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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What are the psychological forces at play in conspiracy thinking?

Basically what’s happening in any conspiracy theory is that people have a need or a motivation to believe in this theory, and it’s psychologically different from evidence-based thinking. A conspiracy theory is immune to evidence, and that can pretty well serve as the definition of one. If you reject evidence, or reinterpret the evidence to be confirmation of your theory, or you ignore mountains of evidence to focus on just one thing, you’re probably a conspiracy theorist. We call that a self-sealing nature of reasoning.

Another common trait is the need to constantly expand the conspiracy as new evidence comes to light. For instance, with the so-called Climategate scandal, there were something like nine different investigations, all of which have exonerated the scientists involved. But the response from the people who held this notion was to say that all of those investigations were a whitewash. So it started with the scientists being corrupt and now not only is it them, but it’s also all the major scientific organizations of the world that investigated them and the governments of the U.S. and the U.K., etc., etc. And that’s typical — instead of accepting the evidence, you actually turn it around and say that it’s actually evidence to support the conspiracy because it just means it’s even broader than it was originally thought to be.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:



LOL. Oh yeah. Well take this.


That's a lot better now. :)
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
My globe is better than your globe.




LOL. Oh yeah. Well take this.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
Quoting Chicklit:
Considering neutral El Nino forecast, CONUS is looking at some possible threats. Can someone explain if this also means the WCaribbean will also see more action?


It appears that even a small la Nina could appear towards the middle of the season. I posted it earlier. It looks like a very active season.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
Quoting Grothar:


Well, congratulations. You don't have to blush, you should be quite proud of yourself. I hope WU is around a long time. Other than rearranging my pills, this is the only diversion I have. Glad to see you on, Chicklit.

Thanks, Gro.
On the Dean's List (4.875).
Got a B last semester due to my mother going into kidney failure (it's all her fault!)
She survived and so did I.
Anyway, have a nice evening everyone.
Guess we'll see KmanIslander come out of the woodwork pretty soon once his golf game is messed up due to something in the Carribbean lol.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
My globe is better than your globe.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31430
Quoting Chicklit:

Hey Gro glad to see you, too.
Happy to say the WUGround appears to be doing quite well after TWC acquisition.
I like the new features and also the new speed.
I'm especially elated this evening because I have finished an especially difficult project for my masters in public admin just today...so can hardly contain myself!
Will graduate in December (blush).
Anyway, glad to be part of this blog and also to be able to read what better minds have to say about a lot of other things besides (and including) the daily weather forecast!


Well, congratulations. You don't have to blush, you should be quite proud of yourself. I hope WU is around a long time. Other than rearranging my pills, this is the only diversion I have. Glad to see you on, Chicklit.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
Quoting allahgore:




who created science?


Generic "man" created science when he/she began to wonder about how stuff worked and why.
And your mother and father created you.
Am not going into any more detail about that, however.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
Quoting Grothar:


Polishing my globes for the upcoming season.

LMAO, the view on that one isn't that great though. :/ Gotta polish them up a little better.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So who's getting ready for the season? ;)
I am, and I have to say that I am just ecstatic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Grothar! It's been way too long, how's it been?


Polishing my globes for the upcoming season.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
Quoting Grothar:


09!!!! Glad to see you back.

Hey Gro glad to see you, too.
Happy to say the WUGround appears to be doing quite well after TWC acquisition.
I like the new features and also the new speed.
I'm especially elated this evening because I have finished an especially difficult project for my masters in public admin just today...so can hardly contain myself!
Will graduate in December (blush).
Anyway, glad to be part of this blog and also to be able to read what better minds have to say about a lot of other things besides (and including) the daily weather forecast!
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
Quoting hurricaneben:


You work at the NWS? So what do you know about this product they occasionally issue called "Civil Emergency Message"? It really gets me curious... And what's your position--warning coordination meteorologist, forecaster, etc?

I wish. It was just a job shadow. It's for high schoolers(something I am) I still learned a lot and got another one over the summer/fall.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Here's the 18z GFS at 240 hours, showing a weak, elongated low around the Southeast, but nothing organized:



If I had to guess based purely on climatology, the storm on the 12z GFS isn't gonna happen, it's just too early. Probably a wet pattern setting up for the East though, as seen in the CPC maps:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
301. MiamiHurricanes09
10:47 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting Grothar:


09!!!! Glad to see you back.
Grothar! It's been way too long, how's it been?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
300. Grothar
10:46 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting Chicklit:

...so there is a vestige...good to know ny.
but still looking at the tide of time, things change
reminds me of a song sung by generation after generation. different words same meaning.
I think mine was this:
Link


Nice!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
299. hurricaneben
10:45 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting wxchaser97:
This is what I saw when I left my job shadow at the NWS today, more snow. No accumulations, but it was definitely snowing. The job shadow went really well, and I will blog more about that when I have the time(so Friday or Saturday). Luckily, they think it will get into the mid 70s next week.


