October 2011 the globe's 8th warmest on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:38 PM GMT on November 16, 2011

Share this Blog
21
+

October 2011 was the globe's 8th warmest October on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies also rated October the 8th warmest on record. The top ten warmest Octobers since record keeping began in 1871 have all occurred since 1997. October 2011 global land temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, and ocean temperatures were the 11th warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere near average, the 19th or 12th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH).

Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the October 2011 Global Weather Extremes Summary.


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

A warm October with few extremes for the U.S.
In the contiguous U.S., where extreme weather has been the norm this year, October was remarkably normal. October 2011 ranked as the 33rd warmest October in the 117-year record. Extremes in temperature were hard to find, with no states recording a top-ten coldest or warmest October. Three states had a top-ten driest October--Louisiana, Missouri, and Iowa. Two states had a top-ten wettest October--New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Precipitation over Texas was near normal in October, making it the first month since February that was not a top-ten driest month for the state. Nevertheless, 90% of Texas remained under extreme to exceptional drought as of November 8, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The most significant weather event of the month in the U.S. was the October 29 - 30 Nor'easter that dumped up to 32" of snow on the Northeast, causing at least $3 billion in damage.

A weak La Niña continues
A weak La Niña event continues in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures have ranged between 0.8 - 1.1°C below average during the first half of November. The impacts of a La Niña on U.S. weather are well-defined. It is likely that the drought in the South, especially Texas, will continue, along with above average temperatures. The Northwest can expect cooler than average temperatures, as well as the potential for another winter with a heavy snowpack across the western United States.

Arctic sea ice extent second lowest on record
Arctic sea ice extent was at its second lowest on record in October, behind 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. October 2011 sea ice extent was 23.5% below the 1979 - 2000 average. Sea ice extent retreated to its lowest value on record during the second week of November, thanks in part to a powerful 943 mb blizzard that brought hurricane-force winds to the Chukchi Sea between Siberia and Russia, compacting and breaking up the sea ice there. Sea ice records date back to 1979.

Eastern Pacific hurricane season not over yet?
Both the tropical Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans are quiet this week, and we are well past the date for the climatological formation of the season's last storm in both basins, particularly in the Eastern Pacific. A major reason for the lack of late-season activity in the Eastern Pacific is due to the cessation of African waves spawned by the African monsoon, which serve as low pressure "seeds" to get the atmosphere spinning and trigger formation of a tropical cyclone. However, the four top models for predicting formation of tropical storms unanimously agree that a tropical storm will form in the Eastern Pacific early next week, thanks to some unusual wave-like motions in the atmosphere that are generating low pressure systems over the Eastern Pacific, similar to African waves. The GFS model is forecasting that we will get not one, but two tropical storms forming in the Eastern Pacific over the next two weeks. Tropical storms are very rare in the Eastern Pacific this late in the year. Since 1949, here have been just three named storms that have formed after November 18. These three storms were an unnamed tropical storm on November 27, 1951; Tropical Storm Sharon on November 27, 1971; and Hurricane Winnie on December 5, 1983. None of these storms hit land, though the 1951 storm grazed the Baja. Next week's storm, if it forms, is expected to move west-northwest, parallel to the Mexican coast, but it is uncertain if it might pose a landfall threat or not.

Jeff Masters

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: 227 - 177

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

Quoting StormTracker2K:
Also looks as if once the severe wx passes next week then very cold air is slated for the SE US.


That shows snow for much of the Ohio Valley.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32023
Could be freezs deep into FL next weekend folks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Also looks as if once the severe wx passes next week then very cold air is slated for the SE US.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We got lucky here last night...It seems that all of those Severe Thunderstorms, at least, in my area, were being driven primarily by daytime heating. My reasoning for this is because when it got dark, the storms became less and less severe, and when it got to my location, it was just heavy rain and a little lightning/thunder.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32023
Could be a even more powerful severe wx outbreak next week starting Tuesday.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
4 deaths yesterday as well I'm hearing.

