Globe has 10th warmest May on record; critical fire conditions for Arizona

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:27 PM GMT on June 16, 2011

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May 2011 was the globe's 10th warmest May on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). May 2011 global ocean temperatures were the 11th warmest on record, and land temperatures were the 6th warmest on record. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR) for hurricanes from the Caribbean to the coast of Africa between 10°N and 20°N were 0.6°C above average, the 7th highest SSTs of the past 100 years. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were above average, the 8th or 12th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH).


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

Unusual global extremes in May and spring 2011
As I discussed in yesterday's post, during the spring period of March, April, and May 2011, 46% of the U.S. had abnormally (top 10%) wet or dry conditions--the greatest such area during the 102-year period of record. On average, just 21% of the country has exceptionally wet conditions or exceptionally dry conditions during spring. In addition, heavy 1-day precipitation events--the kind that cause the worst flooding--were also at an all-time high in the spring of 2011.

A highly extreme precipitation pattern was also observed over the British Isles during spring 2011. England suffered its driest spring in over a century during May, with late May soils the driest on record over large parts of eastern and central England. In contrast, Scotland had its wettest spring on record.

New Zealand had its warmest May since records began there in 1909, whereas Australia saw its coolest March-May since their records began in 1950.

Our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a detailed summary of May 2011 global weather extremes.

La Niña is gone; conditions are neutral
Although sea surface temperatures increased in the equatorial Pacific overall, El Niño/La Niña conditions remained neutral in the month of May, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. Sea surface temperatures were near-average across the central Pacific Ocean, and were 0.5°C or more above average in the far western and eastern Pacific Ocean. Neutral conditions are expected to continue through the summer.

May Arctic sea ice 3rd lowest extent on record
Arctic sea ice in May 2011 was much-below average according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and ranked 3rd lowest on record for the Northern Hemisphere. Sea ice loss has accelerated during the first half of June, and as of June 16 was the lowest for the date since satellite measurements began in 1979. Snow cover extent in the Northern Hemisphere was also below average, making May 2011 the 7th consecutive May with below-average snow cover extent in the Northern Hemisphere.

Five-day period of critical fire conditions expected in the Southwest
The powerful winds that helped fan Arizona's massive Wallow fire into the state's largest fire on record will return in force today, after a two-day quiet period that allowed firefighter to achieve 29% containment of the fire by Wednesday evening. The forecast for Eastern Arizona calls for afternoon winds of 20 - 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph today and Friday. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center forecasts that even stronger winds will blow Saturday and Sunday. With hot conditions and humidity values below 10%, these are likely to be among the worst fire conditions the region has seen this year.


Figure 2. Smoke from Arizona's Wallow fire (top area with red squares denoting active fires) drifts northeastward over New Mexico in this image taken by NASA's Terra satellite at 20:30 UTC on June 15, 2011. Arizona's Horseshoe Two fire is also visible, as well as fires burning in New Mexico and Mexico.

The Atlantic is quiet, with no tropical cyclones predicted over the next seven days by the reliable computer models.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting cmahan:


Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous. But then citizens organized on Facebook and Twitter both to help identify the rioters, and to pitch in to clean up the mess.


Well that's good to hear.
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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, June 17th, with Video


Thank you Awesome job Levi
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Quoting cmahan:


Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous. But then citizens organized on Facebook and Twitter both to help identify the rioters, and to pitch in to clean up the mess.


Actually.... from what the news and blogs say... they have ID'ed the main ones... going to be interesting to hear their story's... ummm I'm just stupid??
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Quoting Patrap:



Better question,,what happened with the drunken Cunucks fans rioting before it was even over?


Classy.




Would you like me to post some videos of the NOLA riots and looting?

There was a group that has been very active in the past who started most of it in Vancouver... apparently dumb enough to not notice everyone has a cell phone now adays.
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Quoting FLdewey:
Maybe Luongo can save us from the storms...



then again.... maybe not.

EDIT: add a target in the net.


Got to be careful, Dont want to start anymore riots. LOL
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
TWC HD local on da 8's is play'n some funk,lol
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once the southern circulation initiates tropical cyclones will ensue and the caribbean will be the birthplace being pulled northward towards the poles,aug-sept peek......
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Quoting Patrap:



Better question,,what happened with the drunken Cunucks fans rioting before it was even over?


