October 2012: Earth's 5th warmest October on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:18 PM GMT on November 15, 2012

Share this Blog
36
+

October 2012 was the globe's 5th warmest October on record, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) today. NASA rated October 2012 the 2nd warmest October on record. Global temperature records begin in 1880. October 2012 global land temperatures were the 8th warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 4th warmest on record. October 2012 was the 332nd consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The last time Earth had a below-average October global temperature was in 1976, and the last below-average month of any kind was February 1985. Global satellite-measured temperatures in October 2012 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 7th or 2nd warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of October 2012 in his October 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for October 2012, the 5th warmest October for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. Several regions around the globe were much warmer than average, including northeastern and southwestern North America, most of South America, northern Africa, southeastern Europe, southwestern Asia, and far eastern Russia. A heat wave brought record warmth to large areas of Brazil and Bolivia. Record heat was also present in southern India. It was cooler than average in parts of northern Siberia, Mongolia, and northern China along with much of central North America. Western Canada was much cooler than average. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

El Niño watch discontinued
Neutral El Niño conditions exist in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures were 0.4°C above average as of November 12. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has cancelled their El Niño watch, and expects neutral El Niño conditions for the coming winter. Temperatures in the equatorial Eastern Pacific need to be 0.5°C above average or warmer to be considered an El Niño. El Niño conditions tend to bring cooler and wetter winter weather to the Southern U.S.


Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent in October 2012 (thick black line) was the second lowest since satellite records began in 1979. Sea ice extent has sunk to the lowest values on record for this time of year during the first half of November. The previous record low occurred in 2007 (magenta line.) Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and meteomodel.pl.

Arctic sea ice falls to 2nd lowest October extent on record
Arctic sea ice extent during October reached its second lowest extent in the 35-year satellite record, behind 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Beginning in late October, Arctic sea ice extent began setting new daily record lows again, and it is very likely we will have a new monthly record low for the month of November. I have much more to say about this year's extraordinary loss of Arctic sea ice in my October 20, 2012 post, Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low.

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: 56 - 6

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

Quoting MrMixon:


Looks like the North Slope of Alaska is supposed to be especially warm this winter. I wonder if that will affect oil production in the area? Up there they depend upon solidly frozen ground in the winter in order to work in areas that would otherwise be waterlogged (or just water).


Even above normal along the north slope of Alaska during the winter, temps will be well below zero. It'll be dark up there 24/7 very shortly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Anybody out there that denies global warming is, quite frankly, denying reality. The amount of evidence for GW significantly outnumbers the evidence against it...which isn't much besides an abundance of scientifically nonfactual statements produced by the uninformed.
As it has happened in the past,as it will also cool again in the future as it has in the past.
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
Anybody out there that denies global warming is, quite frankly, denying reality. The amount of evidence for GW significantly outnumbers the evidence against it...which isn't much besides an abundance of scientifically nonfactual statements produced by the uninformed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon. I apologize if this was posted but the CPC released new 1 and 3 month outlooks today. The general temp. idea is cool to the north, warm to the south/west, which shouldn't come as a big surprise.



3 month trims the blue in the north and expands the red further, and it shows cooler than average conditions in FL:


Precip is equal chances for most, except dry on the West Coast and moist in some parts of the East/Southeast:



Looks like the North Slope of Alaska is supposed to be especially warm this winter. I wonder if that will affect oil production in the area? Up there they depend upon solidly frozen ground in the winter in order to work in areas that would otherwise be waterlogged (or just water).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
remember in the spring blog was filled with el nino this and that. that fell on its face
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good afternoon. I apologize if this was posted but the CPC released new 1 and 3 month outlooks today. The general temp. idea is cool to the north, warm to the south/west, which shouldn't come as a big surprise.



3 month trims the blue in the north and expands the red further, and it shows cooler than average conditions in FL:


Precip is equal chances for most, except dry on the West Coast and moist in some parts of the East/Southeast:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Arisilde:
Relax Global Warming is over...

Link
Quoting yoboi:

it stopped 16 yrs ago??

