Summer 2012: 3rd hottest in U.S. history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:48 PM GMT on September 10, 2012

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The summer of 2012 was the 3rd hottest summer in U.S. history, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in today's State of the Climate report. June 2012 ranked as the 14th warmest June on record, August was the 16th warmest August on record, and July was the warmest month of any month in U.S. history, bringing the average summer temperature of the contiguous U.S. just 0.2°F shy of the hottest summer on record--the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936. Second place is held by 2011, which was just 0.1°F cooler than the summer of 1936. So far in 2012, we've had the warmest March on record, 3rd warmest April, 2nd warmest May, and warmest July. These remarkably warm months have helped push temperatures in the contiguous U.S. to the warmest on record for the year-to-date period of January - August. Temperatures this year in the U.S. have been so far above the previous record--a remarkable 1°F for the year-to-date period--that even if the remainder of 2012 ranks historically in the coldest one-third of September - Decembers on record, 2012 will beat out 1998 for the warmest year in history. Reliable weather records for the U.S. go back to 1895. The most recent 12-month period of September 2011 - August 2012 was the 4th warmest 12-month period in U.S. history, exceeded only by the 12-month periods ending in July, June, and May of this year.


Figure 1. The summer of 2012 was the warmest on record for Wyoming and Colorado, and ranked in the top-ten warmest on record for 22 other states. For the Contiguous U.S., it was the 3rd warmest summer since record keeping began in 1895. Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).


Figure 2. Year-to-date temperatures for the contiguous U.S. through August, compared to the previous record warmest years in U.S. history. Outcome scenarios based on persistence of temperature from September through December, the remaining five months of 2012, are shown. Even if the remainder of 2012 ranks historically in the coldest one-third of September - Decembers on record, 2012 will beat out 1998 for the warmest year in history. The January-August 2012 contiguous U.S. average temperature was 58.7°F, 4.0°F above average. The data for 2012 are preliminary. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

Most extreme January - August period on record
The year-to-date period was the most extreme in U.S. history, according to 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. The CEI was 47% during the year-to-date January - August period. This is the highest value since CEI record-keeping began in 1910, and more than double the average value of 20%. Remarkably, 85% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically during the first eight months of 2012, and 75% 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 22%, which was the 11th greatest since 1910.


Figure 3. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for January - August shows that 2012 had the most extreme first eight months of the year on record, with 47% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% extreme weather.

Jeff Masters

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It is a beeaauuutttiiiffull day here in eastern NC..fall is here and ding dong the humidity witch is dead and I am loving it! Hope everyone is having a great day so far!
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133. VR46L
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


You always make good points but aren't very nice about it.
Isn't there some way you could be just maybe a tad bit nicer?
No one joins a group they feel alienated from..


I agree with part of that statement you made ...
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132. JLPR2
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
PR........I grew up in Xenia Ohio... I experienced a terrible tornado that destroyed my town on April 3rd, 1974. As a young girl it has still left a lasting impression. I also experience Andrew, Francis, Jeanne, and Wilma.. I know catastrophies...180 MPH is terrible no matter where one lives


Yes it would be terrible and very scary, but I repeat, a reinforced concrete house would fare pretty well. I don't see your point.
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Quoting wpb:
one of the season fish storms has made an alley way for every other storm to go out to sea.td 12 and the followerscontinue on route . no good for trackers but good for life and property.
I feel better now
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lived in puerto rico for 15 yrs 70s&80s closest to a hit was hugo and it just brushed the island. everytime it was either north or south. times change.
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5008
From:
NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center

There has been discussion about including other hurricane hazards, especially storm surge, in the same scale as wind. NHC has recognized the importance of storm surge since our inception and has been a part of several significant advances in forecasting storm surge. NHC is currently experimenting with two new approaches intended to help communities prepare for and respond to surge threats.

Here is the link:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/news/20120910_pa_surgeSca le.pdf
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


You always make good points but aren't very nice about it.
Isn't there some way you could be just maybe a tad bit nicer?
No one joins a group they feel alienated from..
GeorgiaStormz.......I just tolerate.........LOL
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127. wpb
one of the season fish storms has made an alley way for every other storm to go out to sea.td 12 and the followerscontinue on route . no good for trackers but good for life and property.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Remember, asking a person to provide valid sources isn't "being rude"; it's just seeking the truth. (Now, you said that Ireland had been cooler than normal; I pointed out, quite correctly, that Ireland makes up just a tiny, infinitesimal portion of the planet's surface, so no assumptions about the state of the global climate could be based on what happens there over the short term. If you tell me where that's incorrect, I'll address it.)

In the meantime: have a good day...