5 S ROCK HILL YORK SC

*** 3 FATAL ***

STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO 3 HOMES REPORTED AT HIGHWAY 324 AND WILLIAMSON ROADS SOUTH OF ROCK HILL. 3 CONFIRMED FATALITIES THUS FAR. (GSP)

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A GW blog during a tornado outbreak?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
218. MahFL
Thunder woke me up at 3:25 am today here in NE FL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6819
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Nice summary, Kori. I would add something about the widespread flooding that followed Irene, since I think that caused most of the deaths and damage.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, my lengthy post just disappeared into the ether somehow. Suffice to say that we lucked out in central Alabama, with no tornadoes that have been confirmed and some straight line wind damage to trees and structures. Sorry to hear about the deaths in South Carolina, but it seems like this was the kind of system that was going to cause big trouble somewhere.

I tend to agree with the satellite calibration theory for those bright lines in China. It seems like they were laid out with known distances and angles, with the jet and reflective objects of known size to give scale. A power distribution station seems less likely, since there are no power plants I can find in the vicinity.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I probably shouldn't be doing this, but I'll give you guys one more sneak peek at my seasonal summary blog. Ladies and gentleman, I present you with Irene!

Hurricane Irene

August 20 - August 28

Irene was a major hurricane that cut a wide swath of damage from Puerto Rico to New England. It was the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Ike of 2008.

Irene developed from a vigorous tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on August 15. Although little deep convection was noted for the first few days, the wave was accompanied by a surface low and a large lower tropospheric circulation. The wave moved briskly westward, with signs of organization apparent as early as August 17 based on scatterometer data. Since there appears to have been little vertical shear over the disturbance during this time, the strong lower tropospheric steering current associated with the southern flank of the Bermuda/Azores High likely contributed to the fast forward motion of the tropical wave, which seems to have been an inhibiting factor; past observances of similar phenomena has revealed that if a tropical wave is moving too rapidly, it is difficult to generate the amount of surface convergence necessary to trigger a closed circulation at the surface. Based on satellite, reconnaissance and surface data, the wave is estimated to have become a tropical storm near 2100 UTC August 20 while centered about 250 miles east of Dominica.

Despite the abundance of deep convection attendant to the tropical cyclone, Irene was not well organized at the surface, and the overall circulation envelope remained broad. Also, near the time of genesis, Irene began moving toward the west-northwest as the subtropical ridge to the north weakened a little. Little appreciable change in strength was noted as Irene moved through the northern Leeward Islands from late on August 20 into August 21. Thereafter, the cyclone began to strengthen, possibly in response to a slowing of the forward speed. Satellite and radar data suggest that Irene became a hurricane near 0400 UTC August 22, just after making landfall over eastern Puerto Rico near Fajardo. Irene remained well-organized through the crossing, but the hurricane only slowly intensified over the ensuing 36 hours, possibly due to a slight decrease in the overall relative humidity levels.

Thereafter, the hurricane began to strengthen a little more quickly, and Irene became a major hurricane near 0600 UTC August 24 while located very near Inagua Island in the southeastern Bahamas. By this time, Irene had rounded a developing weakness in the western Atlantic ridge along 70W, and had begun to move northwest. Irene reached its peak intensity near 1800 UTC that day, at which time maximum sustained winds are estimated to be at 105 kt. Thereafter, the hurricane began to slowly weaken due to fluctuations within the inner core as well as increasing southwesterly shear. Irene dropped below major hurricane strength near 0600 UTC August 26 while located about 450 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Irene continued to weaken as it turned north and then north-northeast. Its first United States landfall occurred along the coast of North Carolina just east of Beaufort near 1200 UTC August 27 as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of around 80 kt.

Irene exited the coast near Nags Head around 2100 UTC. The hurricane continued to accelerate, entrenched in deep-layer southwesterly flow associated with a well-defined upper trough and attendant frontal system over Quebec and the Great Lakes, and Irene made its second United States landfall along the coast of New Jersey near Tuckerton around 1000 UTC August 28, still at hurricane strength (65 kt). A final landfall occurred along the extreme western end of Long Island around 1400 UTC, during which time Irene had weakened to a 60 kt tropical storm. Irene's center passed just west of New York City during this time. Irene is assumed to have become extratropical near 1800 UTC August 28 while interacting with the aforementioned cold front.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
Quoting Walshy:


Yep. Probably more fun out in Texas or Nebraska.

I am ready for winter. But I just realized I live in the south-east. Oh well... :(


Hey, if this winter mimics last year, as in a warm November followed by a cold December/January, old man winter may yet have a surprise or two for us.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
Quoting KoritheMan:
Lies and slander. Lies and ****ing slander.

