March 2013 the globe's 10th warmest March; a billion-dollar U.S. weather disaster

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:56 PM GMT on April 24, 2013

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March 2013 was the globe's 10th warmest March since records began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated it the 9th warmest March on record. The year-to-date period of January - March has been the 8th warmest such period on record. March 2013 global land temperatures were the 11th warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 9th warmest on record. March 2013 was the 337th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. Global satellite-measured temperatures in March 2013 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 12th or 8th warmest in the 35-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively. The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during March 2013 was the 16th largest in the 47-year period of record. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of March 2013 in his March 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary. He notes that one nation set an all-time heat record: on March 6th, Navrongo, Ghana reached 43.0°C (109.4°F), the warmest temperature reliably ever measured in the country (for any month.)


Figure 1. March 2013 was the 2nd coldest winter in the U.K. since 1910, exceeded only by March 1962. In this photo taken by wunderphotographer tonylathes on March 24, 2013, we see one of March's heavy snowstorms that affected Wardlow Village in Derbyshire, United Kingdom.


Figure 2. Departure of temperature from average for March 2013, the 10th warmest March for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. The Arctic Oscillation (AO), a large-scale climate pattern that can influence temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, set a record low for March. This negative phase was associated with frigid Arctic air spilling southward into the Northern Hemisphere middle latitudes, leading to unusually cold conditions in the Eastern U.S., most of Europe, and northern Siberia.This phase of the AO also contributed to much warmer than average and even record warm temperatures in northeastern Canada and southeastern Greenland. A large swath of China and several regions in central and northern Africa in the 0°–20°N latitude belt were also record warm. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

First U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster of 2013: March 18 - 20 severe weather outbreak
Two billion-dollar weather disasters occurred globally in March, bringing the 2013 total to five, according to the March 2013 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker AON Benfield. The five billion-dollar weather disasters for 2013 so far:

1) Flooding in Indonesia, 1/20 - 1/27, $3.31 billion
2) Flooding in Australia, 1/21 - 1/30, $2.5 billion
3) Winter weather in Europe, 3/12 - 3/31, $1.8 billion
4) Drought in Central and Eastern China, 1/1 - 3/31, $1.71 billion
5) Severe weather in the Midwest U.S., 3/18 - 3/20, $1 billion

The first billion-dollar weather disaster in the U.S. was a severe weather outbreak that began on March 18, featuring a long-lived squall line of severe thunderstorms called a "derecho" that dropped hail up to softball size from Louisiana to South Carolina. Mississippi was hardest hit, with up to 60,000 insurance claims. Ten tornadoes touched down and two fatalities were reported during the outbreak. The U.S. has averaged 4.4 billion-dollar weather disasters per year from 1980 - 2012, but experienced 25 in the two-year period 2011 - 2012.

The deadliest March weather disaster was an outbreak of severe weather that swept across parts of eastern Bangladesh on March 22. The outbreak included a tornado that struck the regions of Sadar, Akhaura and Bijoynagar in Brahmanbaria district. At least 35 people were killed and 388 injured.


Figure 3. Hail up to the size of tennis balls fell on McComb, Mississippi, as documented by wunderphotographer sirencall On March 18, 2013. The hailstorm was part of a severe weather outbreak that gave the U.S. its first billion-dollar weather disaster of 2013.

Neutral El Niño conditions continue in the equatorial Pacific
For the 12th month in row, neutral El Niño conditions existed in the equatorial Pacific during March 2013. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) expects neutral El Niño conditions to last through summer. The large majority of the El Niño models predict neutral conditions will last through the fall of 2013. Temperatures in the equatorial Eastern Pacific need to be 0.5°C below average or cooler for three consecutive for a La Niña episode to be declared; sea surface temperatures were 0.1°C below average as of April 22, and have been +0.1 to -0.4°C from average since March 1, 2013.

Arctic sea ice falls to 5th lowest March extent on record
Arctic sea ice extent during March reached its fifth lowest extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This was the 10th consecutive March and 142nd consecutive month with below-average Arctic sea ice extent. The last ten years (2004 to 2013) have seen nine of the ten lowest March extents in the satellite record.

