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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Quoting Tribucanes:
Good luck Bobby get as close to 4.0 as possible and get a scholarship, college just too expensive these days.

Thanks! I'll do my best.
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When I read Jeff's still skeptical section on climate change I can't help but get frustrated. 97% of climate experts say it's a man driven change and yet the public remains in latest polls on the subject at around 35-45% of Americans don't believe in GW. Why in the world would our citizenry be so out of touch with such a vital scientific fact? Sarcastic only there, I know why.
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Quoting SETexas74:
Completely off-topic, but is anyone considering pursuing a career in meteorology?


I toyed with the idea when I headed back to school in '07. I was surprised to find there were few schools in Florida that offered programs (especially) in meteorology. I can only think of Florida State, University of Miami, and Florida Institute of Technology, offhand.

In the end I went back to my original love and subject of my prior career, Computer Science. A year into the PhD program now at Florida Atlantic University.
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Good luck Bobby get as close to 4.0 as possible and get a scholarship, college just too expensive these days.
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Completely off-topic, but is anyone considering pursuing a career in meteorology?

I am.
I've been fascinated to hurricanes since Katrina made landfall, when I was 8. I started to post on WU since when I was 9. Now I'm awaiting my 15th birthday. I still have a lot of interest in tropical cyclones, and I hope I get a meteorology degree.
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Gulf priming instability back up for later season action, what are the chances waves that want to develop; do it later this year because lower than average SST's off of Africa. They would then quite possibly take the southern steering currents right up into the Gulf. That would be unfortunate because the Gulf states and Texas would be the likely targets. Southern Florida is under the gun also and they haven't seen anything in quite a bit now. Possibly just need the first couple of waves to form to go NE and away like past years and that pattern could repeat, which while boring to some, beats the always sad fatalities that come with landfalls. EPAC enjoying the season so far, Hurricane train there has been enjoyable to watch.
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Quoting Tygor:


Hopefully it makes its way down towards the city :)


It weakened as it got closer to the city but new storms seem to be popping up just south of Downtown.
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1762. JLPR2
Since there's not much activity I might as well post this...

I got my 42nd AC here in Wunderphotos. :D
Here it is, would appreacite ratings or comments.

Photo Link, go here to rate it.
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1761. JLPR2
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Night crew sleeping on the job?


Eh... not much tropical action to speak of.
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Night crew sleeping on the job?
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A lot of Low's out west.....lol
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1758. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
temps a few hundred miles from north pole

last 24 hrs

Alert Airport
Past 24 Hour ConditionsMetric Units Date / Time
(EDT) Conditions Temp (°F) Humidity (%) Dew Point (°F) Wind (mph) Pressure (inches) Visibility (miles)
11 July 2012
1:00 Partly Cloudy 40 93 38 NW 6 29.70 15
00:00 Partly Cloudy 40 93 38 NW 6 29.71 15
10 July 2012
23:00 Partly Cloudy 39 88 36 WNW 7 29.72 15
22:00 Mainly Sunny 37 90 34 NW 3 29.73 15
21:00 N/A 39 86 35 E 2 29.77 N/A
20:00 N/A 38 88 35 E 2 29.78 N/A
19:00 N/A 37 89 34 ENE 3 29.80 N/A
18:00 N/A 37 89 35 ENE 3 29.81 N/A
17:00 Mostly Cloudy 38 86 34 E 5 29.82 15
16:00 Partly Cloudy 37 86 34 E 3 29.84 15
15:00 Mainly Sunny 38 86 34 ESE 5 29.85 15
14:00 Partly Cloudy 38 86 34 E 6 29.88 15
13:00 Mainly Sunny 38 86 34 E 6 29.89 15
12:00 Mainly Sunny 37 87 34 E 6 29.91 15
11:00 Mainly Sunny 40 86 36 ENE 2 29.93 15
10:00 Mainly Sunny 40 80 35 ENE 3 29.95 15
9:00 Mainly Sunny 40 84 36 N 5 29.97 15
8:00 Sunny 39 89 36 N 5 29.98 15
7:00 Sunny 41 81 35 NNW 3 30.00 15
6:00 N/A 43 82 38 ENE 2 30.02 N/A
5:00 N/A 42 79 36 E 2 30.04 N/A
4:00 N/A 41 81 35 calm 30.06 N/A
3:00 N/A 41 80 35 ENE 3 30.07 N/A
2:00 N/A 41 79 35 ENE 3 30.09 N/A
1:00 N/A 41 80 35 ENE 4 30.09 N/A
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1756. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
the far north getting kinda tropical .



