U.S. experiences warmest 12-month period on record--again

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:04 PM GMT on July 09, 2012

Share this Blog
51
+

Thanks in part to the historic heat wave that demolished thousands of high temperature records at the end of June, temperatures in the contiguous U.S. were the warmest on record over the past twelve months and for the year-to-date period of January - June, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Monday. June 2012 was the 14th warmest June on record, so was not as extreme overall as March 2012 (first warmest March on record), April (third warmest April), or May (second warmest May.) However, temperatures were warm enough in June to set a new U.S. record for hottest 12-month period for the third straight month, narrowly eclipsing the record set just the previous month. The past thirteen months have featured America's 2nd warmest summer (in 2011), 4th warmest winter, and warmest spring on record. Twenty-six states were record warm for the 12-month period, and an additional sixteen states were top-ten warm. The year-to-date period of January - June was the warmest on record by an unusually large margin--1.2°F.


Figure 1. This time series shows the five warmest years that the contiguous U.S. has experienced, and how the year-to-date temperature evolved each month throughout those years. The time series also shows the 2012 year-to-date temperature through June, which was the warmest first half of any year on record for the lower 48. The 2012 data are still preliminary. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 2. Four of the top-ten warmest 12-month periods in the contiguous U.S. since 1895 have occurred since April 2011. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

Most extreme January - June period on record
NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), which tracks the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% and bottom-10% extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought, was 44% during the year-to-date January - June period. This is the highest value since CEI record-keeping began in 1910, and more than twice the average value. Remarkably, 83% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically during the first six months of 2012, and 70% of the U.S. of the U.S. had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10%. The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions was 20%, which was the 14th greatest since 1910. Extremes in 1-day spring heavy precipitation events were near average.


Figure 3. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for January - June shows that 2012 has had the most extreme first six months of the year on record, with 44% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% extreme weather.

Tuesday Webinar on the future of extreme weather impacts on business
I'm presenting a 12-minute Webinar talk on the future of weather-related disasters at 2 pm EDT Tuesday July 10. If you want to register (it's free) and listen in, visit the propertycasualty360.com web site. The title of the webinar is, "The Year-Round CAT Season: Is Your Business Prepared for Increasingly Frequent Severe Weather?"

"New McCarthyism" targets climate scientists
Bill Blakemore with ABC News has an interesting five-part interview with climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann, where Dr. Mann explains how a "New McCarthyism" is targeting climate scientists. I reviewed Dr. Mann's excellent book, "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars", earlier this year.

A 1 in 1.6 million event?
I originally wrote in this post that "Each of the 13 months from June 2011 through June 2012 ranked among the warmest third of their historical distribution for the first time in the 1895 - present record. According to NCDC, the odds of this occurring randomly during any particular month are 1 in 1,594,323. Thus, we should only see one more 13-month period so warm between now and 124,652 AD--assuming the climate is staying the same as it did during the past 118 years."

It has been pointed out to me that the calculation of a 1 in 1.6 million chance of occurrence (based on taking the number 1/3 and raising it to the 13th power) would be true only if each month had no correlation to the next month. Since weather patterns tend to persist, they are not truly random from one month to the next. Thus, the odds of such an event occurring are greater than 1 in 1.6 million--but are still very rare. I appreciate hearing from those of you who wrote to point out a correction was needed.

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: 1321 - 1271

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39Blog Index

1321. LargoFl
....................think i'll shut the puter down, way too much lightning and the lights are blinking..stay safe out there, see ya later
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting Cat5hit:


Do they at least give you a monthly reach around with those prices... Yikes...
Not really... I sing a LOT on BEC bill pay days... lol

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Rocky Point. Not really a city though lol.
This is NC, right? Or VA?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21485
Quoting RitaEvac:


130 to 154 would still be better


i agree. more cat 5s.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
1318. LargoFl
I hope GT isnt involved in this over in Tampa.........................The afternoon heat and sea breeze are helping to produce another round of heavy showers and thunderstorms.
Officials with Tampa Electric said nearly 5,000 customers are without power. Check to see if your area is affected.