Jeff Masters

Storm in the gulf (myvalleylil)
Storm in the gulf
Do you like my hat! (sandiquiz)
For the third time in as many weeks, we have snow. Luckily not as much in this area as further north, where there are 15 foot snowdrifts in Cumbria, North West UK.
Do you like my hat!
Freezing Fog on Crocus (WurzelDave)
In the fog was small patches of freezing fog.
Freezing Fog on Crocus

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Quoting Levi32:
Warm-core...lol. Low heights trapped at 30N is always something to watch. It's a conspiracy theory pattern. Things can happen. Doesn't mean they will. Worth watching though.

But chances are very low for that to happen?
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Good to know. Seems like a poorly chosen base period, though. I understand that the 30 year rolling average is used to calculate 'normal' daily temps for weather forecasts, but it seems that using the 20th century average is a more accurate way to show longer term climate change.

Unless you have some insight as to why he used that base period, I'll just assume he's being disingenuous. It seems like most of what he writes is just contrarian nonsense meant to confuse and obfuscate - even his 'graphs' of sea ice trends and temp trends are built to minimize the shifts, lacking trendlines, leaving large white spaces to to make changes appear insignificant, etc.

Quoting Levi32:


Man you guys are quick to rush to judgement. He's referring to the current 1981-2010 30-year long term climatology.

March 2012 temperature anomaly relative to 30-year CFSR climatology:

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Warm-core...lol. Low heights trapped at 30N is always something to watch. It's a conspiracy theory pattern. Things can happen. Doesn't mean they will. Worth watching though.

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Quoting Levi32:
I would have thought that this showing up on the 0z NAVGEM would have easily diverted the blog's discussion away from the usual crap (pardon).



My thinking is that low appears to be a non-tropical low that should not become tropical in nature (warm core) as the SST are below 80 degrees Faraheit.
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Quoting Levi32:
I would have thought that this showing up on the 0z NAVGEM would have easily diverted the blog's discussion away from the usual crap (pardon).



My self and others tried earlier but failed obviously.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 4 Comments: 2763
CMC, Euro and GFS!!
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All models agree tropical development is possible later next week.


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Quoting Skyepony:


NOAA has ENSO records back to 1871. Here's more. I think there is a link the paper in there too.

Much appreciated! I'll have to take a look.
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109. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting 1900hurricane:

I usually hate climate topics (and this blog has a large part to play with that), but that is quite interesting. My big question is how did the graph's creator acquire the El Nino data from the 1800s and how accurate that data is. If you're truly interested, I'd suggest saving today's version of the graph and comparing it to the one created several years down the road. Not only do you get the opportunity to see if the current ESNO trends follow those from over 100 years ago, but you also get to see if any of the data gets altered.


NOAA has ENSO records back to 1871. Here's more. I think there is a link the paper in there too.
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nice shot of greenland today
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I would have thought that this showing up on the 0z NAVGEM would have easily diverted the blog's discussion away from the usual crap (pardon).

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The Role of Ice in the Ocean: Pt. III: Shrinking Ice: Impacts

Link
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105. Skyepony (Mod)
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Quoting no1der:
Lessee... Joe. B. asserts  "The reality is that March [2013] globally was below normal (-.106C)."

Compared to the actual data (NCDC link http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201 3/3#temp and summarized in Dr. Master's blog above, I'm tending toward "outright liar" as the most charitable description of Joe B., but I'm open to other suggestions.



Interesting....
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my eyes
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
I know this is from Whatsupwiththat (wattsupwiththat?) or whatever its called, but dont attack it without giving it some real thought.

Do the two periods really line up this well or is this chart falsified?


I usually hate climate topics (and this blog has a large part to play with that), but that is quite interesting. My big question is how did the graph's creator acquire the El Nino data from the 1800s and how accurate that data is. If you're truly interested, I'd suggest saving today's version of the graph and comparing it to the one created several years down the road. Not only do you get the opportunity to see if the current ESNO trends follow those from over 100 years ago, but you also get to see if any of the data gets altered. Who knows, if none of the data ends up being tampered with, one day you may eventually springboard yourself to a topic for your master's thesis or doctoral dissertation! Who knows at this point.
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Quoting evilpenguinshan:
I think Joe was referring to March 2012, but yes, still a liar.