You always make good points but aren't very nice about it.
Isn't there some way you could be just maybe a tad bit nicer?
No one joins a group they feel alienated from..
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting CaribBoy:


You already had fun with Isaac. Now It's my turn.. I want a GOOD TS!!!!! Damn why is that so hard to get


I confirm: Gaudeloupe and all the islands South of it had fun
Florida and Missipii area got fun.

In the northern leewards island, not fun since the beginning of the season, nothing to have fun ...
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In summary:

The globe, as a whole, is continuously warming

Some parts of the world would have warm and cold anomalies, due to the kinks formed by the polar jet stream.

These anomalies may reach record breaking proportions (whether its warm or cold record, but with warm records at greater frequencies)

While the polar jet stream kinks are not that unusual, problems arise when the kinks persist for a long time, resulting in drought condition (ex. Russian drought and wildfire 2010, North American drought 2012) and flooding in the area under low pressure system (Pakistan Flood 2010)

The loss of arctic sea ice was tied to the meandering pattern that the polar jet stream is currently exhibiting, so expect more extreme weather patterns in the future (at least in the Northern Hemisphere where the majority of you folks live, I like my hemisphere as it is right now, thank you)

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123. VR46L
Quoting Neapolitan:
Remember, asking a person to provide valid sources isn't "being rude"; it's just seeking the truth. (Now, you said that Ireland had been cooler than normal; I pointed out, quite correctly, that Ireland makes up just a tiny, infinitesimal portion of the planet's surface, so no assumptions about the state of the global climate could be based on what happens there over the short term. If you tell me where that's incorrect, I'll address it.)

In the meantime: have a good day...


Just before you go The UK has similar results released today .. I posted the link earlier and a good day to you too :)
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Quoting jeffs713:

Georgia purchased the anti-storm technology from Tampa, didn't they?


No but its something, we cant really blame the appalachians like NC can, and we dont have any major geographic obstacle on the GA/AL border but its something.
The only reason the western tier of GA counties even has more tornado warnings is that the storms are in AL and get their warning extended to GA, but they die and the GA warning ends up being a bust much of the time.

We just call it the state line curse, storms chug along and promptly die nearly exactly on the border.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting Neapolitan:
Remember, asking a person to provide valid sources isn't "being rude"; it's just seeking the truth. (Now, you said that Ireland had been cooler than normal; I pointed out, quite correctly, that Ireland makes up just a tiny, infinitesimal portion of the planet's surface, so no assumptions about the state of the global climate could be based on what happens there over the short term. If you tell me where that's incorrect, I'll address it.)

In the meantime: have a good day...
It's the pubs and ale Nea. Remember, It's Ireland
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Quoting CaribBoy:
Guys be honest! If the blog is so slow, it's just because the tropics are BORING with all theses fishes. Sure it would be MUCH FASTER if a storm was centered around 16N 58W... going W-WNW


At 2 mph speed
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



At age 15, i agree with You instead of Jeff on this one..

But also in Cariboy's defense, i dont think he is looking for a major hurricane or anything, i think he said a cat1 or so for rain purposes, i guess he is so concerned about rain..
I'm not sure if he even is a kid either.


Same can be said for wunderkidcayman...
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Quoting PRweathercenter:
if you've seen a tornado chase video,people have been caught in winds of over 200 mph and nothing has happened,because they were under an over pass, although overpasses are a poor chose for refuge, the point is that over passes won't go anywhere, the same can me said about homes here.
PR........I grew up in Xenia Ohio... I experienced a terrible tornado that destroyed my town on April 3rd, 1974. As a young girl it has still left a lasting impression. I also experience Andrew, Francis, Jeanne, and Wilma.. I know catastrophies...180 MPH is terrible no matter where one lives
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Do you have a paper bag over your head?
No, I picked the name because I liked the name and seemed like more comedy was needed on this blog.
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Quoting VR46L:


The quote and comment aimed at me ...

The fact that Ireland had their worst summers in years which you were extremely rude about . but the UK met has now released similar results ...Maybe its start of a trend
Remember, asking a person to provide valid sources isn't "being rude"; it's just seeking the truth. (Now, you said that Ireland had been cooler than normal; I pointed out, quite correctly, that Ireland makes up just a tiny, infinitesimal portion of the planet's surface, so no assumptions about the state of the global climate could be based on what happens there over the short term. If you tell me where that's incorrect, I'll address it.)

