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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CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.3 / 998.1mb/ 51.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.0 3.1 3.1
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
http://ftp.nhc.noaa.gov/atcf/fix/

Thanks MH09.
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I have to hand it to Daniel... still clinging to hurricane status...

EP, 04, 2012071000, , BEST, 0, 154N, 1315W, 65, 992, HU

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Never seen that before. Can I get a link?
http://ftp.nhc.noaa.gov/atcf/fix/
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's not dry air. Rina looked the same way. It's just indicative of a very nice outflow channel.

It still doesn't look as symmetrical as earlier.And the eye isn't as cleared out and round.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Like Igor from 2010.
Yes and Isaac in 2000:
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
I could definitely see Emilia brushing upon category 5 status. It'll be dependent mainly on how quickly she can fire intense convective activity in the southwestern semicircle however.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
ADT satellite estimates are indicative of an intensifying category 4 cyclone.

2012JUL10 000000 6.1 947.6 117.4 6.1 6.2 6.2 NO LIMIT OFF OFF 11.44 -67.71 EYE 16 IR 38.9 13.24 111.68 COMBO GOES15 31.1

TAFB and SAB are in a T5.5 agreement, indicative of a major hurricane.

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

Never seen that before. Can I get a link?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
It doesn't look as symmetrical as it did earlier.Notice the west flank is appearing to take in some dry air.

That's not dry air. Rina looked the same way. It's just indicative of a very nice outflow channel. And a rapidly intensifying system.

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ADT satellite estimates are indicative of an intensifying category 4 cyclone.

2012JUL10 000000 6.1 947.6 117.4 6.1 6.2 6.2 NO LIMIT OFF OFF 11.44 -67.71 EYE 16 IR 38.9 13.24 111.68 COMBO GOES15 31.1

TAFB and SAB are in a T5.5 agreement, indicative of a major hurricane.

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
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Quoting wxchaser97:
I hope so too but, not to brag, for all of middle school and my first year of high school I've gotten all A's and even got a 100% on my science final and my weather unit test. So I really haven't been wrong alot.:) :(
Good for you keep up the good work!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

What do you mean?
It doesn't look as symmetrical as it did earlier.Notice the west flank is appearing to take in some dry air.
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Almost fully wrapped around now, she is about to explode, definitly a major next advisory. I now say 145-160mph if current trends continue for peak imo.

Pinhole:)
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
There is no debate on global warming and man's role in it. Almost all scientists agree global warming is happening and the vast majority say man is the driving force. There is only the other side of the coin; if on one side you have truth and the other you have lies only. Those saying man is not causing global warming are paid for and by big business. It is McCarthyism all over again on some levels. Information is forbidden from being released, information is not freely spread by the press and mainstream news organisations because they are ALL owned by big business. It has come to the level of threats and cover-ups. This is for the life of the planet we are fighting. Many are fighting for business over man, planet, and scientific fact. Many here may argue against man made Global Warming, but I know they have been misled by propaganda, or haven't reviewed the OVERWHELMING scientific facts, or have an agenda of their own. Many look at the "facts" spewed by the naysayers and latch on to them and never with an open mind and honest heart seek what the truth really is. This is not an honest debate. With well over 95% of all scientists arguing the GW is man driven, there really is no debate. In America if you've got the money and enough politicians in your pocket, you can create a fraudulent argument and sell it hard enough to convince millions of the unaware. That's what this argument is. It's a false one that hurts people and helps the biggest businesses out there.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I haven't been watching lately. Who are the big stars?



CM puck
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114753
i want laptop for GM
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114753
Quoting Tazmanian:




oh oops



any way tonight is the night we find out oh are next raw GM will be


I haven't been watching lately. Who are the big stars?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Emilia looks as though shes having some technical difficulties right now....

What do you mean?
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Emilia looks as though shes having some technical difficulties right now....
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Quoting gulfbreeze:
I hope you are wrong but we are over due.If anyone gets hit by a major everyone's Insurance will go up!!
I hope so too but, not to brag, for all of middle school and my first year of high school I've gotten all A's and even got a 100% on my science final and my weather unit test. So I really haven't been wrong alot.:) :(
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
1. Data is data. If it's published, anyone can attempt to replicate the experiment, the model, the results. Data has no liberal or conservative bias. It just is.

2. If the data shows that the world is warming, and warming in a way inconsistent with "natural", external causes (i.e. the Sun's not doing it, there's no higher heat flow, no flux in incoming cosmic radiation, etc), then that's what's happening.

3. If you wish to ignore the data, feel free. But if you wish to refute the data, without any obvious external cause for the observed patterns, you're going to have to re-write the Laws of Thermodynamics in order to get us industrialized humans off the hook.

4. While you're at it, you'll have to re-write the Laws of Thermodynamics in such a way that they don't wreck perfectly good, operable theories of biology, geology, physics, and chemistry. It's going to be hard to do without causing a LOT of collateral damage, just a warning.

5. The direct human record of temperature only goes back 150-200 years at most locations. That's not the only way to get temperature data. There are lots of direct and indirect temperature proxies (stable isotopes, chemical tracers, paleoenvironmental) that can be traced back into the Holocene and beyond.

6. At the same time, you don't want to call on high temperatures in the Paleocene or Mesozoic to make your case that we're insignificant. First off, the world back then was different, due in part to plate tectonics-- very different ocean circulation patterns, the Alps/Himalayas didn't exist, etc. Plate tectonics operates on orders-of-magnitude longer timescales than what we're seeing today-- it won't help. Second, to the Earth, we are insignificant; not in the sense that we can't cause havoc, but in the sense that it'll keep on spinning whether we're here or not. Right now, as a species, we're doing our level best to make our only home toxic to ourselves. That, quite frankly, is insane.