March 2012 Temp Anomaly - Land and Ocean (positive) 0.46 C (plus/minus 0.07 C)

per NCDC


now I need to dis-infect my browser history, that website with Bastardi's ramblings was just dirty.



Man you guys are quick to rush to judgement. He's referring to the current 1981-2010 30-year long term climatology. No lies here, just different datasets / reference periods.

March 2012 temperature anomaly relative to 30-year CFSR climatology:

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not really. as you mention, when the oceans warm they don't want to take up any more CO2, and in fact can get to the point where they start emitting, rather than absorbing, the gas.

as to rock weathering, that's a painfully long-term process. more than mere 'centuries'. the CO2 we're putting in the atmosphere is going to be there for a very long time.

Quoting LargoFl:
But even that warming will not stave off the eventual return of huge glaciers, because ice ages last for millennia and fossil fuels will not.In about 300 years, all available fossil fuels may well have been consumed.Over the following centuries, excess carbon dioxide will naturally dissolve into the oceans or get trapped by the formation of carbonate minerals.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
I know this is from Whatsupwiththat (wattsupwiththat?) or whatever its called, but dont attack it without giving it some real thought.

Do the two periods really line up this well or is this chart falsified?



Good Afternoon. Would not accuse anyone of falsifying such a chart but I don't know how in the world they could take accurate enso data for this region in the 1800's and early 1900's unless they had ships (in an organized manner) taking SST temps over this period of time. Or, they were using some specific coastal/surf location from a fishing port or something like that located within what we now refer to as sectors 3 and 4.
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You're right... my error. 
Quoting evilpenguinshan:
I think Joe was referring to March 2012, but yes, still a liar.

March 2012 Temp Anomaly - Land and Ocean 0.46 C /- 0.07 C

(per NCDC
)



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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
I know this is from Whatsupwiththat (wattsupwiththat?) or whatever its called, but dont attack it without giving it some real thought.

Do the two periods really line up this well or is this chart falsified?



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I think Joe was referring to March 2012, but yes, still a liar.

March 2012 Temp Anomaly - Land and Ocean (positive) 0.46 C (plus/minus 0.07 C)

per NCDC


now I need to dis-infect my browser history, that website with Bastardi's ramblings was just dirty.

Quoting no1der:
Lessee... Joe. B. asserts %uFFFD"The reality is that March [2013] globally was below normal (-.106C)."

Compared to the actual data (NCDC link%uFFFDhttp://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201 3/3#temp%uFFFDand%uFFFDsummarized in Dr. Master's blog%uFFFDabove, I'm tending toward "outright liar" as the most charitable%uFFFDdescription of Joe B., but I'm open to other suggestions.



edit: does anyone know why plus signs don't appear in my comments?
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I know this is from Whatsupwiththat (wattsupwiththat?) or whatever its called, but dont attack it without giving it some real thought.

Do the two periods really line up this well or is this chart falsified?

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3 years ago this morning and afternoon, a 149 mile EF4 tornado tore through Central Mississippi. #mswx







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Lessee... Joe. B. asserts  "The reality is that March [2013] globally was below normal (-.106C)."

Compared to the actual data (NCDC link http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201 3/3#temp and summarized in Dr. Master's blog above, I'm tending toward "outright liar" as the most charitable description of Joe B., but I'm open to other suggestions.
Quoting Chucktown:


Joe is my bro !!

Link

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Quoting hurricanes2018:
next week!! its that a tropical storm??


nah.
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bowling ball

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Thanks Doc,
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next week!! its that a tropical storm??
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SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
932 AM EDT WED APR 24 2013

