October 2011 the globe's 8th warmest on record

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

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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

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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?
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Good evening, to all.

I read the same article and it does make sense that this is what it would be.


Good evening to you as well dude.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19144
Quoting nymore:
The lines in China are for calibrating spy satellite cameras. They were in an article I read today. There is also one not far away with aircraft in the middle and lines going out forming a radius used for calibrating radar spy satellites.
makes sense, thanks for updating me
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting nymore:
The lines in China are for calibrating spy satellite cameras. They were in an article I read today. There is also one not far away with aircraft in the middle and lines going out forming a radius used for calibrating radar spy satellites.


Good evening, to all.

I read the same article and it does make sense that this is what it would be.
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Quoting TomTaylor:


No idea what it is, but it has actually been there for a good amount of time. Google Earth archive imagery shows that they were working on this back in April of 2005.


The lines in China are for calibrating spy satellite cameras. They were in an article I read today. There is also one not far away with aircraft in the middle and lines going out forming a radius used for calibrating radar spy satellites.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
evenin.



About the dryness over the MDR that we were discussing last night, my explanation now is that lower pressures over much of western tropical Africa caused the dryness. The lower pressures indicate that there was more rising air over the region. This is was likely caused by anomalous moisture and heat over the region producing anomalous rising air, which then lowered pressures over the region. TPW and OLR anomalies support the idea of anomalous convection and moisture over the region which is characteristic of anomalous rising air. These lower pressures also created significant wind anomalies over the MDR. In the upper levels of the atmosphere, the region experienced anomalous easterly winds (not actually easterly, just less westerly) while the lower atmosphere experienced anomalous westerly winds (not actually westerly, just less easterly). These wind vectors further support the idea of rising air and lower pressure over the west tropical Africa region and also support the idea of converging and sinking air in the upper levels over the MDR since air is being pushed toward the region in the upper levels, forcing it to sink. As it sinks, it warms by compression, drying out the atmosphere.

Furthermore, the lower pressures over the west tropical African region created a slightly stronger pressure gradient than normal between the Saharan heat low and the Azores high to the NW. The stronger pressure gradient produces slightly stronger trade winds coming off the Saharan desert and into the Atlantic Ocean.


200mb 2011 Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct




850mb 2011 Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct




OLR 2011 Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct




TPW 2011 Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct



Yeah sorry I went AWOL mid discussion. Internet crashes suck. >.>

I like your explanation, though.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19144
Quoting KoritheMan:
Evening, guys. How goes it?
evenin.



About the dryness over the equatorial Atlantic region that we were discussing last night, my explanation now is that lower pressures over much of western tropical Africa caused the dryness. The lower pressures indicate that there was more rising air over the region. This is was likely caused by anomalous moisture and heat over the region producing anomalous rising air, which then lowered pressures over the region. TPW and OLR anomalies support the idea of anomalous convection and moisture over the region. These lower pressures also created significant wind anomalies over the equatorial Atlantic region. In the upper levels of the atmosphere, the region experienced anomalous easterly winds (not actually easterly, just less westerly) while the lower atmosphere experienced anomalous westerly winds (not actually westerly, just less easterly). These wind vectors further support the idea of rising air and lower pressure over the west tropical Africa region and also support the idea of converging and sinking air in the upper levels over the equatorial Atlantic region since air is being pushed toward the region in the upper levels, forcing it to sink. As it sinks, it warms by compression, drying out the atmosphere.

Furthermore, the lower pressures over the west tropical African region created a slightly stronger pressure gradient than normal between the Saharan heat low and the Azores high to the NW. The stronger pressure gradient produces slightly stronger trade winds coming off the Saharan desert and into the Atlantic Ocean.



Sea Level Pressure Anomalies for Jul-Oct 2011 showing anomalously low pressure over west tropical Africa, and slightly lower pressures over the equatorial Atlantic region.




850mb Geopotential Height Anomalies for Jul-Oct 2011 are even more telling than SLP anomalies. 850mb geopotential height anomalies reveal pressures were significantly low over the west tropical Africa region and slightly above average over the equatorial Atlantic region.






200mb Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct 2011




850mb Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct 2011




OLR Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct 2011




TPW Wind Vector Anomalies for Jul-Oct 2011

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting SPLbeater:


wheres your area? im in Lee County NC, all i got was a nice little rain shower while at church, now watchin that new line.

Pender County, North Carolina, United States, North America, Planet Earth.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30294
Quoting sunlinepr:
Watching that strange grid in the China dessert with Google earth... Move ESE like one mile and you will spot this.... Interesting...



Google maps labels it as "Possible or China Haarp facility???"

Reads like this....