Classy.


Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous. But then citizens organized on Facebook and Twitter both to help identify the rioters, and to pitch in to clean up the mess.
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Quoting Grothar:


Does that graph change from year to year? It always looks the same. How can a weather graph not vary?
I would guess that the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season will always be on or around September 10, regardless of what happens in any given year.There have been years when October was many times more active than September, but the activity chart remains unchanged...go figgah...Good morning Gro. This chart is great for checking out activity for each year..
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Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, June 17th, with Video
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Quoting Skyepony:
Hundreds of dead fish are floating in the river Des Peres in South St. Louis. The state has investigated to determine if it was caused by man or nature. Neighbors who live around the river told News 11 they first spotted the dead fish floating in the river on Wednesday. Hundreds of dead fish stretch for more than a half mile North of Gravois. MSD owns the section of the river. They say they hired crews to spray weed killer and they double checked today and say the crews did use a chemical that does not threaten wildlife. Conservation experts say when the rising Mississippi backs up into the river Des Peres the water can stagnate, lose the oxygen and the fish die, a disturbing sight to people who live nearby. "I think something's wrong something disturbing because there shouldn't be dead fish floating everywhere." said Kathy Shaver. Conservation officials say they believe the fish kill was caused by mother nature. The dead fish are Asian carp which have created lots problems for fishermen and boaters.


end times..per Revelations
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I had a feeling that this was going to happen soon. He claims that he came from Grothar's house.


Link


I posted this earlier but, given today's observations, I think it deserves another post.
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Quoting BobinTampa:


Oh, you mean that pattern change that will not only create storms but steer them all towards Florida as well? That pattern change???
....dont get your hopes up,lol...it'll happen our rainy season doesnt usually start in ernest until the begining of july
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Quoting Skyepony:





China is a great example of that.
very true
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732. Skyepony (Mod)

Quoting RitaEvac:


And mother nature will somehow make it up, one way or another








China is a great example of that.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 41012
Quoting FLdewey:
LOL... its coming hydrus.

Morning to you too... what's the good word?
I dont know if its good or not, but the western half of the Caribbean is loaded with moistah...If I was a t-wave, thats where I,d wanna be...
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730. Skyepony (Mod)
Article about the camps feeding the thousands of  firefighters in AZ.


In this June 6, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, fire crews gather for a morning briefing as the sun rises in a smoke-filled sky over the Wallow Fire Incident Command Post in Eager, Ariz. Thousands of firefighters are battling the massive forest fire that has become Arizona's largest, relying upon large base camps where they are fed and where they can sleep, bathe and put on their gear. Such camps have become the standard in modern wildfire work.

U.S. Forest Service, Karen Grubbs, Associated Press


In this June 6, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service,
fire crews gather for a morning briefing as the sun rises in a
smoke-filled sky over the Wallow Fire Incident Command Post in Eager,
Ariz. Thousands of firefighters are battling the massive forest fire
that has become Arizona's largest, relying upon large base camps where
they are fed and where they can sleep, bathe and put on their gear. Such
camps have become the standard in modern wildfire work.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 41012
Quoting AussieStorm:

Yo Mate, what happened to the Cunucks? Anyway, there is always next year, just hope we make it through this hurricane season 1st.



Better question,,what happened with the drunken Cunucks fans rioting before it was even over?


Classy.


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Quoting Neapolitan:

I did some quick math. Let's say the entire state of Texas is, on average, about 18" below normal; that seems like a safe estimate after looking at the above numbers. That means to bring the state up to normal, a bit over 84 trillion gallons of water is needed.

That's a lot.

That's as much water as 140 million Olymic-size pools.

That's nearly 70% of what Lake Erie holds.

That's as much water as the Mississippi River discharges in 200 days.


And mother nature will somehow make it up, one way or another
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Quoting hydrus:
As far as gettin things going, nothin ever has, or ever will surpass the omnipotent, powerful and mighty shrine-graph. Put simple, nothing that has ever existed in the universe compares with it.


