U.S. gets unusually boring January weather; Thursday storm to ease Midwest drought

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:59 PM GMT on February 16, 2013

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After an unusually intense period of extreme weather during 2011 and 2012, the U.S. had its quietest month in nearly two years during January 2013, according to NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI). The index tracks the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% and bottom-10% extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought. The CEI during January 2013 was 14%, which was the lowest since the 12% value during February 2011. On average, about 20% of the contiguous U.S. experiences top-10% extreme weather as defined by the CEI. In 2012, just two months (October and February) had below-average CEI, so the weather of January 2013 was a welcome relief from our recent "new normal" of increased extreme weather. Of course, the month wasn't completely without notable weather--the tornado outbreak of January 29 - 30 generated 57 tornadoes, the second largest January tornado outbreak on record. January 2013 ranked as the 39th warmest January since 1895, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in their latest State of the Climate report. Utah and Nevada had a top-ten coldest January; no states had a top-ten warmest January. The January warmth was enough to make the 12-month period ending in January 2013 the warmest such period for the contiguous U.S., with every state being warmer than average. Sixteen states, across the central U.S. and Northeast, were record warm, and 27 additional states were top ten warm.


Figure 1. Historical temperature ranking for the U.S. for January 2013. Utah and Nevada had a top-ten coldest January, and no states had a top-ten warmest January. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Drought conditions improve slightly; wetter weather on the way to Midwest drought region
January 2013 had slightly above-average precipitation over the contiguous U.S., but there were notable wet and dry extremes. Louisiana had its wettest January on record, and Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, and Mississippi all had top-ten wettest January weather. Florida, California, and Connecticut all had top-ten driest January weather. Heavy rains in Alabama and Georgia helped give that region no areas of exceptional drought for the first time since January 10, 2012. However, the core of the drought area over the Midwest U.S. shrank only slightly, with the area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought going from 61% on January 1 to 56% on February 12. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, issued February 7, calls for new areas of drought to develop over Florida, Texas, and California. However, some improvement in drought conditions is expected over about 40% of the drought region by April 30. The latest forecasts from the GFS and European (ECMWF) model show a modest shift in the jet stream pattern during the remainder of February, which may allow more moisture-bearing low pressure systems to pass through the main portion of the Midwest drought region. One storm for sure will arrive on Thursday, and many areas of the drought region should enjoy their their wettest day in months.


Figure 2. Drought conditions as of February 12, 2013, showed that 56% of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate or greater drought. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.


Figure 3. Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending Saturday, February 23 at 7 pm EST. Almost the entire nation is expected to get precipitation, including the core of the drought region. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Forward on Climate rally on February 17th in Washington, D.C. 
On Sunday, February 17, at noon EST, what is expected to be the largest climate rally in history will take place in Washington D.C. The rally is a project of the Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Hip Hop Caucus. The organizers mustered 15,000 protesters last year in D.C. to protest the potential approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline (meant to bring oil from Canada's tar sands into the U.S.) Protesting the potential approval of the pipeline will be a major focus of Sunday's rally, as well. More broadly, the rally aims to put pressure on President Obama to make good on the promises he made during Tuesday's State of the Union Address:

"But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods – all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late….But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will."

It's about time that the President began talking about the reality of our changing climate, and the need to pursue aggressive actions to combat human-caused climate change. January 2013 was a welcome relief from the intense stretch of extreme weather our nation has suffered over the past two years. But the extreme weather of 2011 - 2012 is going to be more typical of our "new normal" of weather during the coming decades. Earth's climate is warming, and the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that human activity is the main cause. Extreme weather events are increasing in response to the warming climate. People can take cost-effective actions to limit the damage, and our lawmakers are going to come under increasing pressure from grass-roots efforts like the Forward on Climate rally to act to slow down climate change.

I'll have a new post on Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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nam-hires namer
20130217 00 UTC HR60 FINAL
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nam-hires namer
20130217 00 UTC HR57
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Quoting AussieStorm:

I don't know any significance with Sandra, please fill me in.


Sandy is a common nickname for Sandra
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nam-hires namer
20130217 00 UTC HR54
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nam-hires namer
20130217 00 UTC HR51
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nam-hires namer
20130217 00 UTC HR48
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20130217 00 UTC HR45
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the weather ch has now name it winter storm PLATO
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115557
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Perhaps we should call this winter storm Aristocles

...Plato was originally named Aristocles, but one of his teachers gave him the familiar name, either because of the breadth of his shoulders or his speech.
actually let's request the name Aristocles for the first storm name of the next winter season...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Quoting wxgeek723:


I'm aware lol I was pointing out the irony in the fact that Sandra is upcoming on the Australian list.