Same rehashed nonsense that has already been spewed and debunked. Maybe even multiple times?

The MetOffice dataset, commonly referred to as HadCRUT, has the slowest rate of warming of any of the temperature datasets. And even with that slowest rate, it is still showing warming, and following the same trend as before:


For scientific and skeptic minded individuals, the following read would be helpful to refresh some climate statistics:
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/fifteen/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting calkevin77:
Looking at Dr. Masters' L&O anomaly image it appears that a major part of the E. Pacific was colder than normal for month of October. I know that mets have updated their forecasts to say an El Nino pattern will most likely not setup. I sure hope a La Nina is not on the horizon. I'm curious to know if there is a month-to-month animated version of that graphic available.


ask taz i think he that graph..
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2594
What's up with all these 'H's in the US. A little weird to not see any Low's? Any answers for this? It is November and it should be more unsettled than this at this time of year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looking at Dr. Masters' L&O anomaly image it appears that a major part of the E. Pacific was colder than normal for month of October. I know that mets have updated their forecasts to say an El Nino pattern will most likely not setup. I sure hope a La Nina is not on the horizon. I'm curious to know if there is a month-to-month animated version of that graphic available.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Arisilde:
Relax Global Warming is over...

Link


I never knew we even had global warming to begin with. News to me !!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yoboi:


it was 10 when he was elected now over 16 trillion now can blame 6 trillion in 4 yrs with him...


Good point, yoboi. I don't know if your figures are correct, but there's something operating here that people ought to know about - the exponential curve.

When you keep on multiplying by a given multiplier, you reach a point where it 'takes off vertically'. The interest on the national debt has reached that point. It's no surprise that the increase has gotten so extreme in Obama's presidency.

I have no idea what happens when we reach the vertical take off point, but google 'exponential curve' on google images.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MrMixon:


Well, that's a testable hypothesis. Contrails certainly do cause clouds under the right conditions, but of course cirrus and stratus clouds form all the time without the aid of contrails.

Since you have an interest in this topic I think one possible way to suss out the overall effect of contrails on cloud formation is to find a location where there is an area of considerable air traffic adjacent to an area with much less air traffic. If you can confirm that atmospheric conditions at both locations are roughly the same through time you could then keep track of cloud density at both locations over a long period of time and record your results. I'd love to see someone do this (or, if it's already been done - I've love to read the results).




Is your assertion of reduced rainfall speculation or do you (or someone you know) have numbers to back it up? I'm not being snippy... I'm genuinely curious.


The amount of cirrus, on satellite photos, is greater in the northern hemisphere than the southern. There is more human activity in the northern, and more soot. Much of the soot in the stratosphere must come from aircraft. The cirrus around industrialized nations also shows up less white on satellite photos than around the rest of the world.
About your second question: clouds that produce rainfall must lift through the atmosphere. There have been studies, though I don't have them at my finger tips, that show that smog reduces rainfall. Smog contributes to stagnant air and stagnant air is not rising and so rains less. Geoengineering in the upper atmosphere has been shown to decrease rainfall by about 20 percent. Airport clouds are small scale, inadvertent geoengineering.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Arisilde:
Relax Global Warming is over...

Link



it stopped 16 yrs ago??
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2594
Quoting yonzabam:


Well off topic, but it's nothing to do with whoever happens to be your incumbent president.

The global economic recession, soon to be a depression far worse than the 30s, is due to a number of factors. But the main factor is debt. I don't know what % of tax revenue goes towards paying just the interest on the $16 trillion US national debt, but it's a major factor weighing down the economy. And it all started with Reagan almost tripling the debt from $1 trillion to just under $3 trillion in his 8 years in office. Can't blame Obama for that.

Other factors are state, municipal and personal debt, the collapse in property prices, immigration, outsourcing of manufacturing industry to the east, and an increasingly aged and unproductive population creating huge unfunded pensions and Medicaid liabilities. In fact, you might call it a 'perfect storm'.

Still want to blame Obama?