Chinese HF System?
By satcom15

An interesting array of what appears to be an HF antenna structure comprised of several arrays designed for different operating frequencies. It appears that array supporting the lowest frequencies are on the left, and the array supporting the highest frequencies is on the right. There are also some other shorter towers scatterd around the facility that appear to be other frequencies as well. If this is part of an HF radar, the NNW to SSE axis of orientation (based on the antenna arrays) makes it unclear what the system is designed to monitor (i.e. what threats are along that axis and is it looking NNW or SSE?).

Interesting

Plot in Google maps: 40�24'16.06" N 93�38'12.32" E


Much more likely a power plant lol.


Power plant





Supposed HAARP in China


Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting sunlinepr:
Interesting....




Google Earth spots huge, unidentified structures in Gobi desert
Vast, unidentified, structures have been spotted by satellites in the barren Gobi desert, raising questions about what China might be building in a region it uses for its military, space and nuclear programmes.

Watch the photos here (Google)



Link

Bing has it posted also....

Link

(Google) Link


No idea what it is, but it has actually been there for a good amount of time. Google Earth archive imagery shows that they were working on this back in April of 2005.


Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Things in my area just got really active...Storm Prediction Center has expanded the Tornado Watch to include my area, and there are Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to my southwest.


wheres your area? im in Lee County NC, all i got was a nice little rain shower while at church, now watchin that new line.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Things in my area just got really active...Storm Prediction Center has expanded the Tornado Watch to include my area, and there are Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to my southwest.


Stay safe, but also have fun. ;)
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19144
Quoting CrazyDuke:


Valleys, even just your average low lying area will often be a few degrees cooler at night. Valley's especially, since it is possible for a warm front to move in and "jump" the valley. I remember one night in Blacksburg, VA when it was pooring rain and in the 20's. I think the air a thousand foot up or so was in the upper 40's and there was a good 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of ice before the rain finally warmed the air trapped in the New River Valley above freezing.


Thanks for the reply. :) I was wondering a bit and started reading up on Thermal Inversions. A ranger I met told me how if you ever get lost that you don't want to spend the night in a valley but to climb up a bit. Two reasons, flash flooding risks in a valley, especially by a river/stream and that the temperature can be a good 5 to 10 degrees cooler, sometimes.

Obviously it depends on what's been going on with the weather. It was an interesting bit of trivia so i was wondering if it was based in fact.
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Things in my area just got really active...Storm Prediction Center has expanded the Tornado Watch to include my area, and there are Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to my southwest.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30294
Rock Hill South Carolina tornado damage pretty bad and at least 1 death so far, also 1 missing.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
So which image is right?



Both of them are.

You are comparing two graphics showing different things.

Here are some of the differences:

1. Temperature recordings for October are different, one is from Oct 1-28 while the other is the entire month of October.

2. The climate normal/average they are being compared to is different, the NOAA NWS image is using the 1970-2000 average while the ESRL PSD site uses the 1980-2010 average.

3. The temperature records are of different levels of the atmosphere. NOAA NWS uses surface temperatures, while that ESRL PSD image was based off 925 mb (3,000 ft up) temperatures. Link
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting watchingnva:
some good gusts and lightning with the line coming through south and east of Richmond...crazy wind shift and rainfall amounts...all and all nothing too terrible.


Sounds exciting.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


pretty good kori, you?


The same. Currently furnishing my report on Hurricane Irene.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19144
some good gusts and lightning with the line coming through south and east of Richmond...crazy wind shift and rainfall amounts...all and all nothing too terrible.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Evening, guys. How goes it?


pretty good kori, you?
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5709
Evening, guys. How goes it?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19144





Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting CrazyDuke:


Valleys, even just your average low lying area will often be a few degrees cooler at night. Valley's especially, since it is possible for a warm front to move in and "jump" the valley. I remember one night in Blacksburg, VA when it was pooring rain and in the 20's. I think the air a thousand foot up or so was in the upper 40's and there was a good 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of ice before the rain finally warmed the air trapped in the New River Valley above freezing.


It's called a "thermal inversion"...Happens a lot in the Salt Lake City valley during winter.
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Quoting Skyepony:
I give the current La Nina to atleast Jan maybe thru Feb, possibly longer. Strong Kelvin wave does signal warming but it's got to battle winter. ESPI is -0.67. It's been running ~0.60 for the last few months. T-depth anomaly shows warm water building in the West end, but there is still a big pool of cold to reckon with. So there is no signal I see this is about to switch in the next several weeks.


I agree,prob.Feb on duration..I see that cold as a big slow down for it.then back to weak or even neutral IMO.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6667
Quoting Ameister12:
Something's happening here.