.SYNOPSIS...A COLD FRONT FROM LAKE CHARLES LOUISIANA TO
BROWNSVILLE TEXAS WILL WEAKEN AS IT REACHES FROM THE FLORIDA
PANHANDLE TO NEAR 26N95W TO THE SW GULF EARLY THU WHERE IT WILL
STALL INTO FRI...AND SLOWLY DISSIPATE THROUGH LATE FRI AS HIGH
PRES BUILDS FROM THE U.S. SEABOARD BUILDS SW OVER THE MUCH OF THE
AREA THROUGH SUN.
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There’s little question that global warming is happening. Climate data show that Earth’s average temperature has risen at least 0.7  oC (1.3 oF) over the 20th century. Temperature increases over the 21st century will probably be two and a half to five times as large,because greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide allow sunlight to penetrate the atmosphere but make it harder for outgoing infrared radiation to escape. What’s more, just as carbonated soda fizzes when it warms up, warmer temperatures cause the ocean to release carbon dioxide taken up during colder periods. Analyses of air trapped in glacial ice over the last 800,000 years show that atmospheric carbon dioxide generally ranged between 200 and 300 parts per million by volume (ppmv); increases in these levels were slightly preceded by increases in temperature caused by natural orbital shifts. During this period, global temperature varied by about 12 oC. Now, carbon levels are approaching 400 ppmv as the burning of fossil fuels pumps more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Even if the rate of growth could be moderated enough to stabilize levels at about 550 ppmv, average temperatures might well rise by about 5 oC–with devastating effects for us earthlings, such as rising sea levels and dramatic changes in weather patterns.

But even that warming will not stave off the eventual return of huge glaciers, because ice ages last for millennia and fossil fuels will not.In about 300 years, all available fossil fuels may well have been consumed.Over the following centuries, excess carbon dioxide will naturally dissolve into the oceans or get trapped by the formation of carbonate minerals. Such processes won’t be offset by the industrial emissions we see today, and atmospheric carbon dioxide will slowly decline toward preindustrial levels. In about 2,000 years, when the types of planetary motions that can induce polar cooling start to coincide again, the current warming trend will be a distant memory.

This means that humanity will be hit by a one-two punch the likes of which we have never seen. Nature is as unforgiving to men as it was to dinosaurs; advanced civilization will not survive unless we develop energy sources that curb the carbon emissions heating the planet today and help us fend off the cold when the ice age comes. Solar, nuclear, and other non-fossil-­fuel energy sources need to be developed now, before carbon emissions get out of hand. MIT alumni could play a prominent part in discovering the technology needed to keep us all going. And there are fortunes to be made from the effort. It’s worth thinking about.

Professor Franklin Hadley Cocks ‘63, SM ‘64, ScD ‘65, teaches energy technology and climate-related courses at Duke University and is the author of Energy Demand and Climate Change (Wiley-VCH), which summarizes energy and climate issues of the past, present, and future.
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47) That's actually my area more than SI's pcola. I'm east and a little north of the two little lakes at the bottom right and W of the Kaskaskia River. Cool pic, Shoal Creek really becomes visible below those two lakes!
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Quoting WDEmobmet:


“If you're a nobody, just imagine a lot of celebrities are in love with you. Narcissism is the best cure for attention deficit disorder.”
― Bauvard, Evergreens Are Prudish


Hey thats a cool quote and a sad reflection of how in general the world is obsessed with having 15 mins of fame unfortunately people like Kim Kardashian has way more that the 15 mins for doing nothing ....


Like the comment alot !
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“If you're a nobody, just imagine a lot of celebrities are in love with you. Narcissism is the best cure for attention deficit disorder.”
― Bauvard, Evergreens Are Prudish
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Quoting Neapolitan:
You're correct in pointing out that both the eastern US and much of Europe were chilly. The same with southern South America and the northeastern Pacific. But red clearly ruled the map, including Australia, which looks to have had very little in the way of below normal temperatures for March.

No "agenda", as someone claimed. Just further signs of a warming planet.


A much more appropriate response than others, Thanks Nea.

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Quoting ScottLincoln:

Or perhaps, as I'm sure you learned during your courses on climate during your study to become a meteorologist, the data is showing exactly what we expect. Different parts of the world experience differing magnitude anomalies, and rarely is virtually the entire world all colder/warmer/wetting/drier at the same exact time.

And perhaps it also indicates that, ya know, instead of some "agenda" or whatever you are going on about, the U.S. and parts of Europe actually are not the globe as a whole, but instead geographers were right... they only make up <10% of the area, which really has a small impact on the average across the whole area.

So perhaps we should use this as a teaching moment... when we hear that one small part of the globe is experiencing warmer/colder/wetter/drier weather over a short period, we should be skeptical of that being global in scale until we have further data.


Joe is my bro !!

Link
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april 29 2013
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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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