Special Weather Statements for Northwest Territories

AWCN11 CWNT 110043
Summary weather statement issued by Environment Canada Tuesday 10 July 2012.

Several maximum temperature records were set today as the Northwest
Territories were under the influence of a strong upper ridge.


Location new record previous record records
Max temp record year began
(Celsius)
------------------------------------------------- ----------------
Fort Providence 33.6 29.0 2000 1995
Fort Smith airport 35.1 31.0 1990 1944
Hay River airport 34.3 32.2 1975 1944
Lac la martre 31.4 29.4 1975 1974
Yellowknife airport 31.9 28.9 1975 1942



These reports have not been quality controlled and are considered
unofficial.


End

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Quoting SETexas74:
@Tazmanian- What are you planning to do with it? If I wasn't worried about being poor I'd love to go down that path!

Ok cool sorry about that good night
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114728
@Tazmanian- What are you planning to do with it? If I wasn't worried about being poor I'd love to go down that path!
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Quoting SETexas74:
Completely off-topic, but is anyone considering pursuing a career in meteorology?



Try asking that next year
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114728
1752. Tygor
Quoting SouthCentralTx:
Finally, after 3 days of storms coming to the county line and just dissipating we finally got some heavy downpours and some nice lightning to go with it going on right now. Might get a inch or so outta it at Canyon Lake.


Hopefully it makes its way down towards the city :)
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1751. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting spathy:


Do you have any info as to where the insurance Cos are betting on weather damage this year?


I'm not seeing where at the moment. Most the climate wagering is about these high temps & the sea ice melt, but there is the Cat 3 or higher pool in play..
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1748- Just graduated- not planning on studying it but just wondering if anyone has gone through with that/ what they're doing with it now.
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1749. pcola57
Re#1731..
I can't get that Link to work..
Would really like to explore more about it..
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1747: yes but Im in high school
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Completely off-topic, but is anyone considering pursuing a career in meteorology?
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Good night everyone!
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927

Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Finally, after 3 days of storms coming to the county line and just dissipating we finally got some heavy downpours and some nice lightning to go with it going on right now. Might get a inch or so outta it at Canyon Lake.
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Quoting nigel20:
Have a wonderfully night everyone...I'm off to bed

Good night back at ya...
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Something is going on in the eastern GOM.


This was my description of the east GOM in my blog update released 11:05 PM tonight....

"P6...Caribbean upper vorticity has elongated into a few features while wedged between the Central America upper ridge in paragraph P5...eastern Caribbean upper ridge in paragraph P7...and North America upper ridge in paragraph P1. This upper vorticity has an upper vortex in the central Caribbean. This upper vorticity also consists of an upper low in the southern Gulf of Mexico...and upper trough over the Bahamas...with split flow divergence at the boundary between these two eroding the Gulf surface ridge in paragraph P1...and supporting t-storms across Florida and eastern Gulf of Mexico. GFS computer model shows the southern Gulf upper low and Bahamas upper trough persisting...so I interpret that the favorable upper divergence between the two should persist. The tropical wave in paragraph P9 should arrive to this favorable upper divergence in the next 48 hours...so I now believe a tropical disturbance is possible in the eastern Gulf of Mexico by that time."

Quoting allancalderini:
do you think we can get an invest out of it?

Not out of the question...personally I'd like to see things come toghether before making that call...
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Emilia loop: Link

Pacific loop: Link

Atlantic loop:Link
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Quoting allancalderini:
do you think we can get an invest out of it?


Not sure ATM.
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Quoting nigel20:
Have a wonderfully night everyone...I'm off to bed


You too Nigel.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Wow...there is more mid-level vorticity in the SE Gulf of Mexico than I thought...which I think is caused by split flow upper divergence between the GOM upper low and Bahamas upper trough. You can also see the vorticity over the eastern Bahamas with a tropical wave. I think the east Gulf could get more interesting in the next 48 hours...especially when that tropical wave arrives...


