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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517. VR46L
Quoting pcola57:


Yes much better VR46L..
Good Morning..
My main concern is the lack of precip in the West Plains for fire dangers this year..
It can be so sad but I add a very natural occurance unless someone is playing with matches.. :(


Yes I remember last year both Colorado and Idaho had a very bad time with fires .
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
The GFS is showing the low, but part of a larger frontal storm system.
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Quoting FunnelVortex: Post# 513


Guidance models?


Ok Funnel..
Just go back a page..
What do you call them?
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Quoting VR46L: Post # 511


Wow Its really impressive the turnround in the Mid West Central Plains area ..... Can only be good news long term.....


Yes much better VR46L..
Good Morning..
My main concern is the lack of precip in the West Plains for fire dangers this year..
It can be so sad but I add a very natural occurance unless someone is playing with matches.. :(
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Quoting pcola57:


Be cool Funnel..
It's the guidance models he prefers..


Guidance models?
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Quoting bluheelrtx: Post# 505

Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.


I don't know how to advise you..
I think the banners and all are cool myself..
But I can see where it could bug folks..
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511. VR46L
Quoting pcola57:
Todays new Drought Monitor..



12 week comparison..



Wow Its really impressive the turnround in the Mid West Central Plains area ..... Can only be good news long term.....
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
Quoting FunnelVortex:
Both GFS and Euro are showing active weather in the carribean. But not your imaginary storm, Scott, not yet at least.


Hey, I just post the models. You can do what you want with them. Also all the active weather is near the SE US not the Caribbean. Just wanted to clarify.
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Quoting FunnelVortex: Post# 508
Both GFS and Euro are showing active weather in the carribean. But not your imaginary storm, Scott, not yet at least.


Be cool Funnel..
It's the guidance models he prefers..
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Both GFS and Euro are showing active weather in the carribean. But not your imaginary storm, Scott, not yet at least.
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Not sure if is me or this tropical disturbance in the subtropic is rotaring



Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
Todays new Drought Monitor..



12 week comparison..

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Quoting pcola57:


There is..
Google it..
I'd rather not say on here..

Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.
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Quoting bluheelrtx:
Is there any way to get rid of all the lists and animated promos that come up when I just try to view a favorite weather page?

I gave up on the home page months ago, but it's getting so that I can't even view a weather page without a bunch of clutter and wasted bandwidth.


Firefox with AdBlocker plugin.
??
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Quoting nymore:
Man will these cold temps ever end. Yesterday Record Lows out numbered Record Highs. 273 to 4 or 68 to 1. Low Max outnumbered High Minimums. 197 to 15 or about 20 to 1.


Crazy days ny..
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I hope Andrea develops but I don`t see it likely having my fingers cross.Good Morning everyone everyone have a good Thursday.
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Man will these cold temps ever end. Yesterday Record Lows out numbered Record Highs. 273 to 4 or about 68 to 1. Low Max outnumbered High Minimums. 197 to 15 or about 13 to 1.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:Post# 399


Im sorry... hope everything goes well though


I'll be ok..
Every ones body is subject to change..
Especially starting at my age..
Thanks.. :)
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Quoting pcola57:


Morning Max..
Got a Dr.s appt this am..
Hate it..
He seems to have all the answers I don't want to hear.. :p


Im sorry... hope everything goes well though
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:Post# 496


I would rather post weather models than discuss GW. I just don't have enough knowledge to get into a discussion with some on here in regards to GW as my expertise is weather so I stick with that.


Agreed Scott..
GW/CC is better discussed elsewhere
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Quoting bluheelrtx: Post# 494
Is there any way to get rid of all the lists and animated promos that come up when I just try to view a favorite weather page?

I gave up on the home page months ago, but it's getting so that I can't even view a weather page without a bunch of clutter and wasted bandwidth.


There is..
Google it..
I'd rather not say on here..
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Quoting pcola57:


I know man..
It's hard to keep our sanity this time of year.. :)


I would rather post weather models than discuss GW. I just don't have enough knowledge to get into a discussion with some on here in regards to GW as my expertise is weather so I stick with that.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I strongly agree with you...


Morning Max..
Got a Dr.s appt this am..
Hate it..
He seems to have all the answers I don't want to hear.. :p
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Is there any way to get rid of all the lists and animated promos that come up when I just try to view a favorite weather page?

I gave up on the home page months ago, but it's getting so that I can't even view a weather page without a bunch of clutter and wasted bandwidth.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:


Don't want to bust your bubble Scott..
But when it looks like that at 300/384 hrs I have to chuckle a little..
I don't know how many times I have seen that and poof at 5 day..