Reminds me of Lenny...Hurricane Lenny was the strongest November Atlantic hurricane on record. It was the twelfth tropical storm, eighth hurricane, and record-breaking fifth Category 4 hurricane in the 1999 Atlantic hurricane season. Lenny formed on November 13 in the western Caribbean Sea, and maintained an unprecedented west-to-east track for its entire duration. It attained hurricane status to the south of Jamaica on November 15, and passed south of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico over the next few days. Lenny rapidly intensified over the northeastern Caribbean on November 17, attaining peak winds of 155 mph (250 km/h) while passing about 21 mi (34 km) south of Saint Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. It gradually weakened while moving through the Leeward Islands, eventually dissipating on November 23 over the open Atlantic Ocean.
Credit WU Archives and Wiki..


Hurricaine Lenny...11/13-11/23



Link to NOAA for Lenny Archive

Link

Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6667



Looks like the East Coast could be very active tonite and tomorrow.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430



Strong storms for Florida tomorrow is possible!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting Skyepony:
I give the current La Nina to atleast Jan maybe thru Feb, possibly longer. Strong Kelvin wave does signal warming but it's got to battle winter. ESPI is -0.67. It's been running ~0.60 for the last few months. T-depth anomaly shows warm water building in the West end, but there is still a big pool of cold to reckon with. So there is no signal I see this is about to switch in the next several weeks.


Do you think El Nino will appear by next Spring,or Neutral ENSO will dominate and be around for the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season?
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146. Skyepony (Mod)
I give the current La Nina to atleast Jan maybe thru Feb, possibly longer. Strong Kelvin wave does signal warming but it's got to battle winter. ESPI is -0.67. It's been running ~0.60 for the last few months. T-depth anomaly shows warm water building in the West end, but there is still a big pool of cold to reckon with. So there is no signal I see this is about to switch in the next several weeks.
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Quoting wpb:
gfs strong ts mid atlantic in four days???



REALLY!!!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Talk, people!


why dont u
:)
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Yeah, we've seen a lot of downpours today here in Richmond VA, that was just the warmup, now waiting for the climax :)


While Id love to see some nice boomers tonight, I feel as if the area atmosphere is too stable for much to make it all the way here...but, I did notice conditions have grown more unstable over the last few hours. I also see theres a newer mesoscale discussion for southern, southeastern va...we will have to wait and see if they issue a watch here soon...
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Quoting CrazyDuke:


Valleys, even just your average low lying area will often be a few degrees cooler at night. Valley's especially, since it is possible for a warm front to move in and "jump" the valley. I remember one night in Blacksburg, VA when it was pooring rain and in the 20's. I think the air a thousand foot up or so was in the upper 40's and there was a good 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of ice before the rain finally warmed the air trapped in the New River Valley above freezing.


Very common scenario during winter out here in the PNW. Warm air advection, overruns cold air trapped in the valleys, makes for some nasty conditions.
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Possible tornado damages homes in Houma
Posted on November 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM


A possible tornado left several homes in Houma's Lafayette Woods and Patriot Point neighborhoods damaged early today.
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Pretty interesting day in Macon, GA. Good luck to those in the path of this severe wx.
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Quoting dogsgomoo:


Is there also a phenomenon where valleys can be cooler then the surrounding elevations?


Valleys, even just your average low lying area will often be a few degrees cooler at night. Valley's especially, since it is possible for a warm front to move in and "jump" the valley. I remember one night in Blacksburg, VA when it was pooring rain and in the 20's. I think the air a thousand foot up or so was in the upper 40's and there was a good 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of ice before the rain finally warmed the air trapped in the New River Valley above freezing.
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Official winter forecast coming on the 23rd!

Been a while since i've been on, how is everyone?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Cold air has relocated to different area around the Arctic, the weather works, if it's gonna be warmer than average and people freaking out, it's gonna be below average somewhere on the other side, called balancing itself out


Tide goes in, tide goes out...

Thanks for clearing that up for us.
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Talk, people!

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30294
Quoting Ameister12:
Something's happening here.

^ Energy from this (plus) something else = Subtropical/Tropical storm in the making.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30294
Quoting Ameister12:
Right when we think the EPac has put out it's last storm of the season, a new one likes to pop up.

^ Hurricane in the making.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30294
133. DDR
Evening all
we had strong thunderstorms on the western portions of Trinidad today with major flooding in agricultural areas.
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Right when we think the EPac has put out it's last storm of the season, a new one likes to pop up.
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Something's happening here.
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i remember in September when there was like 10 comments every minute...the good ol days LOL
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Should be an active night tonight in North Carolina.


and there is the cluster of words i didnt want to hear..."Active" and "Tonight" and "North Carolina" put together dont mix well with me
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting tropicfreak:


Yeah, we've seen a lot of downpours today here in Richmond VA, that was just the warmup, now waiting for the climax :)


Im sitting in Lee County, NC watching the line move E. got Tornado watch in effect at the moment..lee is in the center, lol. just dont want another April 16th.....Holy mackerel, i just noticed that day is EXACLTY 7 months ago!!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

cool. :-)

.-.
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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.