In Hillsborough County, officials said there are "widespread" reports of downed tree limbs and power lines in the area of east Adamo Drive. A power pole has been reported down at Palm River and Falkenburg Road.

Fire officials said they have also received reports of a tree that has fallen on a house on 10th Street in Tampa.

The storms are moving WNW at 10 miles an hour. Storms may contain heavy rain, frequent lightning, and small hail.
Although parts of the Bay area didn't get rain yesterday, many did, as thunderstorms moved along and in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Some areas, including Town & Country and areas north, took on more than two inches of rain.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting opal92nwf:
NOTICE: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS) is undergoing a minor modification for 2012 in order to resolve awkwardness associated with conversions among the various units used for wind speed in advisory products. The change broadens the Category 4 wind speed range by one mile per hour (mph) at each end of the range, yielding a new range of 130-156 mph. This change does not alter the category assignments of any storms in the historical record, nor will it change the category assignments for future storms.


130 to 154 would still be better
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting Ameister12:

I think Igor is.

Igor sure wins for sheer power and perfect symmetrical shape, but Iniki was incredible in that it made landfall in an area that had only seen 2 category 1 hurricanes within about the last 200 years.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1315. icmoore
img src="Photobucket">

Getting closer to Madeira Beach but OMG we just had a strike of lightening directly over us ...it sure woke us up :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I think Jose is...



give him some credit. he did have athunderstorm over the center
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Exactly the wording I would've used...

A RATHER SMALL AMORPHOUS BLOB IS ALL THAT REMAINS OF THE DEEP
CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH DANIEL.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Storms are trying to pop here a couple miles east of the St John's River. It's been dry for 13 days since Debby passed. I'll know in the next hour.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NOTICE: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS) is undergoing a minor modification for 2012 in order to resolve awkwardness associated with conversions among the various units used for wind speed in advisory products. The change broadens the Category 4 wind speed range by one mile per hour (mph) at each end of the range, yielding a new range of 130-156 mph. This change does not alter the category assignments of any storms in the historical record, nor will it change the category assignments for future storms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

It's possible, if it is in fact starting an EWRC.


I am saying that because the "New eyewall" looks quite large
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting Ameister12:

I think Igor is.

I think Jose is...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:


GOODNESS stay inside
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting weatherh98:


could it go annular with the next eye?

It's possible, if it is in fact starting an EWRC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ok , now we've had 1.31" in less than 30 minutes. It is coming down so hard right now...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1305. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting opal92nwf:
Does any one else think that this is one of the most amazing hurricanes ever?

I think Igor is.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HURRICANE EMILIA DISCUSSION NUMBER 13
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP052012
200 PM PDT TUE JUL 10 2012

INNER CORE DEEP CONVECTION HAS DIMINISHED SOMEWHAT IN COVERAGE AND
BECOME A LITTLE MORE RAGGED-LOOKING OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. USING
A BLEND OF SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE DVORAK ESTIMATES YIELDS A
CURRENT INTENSITY OF 110 KT. EMILIA CONTINUES TO EXHIBIT STRONG
UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW OVER THE WESTERN SEMICIRCLE AND IMPEDED OUTFLOW
TO THE EAST...AS MODERATE EASTERLY SHEAR CONTINUES TO INFLUENCE THE
HURRICANE. ALTHOUGH THE SHEAR IS FORECAST TO RELAX WITHIN A COUPLE
OF DAYS...THE TROPICAL CYCLONE WILL BE TRAVERSING PROGRESSIVELY
COOLER WATERS BY 24-36 HOURS FROM NOW. SLOW BUT STEADY WEAKENING
IS LIKELY DURING THE FORECAST PERIOD...AND THE NHC INTENSITY
PREDICTION IS SIMILAR TO THE LATEST LGEM GUIDANCE. IT SHOULD BE
NOTED THAT THE FSU SUPERENSEMBLE FORECAST SHOWS A MUCH FASTER RATE
OF WEAKENING THEN SHOWN HERE.

