March 2012: warmest in U.S. history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:12 PM GMT on April 10, 2012

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Not only was March 2012 the warmest March in the U.S. since record keeping began in 1895, it was also the second most extreme month for warmth in U.S. history, said NOAA yesterday, in their monthly "State of the Climate" report. The average temperature of 51.1°F was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March, and 0.5°F warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910. Of the more than 1,400 months that have passed since the U.S. weather records began in 1895, only one month--January 2006--had a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012. A remarkable 25 states east of the Rockies had their warmest March on record, and an additional 15 states had a top-ten warmest March. Only four states were cooler than average, with Alaska being the coldest (tenth coldest March on record.)


Figure 1. Temperature rankings for March 2012 in the Contiguous U.S. Twenty five states set records for warmest March in the 118-year records (red colors.) Image credit: NOAA.

March 2012: most daily records broken of any month since July 1936
A wunderground analysis of weather records from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center temperature record database reveals that more daily high temperature records were broken in March in 2012 than for any month except July 1936, going back at least 100 years. Fully 11.3% of all daily high temperature records for the month of March in the U.S. are now held by the year 2012, for the 550 stations in NOAA's National Climatic Data Center database that have weather records extending back at least 100 years. The only month in U.S. history holding a higher percentage of daily temperatures records is July 1936. That month holds 14.4% of all the U.S. high temperature records for the month of July. That month occurred in the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936, the hottest summer in U.S. history.



Summer in March 2012: records not merely smashed, but obliterated
Among the 15,000 daily records for warmth set in March 2012 were 21 truly astonishing ones: cases where the low temperature for the day beat the previous high temperature for the day. It is quite rare for a weather station with a 50+ year period of record to break a daily temperature record by more than 10°F. During "Summer in March, 2012", beating daily records by 10° - 20°F was commonplace, and NOAA lists 44 cases where a daily record was broken by more than 22°F. Extraordinarily, four stations broke a record for the date by 30°F or more. Canada holds the most surreal record of this nature during the "Summer in March, 2012" heat wave: Western Head, Nova Scotia hit 29.2°C (85°F) on March 22, breaking their previous record for the date (10.6°C in 1969) by 18.6°C (33.5°F.) Canada also had several stations break their all-time warmest April temperature records in March.



Last 3 months and 12 months were the warmest on record
The previous 12-month period (April 2011 -March 2012), which includes the second hottest summer (June-August) and fourth warmest winter (December-February), was the warmest such period for the contiguous United States. The year-to-date period (January - March) was also the warmest on record. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index, an index that tracks the highest 10 percent and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought, was 39 percent, nearly twice the long-term average and the highest value on record for the January - March period. The predominant factor was the large area experiencing extremes in warm daily maximum and minimum temperatures.

Analyzing the "Summer in March, 2012" heat wave
Dr. Martin Hoerling of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder has posted a thorough analysis of the heat wave, which he calls, "Meteorological March Madness 2012". He explains that the event was probably a natural phenomenon, one that was predicted more than a month in advance by NOAA's long-range CFS model. A similar, though not as intense heat wave occurred in March 1910. However, he notes that the approximate 0.5 - 1°C warming in the Ohio Valley/Midwest U.S. in recent decades--due to human-caused emission of heat trapping gases like carbon dioxide--has significantly increased the odds of major heat waves occurring. He speculates that the odds of a 1-in-40 year heat wave in the Midwest may have increased by about 50% due to human-caused global warming, but that we really don't know how much global warming may have increased the odds of the March 2012 heat wave, saying "This issue of estimating reliable statistics of extreme, rare events continues to be a matter of active research." He estimates that human-caused global warming likely increased the intensity of the March 12 - 23, 2012 heat wave by about 5 - 10%, and concludes by saying, "The probability of heatwaves is growing as [human-caused] warming continues to progress. But there is always the randomness."

Jeff Masters

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MOAR!
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Quoting ILwthrfan:


Yes, the world is always changing, but people.."man" hasn't changed. We are a greedy and ignorant species and believe you me, and those that be, will do all they can to make sure we pay for every last drop of oil in this earth before we dare go to another source of money...I mean fuel...


