July 2012: Earth's 4th warmest; update on 94L--a threat to the Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:19 PM GMT on August 18, 2012

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July 2012 was the globe's 4th warmest July on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated it the 12th warmest. July 2012 global land temperatures were the 3rd warmest on record, breaking a streak of three months (April, May, and June) when global land temperatures were the warmest on record. July 2012 global ocean temperatures were the 7th warmest on record, and it was the 329th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The last time global temperatures were below average was February 1985. Global satellite-measured temperatures in July for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 7th or 5th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of July in his July 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.



Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for July 2012. Most areas of the world experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including most of the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Australia, northern and western Europe, eastern Russia, Alaska, and southern South America were notably cooler than average. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

El Niño watch continues
Sea surface temperatures increased to 0.8°C above average as of August 13 in the equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America. Ocean temperatures have been near or above the 0.5°C above average threshold needed for a weak El Niño event since the beginning of July. However, winds, pressures, and cloud cover over the region have not responded in the fashion typically associated with an El Niño, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said that "The lack of a clear atmospheric response to the positive oceanic anomalies indicates ongoing ENSO-neutral conditions," in their August 9 El Niño discussion. They have issued an El Niño watch, and give a 71% chance that an El Niño event will be in place by September. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. Wind shear has been close to average over the tropical Atlantic since the beginning of hurricane season in June, though.


Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 (black line) compared to the previous record low year of 2007 (blue line) shows that 2012 is fast approaching all-time record territory. A big Arctic storm with a central pressure of 963 mb affected the ice during the first two weeks of August, causing a temporary downward spike in sea ice extent. Image credit: Danish Meteorological Institute.


Figure 3. View of the North Pole on August 17, 2012 from the North Pole Environmental Observatory shows plenty of melt water pools from the warm summer the North Pole has had.

Arctic sea ice falls to 2nd lowest extent in July, nears all-time record low during August
July 2012 Arctic sea ice extent reached its 2nd lowest July extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). During the first half of August, sea ice has undergone a spectacular decline, and we are on pace to break the all-time lowest sea ice extent record set in September 2007. As of August 17, the University of Bremen was showing that sea ice extent has already broken the all-time record; the Danish Meteorological Institute put the ice loss in 2nd place behind September 2007; and the National Snow and Ice Data Center put Arctic ice loss in 3rd place behind September of 2007 and 2011.

Update on 94L
A large tropical wave (Invest 94L) located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa is headed west at 15 - 20 mph. This storm is a threat to develop into a tropical storm that will affect the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Wednesday. The storm is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and is over waters of 28°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis. Satellite loops show that 94L has increased in organization this afternoon, with a growing amount of heavy thunderstorm activity and spin at middle levels of the atmosphere.


Figure 4. Afternoon satellite image of Invest 94L.

Forecast for 94L
The latest 2 pm EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will be low, 5 - 10 knots, and ocean temperatures will fluctuate around 28°C over the next five days, as 94L tracks westwards towards the Lesser Antilles. As is typical with storms making the crossing from Africa to the Antilles, dry air to the north will likely interfere with development, and the SHIPS model predicts increased dry air as 94L approaches the Lesser Antilles. However, with shear expected to be low, dry air may be less of an issue for 94L than it was for Ernesto or TD 7. The storm should maintain a nearly due west track through Monday night, to a point near 50°W, about 700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. At that point, a trough of low pressure passing to the north of 94L may be able to pull the storm to the northwest well to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles, as suggested by the latest 12Z (8 am EDT) run of the NOGAPS model. The 12Z UKMET model shows a more west-northwesterly motion resulting in a near miss of the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. Our two best performing models--the GFS and ECMWF--have both been taking 94L through the Lesser Antilles with every run for the past 24 hours, though. The latest 12Z run of both models now agree on the timing, with 94L arriving Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The BAMM model, which performed as well as the ECMWF and GFS at 5-day forecasts in 2011, is also showing a track through the Lesser Antilles. Given this agreement among our top three models for long-range forecasts, I give a 60% chance that 94L will pass through the Lesser Antilles. In their 2 pm EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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1055. yoboi
how do ya get to weather chat???
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Link

Is this the same model that shows that system hitting galveston?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I heard that they curse in weather chat.Is that even allowed?.

If it doesn't filter it.. then why not?
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Eyewall almost completely orange now.

Azores is doomed.
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Quoting Thing342:

140kt = 161.109 mph = 259.28 km/h


almost 260 kph for 160 mph...DAAANG!
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
Quoting Stormchaser121:

Link??


Link
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Another interesting factoid about the Azores is that they are considered the "key" to the location of Atlantis... allegedly Atlantis is 11 days sail from Gibraltar, and since the Azores [and the Madieras, to their southeast, for that matter] are volcanic, some have suggested they are all that is left of the great civilization... lol

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Quoting Articuno:

Lol.

I posted it first on chat.
Therefore, I am the best.

woot
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
FIM9 18z Keeps Helene? over Mexico and coming in weaker with 94l so far...


Link??
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1046. Grothar
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25392
Quoting Articuno:
Some random Tropical Cyclone Chaser: WHY WON'T NHC MAKE GORDON MAJOR HURRICANEZ!!11
NHC: *trollface*



Cuz they don't want to scare the bejeezus out of the Azoreans(?).
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

You stole my gif.

Lol.
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Quoting Articuno:
Some random Tropical Cyclone Chaser: WHY WON'T NHC MAKE GORDON MAJOR HURRICANEZ!!11
NHC: *trollface*


You stole my gif.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I heard that they curse in weather chat.Is that even allowed?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


thanks. so what is major hurricane 115 mph winds in kph?