No harm intended towards you.. :)
I'm just not the crystal ball type at that long range my friend..


I strongly agree with you...
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Quoting StormTrackerScott: Post# 491


I know that I was just posting the various models this morning. Again I think our system may come from the SW Atlantic and not the Gulf but I guess anything is possible and as you said it's very far out.


I know man..
It's hard to keep our sanity this time of year.. :)
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Quoting pcola57:


Don't want to bust your bubble Scot..
But when it looks like that at 300/384 hrs I have to chuckle a little..
I don't know how many times I have seen that and poof at 5 day..
No harm intended towards you.. :)
I'm just not the crystal ball type at that long range my friend..


I know that I was just posting the various models this morning. Again I think our system may come from the SW Atlantic and not the Gulf but I guess anything is possible and as you said it's very far out.
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490. VR46L
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
I prefer to wait until the models get below 120 hours to then be more enthusiastic but for now this long range thing is for entertainment.


Totally agree with ya ... After that is pure entertainment .... unless the same storm appears consistently in a variety of models...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Gee, I need to get away. That sounds like a killer time. Take me with you!! Haha


Yes. It is a "killer time" if you can keep up with it! The only sleep you'll get is on the plane ride going home.

I want to know if Tropicsweatherpr can hear this island shaking from where he is! ;)

Lindy
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Quoting StormTrackerScott: Post# 743..


Advance the frames and you can see the transition. Look at 300hr to 384hr.>


Don't want to bust your bubble Scott..
But when it looks like that at 300/384 hrs I have to chuckle a little..
I don't know how many times I have seen that and poof at 5 day..
No harm intended towards you.. :)
I'm just not the crystal ball type at that long range my friend..
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Quoting JohnLonergan:
Carbon dioxide now at highest level in 5 million years


For the first time in roughly 5 million years, the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere could top 400 parts per million in the Northern Hemisphere next month.

Human ancestors were just learning how to walk on two feet about that time, in a world that was much warmer than the one we walk on today.

Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that is responsible for 63% of the warming attributable to all greenhouse gases, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Lab.

This latest report comes from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, keepers of the famed "Keeling Curve," the longest continuous record of carbon dioxide measurements on the planet. The measurements were begun in 1958 by Scripps climate scientist Charles Keeling and taken near the top of Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

When Keeling first began his measurements, the amount of carbon dioxide (also known as CO2) was 316 parts per million (ppm). As of Tuesday, the reading was 398.44 ppm as measured at Mauna Loa.


To put that in perspective, pre-industrial CO2 levels were 280 ppm. Seems like we're on track for quite a toasty future.
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I prefer to wait until the models get below 120 hours to then be more enthusiastic but for now this long range thing is for entertainment.
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Quoting VR46L:


Scott ... the pressure Never gets below 1007mb would hardly become an invest ..



I just don't see what you are seeing ... but I am not a qualified Met .... But its early days in the storms run and if the pressure comes down and tighter bars then I will bite ...


Well see. I think our system may come from the SW Atlantic. Not sold on the Gulf system yet but we will see if the trend continues.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Very cool! I've actually seen this phenomenon, and assumed that it was caused by moonlight being refracted through a sloped layer of clouds or fog; from my earthbound point of view, I was seeing a tilted conic section--aka an ellipse (This image looks almost exactly like that which I saw). However, I like the idea that they may be something more exotic, such as oddball ice crystals.


I've seen it as well Nea..
I couln't figure out why it was like that though..
Just soaked in the glow..
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Quoting VR46L:


Scott ... the pressure Never gets below 1007mb would hardly become an invest ..



I just don't see what you are seeing ... but I am not a qualified Met .... But its early days in the storms run and if the pressure comes down and tighter bars then I will bite ...


And it is too close to land too. It wont have a chance!
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482. VR46L
Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Advance the frames and you can see the transition. Look at 300hr to 384hr.



Scott ... the pressure Never gets below 1007mb would hardly become an invest ..



I just don't see what you are seeing ... but I am not a qualified Met .... But its early days in the storms run and if the pressure comes down and tighter bars then I will bite ...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Advance the frames and you can see the transition. Look at 300hr to 384hr.


Looks pretty weak.
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Quoting allahgore:


Most agree with Climate Change, now AGW, That's another topic.


How does that even make sense? The planet does not magically heat up or cool off just because it wants to. You either need an increase in input energy, and increase in energy retention, or some mixture of the two to raise the temperature of the planet (assuming it doesn't generate a significant amount of heat on it's own, which Earth does not).

Solar input has not increased beyond what the normal variance is. Also, the Earth's orbital dynamics have not changed significantly over the past 100 years either. In other words, there has been no appreciable increase insolation.

