September 2012 the 23rd warmest on record for the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:25 PM GMT on October 09, 2012

Share this Blog
32
+

September 2012 was the 23rd warmest September on record for the contiguous U.S, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in today's State of the Climate report. The month was also the driest on record for Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and was a top-ten driest month for six surrounding states. The warm September temperatures helped make the year-to-date period of January - September the warmest such period on record for the contiguous U.S.--a remarkable 1.2°F above the previous record. Even if the remainder of 2012 ranks historically in the coldest one-third of October - Decembers on record, 2012 will beat out 1998 for the warmest year on record in the U.S. The first week of October has been one of the coldest weeks of the year, relative to average, with record cold lows outpacing record warm highs by a ratio of four-to-one in the contiguous U.S. However, next week will be warmer than average for the U.S., and it is highly unlikely that October 2012 will rank in the coldest one-third of Octobers on record. The October 2011-September 2012 period was the warmest such 12-month period on record for the contiguous U.S., and was the 3rd warmest 12-month period on record. The six warmest 12-month periods since record keeping began in 1895 have all ended during 2012.


Figure 1. Year-to-date temperatures for the contiguous U.S. through September, compared to the previous record warmest years in U.S. history. Outcome scenarios based on persistence of temperature from October through December, the remaining three months of 2012, are shown. Even if the remainder of 2012 ranks historically in the coldest one-third of October - Decembers on record (dark blue line), 2012 will beat out 1998 for the warmest year on record. The data for 2012 are preliminary. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

Most extreme January - September 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 45% during the year-to-date January - September period. This is the highest value since CEI record-keeping began in 1910, and more than double the average value of 20%. Remarkably, 86% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically during the first nine months of 2012, and 79% of the U.S. of the U.S. had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10%. Both are records. The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions was 24%, which was the 8th greatest since 1910.


Figure 2. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for January - September shows that 2012 had the most extreme first nine months of the year on record, with 45% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% extreme weather.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 31 - 1

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 — Blog Index

Quoting TomballTXPride:

I'm pretty grounded with the GFS this year. I'm usually not, but this year has really showcased it's best stuff.


Yep it was the only one to nail Debby, and had Isaac in the bag first, but I will argue they all missed Michael til it was on its way to a major
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Red Bull balloon launch just aborted, too windy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Look what the 12z CMC does.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting unknowncomic:
Getting close to having a No Major Hurricane Hits Florida Again This Year Party. Halleluyah
Remember what Yogi Berra said comic....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 7544:
looks like the new gfs now takes 98l further west and south into the caribiean will the others follow latter on


It meanders for what seems an eternity around the Islands but It doesnt seem to develop for two weeks and clear of the Islands it becomes this

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thank you Dr. Masters
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks for update doc

faster and faster
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2 PM TWO.

A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 900 MILES EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS
IS PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. ANY DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS SHOULD BE SLOW TO OCCUR DUE TO MARGINALLY FAVORABLE
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...20
PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS
AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
20. 7544
looks like the new gfs now takes 98l further west and south into the caribiean will the others follow latter on
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6812
Quoting unknowncomic:
Getting close to having a No Major Hurricane Hits Florida Again This Year Party. Halleluyah


You went and did it! Now, we'll see a big one blow up and threaten the peninsula. Way to go Unknown.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thank you, Dr. Masters. Two blogs a day, wow.

Nasa was very happy with dear old Nadine, lol ...

NASA's HS3 Mission Thoroughly Investigates Long-Lived Hurricane Nadine
ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2012) —
NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 scientists had a fascinating tropical cyclone to study in long-lived Hurricane Nadine. NASA's Global Hawk aircraft has investigated Nadine five times during the storm's lifetime. Read more.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ScottLincoln:


Single month is weather, not internal climate variability nor climate change.
Unless it's hot,then we all know what it means.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NttyGrtty:
Thanks Jeff. We've dropped to 23rd...global cooling?
That's one possible interpretation--but only if the person interpreting were to ignore that whole part where Dr. Masters wrote, "The warm September temperatures helped make the year-to-date period of January - September the warmest such period on record for the contiguous U.S."

...or that part where he wrote, "2012 will beat out 1998 for the warmest year on record in the U.S."

...or that other part where he wrote, "The October 2011-September 2012 period was the warmest such 12-month period on record for the contiguous U.S."

...or the part where he wrote, "The six warmest 12-month periods since record keeping began in 1895 have all ended during 2012"

...or the part where he wrote, "The year-to-date period was the most extreme in U.S. history"

...or the part where he wrote, "This is the highest value since CEI record-keeping began in 1910, and more than double the average value of 20%"

...or the part where he wrote, "86% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically during the first nine months of 2012".

If you ignore those little facts--along with the additional facts that it was only the U.S. that Dr. Masters wrote about, and then only for the month of September--then, yes, you could possibly be forgiven for drawing the silly and entirely false conclusion that we're in a phase of "global cooling".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NttyGrtty:
Thanks Jeff. We've dropped to 23rd...global cooling?


Single month is weather, not internal climate variability nor climate change.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NttyGrtty:
Thanks Jeff. We've dropped to 23rd...global cooling?


Uh...no. :)

This is only for the US, not the rest of the world. Also, a single month is hardly indicative of a climate trend. As Dr. M stated, overall it's very likely that 2012 will be the warmest year since record keeping began, even exceeding 1998 and this wasn't even a super strong El Nino year like 1998 was.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Starting to think 98L won't bring much rain...
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6168
sept was warmer than average locally but june-aug. was cooler. e cen fl..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Getting close to having a No Major Hurricane Hits Florida Again This Year Party. Halleluyah
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thank You Dr.......Will be interesting to see if these "trends" continue into 2013 and 2014.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Twitter by Joe Bastardi.

Joe Bastardi @BigJoeBastardi 55m
10N 45 west system likely to be a classified cyclone by the time it reaches Puerto Rico on weekend, Major rains at least with it for them
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Jeff. We've dropped to 23rd...global cooling?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Am I the only one who still thinks 97L has a small chance? I've seen in the latest loops that it finally looks to be actually consolidating and getting a decent spin to it, rather than whatever convection it builds being immediately stripped from is circulation.

It's not done yet, so I'm not writing it off yet; systems this year have a nack for pulling out last-minute surprises.

98L is probably most definitely going to develop... it has a good chance of being a formidable system as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What a warm year this has been. Thanks for the update Doc! Also, think about laying off the caffeine. ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anomalous is the new normal...



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From previous blog

TWC naming criteria was revealed on WeatherBrains last night. Bryan Norcross revealed the criteria. He also said it was more of a marketing and a social media than a meteorological/science aim. The criteria is.....

1.Consider naming a storm if a storm will make significant impact,ice an snow.

2. Significant disruption to road and air travel.

3. If it was to cause life threatening conditions due to wind, snow, ice and cold.

This will be officially be revealed next week on TWC. There will also be another part to be released in about 2 weeks as it yet to be finalised.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dr. Masters, that last entry was the shortest lived blog on record on this site. haha
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
At the NWA 37th Annual Meeting. The SPC revealed it has an experimental program and could add a few more categories to it's outlooks, currently it's Slight, Moderate and High. The new scale could be Slight, Marginal, Enhanced, Moderate and High.


Also at the NWA conference it was announced new WX Radios will contain GPS locators so it will know where it is located in the forecast polygon.

Also announced the new GOES-R.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 31 - 1

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 — Blog Index

Top of Page

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.