2012: warmest and 2nd most extreme year in U.S. history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:01 PM GMT on January 08, 2013

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The contiguous U.S. smashed its record for hottest year on record in 2012, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The annual U.S. average temperature was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, and was an astonishing 1.0°F above the previous record, set in 1998. It is extremely rare for an area the size of the U.S. to break an annual average temperature record by such a large margin. Nineteen states, stretching from Utah to Massachusetts, had annual temperatures which were record warm. An additional 26 states had a top-ten warmest year. Only Georgia (11th warmest year), Oregon (12th warmest), and Washington (30th warmest) had annual temperatures that were not among the ten warmest in their respective period of records. As wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt reported, of the approximately 5,500 U.S. stations in the NCDC database, 362 recorded their all-time highest temperature during 2012, and none recorded an all-time coldest temperature. This was the most since the infamous Dust Bowl summer of 1936. Approximately 7% of the contiguous U.S. experienced an all-time hottest day during 2012, and every state in the contiguous U.S. except Washington had at least one location experience its warmest year on record. One notable warmest year record occurred in Central Park, in New York City, which has a period of record dating back 136 years.

The 2012 weather was also very dry, and the year ranked as the 15th driest year on record for the contiguous U.S. Wyoming and Nebraska had their driest year on record, and eight other states had top-ten driest years. The area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought peaked at 61.8% during July. This was the largest monthly drought footprint since the Dust Bowl year of 1939.


Figure 1. Historical temperature ranking for U.S. states in 2012. Nineteen states had their warmest year on record, and an additional 26 were top-ten warm. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).


Figure 2. Temperatures for the contiguous U.S. in 2012, compared to the previous record warmest and coldest years in U.S. history. The annual U.S. average temperature was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, and was an astonishing 1.0°F above the previous record, set in 1998. It is extremely rare for an area the size of the U.S. to break an annual average temperature record by such a large margin. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

Second most extreme year on record
The year 2012 was the second most extreme on record in the contiguous U.S., 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, plus winds from landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes. The CEI was 39% in 2012, approximately double the average of 20%. The only year that was more extreme since CEI record keeping began in 1910 was 1998--the United States' previous warmest year on record. Since Hurricane Sandy was not considered a hurricane when it came ashore, that storm did not contribute to the 2012 CEI. If one plots up the CEI without using the tropical storm and hurricane indicator, 2012 is the most extreme year on record, beating out 1998, 46% to 42%. During 2012, a record 87% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically, crushing the previous record of 62% set in 1934; 74% of the U.S. of the U.S. had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10% in 2012 (2nd highest on record.) The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions was 34%, which was the 4th greatest since 1910. Only droughts in the Dust Bowl year of 1934, and during 1954 and 1956, were more extreme, averaged over the entire year. Heavy 1-day downpours were near average in 2012, though, with 9% of nation experiencing a top-10% extreme, compared to the average of 10%.


Figure 3. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) pegged 2012 as the second most extreme year on record, with 39% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% extreme weather. This is approximately double the average of 20% (heavy black line.)

Jeff Masters

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103. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Disturbance 07F (1005 hPa) located at 18.0S 155.0W is reported as slowly moving. Position poor based on multi-spectral visible/infrared imagery with animation and peripheral observations. Sea surface temperature is around 28C.

Organization remains poor and convection has not increased much near the center of the system. The system lies downstream of an upper cut-off low with moderate to strong divergence aloft in a moderate sheared environment.

Global models have picked up the system and are slowly moving it south with slight intensification.

Potential for this disturbance to form into a tropical cyclone within the next 24-48 hours remains LOW.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
I actually caught it today and was sent home early from school. Good thing I'm feeling better, though.

As some remember, I had the flu, or something like it, over Christmas break (including Christmas itself). That was the worst break ever with a fever, chills, and everything aching. I did get a flu shot so I don't know if it was the true flu.

Some areas in SW Texas will be getting snow again and they are under winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting PedleyCA:


How much ran you get this year (2013)?

=======
About 6ths. The rain is studiously avoiding our lakes for about two years going.
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Quoting PedleyCA:


Are you the only one of the group that got a Flu shot????

I'm the only one that did not.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Worst United States flu outbreak in over a decade. Everybody around me has it. Glad I don't. *knocks on wood*


Are you the only one of the group that got a Flu shot????
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Quoting whitewabit:


If you really have it .. you won't be feeling good for very long ..
I am actually not sure if I have a flu, but I'm feeling better already so... maybe it isn't a flu, but I did get sick today.
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We've had rain all day. (West Central LA) Had just short of an inch of rain. They say tonight and tomorrow will be the 'big' event. And more rain on Thursday. I think I will get a pirogue to get to work on Friday.
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96. whitewabit (Mod)
Quoting Bluestorm5:
I actually caught it today and was sent home early from school. Good thing I'm feeling better, though.


