April 2012: Earth's 5th warmest on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:00 PM GMT on May 18, 2012

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April 2012 was the globe's 5th warmest April on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated April 2012 as the 4th warmest April on record. April 2012 global land temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, and the Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature was 1.74°C (3.13°F) above the 20th century average, marking the warmest April since records began in 1880. Global ocean temperatures were the 11th warmest on record, and April 2012 was the 427th consecutive month with ocean temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The last time the ocean temperatures were below average was September 1976. The increase in global temperatures relative to average compared to March 2012 (16th warmest March on record) was due, in part, to warming waters in the Eastern Pacific, due to the La Niña event that ended in April. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 6th or 4th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). April temperatures in the stratosphere were the 1st to 4th coldest on record. We expect cold temperatures there due to the greenhouse effect and to destruction of ozone due to CFC pollution. Northern Hemisphere snow cover during April was 4th smallest in the 46-year record. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of April in his April 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary. Notably, national heat records (for warmest April temperature on record) occurred in the United States (a tie), Germany, Austria, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Hungry, Croatia, Ukraine, and Slovakia as well as the cities of Moscow and Munich.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for April 2012. The most notable extremes were the warmth observed across Russia, the United States, Alaska, and parts of the Middle East and eastern Europe. There were no land areas with large-scale cold conditions of note. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

La Niña officially ends
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC), La Niña conditions are no longer present in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures were approximately average as of May 13. The threshold for a La Niña is for these temperatures to be 0.5°C below average or cooler. CPC forecasts that neutral conditions will persist though the summer, with a 41% chance of an El Niño event developing in time for the August - September - October peak of hurricane season. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic.


Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 (blue line) compared to the average (thick grey line.) The record low year of 2007 (dashed green line) is also shown. Arctic sea ice was near average during April, but has fallen well below average during the first half of May. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

April Arctic sea ice extent near average
Arctic sea ice extent was near average in April 2012, the 17th lowest (18th greatest) extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This was the largest April Arctic sea ice extent since 2001. However, ice in the Arctic is increasingly young, thin ice, which will make it easy for this year's ice to melt away to near-record low levels this summer, if warmer than average weather occurs in the Arctic.


Figure 2. Mt. St. Helens in Washington State erupting on May 18, 1980. Image credit: USGS.

Anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens
Today is the 32nd anniversary of the May 18th, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State. To mark the occasion, NASA has put together a cool Landsat satellite time lapse of 32 years of regrowth of surrounding forest. The USGS has an extensive informational site on the eruption.


Video 1. In Grand Isle, Louisiana last week, a large waterspout came ashore as an EF-1 tornado. The tornado ripped the roof off of the house across the street from this videographer, who should have taken shelter instead of filming the destruction. There's one 4-letter word in the video. Thanks go to Andrew Freedman of Climate Central for posting this.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be back Sunday or Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It appears so, intense convective activity over the circulation usually constitutes towards a more rapid transition into tropical nature.

Doing great! How's it been going in the blog over the past few months?

Doing great, Ameister; how have you been doing?

I've been doing good. I'm very excited about hurricane season coming up soon.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It appears so, intense convective activity over the circulation usually constitutes towards a more rapid transition into tropical nature.

Doing great! How's it been going in the blog over the past few months?

Doing great, Ameister; how have you been doing?

Oh, you know, the regular climate change debates. We've actually seen very little trolls.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31502
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592


13Z HRRR Hour 13
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14z HRRR

80-knot gusts

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The gulf stream is really helping 93L. The convection might actually survive a decent amount of time unlike in 92L.





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Home brew looks to keep us on our toes early I'd say.

Kudo's to those who saw it last evening and stayed on it.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

If named it will be tropical. What's up Miami?
It appears so, intense convective activity over the circulation usually constitutes towards a more rapid transition into tropical nature.

Doing great! How's it been going in the blog over the past few months?

Quoting Ameister12:
Hi MH09. How's it going?
Doing great, Ameister; how have you been doing?
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:



Agreed. What do you think is most likely?


Well, we noticed it detach from the Front yesterday and it was in the perfect "Null" area to fester, and when a system has the Marginal SST's, a good cyclonic Sig at the surface, I gotta go with a TD in the formative stage, with potential of becoming a TS.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
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Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20514
Quoting Patrap:
Definitely a better organized System than 3 hours ago..and this looking up from the Radar site..


