


Yeah I hear it was terrible for you guys in Belize. Here in FL, I dont think it was as bad--but still we got minor damage and scattered power outages, I think it hit us as a minimal hurricane or strong TS. Nothing like a CAT 5 but still kinda nasty.
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 419 Comments: 679
Quoting hydrus:
Neat pic of Mitch...
Maybe the picture is neat but i still remembered the horror it brought us .
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How many people have been killed in floods on the Mississippi River and tributaries including the Missouri and Ohio Rivers this year?
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Can't exactly put my finger on who Peggy is yet, but I'll get there... May have to go back and refresh my memory (which is worn and old) with some old post. What I do know is .... Yippee !! My wishes are coming true....some of the good ole guys are returning....just in the knick of time !! Welcome back, I say....:)
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Now here is a way-too-close-for-comfort view of the Tuscaloosa tornado taken by a foolish but lucky man. (Voice-over in Spanish)

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I found some errors in the information at the NOAA site about the release of the NOAA hurricane season outlook about the dates.I think,they put the 2008 information by error.The 2011 NOAA outlook is going to be released on May 19.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14410
Mitch just before giving us a whack in S.W.Florida...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21505
Quoting alfabob:

Alfabob, you're a bit late at showing this(that is if you want to see the maximum Sst's in the gulf). On May 14th the gulf was almost completely warm with +26C waters.
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255 USAprimeCreditPeggy "I got news for you, it ain't normal now."

Complaints, complaints. Ya shoulda seen the postApocalypse before the cleanup crew arrived.
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Neat pic of Mitch...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21505
258. beell
Summary of Recent Changes in the GHCN-M Temperature Dataset and Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analyses 2 May 2011

The Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly (GHCN-M) has been the official land surface mean temperature dataset since its release and has been widely used in several international climate assessments, as well as NCDC’s climate monitoring activities. Effective May 2, 2011, the GHCN-M version 3 dataset of monthly mean temperature replaced GHCN-M version 2 monthly mean temperature dataset. Beginning with the April 2011 State of the Climate Report, GHCN-M version 3 will be used for NCDC climate monitoring activities, including calculation of global land surface temperature anomalies and trends. It will also be merged with the Extended Reconstruction Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST) version 3b dataset to form the merged land and ocean surface temperature dataset, which is used to calculate the global average temperature from 1880 to present.

...Even during the periods of greatest station density, there are many areas where land surface observations are unavailable. Observations can be estimated in such areas using a variety of interpolation techniques. A method developed by van den Dool et al. (2000) and applied to the development of a merged land and ocean surface temperature dataset (Smith et al. 2008) is used to estimate temperature anomalies in areas with little-to-no data. This method uses spatial pattern recognition (Empirical Orthogonal Teleconnections) to fill in the areas with little-to-no data, and it forms the basis for global surface temperature calculations used in NCDC’s climate monitoring activities.

In high latitude areas, the method of spatial pattern recognition is less effective at filling in areas with sparsely reported climate observations. Prior to GHCN-M version 3, the global merged land and ocean surface temperature gridded dataset would set these areas to missing, regardless of whether land-only data was available for the grid point. With the release of GHCN-M version 3, the land surface temperature observations will be included in the merged dataset in these high-latitude areas...
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Tornado vortex south of PR! Check out the radar and you can see the rotation^^
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This upper level low pressure system will remain nearly stationary across the Ohio River Valley and Mid-Atlantic region through Friday. Several surface lows will rotate over the region bringing widespread showers and thunderstorms across the area through Thursday. This image was taken by GOES-EAST.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21505
What are the chances of us seeing Arlene in the next 2 weeks?
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 419 Comments: 679
You just say that cuz you've never had to clean up after an Apocalypse. And let me tell you, it ain't easy arranging everything back to lookin' normal while everybody else is worshiping the porcelain goddess, passed out, or whinging about their hangovers.
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Quoting Patrap:
...there's only 4 shopping days left until the apocalypse­.


Pfft, there's no way the world's ending this Saturday. Just because some people said it, do u know how many people actually believed that 2000 would be apocalypse? And before that, it was 1976. I'm telling you they always like to say stuff about Doomsday and crap when in reality apocalypse is probably thousands of years away. The only kind of apocalypse that might happen is to this planet and even so we would migrate to another planet--even that's gonna be ages from now.
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 419 Comments: 679
216 TropicalAnalystwx13 "...SST's are already near what they were last year, TCHP is building at a fairly good clip because of the clear skies in the Caribbean, wind shear is expected to be lower than last year, not as much dry air/SAL as last year....So why is this year predicted lower than last year?"

Cuz for a prediction higher than last year to become true, it would mean that the most, the 2nd most, and the 4th most active HurricaneSeasons on record would have to have occurred since 2005.
Folks tend to think of the hurricane-activity numbers as being randomly distributed throughout the years, and also have a "gut feeling" that random distribution more-or-less means evenly distributed (it doesn't). So nobody likes betting on records bunching up like that.
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Double posted
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(and also at 3N, which is a tad far south for anything to get going...)
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Quoting Levi32:


NE trades meeting SE trades.


gotcha
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
39W



NE trades meeting SE trades.
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39W

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Quoting llcoolsteve:
Not really a 'global' value.

The Temperature Anomalies map biases toward temperature anomalies near the poles. You chose a projection which "stretches" the map the further you go from the equator. I understand you want a map which shows the whole earth, but you then overlay a uniform grid of sample points. You are including more samples the further you go from the equator. Therefore, variations closer to the poles are weighted more heavily (quantitatively and visually)

The polar distortions inherent in a Marcator projection such as that used for the temperature anomaly map at the top of the page are, of course, very well known, and are accounted for. Now, that map doesn't show more temperature samples at higher latitudes; it simply averages the temperatures across any 5-degree by 5-degree area and plots that average as a dot of a particular size and color. It's important to note that the map works with both warmer and cooler temps; were it not, say, 5.C degrees above the long-term average in Siberia, there'd be no large red dots there. Were it cooler, there'd by many big blue dots. Viewers can rest assured that the preponderance of large red dots is indicative of abnormal warmth, and not projection distortion.
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Very potent wave over Western Africa attm.
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Quoting presslord:


...nah....it's quite nice...please come...and spend money...
I have been itching for a fishing trip. The outer banks including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds are some of my old haunts. I can spend considerable cash fishing...:)..Hope you are doing well.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21505
Well Presslord you have out done yourself with that video. If I may make one comment, using poetic license the end is near does rhyme with Queer, short synopses of video.
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Does anybody know what happened with Oz at
XtremeStormJunkies?
Hello To All. I am taking time to send you all this message that I am retiring from all storm chasing effective immediately. Best wishes to all my other storm chasing friends and to all my supporters. It was an interesting run of many decades, and my only regret is that "storm-proofed" and internet broadcast technology was not available during all those years when I was a young man. May you all be blessed!
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Quoting hydrus:
End-caster.?...Getting a lot of rain in the Carolina,s...:)


...nah....it's quite nice...please come...and spend money...
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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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