I don't know any significance with Sandra, please fill me in.
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Perhaps we should call this winter storm Aristocles

...Plato was originally named Aristocles, but one of his teachers gave him the familiar name, either because of the breadth of his shoulders or his speech.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

down here we just continue from last season, not separate list every year.
Cool Imo it would be cool if the NHC did the same.Seems easier imo.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

down here we just continue from last season, not separate list every year.


I'm aware lol I was pointing out the irony in the fact that Sandra is upcoming on the Australian list.
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Quoting wxgeek723:
Why does it say Mod next to Keeper's name? Moderator? Did he receive some sort of promotion?

Anyway has anyone noticed Sandra is on the Australian list, and it's up next after Rusty? Weird.

down here we just continue from last season, not separate list every year.
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Quoting Astrometeor:


Plato the Greek


That's cruel. lol
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Quoting wxgeek723:
Why does it say Mod next to Keeper's name? Moderator? Did he receive some sort of promotion?

Visit Aaron's blog
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 33303
Quoting wxgeek723:
Why does it say Mod next to Keeper's name? Moderator? Did he receive some sort of promotion?


they are ... about 6 or so of them. see blog
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Why does it say Mod next to Keeper's name? Moderator? Did he receive some sort of promotion?

Anyway has anyone noticed Sandra is on the Australian list, and it's up next after Rusty? Weird.
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Quoting Astrometeor:


Plato the Greek


Well I meant the link for TWC live updates
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
"It takes two tons of tar sands -- strip-mined or drilled from the forest floor -- to produce a single barrel of tar sands bitumen, a low-grade, high-sulfur crude oil that must be extensively refined to be turned into fuel. Producing bitumen generates three times the carbon pollution of producing conventional North American crude oil. And the additional refining required to turn this crude into fuel only makes matters worse. Tar sands producers have already destroyed an area the size of Chicago creating an industrial wasteland of toxic sludge dams in the heart of Canada's boreal forest, one of the last truly wild places on Earth and the traditional territory of Aboriginal communities who have lived on these lands for thousands of years. If it continues, the total sacrifice area will be as large as the state of Florida."

Why I Got Arrested at the White House to Stop the Tar Sands Pipeline by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Read the full post here: http://www.onearth.org/blog/robert-f-kennedy-jr-ar rested-at-white-house-keystone-xl-protest
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WWAY NEWS
Heavy snow has reached Myrtle Beach, and nearly 2 inches has already fallen this evening near Florence. This heavy snow will push into southeastern NC over the next 4 hours.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16284
@ Aussie... WINTER STORM PLATO
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


may I have the link for that?


Plato the Greek
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Yeah but this one look much more severe. Maybe Cat 4 or even a Cat 5.

This is like WOW!!!


that would not be good for Mozambique
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Quoting AussieStorm:


This is how I found out.
The Weather Channel @weatherchannel
BREAKING: Winter Storm #Plato is born.


I only watch when they are streaming live via there website when extreme weather is happening.


may I have the link for that?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


That is about the same place where an earlier storm tracked by this season...

Yeah but this one look much more severe. Maybe Cat 4 or even a Cat 5.

This is like WOW!!!
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


waiting to see that

Do you watch it live because there is noting online


This is how I found out.
The Weather Channel @weatherchannel
BREAKING: Winter Storm #Plato is born.


I only watch when they are streaming live via there website when extreme weather is happening.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

ECMWF has been onto that system for about 4 days now. Also has a pretty serious TC hitting NW Western Australia too.





That is about the same place where an earlier storm tracked by this season...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:

ECMWF has been onto that system for about 4 days now. Also has a pretty serious TC hitting NW Western Australia too.



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Quoting AussieStorm:

Guess what.... They (TWC) just named it Plato.


waiting to see that

Do you watch it live because there is noting online
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Well you're right

Guess what.... They (TWC) just named it Plato.
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Quoting AussieStorm:


poor little kid
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
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NAM 00Z 021HR SIM RAD
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For those who don't know, the Canadian CMC-GEM model received a major upgrade on February 13th, introducing new physics, and increasing its forecast grid resolution to 0.225x0.225 degrees (~25km), which is higher than the current version of the GFS. Winter-time forecast skill improvements are reported to be very significant. The CMC's notorious tropical cyclone intensity bias has also been reduced (but not the number of false alarms).