If you really have it .. you won't be feeling good for very long ..
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Worst United States flu outbreak in over a decade. Everybody around me has it. Glad I don't. *knocks on wood*
I actually caught it today and was sent home early from school. Good thing I'm feeling better, though.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
I got 3 tenths today and that is my third heaviest rain since September so I am happy. LOL


How much ran you get this year (2013)?
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still hanging well southwest of Big Bend near the parent ULL. We have a long way to go with this event yet.

--------
Hope so... this is almost the biggest deal since Hermine for our Centex lakes.
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/08 /geoengineering-hijack-world-climate

Rogue geoengineering could 'hijack' world's climate

Techniques aimed at averting global warming could lead to an unpredictable international crisis, a report has warned.
John Vidal, Tuesday 8 January 2013 11.15 EST


The world's climate could be hijacked by a rogue country or wealthy individual firing small particles into the stratosphere, claims a warning that comes not from a new Hollywood movie trailer but a sober report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
LOL.I could tell more... But won't


Nah Come on, don't be shy
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 757
Quoting stormchaser43:
see they got you brainwashed.what are you no more than 17.Give it some time and you'll get out in real world,,

Yep. I'm brainwashed and all the data produced by the NCDC and NOAA has been manipulated. I agree. Lol.

I'm 15, to be exact.
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Quoting Grothar:
Goodnight everyone. It is late here and I shall see you tomorrow.




Nighty night Gro ...sleep well
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Goodnight everyone. It is late here and I shall see you tomorrow.


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97S looks a little "shakey"

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The LLJ looks like it is starting to crank up on radar.

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Quoting etxwx:

Let's hope 2013 is The Year of Sense and Rationality


Sorry, I won't be on that much. You are all on your own. :):)
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New on Prof. Dave Petley's landslide blog (with maps and charts)
8 January 2013
Increased occurrence of landslides in the UK in the last year – and the relationship to rainfall

Good night from Germany and good luck with your rain tomorrow, Texas. Snow is predicted for my region at the weekend. Well, we'll see ...
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Quoting txjac:


Wasnt really complaining ...just disappointed. I'm working from home so I wouldnt have to be out on flooded streets and bad drivers. I'm not unhappy with what we have received ...and I do like the dark, cloudy day we have been provided
I got 3 tenths today and that is my third heaviest rain since September so I am happy. LOL
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I imagine what is eventually going to be the squall line at the end of the event is still hanging well southwest of Big Bend near the parent ULL. We have a long way to go with this event yet.

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Quoting WDEmobmet:


that was a wise move... i imagine one is more fulfilling than the other

... or maybe no...
LOL.I could tell more... But won't
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My new Hurricane season 2013 video!!:)
Link
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Those complaining about this system not being the rain producer it was forecast to be are jumping the gun. Models show a huge rainshield developing across Texas during the pre-dawn hours tomorrow, with a substantial squall line forming ahead of it.


Wasnt really complaining ...just disappointed. I'm working from home so I wouldnt have to be out on flooded streets and bad drivers. I'm not unhappy with what we have received ...and I do like the dark, cloudy day we have been provided
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I tried pole dancing but decided weather was more intriguing


that was a wise move... i imagine one is more fulfilling than the other

... or maybe no...
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Motion sickness
Many ,many years ago 43..for real
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Quoting stormchaser43:
haha weather u can be wrong and still earn a paycheck pole dancer umm....,,
Motion sickness
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Worst United States flu outbreak in over a decade. Everybody around me has it. Glad I don't. *knocks on wood*
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Then again there is this kind of rain... and just in time for dinner!
A Dash Of Olive Oil May Preserve Decaying British Cathedral
by Philip Reeves January 08, 2013

Excerpt: Construction on York Minster began 800 years ago, and a mere two-and-a-half centuries later, work was complete. The result was one of Europe's largest Gothic cathedrals and one that's had a rough ride through history: It's been pillaged and looted, and damaged by devastating fires and lightning strikes.

Today, there's another threat: acid rain. As a result, the cathedral's stones are decaying. British scientists and archaeologists have teamed up to try to find a solution. One promising possibility may be as close as the kitchen cupboard: olive oil.


Read more about saving York Minster here.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Hang in there. A trace has fallen here. But another rain maker is supposedly taking shape now...