Looks like a minimal Tropical Storm to me
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I think there's a pretty good chance 93L will get classified as a tropical or subtropical cyclone if it maintains moderate convection over the center for another half-day, or through this evening. Notice the anticyclonic outflow to the north of the system, indicating warm-core transition, not to mention the convection over the center which gives it away entirely. The NHC seems to be getting in gear to give it what it is due by upping the development chances. The system is sitting directly over the Gulf Stream, and it isn't going inland until around Monday, so if it meanders over the warm water for a bit and doesn't get too close to the coast too fast, we could easily see Alberto. This illustrates exactly what can happen in these opportune pre-season moments that can occur with trough-splits.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Some of the models are predicting cat 1 status?.Not likely but it could be a strong tropical storm.Hopefully it brings rain to D.C.


Just ask the Capitol Weather Gang!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Convective activity continues to increase moderately in association with 93L. Radar imagery indicates a relatively well-developed lower-level circulation with decent inflow. Obviously upper-level conditions aren't necessarily conducive for rapid development of this feature; however, with an increase in convective activity, especially in the southwestern octant, we could see the development of the season's first [sub]tropical cyclone.



Hey Miami! Glad to see you aboard for another season, looking forward to it. This appears to a purely tropical system. The main factor here is going to be time, how much can it intensify before it makes landfall along the US coast? The NHC is going to be looking for consistency in convection, which will probably take a few more hours, but they'll probably be quicker to declare 93L because it's closer to the coast compared to 92L which was in the middle of nowhere (though, was probably a sub-tropical storm IMO)
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I have just completed my blog update, feel free to peruse it and comment if you should want to.

93L: Will this be what we have been waiting for? Or long story short ALBERTO?!?!
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Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery loop

..click image for Loop.

Zoom is available






Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting allancalderini:
how is 92E?

dead pretty much half got sucked into the GOH and half of that stayed one E pac coast and the other half got sucked into another area of convection just w of Nic
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11111
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20514
Quoting Patrap:
Definitely a better organized System than 3 hours ago..and this looking up from the Radar site..




Agreed. What do you think is most likely?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8558
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Nope

AND IT COULD
BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR TROPICAL STORM AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
SOUTHWARD OR WESTWARD OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO


excellent. reminder

THE CHART


ironically, we are in that slight spike
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Hi MH09. How's it going?
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Let's just hope it doesn't become another Gaston here in Richmond, bad memories with that storm. Just want a nice all day soaker to make up our 2-3" deficit.
A drought buster is what we be need'in!.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Convective activity continues to increase moderately in association with 93L. Radar imagery indicates a relatively well-developed lower-level circulation with decent inflow. Obviously upper-level conditions aren't necessarily conducive for rapid development of this feature; however, with an increase in convective activity, especially in the southwestern octant, we could see the development of the season's first [sub]tropical cyclone.


If named it will be tropical. What's up Miami?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31502
Good deal of lighting occuring in the southern portion of the circulation. 
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Definitely a better organized System than 3 hours ago..and this looking up from the Radar site..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Convective activity continues to increase moderately in association with 93L. Radar imagery indicates a relatively well-developed lower-level circulation with decent inflow. Obviously upper-level conditions aren't necessarily conducive for rapid development of this feature; however, with an increase in convective activity, especially in the southeastern octant, we could see the development of the season's first [sub]tropical cyclone.

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Might get the Doc at of bed for this one, so to speak.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Most of the meso-scale models blow 93L up to near Hurricane status. 


Probably won't happen, but still interesting. 




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Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 14177



True, but it is in the gulf stream.
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Reminds me of 90L from 2009, but heading towards South Carolina. I wonder if the NHC will declare it 01L, if it persists for another few hours then it might, and unlike 92L - this is a threat to the United States (however small of a system it may be)
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Track is everything as to 93L's futcha'. If He can Parallel the Coastal Line SW it favors strengthening, if he Slides Due South or NE..a less chance.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting Tazmanian:




Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be back Sunday or Monday with a new post.
i've already email him to let him know a storm is coming more wacky 2012 weather
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting washingtonian115:
Some of the models are predicting cat 1 status?.Not likely but it could be a strong tropical storm.Hopefully it brings rain to D.C.


Let's just hope it doesn't become another Gaston here in Richmond, bad memories with that storm. Just want a nice all day soaker to make up our 2-3" deficit.
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Not going to lie. 93L surprised even me. I wasn't expecting to wake up to 20% this morning, let alone 50%.
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Small Craft Advisory
COASTAL WATERS FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON SC
952 AM EDT SAT MAY 19 2012

SOUTH SANTEE RIVER SC TO SAVANNAH GA OUT 20 NM AND SAVANNAH GA TO
ALTAMAHA SOUND GA OUT 60 NM...INCLUDING CHARLESTON HARBOR AND GRAYS
REEF NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY

AMZ350-200500-
WATERS FROM SOUTH SANTEE RIVER TO EDISTO BEACH SC OUT 20 NM-
952 AM EDT SAT MAY 19 2012

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EDT THIS EVENING...