7. There's no liberal/conservative slant to any of this. This is where the data converges. We can either do something in response to the data and what the models that incorporate that data show; or we can legislate those models out of existence because we don't like what they show, and maybe we'll get lucky and be dead of old age before things get really bad, but at least we'll have gotten ours while we were alive, by golly!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


July 23rd is the 1000th show




oh oops



any way tonight is the night we find out oh are next raw GM will be
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114753
Quoting washingtonian115:
I've been looking forward to the name Issac.The I name storms have been on a roll as of late.
Me for Michael supposedly since Mitch and Matthew the people in here think that the M is a danger for our country.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4041
Quoting wxchaser97:
Hopefully a beautiful cat4/cat5 that is just a fish storm that causes no deaths or damage and I'm sorry for correcting but Isaac not Issac or atleast thats mine/ NHC spelling.
Like Igor from 2010.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Lets just hope that something save the US from a hit but I have a bad feeling something is going to happen.
I hope you are wrong but we are over due.If anyone gets hit by a major everyone's Insurance will go up!!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I've been looking forward to the name Issac.The I name storms have been on a roll as of late.
Hopefully a beautiful cat4/cat5 that is just a fish storm that causes no deaths or damage and I'm sorry for correcting but Isaac not Issac or atleast thats mine/ NHC spelling.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
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Sure looks like a major
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
Quoting wxchaser97:
I've been worried about that high for awhile and if anything goes into the gulf BOOM. Just I don't want to be the one to hit the US(my name is Isaac). Hope everyone doesn't let your guard down since it could be a rough year ahead.
I've been looking forward to the name Issac.The I name storms have been on a roll as of late.
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Quoting timtlu:


Yet at the cost of current alternative practices, Walmart crud is all a great majority would be able to afford. Catch 22.
You are right I just hate Walmart!
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Look at that Stadium effect.

Yeah. We're tracking a borderline Category 4 hurricane right now.
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Quoting gulfbreeze:
It only takes one and if it hits you it's a Bad Year!!

Lets just hope that something save the US from another hit but I have a bad feeling something is going to happen.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 10 JUL 2012 Time : 000000 UTC
Lat : 13:14:11 N Lon : 111:40:53 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.1 / 947.6mb/117.4kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.1 6.2 6.2

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 16 km

Center Temp : +11.4C Cloud Region Temp : -67.7C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : EAST PACIFIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 90km
- Environmental MSLP : 1010mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 31.1 degrees

************************************************* ***



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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Boy, that's amazing outflow on the west side of the cyclone.



Look at that Stadium effect.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
tonight is monday night raw 1000 and we will find out oh are new GM will be


July 23rd is the 1000th show
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Quoting gulfbreeze:
When we USA quits buying all of their Walmart junk mabe they will clean up their act!!


Yet at the cost of current alternative practices, Walmart crud is all a great majority would be able to afford. Catch 22.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
It only takes that one.But honestly with that high not wanting to move.Expect the U.S to see some more landfalls this season.
I've been worried about that high for awhile and if anything goes into the gulf BOOM. Just I don't want to be the one to hit the US(my name is Isaac). Hope everyone doesn't let their guard down since it could be a rough year ahead.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
tonight is monday night raw 1000 and we will find out oh are new GM will be
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114753
How far out in time can the models predict wind shear?
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125 mph at next advisory??
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Boy, that's amazing outflow on the west side of the cyclone.

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I had fresca at a restaurant a few days ago, couldn't even notice it was diet
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Yep, except maybe Lee, and 1992 without Andrew would have been non-existant except for lack of storms.

The storm from last year that we talked about the most is JOSE.
That storm made the season UNFORGETABLE!!

Mostly because we asked why the NHC would name that thing.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Yep, except maybe Lee, and 1992 without Andrew would have been non-existant except for lack of storms.
It only takes one and if it hits you it's a Bad Year!!
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10/0000 UTC 13.2N 111.7W T5.5/5.5 EMILIA -- East Pacific
Should be a major @ 11 EDT.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
Quoting wxchaser97:
Yep and 1992 without Andrew would have been non-existant except for lack of storms.
It only takes that one.But honestly with that high not wanting to move.Expect the U.S to see some more landfalls this season.
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There was a rotating updraft above me, although it didn't amount to anything, it sure was a powerful cell.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7288
174. h0db
Quoting thelmores:
I believe emissions should be reduced where possible, but not to the point of crippling our economy! My personal belief, reduce emissions as much as practical, and any money spent after that should be used to prepare for GW...... NOT prevent it! Fact of the matter is, we cannot prevent GW, we can only mitigate its effects.

I do however find it somewhat funny, that it used to be "global warming", but once some credible models and scientists predicted a possible cooling to come...... now we have "climate change"....... Ain't that just convenient! As the climate is ALWAYS changing....... with or without man!

It does not have to be a "right or wrong" issue...... the best approach is a "common sense" approach! We can ALL agree that we want clean Air and clean Water!


Amen, Brother! I also believe that emissions should be reduced, but not to the point of actually preventing global warming, because I think that after a couple of decades of flooded coastal cities and desertification, the economy will take care of itself through natural selection.
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EP, 05, 2012071000, , BEST, 0, 132N, 1117W, 105, 959, HU

Conservative.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Irene last year is a good example.Without Irene I honestly don't think we'll be even referring to the season.
Yep, except maybe Lee, and 1992 without Andrew would have been non-existant except for lack of storms.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
Quoting spathy:


Nice picture of China.
They are going to be cooperative now arent they?
I am sure when America cant afford to rub two sticks together the Chinese will limit their emissions.
And then the World will see reductions in co2.
When we USA quits buying all of their Walmart junk mabe they will clean up their act!!
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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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