THE FORWARD SPEED HAS SLOWED A BIT AND THE INITIAL MOTION IS
ESTIMATED TO BE 285/8. THERE ARE NO REASONS TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT
CHANGES TO THE TRACK FORECAST. A PRONOUNCED SUBTROPICAL RIDGE
ALONG ABOUT 30N LATITUDE SHOULD CAUSE THE CYCLONE TO CONTINUE
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS. LATER IN THE FORECAST
PERIOD...GLOBAL MODELS INDICATE THAT THE RIDGE STRENGTHENS SOMEWHAT
TO THE NORTH OF EMILIA...AND THIS WOULD RESULT IN A WESTWARD TURN
AT A SLIGHTLY FASTER FORWARD SPEED. THIS IS ALSO SHOWN IN THE
OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST...WHICH IS CLOSE TO THE LATEST ECMWF
PREDICTION.

THE 34-KT AND 50-KT WIND RADII WERE ADJUSTED INWARD BASED ON A
1744 UTC ASCAT PASS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 10/2100Z 13.9N 114.5W 110 KT 125 MPH
12H 11/0600Z 14.3N 115.9W 100 KT 115 MPH
24H 11/1800Z 14.8N 117.7W 95 KT 110 MPH
36H 12/0600Z 15.3N 119.5W 85 KT 100 MPH
48H 12/1800Z 15.7N 121.3W 75 KT 85 MPH
72H 13/1800Z 16.8N 125.6W 60 KT 70 MPH
96H 14/1800Z 17.5N 130.5W 50 KT 60 MPH
120H 15/1800Z 18.0N 135.5W 35 KT 40 MPH

$$
FORECASTER PASCH
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1302. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting opal92nwf:
Does any one else think that this is one of the most amazing hurricanes ever?

Iniki's landfall location and intensity were so anomalous that it would be like a category 4 hurricane hitting Maine!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Actually, it may be starting one... This kind of looks like concentric eyewalls...



could it go annular with the next eye?
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting ncstorm:
the area near the bahamas is increasing

Near east or west?

Quoting Doppler22:
Who thinks Ernesto will form in July?
Needs to be a poll.

Hey Dopp...

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21485
1297. LargoFl
.....................geez we are getting hit with a wall of Lightning
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting weatherh98:


EWRC?:)

Actually, it may be starting one... This kind of looks like concentric eyewalls...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm not gonna complain about the rain, BUT.. It's been doing this every day right as I get home, so I haven't been able to mow the grass. It's starting to get VERY tall...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1294. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
1293. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Finally some rain in Fort Myers! I heard on the news last weekend of a huge brush fire somewhere in Fort Myers.


Yeah I was in a high rise today. It was still smoldering, but it should be out now with the rain...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
..some years ago, the scientists went out diving..looking for indian village remains out in the gulf about 100 miles out, dunno if they found any


im not sure, you realize the cuban missle crisis if this were an ice age? we would be connected.

this is all theoretical, chaos theory would have changed things
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Does any one else think that this is one of the most amazing hurricanes ever?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1289. LargoFl
.........................getting a bit intense now
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
We just had .93" of rain in 17 minutes..LOL...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The pop-up afternoon storms for many parts of the Gulf Coast, based on sea breeze interaction, have really been building in intensity each day over the past few weeks..........That's part of what such intense heat inland will do. That big ULL parked from LA to the Florida panhandle is also enhancing the convection. Whole Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida is lit up this afternoon.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8793
1286. LargoFl
Quoting weatherh98:
florida during ice age
..some years ago, the scientists went out diving..looking for indian village remains out in the gulf about 100 miles out, dunno if they found any
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting charlottefl:


Finally some rain in Fort Myers! I heard on the news last weekend of a huge brush fire somewhere in Fort Myers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well, t he minute I went out, it started to rain... lol so I came back..
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21485
florida during ice age


then you would have the "neverglades"
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461