As someone from New York City, you would probably guess what side I would take on a political issue, and I'm very political, but we come here to discuss weather! Can we keep it on topic please? There are plenty of forums on the net where you can vent on politics. Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yonzabam:


I'm surprised that he reduced albedo at the poles as a result of Arctic Ocean ice melt hasn't had a more pronounced effect on northern hemisphere temperatures.

Siberia has warmed more than ny other place on the planet due to reduced albedo as a result of reduced snow cover.


I think there must be a lag from albedo reduction to area warming, maybe because the deep ocean currents are keeping the water cold on the surface.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42264
Quoting wxmod:


That is what they are, but I suggest that the cirrus-stratus may not be there if it weren't for the airport constantly feeding them with soot.


Well, that's a testable hypothesis. Contrails certainly do cause clouds under the right conditions, but of course cirrus and stratus clouds form all the time without the aid of contrails.

Since you have an interest in this topic I think one possible way to suss out the overall effect of contrails on cloud formation is to find a location where there is an area of considerable air traffic adjacent to an area with much less air traffic. If you can confirm that atmospheric conditions at both locations are roughly the same through time you could then keep track of cloud density at both locations over a long period of time and record your results. I'd love to see someone do this (or, if it's already been done - I've love to read the results).


Quoting wxmod:These clouds are widespread and are affecting the global weather patterns and decreasing rainfall locally.


Is your assertion of reduced rainfall speculation or do you (or someone you know) have numbers to back it up? I'm not being snippy... I'm genuinely curious.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Relax Global Warming is over...

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2012 season overview reposted mostly cuz it was too much work to disappear into the back blogs almost immediately after it was posted due to the appearance of a new blog.

954 CybrTeddy: Looking at the latest models, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Hurricane season is probably over. No models show any development, and the GFS has dropped development through 384 hours, which puts us in December.

That would put the seasonal stats at 19-10-1,
with >55 billion dollars in damages, mostly from Sandy and some from Isaac.

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season is the 3rd most active hurricane season ever recorded, tied with last year, 2011, 2010, 1995, and 1887. This is the only time in recorded history that there have been three consecutive seasons with more than 16 named storms. This operates under the assumption that there will be no more named storms this season, or named storms declared in the post season.

This season began very early and was unusual from the start, with for the first time since 1908 we saw two storms develop before June, and even more unusual with the fact that we were at Debby by June. However, no storms developed in July. The assumption was at the beginning of August that we would only have 12 named storms this year at least, this turned out to be completely wrong.

Odds are that Hurricane Sandy will probably be upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, and possibly even Hurricane Gordon, so I will hold off on commenting on the low amount of major hurricanes compared to seasonal activity. It is slightly possible that Beryl will be upgraded to a hurricane upon landfall in Florida, though there is little evidence to do so other than some high SFMR reports.

That would put the seasonal total more like 19-10-3 with two additional major hurricanes.

The 'it only takes one' factor came into play this year with devastating results. Hurricane Sandy became the 2nd most destructive hurricane to ever hit the United States with over 50 billion dollars in damages, well over Ike and Andrew's totals.

The names to be retired this year is Sandy, and probably Isaac (2 billion dollars in damages to Louisiana).

We have only 15 days left in the season, so here's to a peaceful post-season after the season ends, and to a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dr. Master's Rules of the Road:

11. Political comments are allowed, as long as they're in reference to science,
science policy, or the blog topic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MrMixon:


Those appear to be regular stratus or cirrus clouds with embedded contrails (which would make sense - the same conditions that result in cloud formation would encourage long-lived contrails).


That is what they are, but I suggest that the cirrus-stratus may not be there if it weren't for the airport constantly feeding them with soot. These clouds are widespread and are affecting the global weather patterns and decreasing rainfall locally.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yonzabam:


Well off topic, but it's nothing to do with whoever happens to be your incumbent president.

The global economic recession, soon to be a depression far worse than the 30s, is due to a number of factors. But the main factor is debt. I don't know what % of tax revenue goes towards paying just the interest on the $16 trillion US national debt, but it's a major factor weighing down the economy. And it all started with Reagan almost tripling the debt from $1 trillion to just under $3 trillion in his 8 years in office. Can't blame Obama for that.