.REST OF TODAY...N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT. A SLIGHT
CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.TONIGHT...NE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT...BECOMING N 10 TO 15 KT AFTER
MIDNIGHT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.SUN...N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF TSTMS IN THE AFTERNOON.
.SUN NIGHT...NW WINDS 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. A CHANCE OF TSTMS IN
THE EVENING. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.MON...NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS
WITH ISOLATED TSTMS.
.MON NIGHT...W WINDS 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. ISOLATED TSTMS IN THE
EVENING. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
.TUE...SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
.TUE NIGHT...SW WINDS 10 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
.WED...SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS AND TSTMS.
.WED NIGHT...SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS AND TSTMS.

MARINERS ARE REMINDED THAT WINDS AND SEAS CAN BE HIGHER IN AND
NEAR TSTMS.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Most of the meso-scale models blow 93L up to near Hurricane status. 


Probably won't happen, but still interesting. 


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Pretty. This same graphic brought Irene in 25 mb too low.

Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8558
how is 92E?
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000
ABNT20 KNHC 191556
TWOAT

SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1155 AM EDT SAT MAY 19 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SATELLITE AND RADAR IMAGERY INDICATE THAT THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
LOCATED ABOUT 120 MILES SOUTHEAST OF MYRTLE BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA
HAS BEGUN TO ACQUIRE MORE TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS...AS SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS HAVE INCREASED NEAR THE CIRCULATION CENTER.
ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE...AND IT COULD
BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR TROPICAL STORM AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
SOUTHWARD OR WESTWARD OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A
MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM...
PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE. ADDITIONAL SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS WILL BE
ISSUED ON THIS SYSTEM LATER TODAY OR SUNDAY...IF NECESSARY.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

&&

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM CAN BE FOUND IN HIGH SEAS
FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...UNDER AWIPS
HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC.

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN/CANGIALOSI
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7870
just talked to Presslord who is offshore.

Chatter is on the Marine Bands, be advised, Possible TD to TS forming S of Wilmington, East of Charleston.

Seek safe Harbor if in a Vessel that cannot take 8ft Seas along this systems Path.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting weatherh98:


Did they say subtropical

Nope

AND IT COULD
BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR TROPICAL STORM AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
SOUTHWARD OR WESTWARD OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO
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Some of the models are predicting cat 1 status?.Not likely but it could be a strong tropical storm.Hopefully it brings rain to D.C.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Just noticed something: In the NHC's latest TWO they said that 93L could become a tropical depression or tropical storm... Did they mean sub-tropical or is it possible this becomes tropical?

They're thinking tropical.

1. SATELLITE AND RADAR IMAGERY INDICATE THAT THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
LOCATED ABOUT 120 MILES SOUTHEAST OF MYRTLE BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA
HAS BEGUN TO ACQUIRE MORE TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS...AS SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS HAVE INCREASED NEAR THE CIRCULATION CENTER.

ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE...AND IT COULD
BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR TROPICAL STORM AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
SOUTHWARD OR WESTWARD OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A
MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM...
PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
OFFICE. ADDITIONAL SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS WILL BE
ISSUED ON THIS SYSTEM LATER TODAY OR SUNDAY...IF NECESSARY.
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Quoting Patrap:


That would be a puzzle for meteorologists and climatologists everywhere, a landfalling hurricane on May 19 in only semi-warm waters. I doubt it would happen, but if it did I imagine it would stump many experts and even alter perspectives on hurricane formation.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Just noticed something: In the NHC's latest TWO they said that 93L could become a tropical depression or tropical storm... Did they mean sub-tropical or is it possible this becomes tropical?


Did they say subtropical
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I don't think it will get very strong since the water temps west of the Gulf Stream are still in the 70s. But it's fun to watch.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8558
Quoting Patrap:

I'd be in the NE quadrant.
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Quoting allancalderini:
Like Gaston of 2004.


Will never forget that sucker here in Richmond VA
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

...it is not going inland, it is going to meander off the coastline.


BUT could the COC at least clip eastern NC? Some models have 93L doing that.
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Quoting Patrap:
Like Gaston of 2004.
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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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