Ironically, it is our greedy nature that will make us switch to solar energy. Humans are cheap, and most will always try to get as much as they can with their money. Why would people, in rich countries, keep buying or using oil when solar will be so much cheaper?
On the other hand, I'm sure third world countries will still be using oil and coal for decades to come but the percentage of the total global energy they consume is quite low.

will do all they can to make sure we pay for every last drop of oil in this earth

Who will make sure?
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they also want to fly off on holiday on planes and nobody's got a solar powered one of them on the drawing boards!
You can maybe convert 10-20% of the population but the other 80% will keep on expanding and using any energy they can get their hands on.
Alternatives are a good idea but you also need "alternative people," to make them work!


Actually, a 1 manned, self-sustained solar flight for over 24 hours has been accomplished in Europe using an airplane powered by 4 ~10 horse-power electric motors turning the props.

The craft was able to power up it's batteries during the day, fly through the night, and then re-charge the batteries and land on the ground with a higher charge than when they started.


By combining solar powered electric engines and helium-based dirigibles, you could handle commercial passenger transports at virtually no energy cost with more than adequate lifting power, particularly since you wouldn't even need fuel or solar power for lift-off due to buoyancy.

If you added the ability to have a sail on the dirigible, you could use wind power to further supplement it and gain tremendously. If the wind blows in the wrong direction, pull the sails and power up the solar electric engines.

This is 100 years old technology and it's orders of magnitude cheaper and more efficient than what we do today.

It would cost almost nothing in energy cost to do a round trip across the atlantic or even around the world.

Our energy problem is almost entirely caused by corporate greed, "NIMBY" and just plain failure of imagination.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK...UPDATE...
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
1152 AM CDT TUE APR 10 2012

GMZ630-650-655-670-675-111200-
MOBILE BAY-
COASTAL WATERS FROM PENSACOLA FL TO PASCAGOULA MS OUT 20 NM-
COASTAL WATERS FROM DESTIN TO PENSACOLA FL OUT 20 NM-WATERS FROM
PENSACOLA FL TO PASCAGOULA MS FROM 20 TO 60 NM-WATERS FROM DESTIN TO
PENSACOLA FL FROM 20 TO 60 NM-
1152 AM CDT TUE APR 10 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF THE COASTAL
WATERS OF ALABAMA AND NORTHWEST FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...REST OF TODAY AND TONIGHT

A MODERATE TO STRONG OFFSHORE FLOW WILL DEVELOP OVER THE MARINE AREA
LATE TONIGHT AND EARLY WEDNESDAY. HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS FOR SMALL
CRAFT CAN BE EXPECTED MOSTLY WELL OFFSHORE LATE TONIGHT.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY

A STRONGER OFFSHORE FLOW WILL REDEVELOP OVER THE MARINE AREA
WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH MIDDAY THURSDAY. HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS FOR
SMALL CRAFT CAN BE EXPECTED.

A MODERATE TO STRONG ONSHORE FLOW IS EXPECTED OVER THE MARINE AREA
LATE FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND. HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS FOR SMALL
CRAFT CAN BE EXPECTED.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

ACTIVATION OF SKYWARN SEVERE STORM SPOTTER NETWORKS IS NOT
EXPECTED THROUGH MONDAY.

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39264
Quoting washingtonian115:
Um is anybody getting hate mail about Neopolitan?.Cause somebody keeps sending me it and I've never seen them..
No, but I would love some hate mail about a respected blogger. I haven't ripped anyone a new one in a few days... (I don't count my "why you are a troll" post from the last blog as ripping anyone).
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Lol. Nea is somewhat of a celeb on the blog. Some people just love to hate him.
And it shows.
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Quoting SteveDa1:


You learn something every day. :)


My pe teacher read a book called the lie my teachers told me and he told us that
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Quoting hydrus:
It would be strange, but there could be some record cold temps for the Ohio Valley in a couple weeks.
I believe it, they have been getting freeze warnings every night this week
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39264
Quoting washingtonian115:
Um is anybody getting hate mail about Neopolitan?.Cause somebody keeps sending me it and I've never seen them..


Lol. Nea is somewhat of a celeb on the blog. Some people just love to hate him.
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Quoting SteveDa1:


Based on we didn't have electricity 150 years ago? Based on cars were invented at the start of the 20th century? Based on the fact that the earth was thought to be flat about 600 years ago? Based on the discovery of North America? Based on the invention of the computer and the internet?

You think the world hasn't changed at all?


