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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110kts-125MPH is my guess
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting MississippiWx:
Once again, for the billionth time, El Nino/La Nina take overs hardly ever go in a straight line. There are variables that cause stair-stepping to occur. The ultimate heading is El Nino, whether we want to believe it.

three billionths the charm?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
Quoting MississippiWx:
Once again, for the billionth time, El Nino/La Nina take overs hardly ever go in a straight line. There are variables that cause stair-stepping to occur. The ultimate heading is El Nino, whether we want to believe it.


try it again, for the billion and first time, thats always the clincher :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's you.


120 mph.


120 mph.
120mph to even 125mph sounds good to me.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's you.


120 mph.


120 mph.

Thanks
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Once again, for the billionth time, El Nino/La Nina take overs hardly ever go in a straight line. There are variables that cause stair-stepping to occur. The ultimate heading is El Nino, whether we want to believe it.
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Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
As soon as the eye clears out again, we'll have a Category 4 on our hands.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
Link
Just keep an open mind.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Is it me, or is Emilia beginning to take on annular characteristics?



not even close.

btw, the color scheme in that image is my least favorite of all time
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Dr. Masters has not mentioned Daniel or Emilia. OMG....How do I know about them?
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NOAA says the peak of Emilia will be in the next 24 hours,so category 4 is likely, but 5 have any chance ?

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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


I'm interested to see what these next couple waves do the next few days. Finally seeing some kinks in the otherwise flat lined ITCZ with these two, moreso with the second overland right now. Could the high be showing signs of breaking down a bit? Stay tuned...


Not impressed with these tropical waves...because of unfavorable conditions they are encountering. Specific reasons I see are found in paragraphs P10 and P11 of my latest update...
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Is it me, or is Emilia beginning to take on annular characteristics?


It's you.

Quoting Bluestorm5:
How strong Emilia is right now? I know NHC is saying 110 MPH, but that was 5 hours ago.

120 mph.

Quoting wxchaser97:

hangin' on by a thread for HU status.
What does everybody out there think Emilia will be at the next advisory. I say 125 or 130mph maybe alittle weaker.

120 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
Quoting timtlu:


I'm in Seguin and we haven't gotten a lick yet. However quite the impressive thunder and lightning currently.


Kerr County (NW of San Antonio)is getting a nice gentle rain right now. Some mild thunder, no serious wind or lightning.
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hangin' on by a thread for HU status.
What does everybody out there think Emilia will be at the next advisory. I say 125 or 130mph maybe alittle weaker.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
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How strong Emilia is right now? I know NHC is saying 110 MPH, but that was 5 hours ago.
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Is it me, or is Emilia beginning to take on annular characteristics?

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting WxGeekVA:


The Little Storm That Could

Instead of Daniel...they should have named it Thomas...after that little engine that could...
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Quoting Patrap:
Rainbow TOP

Daniel



The Little Storm That Could
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
10/0000 UTC 13.2N 111.7W T5.5/5.5 EMILIA -- East Pacific
10/0000 UTC 15.5N 131.5W T3.5/4.0 DANIEL -- East Pacific
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.1 / 947.7mb/117.4kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.1 6.1 6.1


The eyewall has fully wrapped around the eye now!
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
How do you program something like DVORAK.
That must be beastly hard
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Rainbow TOP

Daniel

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I have released my daily tropical update for the Atlantic just now...check it out and feel free to leave comments...

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Quoting SubtropicalHi:


LOL-- They're avoiding San Antonio. Earlier they were to the west, but headed west. Now that they are to the east they are heading east. There are some to the northwest but they are heading southwest.


I'm in Seguin and we haven't gotten a lick yet. However quite the impressive thunder and lightning currently.
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Quoting Cat5hit:
Isn't it good for the Atlantic that the pacific is starting to have a busy season. If one ocean has a really busy season, doesn't the other side have an unusually calm season?

Yes but the mjo will be coming into our basin and tropical activity should shift from the epac to the Atlantic. In a few weks we should start seeing Atlantic storms.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not hard to see Emilia is still strengthening.


Yeah, definitely continue gaining strength, but maybe in the environment has the presence of a little dry air, that is making the hurricane, smallest in size
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EP042012 - Hurricane DANIEL

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery

.01:45 UTC

note the Boomers poppin in close to the Center.

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Quoting Grothar:
She is beautiful any male hurricane will like to take her out.;)
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Quoting Cat5hit:
Isn't it good for the Atlantic that the pacific is starting to have a busy season. If one ocean has a really busy season, doesn't the other side have an unusually calm season?



In the short term your are correct. However, it is typical for the Pacific to be more active early in the season. It can easily slow down as we get into August when we would expect to see activity pick up in the Atlantic Region.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Emilia looks like a dying heart.
Does that mean strengthening or weakening? To me it is still intensifying with the eyewall really deepening around a definite eye and there is good outflow.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It takes skill. :) What's in bold is all you need to know:

EP, 05, 201207092330, 10, DVTS, CI, , 1320N, 11160W, , 1, 102, 2, 960, 2, DVRK, , , , , , , , , , , , , , E, TAFB, AL, VI, 1, 5555 /////, , , GOES15, CSC, T,

EP, 05, 201207100000, 10, DVTS, CI, , 1320N, 11170W, , 1, 102, 2, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , E, SAB, JK, VI, 1, 5555 /////, , , GOES15, LLCC, T, DT=6.0 BO EYE MET=4.5 PT=5.0 FTBO CON


ok, maybe its just me but it took 5 mins to find it.
And then i lost it, and cant refind it, and i swear i see 3 other sab/tafb groups..

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Around 145 mph.
Seems very reasonable since it is intensifying and should be a major at 11 EDT.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927

Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Emilia looks like a dying heart.
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In reference to the stalled El Nino, I had to chuckle earlier today. The hard pressing Nino is here peeps got handed a -0.1 for the three month period. Almost looks like a temporary reversal.

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Quoting wxchaser97:
Yeah, I think it is still strengthening and how strong do you think it will peak at TA13? I think it will peak between 140-160mph. I know its a wide range but it is a different storm.

Around 145 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not hard to see Emilia is still strengthening.
Yeah, I think it is still strengthening and how strong do you think it will peak at TA13? I think it will peak between 140-160mph. I know its a wide range but it is a different storm.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Quoting Articuno:

Igor effected Bermuda and parts of Newfoundland
While it was at it's strongest it stayed over open water.
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Quoting Patrap:
EP042012 - Hurricane DANIEL

01:15 UTC

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery

Low Sun Angle Viz


It's still a beauty for the strength it is
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2293
05E/MH/E/C3
MARK
13.35N/112.23W
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Like Igor from 2010.

Igor effected Bermuda and parts of Newfoundland
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2293
It looks angular.

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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.