Other factors are state, municipal and personal debt, the collapse in property prices, immigration, outsourcing of manufacturing industry to the east, and an increasingly aged and unproductive population creating huge unfunded pensions and Medicaid liabilities.

Still want to blame Obama?
Lets add the cost of two wars, natural disasters, government bailouts and deregulation.......I believe I,m going to puke.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22690
airport clouds, China today. MODIS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The rough weather near the Carolinas may be there for quite some time...90 hours GFS..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22690
Quoting Jedkins01:



Yeah I was referring to Central Florida, yes there is a big difference between here and down there. I've seen many days where we have highs in the 50's and 60's during the winter here but it still manages to crack the low to mid 70's down there. It's almost like a barrier. I personally like Central and North Florida better because we still have that tropical-like feel here much of the year but we still get a nice long change in season instead of the same warm weather pattern 90% of the year. I don't like real cold, that is northern cold with snow and cold cloudy days. But I don't like endless warmth either. 80's to me get old and boring if you have them too often. It's nice to have a colder season with 70's, 60's and even 50's for highs can be nice as long as its not all the time.


It is currently 80 and partly cloudy in Ft Myers Jedkins. Our local mets are saying the cold front won't make it here until late Friday night/Saturday morning. Next week we are forcast to not make it out of the 70's for highs
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxmod:
airport clouds


Those appear to be regular stratus or cirrus clouds with embedded contrails (which would make sense - the same conditions that result in cloud formation would encourage long-lived contrails).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
The Mid-November update of the ENSO Models is out and shows a nice consensus of them being at Neutral thru early Summer 2013. The only model that is not in that consensus is the CFSv2 that goes to Weak El Nino by early Summer.

I think Nino loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.......Hills that is..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22690
airport clouds off England today. MODIS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Mid-November update of the ENSO Models is out and shows a nice consensus of them being at Neutral thru early Summer 2013. The only model that is not in that consensus is the CFSv2 that goes to Weak El Nino by early Summer.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting luvtogolf:
Nice jobs report out today. Why am I not surprised one week after our so-called president is re-elected. And let's not blame it on weather. Put the blame where it belongs and that is our leader.
Please do not start Luvtogolf. New blog with many weather related topics to cover.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22690
airport clouds
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Doc.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22690
Quoting wxmod:
This shows how the arctic sea ice fluctuated around "normal" until around AD2000. Then it started departing more and more away from average. China has been a member of World Trade Organization since 11 December 2001. It is given special status as a "developing country". When it was admitted to the WTO it was considered the worlds third largest economy.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/se a.ice.anomaly.timeseries.jpg



I'm surprised that he reduced albedo at the poles as a result of Arctic Ocean ice melt hasn't had a more pronounced effect on northern hemisphere temperatures.

Siberia has warmed more than ny other place on the planet due to reduced albedo as a result of reduced snow cover.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanejunky:


It also depends on where in Florida you are. Here in SW Florida it is hotter longer. I know this because I lived in Tampa for a few years when I was younger and the climate is different from Tampa northward than it is in South Florida. You can tell from the flora fauna alone as it changes dramatically just north of Tampa.



Yeah I was referring to Central Florida, yes there is a big difference between here and down there. I've seen many days where we have highs in the 50's and 60's during the winter here but it still manages to crack the low to mid 70's down there. It's almost like a barrier. I personally like Central and North Florida better because we still have that tropical-like feel here much of the year but we still get a nice long change in season instead of the same warm weather pattern 90% of the year. I don't like real cold, that is northern cold with snow and cold cloudy days. But I don't like endless warmth either. 80's to me get old and boring if you have them too often. It's nice to have a colder season with 70's, 60's and even 50's for highs can be nice as long as its not all the time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:
Man, forecasts have really struggled locally as of late. Yesterday they had our area getting up into the low 80's today and sunny. Well instead we are struggling to get above 70, and cloudy with a light but cool north breeze. It seems people have a bit of a "balmy Florida bias" as I call it around here. It seems forecasters are slow to show cooler air in their forecast more than a day or two in advance, but have no problem forecasting 82 7 days out. I'm quite sure the upper 70's forecast early next week won't materialize either. Low to mid 70's seems more likely :)

I know its Florida, and we don't have cold winters most of the time, but we are often cooler than you might expect. Everyone I've talked to that vacations here says its "cooler down here than they show on the weather". I don't think its a coincidence they say that.