DISCUSSION...
LATEST SFC ANALYSIS SHOWS THE COASTAL TROF/LOW CONTINUING TO
DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON ALONG THE TX COAST THROUGH THE COASTAL
WATERS. RADAR SHOWING NUM SHRA/TSRA CONTINUING TO AFFECT THE AREA.
AVERAGE AREAL RAINFALL ESTIMATES SO FAR FROM BOTH POE AND LCH
RADAR SHOW 0.25-0.75 INCHES ACROSS THE REGION...WITH A COUPLE OF
BANDS OF 1-2 INCHES ACROSS NORTHERN TYLER...JASPER...NEWTON
COUNTIES IN SE TX...AND ACROSS THE GULF INTO SC LA.

THE LARGE UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE ACROSS N
MEXICO TONIGHT AND WED ACROSS THE LOWER RIO GRAND VALLEY AND MOVE
NNE ACROSS E TX WED EVENING INTO THU. THIS WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY
THE DEVELOPING SFC LOW TO MOVE NNE ACROSS E TX ON WED. THIS WILL
CONTINUE THE EXTENDED PERIOD OF SHRA/TSRA OVER SE TX/LA THRU EARLY
THU. RAINFALL TOTALS THROUGH EARLY THU MORNING ARE EXPECTED TO
AVERAGE 4-5 INCHES OVER C AND SC LA...AND 5-7 INCHES OVER SW LA/SE
TX...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

ALSO...AS THE SFC LOW LIFTS ACROSS E TX WED...OUR REGION WILL BE
WITHIN A CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR SVR WX...WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND
ISO TORNADOES A POSSIBILITY. THUS SPC HAS OUTLINED AREA IN SLIGHT
RISK.
The Storm System is just moving slower than forecasted.
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Quoting stormchaser43:
u not a met are u your handle says so
I tried pole dancing but decided weather was more intriguing
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Quoting stormchaser43:
u not a met are u your handle says so


No went to school for it but didnt finish...
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 757
Quoting txjac:
Wow, what a bust for West Houston ...
Maybe tomorrow will be a better rain day?


Hang in there. A trace has fallen here. But another rain maker is supposedly taking shape now...

DISCUSSION...
LATEST SFC ANALYSIS SHOWS THE COASTAL TROF/LOW CONTINUING TO
DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON ALONG THE TX COAST THROUGH THE COASTAL
WATERS. RADAR SHOWING NUM SHRA/TSRA CONTINUING TO AFFECT THE AREA.
AVERAGE AREAL RAINFALL ESTIMATES SO FAR FROM BOTH POE AND LCH
RADAR SHOW 0.25-0.75 INCHES ACROSS THE REGION...WITH A COUPLE OF
BANDS OF 1-2 INCHES ACROSS NORTHERN TYLER...JASPER...NEWTON
COUNTIES IN SE TX...AND ACROSS THE GULF INTO SC LA.

THE LARGE UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE ACROSS N
MEXICO TONIGHT AND WED ACROSS THE LOWER RIO GRAND VALLEY AND MOVE
NNE ACROSS E TX WED EVENING INTO THU. THIS WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY
THE DEVELOPING SFC LOW TO MOVE NNE ACROSS E TX ON WED. THIS WILL
CONTINUE THE EXTENDED PERIOD OF SHRA/TSRA OVER SE TX/LA THRU EARLY
THU. RAINFALL TOTALS THROUGH EARLY THU MORNING ARE EXPECTED TO
AVERAGE 4-5 INCHES OVER C AND SC LA...AND 5-7 INCHES OVER SW LA/SE
TX...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

ALSO...AS THE SFC LOW LIFTS ACROSS E TX WED...OUR REGION WILL BE
WITHIN A CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR SVR WX...WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND
ISO TORNADOES A POSSIBILITY. THUS SPC HAS OUTLINED AREA IN SLIGHT
RISK.
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Quoting txjac:
Wow, what a bust for West Houston ...
Maybe tomorrow will be a better rain day?
LOL your updated Weather Discussion:
THE LARGE UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE ACROSS N
MEXICO TONIGHT AND WED ACROSS THE LOWER RIO GRAND VALLEY AND MOVE
NNE ACROSS E TX WED EVENING INTO THU. THIS WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY
THE DEVELOPING SFC LOW TO MOVE NNE ACROSS E TX ON WED. THIS WILL
CONTINUE THE EXTENDED PERIOD OF SHRA/TSRA OVER SE TX/LA THRU EARLY
THU. RAINFALL TOTALS THROUGH EARLY THU MORNING ARE EXPECTED TO
AVERAGE 4-5 INCHES OVER C AND SC LA...AND 5-7 INCHES OVER SW LA/SE
TX...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.
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Those complaining about this system not being the rain producer it was forecast to be are jumping the gun. Models show a huge rainshield developing across Texas during the pre-dawn hours tomorrow, with a substantial squall line forming ahead of it.
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Pretty cool spin coming ashore in Central LA

Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 757
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I know people like to wage bets, but going against hundreds of scientists with clear-cut evidence for GW seems a bit, er, foolish, no? Especially with no proof of your own to back the implication that global warming is a hoax?