Nah, I kid. I've never actually been tornado chasing, but I imagine that it would be just as heartbreaking as it is fascinating.


Yep. Probably more fun out in Texas or Nebraska.

I am ready for winter. But I just realized I live in the south-east. Oh well... :(
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
Quoting Skyepony:
Storm reports from NWS Greenville, SC.


Thanks Skye,
Have many friends in Greenville County and Pickens/Anderson county's too.
Talked to one in Easley this afternoon and she said the barns still standing where she was.Quite the character she is but a good soul.She is saddened by the storm deaths today.
Thanks for the post.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6819
Quoting Walshy:


They are crazy.

Lies and slander. Lies and ****ing slander.

Nah, I kid. I've never actually been tornado chasing, but I imagine that it would be just as heartbreaking as it is fascinating.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
Quoting KoritheMan:

Then why do certain people chase them? :)


They are crazy. I got some close friends that do that which is pretty neat. All is fun and games, until they go in rescue mode.

Chasing in NC sucks though in most spots. Terrain and trees get in the way.

Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
Quoting Walshy:


Yep. Had one a little closer to home in Davidson County, North Carolina. Too dark to see all the damage. Could at least be EF2 rating..









Doesn't look good...I'll be praying for all.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6819
Quoting TomTaylor:
Pink Floyd is a cool band. Really unique music


Yes it is. I'm looking to get tickets to go to Roger Waters' The Wall concert. I didn't get to go the last time he was down here. I've heard it's excellent.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'm sure he/she is fine.


I agree, but it just freaked me out when the storms went through.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting caneswatch:


Here you go Kori:

Pink Floyd is a cool band. Really unique music
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting caneswatch:
I've been trying to get a hold of a family member up in central South Carolina. I don't believe any storm hit there, but i'm still worried none-the-less.


I'm sure he/she is fine.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571

Quoting Walshy:


All tornadoes suck. :p
Then why do certain people chase them? :)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
201. TomTaylor
5:06 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting Walshy:


All tornadoes suck. :p

But yeah, North Carolina ranks number one in the nation for killer nocturnal tornadoes. So this did not surprise me.

hey walsh, hope all is well in nc
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
200. KoritheMan
5:05 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting TomTaylor:
my b, kori


Meh. No worries.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
199. TomTaylor
5:04 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:


You would toss me a song covered by not only one of the worst artists of all time, but also from a genre that is extremely annoying to me. Real nice. >.>
my b, kori
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
198. Walshy
4:54 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:


Nocturnal tornadoes suck.


All tornadoes suck. :p

But yeah, North Carolina ranks number one in the nation for killer nocturnal tornadoes. So this did not surprise me.

Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
197. Skyepony (Mod)
4:53 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Storm reports from NWS Greenville, SC.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
196. caneswatch
4:51 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
I've been trying to get a hold of a family member up in central South Carolina. I don't believe any storm hit there, but i'm still worried none-the-less.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
195. caneswatch
4:46 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:


KoritheMan likes this.


Glad you did. It's the '81 version, but still good.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
194. KoritheMan
4:44 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting Walshy:


Yep. Had one a little closer to home in Davidson County, North Carolina. Too dark to see all the damage. Could at least be EF2 rating..









Nocturnal tornadoes suck.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
193. KoritheMan
4:43 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting caneswatch:


Here you go Kori:



KoritheMan likes this.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
192. Walshy
4:40 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:


Evening bro. Very tragic indeed, but I'm glad to see you were unscathed.


Yep. Had one a little closer to home in Davidson County, North Carolina. Too dark to see all the damage. Could at least be EF2 rating..







Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
191. caneswatch
4:39 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:


You would toss me a song covered by not only one of the worst artists of all time, but also from a genre that is extremely annoying. Real nice. >.>


Here you go Kori:

Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
190. KoritheMan
4:36 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting TomTaylor:
real quick, before I eat







just for you kori :)


You would toss me a song covered by not only one of the worst artists of all time, but also from a genre that is extremely annoying to me. Real nice. >.>
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
189. SPLbeater
4:32 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting Walshy:
Rock Hill, SC. Tornado Captured. At least 3 dead in the dark discovered.