184kph
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


DANG! that's cat 5 in mph. can't imagine what's cat 5 in kph

140kt = 161.109 mph = 259.28 km/h
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If anyone wants to talk tropics go to tropics chat...the other room is crazy!! LOL
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1038. etxwx
New ocean health index scores world 60 out of 100
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Excerpt: LOS ANGELES — After two years of collecting global data and developing models, scientists have a new, comprehensive way to measure the health of the world's oceans that recognizes humans as a part of an integrated marine ecosystem.

The scientists' report, published this week in the journal Nature, gave the oceans an overall score of 60 on a scale of 0 to 100. Among the world's 133 countries with ocean coastlines, scores ranged from 36 to 86; the United States scored slightly above average at 63.

The ocean health index measures 10 ways that people benefit from the oceans, including food, jobs, ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and pure aesthetic value. It also gives credit for clean waters and biodiversity, among other things.


The story continues here.

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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


DANG! that's cat 5 in mph. can't imagine what's cat 5 in kph


Low End (160 mph) = 255 kph

High End (185 mph) = 300 kph

I like stats.
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1036. trey33
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Another round of storms is developing in the central and eastern gulf this evening. They should be hanging around Tampa by sunup.


great.......ugh
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1035. Grothar
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I was asking about 115 mph to kph...?


In their bulletin the highest winds they are expecting is about 100 mph, which is about 160 km
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25392
Another round of storms is developing in the central and eastern gulf this evening. They should be hanging around Tampa by sunup.
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1033. yoboi
Quoting KoritheMan:
Stick around, folks. I got a blog a comin!


blog about all the rain in la today???
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Quoting Dakster:


Ex-Lax will help that.


Nice......
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Seems the male names are taking charge this year after being showed up by females.Alberto,Chris,Ernesto,Gordon.....,Isaac?.S tay tuned!.3 of them were hurricanes while Alberto was a strong T.S.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
Quoting Thing342:
100kt = 115.078mph = 185.2 km/h
Quoting HurrAndrew:


Roughly 170 to 180.


DANG! that's cat 5 in mph. can't imagine what's cat 5 in kph
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
Quoting JLPR2:


Thankfully only two. :P


and we know who the fraud is today
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1028. Dakster
Quoting mossyhead:
Did you reboot?


I restarted IE and FF as requested, but not a full reboot. I will try that now...
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1027. JLPR2
Quoting Grothar:


How many TropicalAnalysts do they have tonight. It must be difficult to argue with oneself.


Thankfully only two. :P
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8506
Hey Mossyhead... Mossy Head is well represented tonight. I'm off 1087.
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1025. JLPR2
Held up nicely through D-min.



Now, let the convection pop!
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8506
1024. Grothar
Quoting JLPR2:
Jeez, the chat is moving fast and not to mention off topic. :P

Never been a "Chat" guy.


How many TropicalAnalysts do they have tonight. It must be difficult to argue with oneself.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25392
I guess Gordon is too small to have any serious impacts on Madiera...
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Quoting Dakster:


Ex-Lax will help that.


XD
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Quoting Dakster:


I do and even upgraded it... It says it cannot connect to the server.
Did you reboot?
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1020. Dakster
Quoting KoritheMan:
Stick around, folks. I got a blog a comin!


Ex-Lax will help that.
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1019. LargoFl
............................................Well good night guys..was a great day posting today huh...stay safe everyone
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36983
1018. JLPR2
Jeez, the chat is moving fast and not to mention off topic. :P

Never been a "Chat" guy.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8506
Stick around, folks. I got a blog a comin!
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1015. Dakster
Quoting Methurricanes:
MPH, those where forcasts for Sao Miguel Island, which will be north of the Center of Gordon.



115 MPH = Approx. 185 KMH.
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100kt = 115.078mph = 185.2 km/h
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


thanks. so what is major hurricane 115 mph winds in kph?


Roughly 170 to 180.
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So uhh which of the gfs models are gonna be correct?

They is jumpin all over the place.
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Quoting Grothar:


They expect heavy winds and rain and the Island of St. Mary is supposed to have the strongest winds. And the islands should expect storm surges near 14 feet.



wow as wind storm for them
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114758
Quoting Methurricanes:
MPH, those where forcasts for Sao Miguel Island, which will be north of the Center of Gordon.


I was asking about 115 mph to kph...?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
Hey, Gordon look pretty darn good tonight! And cat 2. Was wondering if there'd be any surprises when I got in from work.

Prawns and shrimp....well, if any of you ever some to the UK be warned, they call all of it prawns...even tiny bay shrimp will be called prawns. And 'prawn cocktail' is just shrimp cocktail (though the sauce is different too, it's not like a horseradish tomato sauce- more like a pink mayo sauce).

Well, if 94L veers more N/W. maybe caribboy will finally get a brush of storm...but hopefully not TOO big or much :)
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


thanks.so what is major hurricane 115 mph winds in kph?
MPH, those where forcasts for Sao Miguel Island, which will be north of the Center of Gordon.
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1007. yoboi
Quoting Hurricanes101:


which would make it a major




taz says no......
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
1006. LargoFl
Quoting LargoFl:
..that GFS track is quite dangerous, storms there usually lift up into the gulf
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36983
Quoting yqt1001:


65mph-70mph
Quoting Methurricanes:
about 65-70 mph


thanks. so what is major hurricane 115 mph winds in kph?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871

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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.