Something is going on in the eastern GOM.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
700mb Vort



You can see here the high has indeed retreated off the east coast of FL.

do you think we can get an invest out of it?
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4010
1736. nigel20
Have a wonderfully night everyone...I'm off to bed
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
700mb Vort



You can see here the high has indeed retreated off the east coast of FL.



Wow...there is more mid-level vorticity in the SE Gulf of Mexico than I thought...which I think is caused by split flow upper divergence between the GOM upper low and Bahamas upper trough. You can also see the vorticity over the eastern Bahamas with a tropical wave. I think the east Gulf could get more interesting in the next 48 hours...especially when that tropical wave arrives...
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Quoting 1728. NCHurricane2009
Oye...I still don't like Tropical Storm Jose...

I don't even know why they named it. Besides Daniel being bigger they look the same now.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
1733. Patrap
Gulf Of Mexico - Water Vapor Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
1732. MTWX
The pop up storms that came through here earlier brought some welcome, yet short term, relief from the heat... The temp dropped from 93 to 73 in about 45 minutes!! Man it felt great!

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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Have you saved money doing that? or have you not made up the cost in saved electric bills yet?


So far I've saved $290,000 plus ten years of avoided electricity bill minus the cost of a new set of batteries.

PG&E wanted $300,000 to run power from the highway to my house. ($16/foot * 3.5 miles.) Spending $10k for a solar system and backup generator was pretty much a no-brainer.

Anytime you're a quarter mile or more from the nearest power line and you're going to have to pay for the hookup then you may find it cheaper to stay off the grid. (The way solar panel prices have fallen the critical distance might now be less than a quarter mile.)

--

If you're on the grid and want to know if adding solar makes sense the best thing to do is to calcualte the LCOE - Levelized Cost of Energy.

Here's a handy tool for doing that...

Link

At first leave the defaults for Periods (20 years) and discount rate (4%).

Enter the price for a kilowatt of solar. Right now the US average is $4.24/Watt (or perhaps down a bit). Discount that number by 30% to take into account the federal subsidy. Enter 2968 in the Capital Cost box. ($4.24 * 1,000 * .7)

Look up your average daily solar hours. Most of the US gets at least 4.5 hours. Divide by 24 to get your Capacity Factor (4.5/24 = 19%)

Set Fixed and Variable O&M costs to zero. You might have some, but they should be slight.

Set Heat Rate and Fuel Cost to zero. You ain't running a steam boiler.

Put in your cost for electricity. The US average is about $0.12/kWh. Put in your estimate of the future rate of inflation, 3%, for example.

When I put those numbers in I get the cost of renewable energy to be $0.134/kWh and the 20 year average cost of grid power to be $0.16/kWh.

That says that over 20 years you'll pay 2.4 cents per kWh less if you install solar than if you purchase from the grid.

What it doesn't tell you is that you should expect 30 or more years of power out of your system. The oldest installed system that I know of has been running for 30 years and is still going strong. It's lost a bit of performance and <2% of the panels failed and had to be replaced.

That's essentially ten years of free power after the 20 year period, with no end in sight.
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700mb Vort



You can see here the high has indeed retreated off the east coast of FL.

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1729. Patrap

Gulf Of Mexico - False Color RGB Loop

Look closely at the Eastern GOM

click image for Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Quoting wxchaser97:
TS Jose

Any similarities
TS Daniel

Oye...I still don't like Tropical Storm Jose...
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Nasty line about to move into PBCty

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1720, hope problems clear for you and me. good nite to you.
Can Emilia rebound or is she done for?
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
NAM
36HR

Interesting...I mentioned the possibility of an east Gulf of Mexico disturbance on my new blog update...but I was thinking more like 48 hours from now...
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guess oh was the Anonymous Raw General Manager was on monday night raw



Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114728
Quoting spathy:


What was she doing there?
Trying to get the DJ to play an 8 track of Liza M ?


I have no idea, all I know is I hate that song and it plays all day at work, so I hate it even more, lol.

I'm convinced though that at least half the music on popular radio is designed to destroy brain cells
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
1722. nigel20
Quoting VINNY04:
Ok everyone im signing out for today. hope your blogging problems clear up tonight. have a good one yall.

Same to you!
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1716 thats all I can do. You can still post images and links if you know the basic format. Images are and links I don't know.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927

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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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