Yes, the world is always changing, but people.."man" hasn't changed. We are a greedy and ignorant species and believe you me, and those that be will do all they can to make sure we pay for every last drop of oil in this earth before we dare go to another source of money...I mean fuel...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Um is anybody getting hate mail about Neopolitan?.Cause somebody keeps sending me it and I've never seen them..
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Now they won't.

Want to know why?

Because everyone will die from the warming and other side effects before humans actually finish burning them.


You no what that means




ALIENS

No nobody's gonna die this isn't a movie.
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Quoting weatherh98:



That is a lie that ur second grade teacher told you, they never thought the world was flat, the Greeks calculated the circumference of the earth to a couple of miles using a lunar eclipse, they simply thought the world was smaller.


You learn something every day. :)
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Quoting Chucktown:


Fossil fuels are going to be be burned until they are gone - who is going to stop it?


Now they won't.

Want to know why?

Because everyone will die from the warming and other side effects before humans actually finish burning them.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting SteveDa1:


Yes but there is limited supply of oil on the earth and therefore the price will always go up due to simple economic reasons. Solar energy is virtually abundant and harnessing it's power is going to cost less and less thanks to better technologies. If you make the connections, solar energy will one day be so cheap that no one will even think about buying a drop of oil.

I Really, Really want to belive you on this one but I don't!
Reason:- The world has become addicted to energy, any kind of energy will do, it doesn't matter that's its cheap or expensive so long as its energy.
Solar might be becoming cheaper and wind will come along as well but the fact is that they have to be installed and that costs the money.
I use both solar and wind energy and my warehouse is self sufficient in power from solar.
The problem is that if you look at the facts people must want 1000 HP cars with up to 8.3 liter engines, they also want to fly off on holiday on planes and nobody's got a solar powered one of them on the drawing boards!
You can maybe convert 10-20% of the population but the other 80% will keep on expanding and using any energy they can get their hands on.
Alternatives are a good idea but you also need "alternative people," to make them work!
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The only month in U.S. history holding a higher percentage of daily temperatures records is July 1936. That month holds 14.4% of all the U.S. high temperature records for the month of July. That month occurred in the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936, the hottest summer in U.S. history.

Uh, this is one record we are quite willing to see remain intact for many years to come....

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
--The warmest March for 25 states;

--A top-ten warmest March for ten others;

--The fourth warmest winter in US history;

--The warmest January to March period in US history;

--The warmest 12-month period in US history;

All those following, of course:

--The second hottest summer in US history;

--The hottest summer ever for several states;

--The single hottest month for any US state ever

...yet the best someone can do is claim, "Well, the record is only 117 years long!" That may be true. But it requires a remarkably thick set of blinders to not notice that the preponderance of heat records are jammed against the more recent side of the timeline--and an even thicker set to not notice that cold records are becoming increasingly rare.

Year to date, warm records are outnumbering cold records 24,019 to 1,950. (Since the beginning of last year, that ratio is 80,341 to 27,308.)

Yikes.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13556
Quoting SteveDa1:


Based on we didn't have electricity 150 years ago? Based on cars were invented at the start of the 20th century? Based on the fact that the earth was thought to be flat about 600 years ago? Based on the discovery of North America? Based on the invention of the computer and the internet?

You think the world hasn't changed at all?



That is a lie that ur second grade teacher told you, they never thought the world was flat, the Greeks calculated the circumference of the earth to a couple of miles using a lunar eclipse, they simply thought the world was smaller.
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Quoting SteveDa1:


Yes but there is limited supply of oil on the earth and therefore the price will always go up due to simple economic reasons. Solar energy is virtually abundant and harnessing it's power is going to cost less and less thanks to better technologies. If you make the connections, solar energy will one day be so cheap that no one will even think about buying a drop of oil.


This article may change your mind about cars at least.

Link
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It would be strange, but there could be some record cold temps for the Ohio Valley in a couple weeks.
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Quoting Chucktown:


You honestly believe that? Based on what?


Based on we didn't have electricity 150 years ago? Based on cars were invented at the start of the 20th century? Based on the fact that the earth was thought to be flat about 600 years ago? Based on the discovery of North America? Based on the invention of the computer and the internet?

You think the world hasn't changed at all?
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Good Tuesday all!
MId TN is enjoying seasonal temps today with expected frost in the AM.. I am so glad I did not put in the garden yet! The only thing that has been planted in this household are Otter Pops in the freezer.. Looks like the blog outlook for today is AGCC bickering, so I'll check back later.
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Quoting Chucktown:


As long as there are big oil companies and there is a Middle East, someone is going to buy it, because there will always be someone that will use it.