See more information on the upgrade here

Today I have brought my model graphics back online and have switched over the CMC graphics to the newly-upgraded model. You can view them here.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
I dont know if Grothar is on line tonight but I have something that caught my eye and he likes to post a lot in a place that is early to have that. (Gulf of Guinea of all places) Of course nothing will happen with it and will vanish soon.



I saw it first! :)
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Quoting aspectre:
74 Seattleite

Ya misspelt satellite


Thanks, a! You gave me my biggest chuckle of the night.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

The only thing I can think is it's only going to affect the far eastern New England so by TWC's own guidelines, since it's not going to affect many people and during the week it's not to be named.

From TWC

Across far eastern New England, we expect accumulations of 3 to 8 inches in some of the areas hit hard by Winter Storm Nemo around a week ago. This includes the Boston metro area. Cape Cod may see as much as 6 to 10 inches of snow.

The snow in New England will also be accompanied by very strong winds on Sunday, possibly gusting as high as 40 or 50 mph. The combination of snow and wind will result in poor visibility for a time on Sunday.

Farther north, parts of northeast Maine could see more than 6 inches of snow. Strong winds may contribute to near-blizzard conditions in this area.


Well you're right
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:

HI... Not yet... I don't know why

The only thing I can think is it's only going to affect the far eastern New England so by TWC's own guidelines, since it's not going to affect many people and during the week it's not to be named.

From TWC

Across far eastern New England, we expect accumulations of 3 to 8 inches in some of the areas hit hard by Winter Storm Nemo around a week ago. This includes the Boston metro area. Cape Cod may see as much as 6 to 10 inches of snow.

The snow in New England will also be accompanied by very strong winds on Sunday, possibly gusting as high as 40 or 50 mph. The combination of snow and wind will result in poor visibility for a time on Sunday.

Farther north, parts of northeast Maine could see more than 6 inches of snow. Strong winds may contribute to near-blizzard conditions in this area.


Link
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I dont know if Grothar is on line tonight but I have something that caught my eye and he likes to post a lot in a place that is early to have that. (Gulf of Guinea of all places) Of course nothing will happen with it and will vanish soon.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 15138
Wonder what the carbon footprint of the U.S. Gov't is? Does "I will" mean the gov't is going to start being more conservative in it's operations?
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NAM 00Z 018HR SIM RAD
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NAM 00Z 009HR SIM RAD
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Quoting aspectre:
67 washingtonian115: All I'm saying is that I do believe. I'm not over-dramatic is all.
Fine. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS!.


I didn't mean to be that provocative.

On the other hand, the World has 3 nuclear*armed states on the borderline of becoming incapable of growing enough crops to feed their LARGE populations. What happens when starving hundreds of millions demand food during an extended multi-year drought, and their governments decide to demand their fair^share of our crops?
Heck. I'm not even sure that Britain is capable of growing enough food to feed its rapidly expanding population in the event of major droughts simultaneously hitting multiple grain-exporting nations.

Double heck, China already has over a trillion USdollars and is working on its second. What happens when they insist upon using their right to purchase our crops?
Legally under WorldTradeOrganization rules -- which were mostly made up by the US -- commodities (such as grains and soybean) must be sold on the open World market.

* China and India have proven they have ICBM capabilities by successfully inserting satellites into orbit. And Pakistan is well on the way. The UK has US-built Trident SLBMs as well as its own record of successful missile-building.
^ It's easy to foresee their basic argument: "It was mostly your pollution that caused the Drought, we should receive compensation."

China owns large areas of land in Queensland's growing areas. They bring in people from China and pay them minimum wage and are housed on the farms and have anything they need provided. If they quit they are sent back or forced to continue working. Stupidly the Australian Govt has not done anything about it, the unions have tried to gain access to check on the workers welfare but are stopped at the farms front gates. All produce is then shipped back to China using chinese owned trucks and ships. Australia gets nothing from this. The only people that won from this is the previous owner of the land but they sold for way under price due to drought conditions when they sold. The land wasn't making any money so they sold it to whomever wanted to buy it.

Here is a quick ABC news video on this Food Security subject.
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Quoting aspectre:
74 Seattleite

Ya misspelt satellite


LoL... a Seattleite is someone who lives in Seattle...
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Does this Winter Storm have a name yet? lol

HI... Not yet... I don't know why
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14872
Why doesn't the NDCD not produce a Historical temperature ranking map for Hawaii and Alaska? Are they forgotten historically?
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NAM 00Z 003HR SIM RAD
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74 Seattleite

Ya misspelt satellite
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860

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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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