In the meantime: have a good day...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
I always said there was a state line curse between Alabama and GA killing all storms on the GA border...
This map proves it, its not even a gradual dropoff, its quite sudden at the state line.
Dixie alley has had the most tornadoes

Last 10 years of Tornado Warnings (Each warning with 5% opacity)

Georgia purchased the anti-storm technology from Tampa, didn't they?
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Really? 180 MPH? Really?
if you've seen a tornado chase video,people have been caught in winds of over 200 mph and nothing has happened,because they were under an over pass, although overpasses are a poor chose for refuge, the point is that over passes won't go anywhere, the same can me said about homes here.
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113. JLPR2
Quoting PRweathercenter:
Puerto Rico Is very well prepared for Hurricanes, Even a 180 mph Category 5 Hurricane would do nothing to Concrete homes, except rip the paint off, like sand blasted


Though there are many houses that aren't made of concrete and or in flood prone areas. :\

But yes, in 1928 San Felipe II brought 160mph winds and by that time my grandmother was 5, she lived in a concrete house that didn't get any real damage.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
I always said there was a state line curse between Alabama and GA killing all storms on the GA border...
This map proves it, its not even a gradual dropoff, its quite sudden at the state line.

Dixie alley has had the most tornadoes


Last 10 years of Tornado Warnings (Each warning with 5% opacity)


The western tier of GA counties has more tornadoes than counties just to their east and TN counties on the border with GA have significantly more tornado warnings than GA counties have had....its depressing.
A tornado that I experienced when passing through downtown Miami on May 12, 1997. Very bizarre..people in Downtown Miami where running for cover.

Link
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Quoting PRweathercenter:
Puerto Rico Is very well prepared for Hurricanes, Even a 180 mph Category 5 Hurricane would do nothing to Concrete homes, except rip the paint off, like sand blasted
Really? 180 MPH? Really?
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Quoting JLPR2:
You guys need to understand, if you live in a reinforced concrete house in a non flooding area anything below a three is just a show. XD

Though being without power and or water for days, even weeks, sucks.
Puerto Rico Is very well prepared for Hurricanes, Even a 180 mph Category 5 Hurricane would do nothing to Concrete homes, except rip the paint off, like sand blasted
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Being that 1936 was the warmest summer ever, does that mean we were experiencing GW 76 years ago? Sarcasm obviously
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Quoting CaribBoy:


Simply because hurricanes DON'T do much damage to my island as you guys may think. My home went through Hugo, Luis, Marilyn, Bertha, Jose, Lenny, Georges, Earl, Omar... and the roof is still there (like most other homes here). Lots of peple here like when a hurricane is coming because they bring a break to the usual boring weather. And damage, in any... are financed by insurances. Everyone here have home insurance! So once again : a tropical storm or a weak hurricane IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR USE.


That's not a reason to champion for more though at all. You've had Hurricane Earl recently as well, and Irene, so after all that I bet you can live without a hurricane for a year.. And I doubt highly that everyone on the island agrees with your mind set.
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107. BVI
Quoting CaribBoy:
Well.. still hoping for good rain. But meanwhile, have a good day!


Yes indeed, it is so hot, dry and dusty here in Tortola, we really need some rain soon!!
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.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Well.. still hoping for good rain. But meanwhile, have a good day!
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If you live on an island built with good infrastructure you usually fare well even in a major hurricane. Just make sure you stock up, as power will likely remain out for weeks.
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I always said there was a state line curse between Alabama and GA killing all storms on the GA border...
This map proves it, its not even a gradual dropoff, its quite sudden at the state line.

Dixie alley has had the most tornadoes


Last 10 years of Tornado Warnings (Each warning with 5% opacity)


The western tier of GA counties has more tornadoes than counties just to their east and TN counties on the border with GA have significantly more tornado warnings than GA counties have had....its depressing.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
102. VR46L
Quoting Neapolitan:
Not sure what you mean by "added that second part". At any rate, would you be so kind as remind me of which "valid point" we wouldn't listen to? Because, frankly, the only agenda I have is find out and publicizing the truth, so if I've somehow missed something, I'd really like the chance to correct that oversight.


The quote and comment aimed at me ...

The fact that Ireland had their worst summers in years which you were extremely rude about . but the UK met has now released similar results ...Maybe its start of a trend
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Quoting CaribBoy:


Cat 1's do virtually nothing here... except for some minor tree damage
Good for you
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Was he swearing at us Georgia?


He is swearing about recurving hurricanes...i guess admin isnt around.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
A Cat 1 can do significant damage........Been there


Cat 1's do virtually nothing here... except for some minor tree damage
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



5 yrs and 2500 commments later and you still dont know better than this....
Was he swearing at us Georgia?
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You guys need to understand, if you live in a reinforced concrete house in a non flooding area anything below a three is just a show. XD

Though being without power and or water for days, even weeks, sucks.
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Quoting CaribBoy:


@#%$!!!!