Yes but there is limited supply of oil on the earth and therefore the price will always go up due to simple economic reasons. Solar energy is virtually abundant and harnessing it's power is going to cost less and less thanks to better technologies. If you make the connections, solar energy will one day be so cheap that no one will even think about buying a drop of oil.
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Morning/afternoon, everyone.

The weather pattern so far this year has me a little worried about the hurricane season. Thankfully, we shouldn't have as many storms thanks to El Nino. However, the ones that do develop could be a problem. The map of the Euro that I posted below has been a common setup this year. If the past several seasons are any indication, the patterns we deal with in Spring like to stick around for a while into hurricane season (they are difficult to break). We have seen this persistent high pressure in the Western Atlantic, which is leaving the door wide open to the Gulf of Mexico. There has also been a persistent break in the ridging in the middle of the Atlantic, however, with storms not developing until closer to home this year it might not matter as they could slip right under the break into the Caribbean. This is obviously just speculation at this point, but just an observation that I've made early on...

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Quoting SteveDa1:


The world constantly changes and evolves, it won't always be like this.


Can you make money on it? Yes.

Therefore it will be done
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Quoting ncstorm:


try the PSU E-Wall..it goes to 240 hours

Thank you N.C Storm.
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Quoting SteveDa1:


The world constantly changes and evolves, it won't always be like this.


You honestly believe that? Based on what?
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Thanks Dr....We will have to see what will happen over the next few decades with similar Spring conditions (La Nina Winter-"Kink" in the Jet Stream-Resulting March Summer, etc.) to see what unfolds and whether this is a "random" anomaly or will become more of the norm in the future as to this specific issue within the large scale processes........It will probably take another 50 years to start to nail down either way.
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Quoting SteveDa1:


You honestly believe that? Based on what?

You might want to read up on solar and wind energy... might just change your mind.


As long as there are big oil companies and there is a Middle East, someone is going to buy it, because there will always be someone that will use it.
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Quoting weatherh98:


Until there is no more or you can no longer make money off of them, they will stil be used unless you no a way to make more money.... That's what drives this world, a fragile economic system based on trust.


The world constantly changes and evolves, it won't always be like this.
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Quoting Chucktown:


Fossil fuels are going to be be burned until they are gone - who is going to stop it?


You honestly believe that? Based on what?

You might want to read up on solar and wind energy... might just change your mind.
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Quoting SteveDa1:


By your reasoning we can therefore burn fossil fuels for another 50 million years because that is still nothing compared to the age of the earth?


Until there is no more or you can no longer make money off of them, they will stil be used unless you no a way to make more money.... That's what drives this world, a fragile economic system based on trust.
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Cyclone Type Analysis and Forecasting: A Need to Re-visit the Issue

Excerpt:


The increased observations have spawned new questions regarding cyclone classification. The first concerns the strength, organization, and longevity of the associated convection – how much and how long is enough to consider a system a TC or STC? Second, how can horizontal length scales, particularly the radius of maximum wind (RMW), help differentiate cyclone types? Third, concerning cyclone thermal structure, how much/deep of a warm core is required for an STC or TC, and how much low-level baroclinicity is required to call a cyclone frontal? Finally, how well defined does a cyclonic circulation have to be before it is considered a cyclone? These issues have caused sharp arguments among National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasters in both real-time and post-event analysis. This suggests there is need for additional understanding of cyclone processes and new diagnostic tools to aid cyclone classification.


See, it's not just this blog that has "sharp arguments" on classification. :)
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Quoting Chucktown:


Fossil fuels are going to be be burned until they are gone - who is going to stop it?


heh heh...



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Thanks Jeff...
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Quoting SteveDa1:


By your reasoning we can therefore burn fossil fuels for another 50 million years because that is still nothing compared to the age of the earth?


Fossil fuels are going to be be burned until they are gone - who is going to stop it?
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Quoting Chucktown:


That's exactly right - 117 years, thats all.