He meant:

"Global warming ...glub glub glub!"

In a few years they will all be standing in line for their own government issued snorkels and fins.
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Wow, what a bust for West Houston ...
Maybe tomorrow will be a better rain day?
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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0003
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0353 PM CST TUE JAN 08 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS S AND SW TX INVOF RIO GRANDE VALLEY...EWD
ROUGHLY TO JCT-SAT-MFE LINE.

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 082153Z - 090030Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT

SUMMARY...THROUGH REMAINDER AFTERNOON INTO EARLY EVENING -- I.E.
THROUGH 03Z -- CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME MORE FAVORABLE FOR
SVR OVER OUTLINED AREA ALONG AND E OF RIO GRANDE VALLEY. ONSET
TIMING OF SFC-BASED SVR RISK OVER MAINLY DEEP S TX REMAINS
UNCERTAIN...BUT WW MAY BE REQUIRED IN NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS.

DISCUSSION...SFC MESOANALYSIS INDICATES LOW INVOF NRN ZAPATA
COUNTY...WITH WAVY WARM FRONT EWD OVER BROOKS COUNTY...NEWD TO NEAR
BYY...THEN EWD OVER WATERS OFFSHORE GLS. QUASISTATIONARY FRONTAL
ZONE EXTENDS SWWD INTO DEEPER LOW OVER HIGH TERRAIN OF NRN MEX.
AREAS OF LOW PRESSURE SHOULD BLEND GRADUALLY AS MID-UPPER LEVEL
CYCLONE PIVOTS EWD FROM ITS LATEST POSITION ABOUT 250 NM S ELP.
CONSIDERABLE PRECIP OVER GULF HAS DIFFUSED TX COASTAL FRONTAL ZONE
SOMEWHAT...WITH PUREST MARITIME/TROPICAL AIR LOCATED WELL OUT OVER
OPEN GULF S OF OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES. STILL...BROAD/STRENGTHENING LLJ
IS EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO SHALLOWER AND LESS STABLE BOUNDARY
LAYER N OF FRONT WITH TIME...WHILE THETAE ADVECTION INCREASES
BUOYANCY ON BOTH SIDES OF FRONT. DEEP SHEAR WILL STRENGTHEN WITH
APCH OF CYCLONE ALOFT...INCREASING ORGANIZED CONVECTIVE/SVR THREAT
WITH ACTIVITY MOVING NEWD OUT OF CURRENT TSTM GENESIS REGION OVER
MEX PLATEAU. STG CAPPING HAS BEEN EVIDENT IN 12Z MONTERREY SOUNDING
AS WELL AS SEVERAL MODEL FCST SOUNDINGS ACROSS S TX AHEAD OF MEX
CONVECTION...INDICATING LOW PROBABILITY OF DEVELOPMENT NEAR SFC LOW
OR FRONT PRIOR TO ARRIVAL OF STRONGER LARGE-SCALE LIFT RELATED TO
CYCLONE ALOFT.

DAYLONG PERSISTENCE OF LOW-CLOUD COVER AND RELATED STABILIZING
EFFECTS SUGGEST SOME DELAY IN SFC-BASED SVR POTENTIAL WITH
CONVECTION MOVING NEWD OUT OF MEX. ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO STAY
ELEVATED OVER NRN PORTIONS OF THIS AREA...WITH MAIN CONCERN BEING
MRGL SVR HAIL AND OCNL STG GUSTS. HOWEVER...EROSION OF STABLE LAYER
OVER DEEP S TX...COMBINED WITH INCREASINGLY INTENSE QLCS-MODE
ORGANIZATION THIS EVENING...SHOULD LEAD TO GRADUAL INCREASE IN WIND
THREAT WITH TIME.

..EDWARDS/MEAD.. 01/08/2013
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Shambala
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Quoting PedleyCA:
Nice Day, 74.5 (14:20) Here is an interesting event I just missed participating in. We were at the Ontario Mills Mall yesterday at the Converse store (13:39) and then hit one more small shop and the went to lunch across
the street at McDonalds. As we were leaving we saw an ambulance heading towards us and didn't know what that was about. When we later heard on the news that there was an incident there at the food court I looked it up and found this:

falling-ceiling-tile

We were on the other end of that aisle that it happened on, about 15 stores away.


Wow. Glad you missed it Ped.
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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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