You would think I was in a tropical storm here. Not quite that bad, but much windier than most T-storms here. 2 mins wind avg is 20mph. High gust of 31 and lots of rain...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1281. icmoore
Quoting Tribucanes:
Patrap's humor is not for all that's for sure. Several offended by his Florida word play. He's bitingly sarcastic with some of his friends and they give sarcasm to each other in healthy doses. I thought he and Rita didn't like each other earlier with their banter. That's all it was though, banter. I think it's better to ask one's intent when reading something like Patrap's Florida word play. If I recall correctly, at least three dropped Patrap a line saying they were not amused by his Florida word play. At the same time I know Patrap has good relationships with many, many from Florida here, I never took it as seriously intent. If one's not familiar with Patrap though it would be very easy to take his comments out of context. And yes, when irked he can become rather condescending. One of the best for posting here though, lots of great info I've really appreciated from Patrap.


I can appreciate that and as you can see I have been a member for a long time and I have appreciated his info and even plussed him many times however I have witnessed his harsh behaviour on many occasions, most would not qualify as sarcastic. Back to the weather now..lights have flickered and storms are popping up all around so I'll be looking at radars now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
A few years ago I read about a computer simulation of Florida's climate during the ice ages. According to the simulations when sea level was more than 200 feet below today's level the Florida peninsula became too wide for sea breezes to collide. That took out about 20% of warm season rainfall in the peninsula.


they know for a fact that that was the case. in under water caves on the southern coast, they found bat dung and Saharan dust
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
1279. LargoFl
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
FLC057-103-102100-
/O.NEW.KTBW.SV.W.0037.120710T2033Z-120710T2100Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
433 PM EDT TUE JUL 10 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA...
PINELLAS COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA...

* UNTIL 500 PM EDT.

* AT 424 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
TOWN N COUNTRY...OR NEAR TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...AND MOVING
NORTHWEST AT 10 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
PINELLAS PARK...CLEARWATER...LARGO...SAINT PETE CLEARWATER
AIRPORT...WESTCHASE...HIGHPOINT...OLDSMAR AND SAFETY HARBOR.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DOPPLER RADAR HAS INDICATED SOME WEAK ROTATION WITHIN THIS STORM.
WHILE NOT IMMEDIATELY LIKELY...A TORNADO MAY STILL DEVELOP. IF A
TORNADO IS SPOTTED...ACT QUICKLY AND MOVE TO A PLACE OF SAFETY IN A
STURDY STRUCTURE...SUCH AS A BASEMENT OR SMALL INTERIOR ROOM.

IN ADDITION TO LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS...CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO
GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS
IMMEDIATELY. LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS.
REMEMBER...IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

&&

LAT...LON 2815 8271 2806 8246 2793 8254 2793 8257
2796 8256 2796 8266 2798 8262 2800 8264
2799 8267 2796 8267 2795 8271 2788 8258
2778 8262 2786 8281
TIME...MOT...LOC 2033Z 118DEG 8KT 2802 8260

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Look at the explosion of over C FL.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A few years ago I read about a computer simulation of Florida's climate during the ice ages. According to the simulations when sea level was more than 200 feet below today's level the Florida peninsula became too wide for sea breezes to collide. That took out about 20% of warm season rainfall in the peninsula.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Eye is clearer than earlier with a small burst of convection just south of it.



EWRC?:)
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Yeah a strong but small storm compared to what is rolling thru Tampa right now. There was hail and winds of 52mph at Orlando International.



thats what it looked like... i ended up at .97 today.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
1273. LargoFl
Quoting Astrometeor:
See y'all later. I still do not have power...at least 2000 people in North Nashville are without power. Good thing is the temperature is below 75. Plus my computer's battery is drained so bye everyone. Until power is restored. :(
ok stay safe and i hope you get power back soon
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36894
Quoting weatherh98:


didnt you just have a storm roll through?


Yeah a strong but small storm compared to what is rolling thru Tampa right now. There was hail and winds of 52mph at Orlando International.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
See y'all later. I still do not have power...at least 2000 people in North Nashville are without power. Good thing is the temperature is below 75. Plus my computer's battery is drained so bye everyone. Until power is restored. :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1321 - 1271

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39Blog 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.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
74 °F
Mostly Cloudy