Link


By your reasoning we can therefore burn fossil fuels for another 50 million years because that is still nothing compared to the age of the earth?
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The Nogaps..next tuesday

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Quoting jeffs713:
One possible side effect to watch out for from this winter is its impact on crops. While some crops will enjoy a longer growing season, other crops require a certain amount of "chilling time" (temps under 45F) in order to have productive years. These crops include peaches, pears, plums, and apples. In some areas of the south (such as TX/LA), we didn't get much chill time, so some crops may have drastically lowered production, with high prices to follow during harvest.


It's unrealistic to hope, but it would be great if the climatista prophets could put together a projected agricultural program that would tell me when (I live in Montana in what had been a zone threeish area) to plant cherry trees ... when to plant peach trees, and when to discard the cherries for citrus, and the peaches for Suriname cherries and 'strawberry trees'. A *BIG* question in general is which and how quickly can cultivars of what can be developed that will adequately follow the warming trends north...? (And how to do it getting around the big seed mafiosos)
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Quoting jeffs713:

only 117 years. Thats all.


That's exactly right - 117 years, thats all.

Link
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Quoting Chucktown:


Who cares, it only goes back to 1895.


you're right.

we need at least a million years of data because as we've seen over the last 50 years the temperatures vary so much (< irony), sometimes by hundreds of degrees, and the rain also varies by hundreds of inches, it's difficult to extrapolate any reliable data.


Is there a shelf life for this kind of denial, because I've seen it for 10+ years and it's quite stale.
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Quoting jeffs713:
One possible side effect to watch out for from this winter is its impact on crops. While some crops will enjoy a longer growing season, other crops require a certain amount of "chilling time" (temps under 45F) in order to have productive years. These crops include peaches, pears, plums, and apples. In some areas of the south (such as TX/LA), we didn't get much chill time, so some crops may have drastically lowered production, with high prices to follow during harvest.



Thus years louisiana strawberrys are possible the best I've ever had....
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Quoting oldnewmex:
Tough times for the mountains here on the CA/NV border. Winter temps were normal (cold), but there was no insulating blanket of snow in December, January, and most of February, which is very unusual. Hiking around, I see widespread areas of frost-killed brush and brush with loads of dead leaves. This portends a scary fire season ahead.

We've got the same over in Europe. Low or no snowfall in a lot of areas, very low rainfall and now high winds. Last week the gales blew the vanes of one of our windmills, probably over 100 mph, we have had lots of forest fires allready and the water content of the ground is very low.Rivers are dry in many places from England to Gibraltar.
Rains last week brought out a few spring flowers from the bare ground but they are about 10% of there normal height. Its strange to see Michaelmas daisies that are normally 3 foot high or more, only 2 inches high with flowers on them the size of normal daisies and poppies flowers the size of buttercups.
Wind is going to be the big enermy this year and with everything as dry as a bone and standing dead from last year I would say bush fires will abound from May onwards.
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So it wasn't a joke I thought we weren't serious
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Quoting Chucktown:


Who cares, it only goes back to 1895.

only 117 years. Thats all.
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Lake effect snow possible today through tomorrow night off of Lake Erie. Snow already being reported in parts of Ohio. Forecast only calls for 1 to locally 3 inches, but I expect much more than that. Lake Erie is at all-time daily record highs. Current reading off Buffalo is 44 -- never before since records began in 1927 has the temperature exceeded 41 there on April 10. So that reading is a full 3 degrees above the previous record daily high, and 10 degrees above the 1927-2011 average for April 10. Heck, if the water was at average temperature levels, significant lake effect precipitation probably wouldn't even be possible with this cold snap. It's only possible because water temps are some 5C above normal.

This could be a bad situation, because a lot of trees have buds and small leaves which could be weighed down by a heavy, wet snowfall.
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hello all. hope all are doing good,, first post in awhile, i hope that the cold snap will not kill all that grew here in feb, pear tree full bloomed last week of feb, pumpkins have blooms, blueberries have already , ,,30 degrees this weds, not as bad as the 20 degree we had 5 years ago, the strawberrys were under an ice cage,lol, hope the tornados stay away,was here in moore co, that day, saw the parent storm, was outside and barefoot under a pine tree, call me stupid,, my dad did, he was in the truck and i just knew that was gonna fall,, be safe and be nice this year,, you never know what might will happen to you,, excuse the long post. greg in us open country 2014
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Quoting SteveDa1:
Fully 11.3% of all daily high temperature records for the month of March in the U.S. are now held by the year 2012

Unreal...


Who cares, it only goes back to 1895.
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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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