BTW, contrary to what many think, its generally hot and humid only May into the first half of October, we get plenty of nice cool breezes late October through March, with occasional colder spells and warmer spells thrown in between.


It also depends on where in Florida you are. Here in SW Florida it is hotter longer. I know this because I lived in Tampa for a few years when I was younger and the climate is different from Tampa northward than it is in South Florida. You can tell from the flora fauna alone as it changes dramatically just north of Tampa.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Man, forecasts have really struggled locally as of late. Yesterday they had our area getting up into the low 80's today and sunny. Well instead we are struggling to get above 70, and cloudy with a light but cool north breeze. It seems people have a bit of a "balmy Florida bias" as I call it around here. It seems forecasters are slow to show cooler air in their forecast more than a day or two in advance, but have no problem forecasting 82 7 days out. I'm quite sure the upper 70's forecast early next week won't materialize either. Low to mid 70's seems more likely :)

I know its Florida, and we don't have cold winters most of the time, but we are often cooler than you might expect. Everyone I've talked to that vacations here says its "cooler down here than they show on the weather". I don't think its a coincidence they say that.

BTW, contrary to what many think, its generally hot and humid only May into the first half of October, we get plenty of nice cool breezes late October through March, with occasional colder spells and warmer spells thrown in between. Florida heat isn't as long lasting as we get credited for.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Dr. Masters!

WunderGirl12
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 606
Quoting ILwthrfan:


Not necessarily, many other factors can easily trump neutral conditions that could lead to a snowy season. If the current pattern were to hold throughout most of this winter as we have seen the last 3 to 4 weeks, then the Northeast WILL get its fair share of the fluffy stuff.


Thank you! I don't mind the snow. I missed it so much last year when all we got was a lousy 4". I just hope Mother Nature doesn't deliver anymore hurricane force winds. Can't say I love those after experiencing Sandy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxmod:
This shows how the arctic sea ice fluctuated around "normal" until around AD2000. Then it started departing more and more away from average. China has been a member of World Trade Organization since 11 December 2001. It is given special status as a "developing country". When it was admitted to the WTO it was considered the worlds third largest economy.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/se a.ice.anomaly.timeseries.jpg



That's a great graph wx..
I'm not sure how China is shown on here..
What do you see that I'm missing?
TIA.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6916
This shows how the arctic sea ice fluctuated around "normal" until around AD2000. Then it started departing more and more away from average. China has been a member of World Trade Organization since 11 December 2001. It is given special status as a "developing country". When it was admitted to the WTO it was considered the worlds third largest economy.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/se a.ice.anomaly.timeseries.jpg

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the re-update and new info Dr. Masters
El Ninio watch discontinued..
Arctic sea ice extent in October 2012 was the second lowest since satellite records began in 1979...
October 2012 was the globe's 5th warmest October on record, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) today...
Thanks again
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6916
Thanks Dr. Masters. Mother Nature giveth and taketh away. The SE might need some drought relief again by the Spring if we don't get some rain this Winter.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Dr. Masters.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SouthShoreLI:
Thank you. What does this mean for the Northeast now? Will we have another snow drought like last year?


Not necessarily, many other factors can easily trump neutral conditions that could lead to a snowy season. If the current pattern were to hold throughout most of this winter as we have seen the last 3 to 4 weeks, then the Northeast WILL get its fair share of the fluffy stuff.
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1540
Wow!

That blog switched out fast!

Did the Nuth Kay-linah Senate pass a law against making observations of storms off the coast now?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 56 - 6

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7Blog 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.

Local Weather

Overcast
37 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron