Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:57 PM GMT on December 18, 2012
November 2012 was the globe's 5th warmest November on record, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Monday. NASA rated November 2012 the 2nd warmest November on record. Global temperature records begin in 1880. November 2012 global land temperatures were the 6th warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were also the 6th warmest on record. Including this November, the 10 warmest Novembers have occurred in the past 12 years, and November 2012 was the 333rd consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The last time Earth had a below-average November global temperature was in 1976, and the last below-average month of any kind was February 1985--during the Reagan administration, when the cost of a first-class stamp was 20 cents. Global satellite-measured temperatures in November 2012 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 11th or 3rd warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively. The September - October - November season of 2012 (fall in the Northern Hemisphere, spring in the Southern Hemisphere) was the globe's second warmest such period on record, behind 2005. The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during November 2012 was the fifth largest on record for the month, and marked the fourth consecutive November with above-average snow cover for the hemisphere. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of November 2012 in his November 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for November 2012, the 5th warmest November for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. The most unusual warmth was observed across parts of far eastern Russia, where temperatures were at least 5°C (9°F) above average for the month. Much warmer-than-average November temperatures, and even record warmth in several regions, were observed across the western United States, Mexico, Central and South America, eastern Russia, southeastern and western Asia, Australia, and most of Africa and Europe. Due to the near universal warmth in the Southern Hemisphere (with the exception of New Zealand), that region of the world observed its warmest November on record. In the Northern Hemisphere, cooler-than-average temperatures occurred across parts of central Asia, part of the eastern United States, and much of Alaska and western Canada. Nonetheless, the Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature ranked as the eighth warmest on record for November. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .
Neutral El Niño conditions in the Pacific
Neutral El Niño conditions exist in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures were 0.1°C below average as of December 17. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) expects neutral El Niño conditions to last through winter and into early spring. Temperatures in the equatorial Eastern Pacific need to be 0.5°C above average or warmer to be considered an El Niño.
Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent in November 2012 was the third lowest since satellite records began in 1979. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
Arctic sea ice falls to 3rd lowest November extent on record
Arctic sea ice extent during November reached its third lowest extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Only the November sea ice extents in 2006 and 2010 were smaller. This was the 19th consecutive November and 138th consecutive month with below-average Arctic sea ice extent. I discussed this year's extraordinary loss of Arctic sea ice in my November 20, 2012 post, Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low.
A new weather station deal
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