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

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

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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

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1171. nigel20
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey, nige...

Now
Mostly Cloudy
Temperature
87 °F
Feels Like 87 °F
Wind(km/h)
17
10 MPH from SE

A bit dark for a beach day, but otherwise pretty cool...


Temperature
86 °F
Feels Like 97 °F

Wind 25mph

Very nice day to go to the beach.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:



It sounds to me like VR46L is saying that people who believe manmade global warming is a serous problem use computers that use electricity. Therefore global warming doesn't exist.


Uh? You got that from VR46L's comments? Really?
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Quoting BobWallace:


I produce my own power. I'm off the grid with solar.

But thanks for caring....


Have you saved money doing that? or have you not made up the cost in saved electric bills yet?
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I've gotta go for a while(until 8pm EDT) so here is 1 last look a Emilia for me.

She still is lookin' good maybe still 130MPH, bye!
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1167. Patrap


..Nuttin'

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128651
1166. Patrap
I'm uploading Dr. Masters presentation and will set up a blog with it soon after.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128651
Emilia still looks pretty good... Probably 125-130mph right now...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Is this what you people have been doing all day?
Its been a slow day so yeah.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon everyone... Anything interesting today?


Not on the Atlantic side at the moment. Folks just waiting on a "surprise" storm somewhere or for the long-term models to start developing waves coming off of Africa...............
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Is this what you people have been doing all day?

Pretty much. :-D
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Quoting Ameister12:
Central Pacific names!

Pewa panicked

Unala upwelled

Wali was a waste

Ana absolutely looks awful

Is this what you people have been doing all day?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
All right... gotta run... enjoy the rest of the day, ya'll.

Later Baha.
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1159. ncstorm
beaches are catching it

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All right... gotta run... enjoy the rest of the day, ya'll.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Central Pacific names!

Pewa panicked

Unala upwelled

Wali was a waste

Ana absolutely looks awful
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Astrometeor:
Just minding my own business when I notice the room lights don't work. I try the bathroom lights, still nothing. Then I realized my house lost power-after the rain stopped an hour earlier. Whatever.
Downside is no TV. OMG-NO TV! I am screwed.
At least you have internet...LOL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon everyone... Anything interesting today?
Emilia peaked at 140mph, Daniel a weakening TS, and 98E formed and has a 50% chance of development. Otherwise not much besides climate or local weather talk.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon everyone... Anything interesting today?
Hey... best was Emilia peaking at 140 mph. Other than that, just a new AOI in the EPac with 50% chance from NHC.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Just minding my own business when I notice the room lights don't work. I try the bathroom lights, still nothing. Then I realized my house lost power-after the rain stopped an hour earlier. Whatever.
Downside is no TV. OMG-NO TV! I am screwed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
Olivia outted and opressed
Pual punted
Rosa ran away
Sergio sheared
Tara terminated


In 1994 Rosa's Remnants Rained... I got nothing else continue... lol

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon everyone... Anything interesting today?
Area SW of SFL....
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Quoting nigel20:

Hey Baha. What's the weather like in the Bahamas ATM?
Hey, nige...

Now
Mostly Cloudy
Temperature
87 °F
Feels Like 87 °F
Wind(km/h)
17
10 MPH from SE

A bit dark for a beach day, but otherwise pretty cool...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322

Lots of daytime heating pulse severe storms out there.
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The 12z Euro has a strong wave moving thru the Northern Leewards/Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on the 20th of July. Let's see if the model continues to show this in future runs.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14321
Good afternoon everyone... Anything interesting today?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Both the actual temperature and heat index is below 100F! We even dropped below 80F last night!
Amen to that, I have had relief for a few days now and its great. But 90s are expected to return for me so it is not over.
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Here's the skinny, major corporations know they have a very short window for profitability at current levels. They know in less than two decades the whole world will realize that GW is causing trillions worldwide in damages every year. It's only a matter of time before GW becomes so dire that the majority of people's lives on Earth will be effected by it. There will be a wave of calls for change worldwide and the political clout to get the right politicians in office to deal with GW. Corporations know they have a decade, maybe two if they're really lucky to rake in the dough. Then changes will be forced on many large corporations that will really hurt they're profitability. Through loopholes our largest corporations pay only a pittance of the 35% tax rate, while average Americans continue to suffer.
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Quoting islander101010:
tw@32w.turning.there.&.east.of.fl.ull.interac ting.w ith.a.td.&s.w.fl...need.to.be.watched..
Dude, is there somewhere I can express u a keyboard? I am sooo feeling ur pain right now.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
1143. nigel20
Quoting BahaHurican:
I'm always trying to be a smart something something... just sometimes I succeed better than others... lol

Hey Baha. What's the weather like in the Bahamas ATM?
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:



It sounds to me like VR46L is saying that people who believe manmade global warming is a serous problem use computers that use electricity. Therefore global warming doesn't exist.