Does that graph change from year to year? It always looks the same. How can a weather graph not vary?
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725. Skyepony (Mod)


China has evacuated more than 500,000 people from deadly floods that are devastating areas in the south of the country following the worst drought in 50 years.

At least 105 people have been swept to their deaths or killed in landslides and another 65 are missing after rivers burst their banks. The authorities have issued the highest level of alarm about dykes and dams under dangerous pressure.

Television channels that were only recently broadcasting images of dried-up lake beds are now carrying footage of flooded homes and boats plying their way through inundated streets. China Daily said 550,000 people have been forced to leave their homes.

The dramatic shift is in line with weather trends identified by the Beijing Climate Centre, which says rain is coming in shorter, fiercer bursts, interspersed by protracted periods of drought. more here..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 41012
Quoting FLdewey:
The hairs on the back of Taz's neck just stood up
Patiently waiting for my ban threat..( diabolical and insane laughter in the background.)..Good morning Dewey.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Season may be slow now, but there is a pattern change coming around the end of the month or beginning of next month that should really start making things interesting.

(those kind of vague, inflammatory predictions usually always get things going 'round here)

3....2....1....


Oh, you mean that pattern change that will not only create storms but steer them all towards Florida as well? That pattern change???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
721. Skyepony (Mod)
Hundreds of dead fish are floating in the river Des Peres in South St. Louis. The state has investigated to determine if it was caused by man or nature. Neighbors who live around the river told News 11 they first spotted the dead fish floating in the river on Wednesday. Hundreds of dead fish stretch for more than a half mile North of Gravois. MSD owns the section of the river. They say they hired crews to spray weed killer and they double checked today and say the crews did use a chemical that does not threaten wildlife. Conservation experts say when the rising Mississippi backs up into the river Des Peres the water can stagnate, lose the oxygen and the fish die, a disturbing sight to people who live nearby. "I think something's wrong something disturbing because there shouldn't be dead fish floating everywhere." said Kathy Shaver. Conservation officials say they believe the fish kill was caused by mother nature. The dead fish are Asian carp which have created lots problems for fishermen and boaters.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 41012
busted forcast and busted nothing
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI







Yo Mate, what happened to the Cunucks? Anyway, there is always next year, just hope we make it through this hurricane season 1st.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Season may be slow now, but there is a pattern change coming around the end of the month or beginning of next month that should really start making things interesting.

(those kind of vague, inflammatory predictions usually always get things going 'round here)

3....2....1....
As far as gettin things going, nothin ever has, or ever will surpass the omnipotent, powerful and mighty shrine-graph. Put simple, nothing that has ever existed in the universe compares with it.
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The big SAL outbreak is going to last through October and kill the season............... :)
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10455
Quoting RitaEvac:
It's getting CRAZY here in TX,


Rainfall Deficits since last October:



Bellville: -21.74

Brenham: -21.01

College Station: -19.80

Columbus: -22.02

Conroe: -22.31

Freeport: -18.78

Hobby: -19.64

IAH: -20.74

Huntsville: -23.71

Katy: -19.08

Matagorda: -18.72

New Caney: -19.37

Tomball: -25.24


65% of the state of TX is now in exceptional drought or the worst category on the US Drought Monitor. With 89% in extreme or exceptional at staggering amount of land area. All SE TX counties except Houston County and Jackson County are classified in exceptional drought with Houston and Jackson in extreme drought.

So far for 2011 the drought has resulted in 1.4 billion dollars in crop and cattle losses across TX

Numerous wildfires continue to develop across the region. The KBDI index now exceeds 700 in 11 SE TX counties on the scale of 0-800 (0=saturated and 800=no moisture). Harris County has a value of 734 and Montgomery County 745. Brazoria County has moved to 747. Values of these magnitudes support explosive fire growth and rapid dying of vegetation including grasses, shrubs, and large trees. All 23 counties in SE TX have burn bans in place with 215 across the state out of 254 counties. Vegetation health is beyond poor in un-irrigated locations and numerous trees including Oaks, Pines, and Palms are dying from lack of rainfall.



Water Restrictions:

The City of Galveston and League City enacted stage 3 drought plans yesterday with now mandatory water restrictions in place. Residents watering outside of the determined days and times will be subject to fines.




I did some quick math. Let's say the entire state of Texas is, on average, about 18" below normal; that seems like a safe estimate after looking at the above numbers. That means to bring the state up to normal, a bit over 84 trillion gallons of water is needed.

That's a lot.

That's as much water as 140 million Olymic-size pools.

That's nearly 70% of what Lake Erie holds.

That's as much water as the Mississippi River discharges in 200 days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
714. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #3
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 05
21:00 PM JST June 17 2011
====================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 12:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1006 hPa) located at 11.7N 127.8E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving northwest at 12 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 14.3N 125.3E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI






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With all these MCS's tracking over the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers, what are we looking at down the road with the Mississippi from the point where the Missouri dumps in and south? It's looking as if there are going to get round two this season.
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There's not even anything out there for Ike to downcast!

hahahah- that's when you KNOW it's bad!
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Quoting IKE:
Latest 6Z GFS @ 204 hours.....woohoo!!!!!!

I'm a believer!!!!!!!!


Decent moisture and spin with the wave in the Caribbean..
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It's getting CRAZY here in TX,


Rainfall Deficits since last October:



Bellville: -21.74

Brenham: -21.01

College Station: -19.80

Columbus: -22.02

Conroe: -22.31

Freeport: -18.78

Hobby: -19.64

IAH: -20.74

Huntsville: -23.71

Katy: -19.08

Matagorda: -18.72

New Caney: -19.37

Tomball: -25.24


65% of the state of TX is now in exceptional drought or the worst category on the US Drought Monitor. With 89% in extreme or exceptional at staggering amount of land area. All SE TX counties except Houston County and Jackson County are classified in exceptional drought with Houston and Jackson in extreme drought.

So far for 2011 the drought has resulted in 1.4 billion dollars in crop and cattle losses across TX

Numerous wildfires continue to develop across the region. The KBDI index now exceeds 700 in 11 SE TX counties on the scale of 0-800 (0=saturated and 800=no moisture). Harris County has a value of 734 and Montgomery County 745. Brazoria County has moved to 747. Values of these magnitudes support explosive fire growth and rapid dying of vegetation including grasses, shrubs, and large trees. All 23 counties in SE TX have burn bans in place with 215 across the state out of 254 counties. Vegetation health is beyond poor in un-irrigated locations and numerous trees including Oaks, Pines, and Palms are dying from lack of rainfall.



Water Restrictions:

The City of Galveston and League City enacted stage 3 drought plans yesterday with now mandatory water restrictions in place. Residents watering outside of the determined days and times will be subject to fines.



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Quoting TampaTom:


Should we do a test elevation of the DOOMcon index to shake things up?


couldn't hurt. Either that or start the 'season is a bust' stuff.

There's not even anything out there for Ike to downcast!
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Quoting BobinTampa:
But it seems like we have all the details.

And perhaps we do. But as Fukushima has demonstrated, that sentence could be amended thusly: "it seems like we have all the details they want us to have". Much as TEPCO and the Japanese government admittedly downplayed--and continue to do so--the situation at Fukushima primarily to protect that nation's nuclear industry, our only sources of info about Fort Calhoun are the utility that runs the plant, and the U.S. Government organization charged with promoting the use of nuclear.

Quoting BobinTampa:
...a lack of 'stories' doesn't necessarily mean a lack of 'coverage.'

That is very true. But as we have seen in many other instances, a lack of 'stories' can also definitely mean an intentional lack--or, worse, denial--of coverage.

The thing is, where there's smoke, there really isn't always fire; the situation at Fort Calhoun may be completely under control as we are being told. But as the ongoing catastrophe in Fukushima continues to unfold, the whole world has seen many people with ties to Big Nuclear constantly telling us how it's really no big deal, it'll be cleaned up in a few months, and to just go on about our business--only to be proven wronger and wronger at each turn. Bottom line: the nuclear industry has earned its reputation; it's earned our suspicion and disbelief in it; it's earned our lack of faith in its ability to be honest.

(By the way: the Japanese government announced today that it is expanding the evacuation zone around Fukushima in places to include areas up to 70 kilometers from the plant. As one teenager who now faces evacuation put it, "The radiation levels have been high from the very start, so I wish the government had made the decision faster.")
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Quoting TampaTom:


Should we do a test elevation of the DOOMcon index to shake things up?
If you do the test please keep it local. Don't want your test to wake up the chickens! :)
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Discussion:

It is brutal with the heat and dryness and vegetation, even large trees, are starting to suffer with the lack of rainfall. Upper level ridging over MX will build over TX over the next 24 hours with surface temperatures increasing into the low 100%u2019s during the afternoon hours likely breaking records. Strong winds have returned to the region resulting in warm overnight lows and afternoon dewpoints south of I-10 have not been mixing out much forcing heat index values toward 104-107 or just shy of heat advisory criteria. North of I-10 mixing as allowing afternoon RH to fall to near 35% supporting extreme fire weather concerns with the gusty southerly winds.



Expect very warm conditions over the weekend with highs into the 100%u2019s and lows near 80 with no rainfall. Starting Monday the stubborn upper ridge shifts far to the northeast of the area as a trough plowing across the north plains. The tail end of this trough will break off and create a shear axis or weakness across the state of TX lowering mid level heights and reducing the capping. At the same time the tropical wave currently in the central Caribbean Sea will surge NW across the Gulf of Mexico toward this weakness in the height field. PWS of 2.0-2.4 inches will move NW from the Yucatan and toward the TX coast by Tuesday.



Air mass becomes very tropical by late Tuesday as PWS start to exceed the magic 2.0 inch range. Expect numerous showers and thunderstorms to develop on this surge of deep moisture Tuesday afternoon as the air mass goes uncapped and trigger temperatures fall to the mid 80%u2019s. Wednesday and Thursday look like the wettest days as PWS peak in the 2.2-2.4 inch range supporting the threat of widespread heavy rainfall. GFS attempts to develop a surface low pressure reflection off the NE MX coast around the middle of the week and moves this feature northward into the shear axis over TX and inland around Matagorda Bay. At this time will keep the tropical wave axis as an open wave and not close off a surface low, but it is possible that some weak tropical development could spin up near the coast toward the middle/end of next week.



At this point given the multiple model runs showing this event feel rain chances will start on Tuesday and really ramp up on Wednesday and Thursday. Will go with 50% for Wednesday and Thursday for now as we must not forget how hard rain has been to come by over the past several months however if models continue to show this event then chances will need to be pushed into the 70-80% range by early next week. Finger are crossed.



Drought/Heat:



BUSH IAH has already recorded 4 100 degree days this June, typically we record 100 only 3 times in a whole year.

Crockett has reached 100 11 times in June and Huntsville 8

As of today June 2011 is the warmest ever record at IAH, Hobby, and Galveston.



Houston has now endured 4 months without an inch of rainfall%u2026this has never happened before.

Hobby Airport has had 1 day of rainfall (.19 of an inch) out of the last 92 days.



The period from Oct 2010 to June 16, 2011 is that driest period ever recorded at IAH and Hobby shattering the previous records



IAH: 12.84 inches of rainfall (old record 15.05 inches in 1917)

Hobby: 16.07 inches of rainfall (old record 16.97 inches in 1956)

College Station: Second driest behind 1925 (1925: 9.15 in, 2011: 9.79 inches, 1917: 13.52 inches)



Based on the rainfall data above this is likely the most severe short term drought ever experienced in the City of Houston weather history.



It is even more astounding when looking at the period from Feb-June 2011. This period has been incredibly dry.



IAH: 2.02 (2011) previous record 5.48 (1996). 2011 for this period has 11.5% of its rainfall.

Hobby: 1.31 (2011) previous record 4.99 (1963). 2011 for this period has 7.3% of its rainfall



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Incredible drought conditions continue across the entire region with several cities now starting mandatory and voluntary water restrictions effective today.



Extreme wildfire danger remains in place today through the weekend along with record high temperatures this weekend.



However hope appears on the horizon as the tropics look to come to live over the Gulf of Mexico next week.

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699. MTWX
Quoting RTLSNK:
At least someone is getting rain this morning.

Keep coming south!!! Keep coming south!!!
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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