The York County Sheriff's Office said one victim who died lived with his wife on Skyline Drive and the winds were so severe their home was tossed across the road and found in the woods behind a neighbor’s house. The stone steps that used to lead up to their doorstep are all that is left on the couple’s property. Two Volvos that were parked in their driveway rolled all the way over to the opposite side of the street.

The man's name has not been released. His wife is reported missing, and crews have spent much of the night searching the open fields with flashlights.


So sad...must have been a violent tornado. now that i have been caught in an outbreak seesm things like this hit harder to me now. i be Prayin for em. thx for update man
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
188. TomTaylor
4:31 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
real quick, before I eat

Quoting KoritheMan:


never say never. ;)






just for you kori :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
187. TomTaylor
4:29 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:


That's one of the things us weathermen learn early -- never say never. ;)
yeah, speaking in terms of absolutes is a bad idea lol

dumplings for dinner, gotta go eat!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
186. KoritheMan
4:26 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting TomTaylor:
should be warmer and drier


That's one of the things us weathermen learn early -- never say never. ;)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
185. KoritheMan
4:25 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting Walshy:
Rock Hill, SC. Tornado Captured. At least 3 dead in the dark discovered.


The York County Sheriff's Office said one victim who died lived with his wife on Skyline Drive and the winds were so severe their home was tossed across the road and found in the woods behind a neighbor’s house. The stone steps that used to lead up to their doorstep are all that is left on the couple’s property. Two Volvos that were parked in their driveway rolled all the way over to the opposite side of the street.

The man's name has not been released. His wife is reported missing, and crews have spent much of the night searching the open fields with flashlights.


Evening bro. Very tragic indeed, but I'm glad to see you were unscathed.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
184. TomTaylor
4:24 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting SETexas74:
Does anyone know when a decent cold front will come through the U.S? It sure is warm in most places, 86 degrees here in Houston. Will the La Nina impact the timing/strength of winter this year?
should be warmer and drier as a La Nina coupled with a negative PDO favors ridging over the SE US during the wintertime
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
183. Walshy
4:23 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Rock Hill, SC. Tornado Captured. At least 3 dead in the dark discovered.


The York County Sheriff's Office said one victim who died lived with his wife on Skyline Drive and the winds were so severe their home was tossed across the road and found in the woods behind a neighbor’s house. The stone steps that used to lead up to their doorstep are all that is left on the couple’s property. Two Volvos that were parked in their driveway rolled all the way over to the opposite side of the street.

The man's name has not been released. His wife is reported missing, and crews have spent much of the night searching the open fields with flashlights.
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
182. SPLbeater
4:09 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Well isnt this nice...all i got was enough rain to wet the grass, NO thnderstorms to watch and NO measurable precipitation!! UGH! another victim of the Deep River Curse :(
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
181. Skyepony (Mod)
4:04 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Do you think El Nino will appear by next Spring,or Neutral ENSO will dominate and be around for the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season?


It's a little early to say with great certainty. Climo puts best odds on El Niño.



I'm leaning that way too with the excessive heat in the Atlantic & over the states, that should feed it come spring. More should follow that strong Kelvin wave too. They tend to come in sets, like waves on a beach.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
180. KoritheMan
4:00 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting SPLbeater:


lol, thx. better bearing, lol. enjoy the sqall line, or whats left of it. i nailed the timing on it tellin my friend in New Hanover when it would arrive..next time i tell you too lol


Don't you just love feelings of elation when the weather actually obeys you? lol
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
179. KoritheMan
3:59 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting SETexas74:
Does anyone know when a decent cold front will come through the U.S? It sure is warm in most places, 86 degrees here in Houston. Will the La Nina impact the timing/strength of winter this year?


Assuming the NAO does not go uber negative like last year, Texas should definitely expect a warmer than normal winter. Unfortunately, fluctuations within the NAO are difficult to predict, so we obviously can't be sure of anything. That was the fly in the ointment regarding the bitterly cold winter we had last year.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
178. SPLbeater
3:58 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Pender County, North Carolina, United States, North America, Planet Earth.


lol, thx. better bearing, lol. enjoy the sqall line, or whats left of it. i nailed the timing on it tellin my friend in New Hanover when it would arrive..next time i tell you too lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
177. CaicosRetiredSailor
3:55 AM GMT on November 17, 2011
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6032

Viewing: 227 - 177

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog 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.