I interpreted it more as:
"If you believe AGW is a serious problem, then get off the internet so that I don't have to read about things that challenge my worldview."

At any rate, it's a clumsy form of cyber-bullying that, again, doesn't propose any fact-based criticism of the data or the science itself. It's only slightly less worn-out than the Al Gore effigy over there in the corner (someone stuff some more straw in that thing, would ya?)...
Member Since: June 13, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 304
Quoting Ameister12:

Vicente vanished

Willa went away

Willa wet itself seeing everyone else disappear
Xavier x-rayed to death
Yolanda yelled at to scram
Zeke zapped
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Wilmington NC looks a lot cooler.

Both the actual temperature and heat index is below 100F! We even dropped below 80F last night!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
tw@32w.turning.there.&.east.of.fl.ull.interacting.w ith.a.td.&s.w.fl...need.to.be.watched..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1138. Patrap
Quoting Ameister12:

Vicente vanished

Willa went away


Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128651
Quoting Ameister12:

Vicente vanished

Willa went away

Xilla's X'ed out.

Yolanda yondered elsewhere.

Zeke's zapped.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting washingtonian115:
I've had dreams of encountering or getting killed by tornadoes also.Very scary dreams.But I'd rather go through an f5 tornado and cat 5 hurricane.


...ditto...also massive tidal waves!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
Are you trying to be a smart something something right about now?.
I'm always trying to be a smart something something... just sometimes I succeed better than others... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Quoting wxchaser97:
Olivia outted and opressed
Pual punted
Rosa ran away
Sergio sheared
Tara terminated


How bout, "Reared"
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630

Pretty strong low SE of Madagascar... 941 mb pressure

far left
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
..from Jeff Masters

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?"

One can go to the webinar site at :45 past for the 2pm EDT event.


The webinar had some boring speakers...so I left.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
On the Wunderground Tropical Page too. NOt to mention Wiki.
Are you trying to be a smart something something right about now?.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
Olivia outted and opressed
Pual punted
Rosa ran away
Sergio sheared
Tara terminated

Vicente vanished

Willa went away
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


John. All the names are on nhc.gov
On the Wunderground Tropical Page too. NOt to mention Wiki.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Quoting cajunkid:
something is lurking North of Key West...

Animate the NASA site

Link

Looks like Bonnie of 2010 just a little more disorganized.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Olivia outted and opressed
Pual punted
Rosa ran away
Sergio sheared
Tara terminated
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MrMixon:


Interesting that you feel that way. Other than specific answers to the question you posed, I haven't observed anyone here telling people how to live, but I suppose it does happen (I don't read every comment). I can understand why that would be frustrating - no one likes being told what to do. But from what I've seen, most of the AGW comments on this blog are about the science itself, not about personal lifestyle choices.

You will always find hypocrites if you look for them... but that doesn't prove anything except that humans are capable of hypocrisy. Playing "gotcha" on an internet forum does nothing to change people's minds - it only drives the wedge a little deeper.



It sounds to me like VR46L is saying that people who believe manmade global warming is a serous problem use computers that use electricity. Therefore global warming doesn't exist.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cajunkid:
something is lurking North of Key West...

Animate the NASA site

Link

Reminds me of Claudette from 2009.When Claudette formed she was in a high pressure environment like this bugger here and when she did formed she had a rather high pressure.Not saying this could occur this time.
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1124. VR46L
Quoting RipplinH2O:


Duck! LOL!!...


Sir I am honored , you are honestly one of my favorite bloggers on this forum ..I will lol
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Wilmington NC looks a lot cooler.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ameister12:
Miriam is mourned

Norman's no more.

Olivia's over.

Paul's poof.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
1121. MrMixon
Quoting VR46L:


If you really believe in it you would do your utmost to do your bit . AGW believers should try to live their life in the way they tell non believers to do so ..but that is just my opinion


Interesting that you feel that way. Other than specific answers to the question you posed, I haven't observed anyone here telling people how to live, but I suppose it does happen (I don't read every comment). I can understand why that would be frustrating - no one likes being told what to do. But from what I've seen, most of the AGW comments on this blog are about the science itself, not about personal lifestyle choices.

You will always find hypocrites if you look for them... but that doesn't prove anything except that humans are capable of hypocrisy. Playing "gotcha" on an internet forum does nothing to change people's minds - it only drives the wedge a little deeper.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.