So that indicates something has changed with the planet to alter the energy balance. This has been a relatively recent change as well, occurring within the last century or so. During that 100 years, there has been a significant increase in long lived greenhouse gases due to man's industrial activities. At this point you have enough information to come up with an basic hypothesis: Man-made GHG's are warming the planet.

Now all you needs is some physics and chemistry to come up with a basic model. Does the increase in GHG's account for the additional warming? The answer to that question appears to be yes, whether your using a simple basic "0-dimensional" black body model or a full blown GCM.

If you have another explanation that doesn't violate the laws of physics and doesn't contradict the large amount of collected observations, by all means put it forward.
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Good Morning All..
I still can't believe it both Intellicast and WU again have me..
Well...Stable...
A 3 degree high variance for 7-10 days..
I've lived here (off and on) since the day after Hurricaine Fredrick,1979, and I really don't think I remember it being so stable this time of year..
I suppose its possible and probable they are correct..
Anyway..
58 with 97%rh and winds from the north at 8mph..

Beach looks sticky and a bit gloomy this am..


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Quoting FtMyersgal:


Good morning Scott. Yes, we still need the rain. Not expecting any in Fort Myers until maybe Sunday


Same here. Rain starts on Sunday and last thru next week.
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Good morning! Looks wet next week across our state. We still need the rain so bring it on.



Good morning Scott. Yes, we still need the rain. Not expecting any in Fort Myers until maybe Sunday
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Quoting VR46L:



Sorry ... I dont think that storm that the GFS sees is Subtropical or tropical ...


To my eye that would appear to be a frontal storm ... but its way way out !!


I don't see any tropical development at all out of that...
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Quoting Skyepony:


ELLIPTICAL MOON HALOS: The moon is waxing full, which means now is the time to be alert for icy moon halos. On April 22nd, Darryl Luscombe of Sointula, British Columbia, saw an unusual specimen. Instead of being circular, as usual, this halo was elliptical:

"I dont think I have ever seen an elliptical halo around the moon before," says Luscombe. "I looked up and just stared for about a minute. Then I raced inside to get my camera. I just managed to photograph it before it disappeared."

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley comments on the apparition: "There have been quite a few ellipticals seen in the last few weeks both in Europe and the US. Something strange [is happening] in all our skies!"

"These unusual ice halos are much smaller than the ordinary 22 degree halo encircling the sun or moon," Cowley continues. "In the 22 degree halo the ring is effectively made by light refracting through a 60 degree ice prism. The smaller elliptical halos need much narrower prisms and we think that six sided plate shaped crystals with very shallow pyramidal ends might do the work. The problem is that such crystals are unphysical and computer simulations using them do not predict the halo very well. An alternative is the wedge shaped sections of small snowflake-like crystals. Whatever their cause, they are rare and mysterious!"
Very cool! I've actually seen this phenomenon, and assumed that it was caused by moonlight being refracted through a sloped layer of clouds or fog; from my earthbound point of view, I was seeing a tilted conic section--aka an ellipse (This image looks almost exactly like that which I saw). However, I like the idea that they may be something more exotic, such as oddball ice crystals.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13470
Quoting VR46L:



Sorry ... I dont think that storm that the GFS sees is Subtropical or tropical ...








To my eye that would appear to be a frontal storm ... but its way way out !!


Advance the frames and you can see the transition. Look at 300hr to 384hr.


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472. SLU
The subtropical Atlantic has cooled a bit due to the anomalous trade winds in that region and the weaker trades in the tropics have resulted in a continued warming thus strengthening the tripole.





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Good morning/afternoon/evening to all

Off topic but a little fun!

Well, the house is shaking, the dishes are rattling and my ears are being blasted right now. It's not thunder or earthquakes, although it might as well be!

Carnival is really ramping up and it is J'Ouvert this morning. This has been going on since 4:00 a.m. For those of you who don't know what J'ouvert is, it's an early morning party as thousands of people dance through the streets behind their favorite bands while others stand on the side and enjoying the music. It goes by our front yard so needless to say there hasn't been much sleep in this house! The fourth band has just gone by and who knows how many more there are.

Lindy

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470. VR46L
Quoting StormTrackerScott:
GFS is indicating a STS as well but later in frames and in the Gulf.





Sorry ... I dont think that storm that the GFS sees is Subtropical or tropical ...








To my eye that would appear to be a frontal storm ... but its way way out !!
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
Whoo, almost forgot.

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Quoting FtMyersgal:


Good morning! Looks wet next week across our state. We still need the rain so bring it on.

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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.