5 yrs and 2500 commments later and you still dont know better than this....
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting JLPR2:
Michael is about to get blasted by Leslie's outflow.

Just goes to show you it's not always the bigger the stronger, more like the opposite the smaller the stronger, i.e. Andrew and Charley.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I don't necessarily agree with that, look at TAWx13 for example, he went through Hurricane Irene and he knows how bad and scary these storms can be, same could be said for anyone who was 14-15 in 2004 who went through Charley, then Frances, Jeanne, and in 2005 Wilma. Same could be said for teens who went through Katrina. I'm surprised CaribBoy's need for a hurricane hasn't been quenched, given how many hurricanes have rolled through his area instead of at the United States.


Simply because hurricanes DON'T do much damage to my island as you guys may think. My home went through Hugo, Luis, Marilyn, Bertha, Jose, Lenny, Georges, Earl, Omar... and the roof is still there (like most other homes here). Lots of peple here like when a hurricane is coming because they bring a break to the usual boring weather. And damage, in any... are financed by insurances. Everyone here have home insurance! So once again : a tropical storm or a weak hurricane IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR USE.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Here is a question for the more winter savy forecasters like Levi, judging by the current average SSTs, the strong troughs already dipping down the CONUS, and the developing El Nino, will this winter be cold for the SE CONUS? I recall back in 2009-2010 the winter actually got cold enough to cause the farmers to drain the aquifer in my area and sinkholes started opening up everywhere.

I'm not a winter expert (by any means), but I do know a little.. with the higher SSTs, and an El Nino, more low pressure systems will form off the TX coast, and follow the general coastline going NE (crossing over FL/GA), and turning into Nor'easters as they go towards the Arctic. This means the SE will tend to be cool and wet, while the NE will just be wet. The great plains will tend to be drier (and somewhat warmer), but there will be significant short-term cold outbreaks due to the amplified mean jet stream.
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Quoting MrMixon:


"Gloom Merchants"? What is this, junior high?

Don't let emotions cloud your judgement. Review the data for yourself. There are dishonest brokers in every political argument, but the beautiful thing about this modern age is that we all have access to some amazing data and we can do our own research:



Year to date anomaly map:



I am just saying that I have just gone through the coldest summer in 40 years which is unprecedented and maybe a sign of things to come . Climate goes in cycles and maybe next year there will be more of the world returning the results that I just posted ...and that these results should not be completely dismissed and maybe part of a growing trend ... I guess the Gloom merchants may have been a cheap shot but when encouraging temperatures in some part of the world are dismissed out of hand makes me wonder why...
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Quoting VR46L:
By the Way Post 40 You added that second part ... I brought a valid point that you and others didnt want to hear as it did not suit your agenda
Not sure what you mean by "added that second part". At any rate, would you be so kind as remind me of which "valid point" we wouldn't listen to? Because, frankly, the only agenda I have is to find out and publicize the truth, so if I've somehow missed something, I'd really like the chance to correct that oversight.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
Again? Really? Someone should be getting a 1-2 day timeout.
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Quoting CaribBoy:


we do have insurance :)
Good for you
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Michael is about to get blasted by Leslie's outflow.

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Quoting CaribBoy:


You're such a good boy :-) Though.. you have to know the my area doesn't fear tropical cyclones as long as they don't get stronger than CAT2
Huh?
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
jeff, I guess if he is that young it's his parents that endure the pain monetarily and he is off with his friends having fun.


we do have insurance :)
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


I'm close to Marietta, GA. Just north of it.
Cobb County
Nice area, Spent many days camping at Redtop Mountain State Park in Cartersville..Lovely area, my niece lives in Canton.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I don't necessarily agree with that, look at TAWx13 for example, he went through Hurricane Irene and he knows how bad and scary these storms can be, same could be said for anyone who was 14-15 in 2004 who went through Charley, then Frances, Jeanne, and in 2005 Wilma. Same could be said for teens who went through Katrina. I'm surprised CaribBoy's need for a hurricane hasn't been quenched, given how many hurricanes have rolled through his area instead of at the United States.


Well, I was trying to give CaribBoy the benefit of the doubt. From a clinical perspective, a person is usually able to relate concrete and abstract concepts around the age of 12-13. I just thought bumping the age to 14-15 would be a bit less insulting, but still within the realm of appropriate development. Some people don't grasp the relationship of concrete and abstract concepts until 16 or 17... and yet others never do.

Also, going through a hurricane changes your perspective, regardless of age. I'm 32, and I thought hurricanes were kinda exciting too... until I went through Ike (60 miles inland, mind you). Now... I wouldn't wish that experience on my worst enemy, and hurricanes are FAR from "exciting" now.
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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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