You work at the NWS? So what do you know about this product they occasionally issue called "Civil Emergency Message"? It really gets me curious... And what's your position--warning coordination meteorologist, forecaster, etc?
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 414 Comments: 677
298. Chicklit
10:45 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Considering neutral El Nino forecast, CONUS is looking at some possible threats. Can someone explain if this also means the WCaribbean will also see more action?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
297. Grothar
10:45 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Doing very well and glad to see that the blog is still going. :)

Not much to do here during the off-season, but just thought I'd stop by since we're getting close and Colorado State's forecast gives off a pretty uneasy feeling. I haven't looked at any analogs, and I'm pretty clueless as to the type of season we're heading into to be honest lol, but the near 50% chance prediction from Colordo State of a major hurricane striking the U.S coastline is a little worrying.


09!!!! Glad to see you back.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25321
296. MiamiHurricanes09
10:42 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting Ameister12:

Hey MH! How've you been? :D
Quoting MississippiWx:


Oh, look. It's the guy who only shows up for hurricane season. :-)

Nice to see you're at least alive, possibly doing well?
Doing very well and glad to see that the blog is still going. :)

Not much to do here during the off-season, but just thought I'd stop by since we're getting close and Colorado State's forecast gives off a pretty uneasy feeling. I haven't looked at any analogs, and I'm pretty clueless as to the type of season we're heading into to be honest lol, but the near 50% chance prediction from Colordo State of a major hurricane striking the U.S coastline is a little worrying.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
295. TomTaylor
10:42 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The long range pattern is definitely conducive for tropical development. Big, elongated area of high pressure over Canada forces convergence farther south into the southwestern Atlantic and prevents troughs from rushing out to sea. They get stuck and things can get going, with ease too.

Very similar to the pattern that spawned Tropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm--almost hurricane--Beryl.

Indeed. Ridging in southern Canada sitting over lower heights along or near the East coast is a classic pattern for pre-season subtropical development. Levi also noted this.

As they say, "high over low, look out below!"
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
294. Xyrus2000
10:41 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting luvtogolf:


Science isn't always right or indisputable despite what you think.

Recently Stephen Hawking spoke that God had nothing to do with the creation of the Universe. If science says so, then I guess I've been lied to by my faith community for the past 60 years.


Scientific results are repeatedly challenged and verified. If something better comes along to explain a phenomena and it withstands scrutiny then it replaces, enhances, augments, etc. the existing theory. To wit, in science "I don't know" is not an acceptable answer. You either have a repeatable, testable results to back up your claim, or you don't.

Also, please don't bring faith into a scientific discussion.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1448
293. Tropicsweatherpr
10:39 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So who's getting ready for the season? ;)


Welcome back! How do you see things shaping up for the 2013 North Atlantic season?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13995
292. wxchaser97
10:38 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Looks like there was another tornado down in Louisiana today.
NWSNewOrleans ‏@NWSNewOrleans 1m

PRELIMINARY INFO: Survey team found 2nd tornado in Kenner, EF0 Wind 75 mph @ Veterans & Transcontental. 2 miles long & 75 yards wide
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
291. Chicklit
10:37 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting nymore:


I don't know about the antenna. It is the only way to get uncompressed HDTV, you know the best picture possible.

...so there is a vestige...good to know ny.
but still looking at the tide of time, things change
reminds me of a song sung by generation after generation. different words same meaning.
I think mine was this:
Link
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
290. goosegirl1
10:36 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting dabirds:
Most girls BB teams have two or three 5'10" or taller here in IL, almost always one. As I said, not majority, but certainly not rare. There are at least two I can think of at moment in my daughter's graduating class that are least 5'10 and have been since Jr. High (14). Three now that I think of it, out of approx. 30 girls in her class.

Spfld and StL reached 50 , we topped at 49, didn't clear as quickly I guess.


My daughter's friend is 6'2" at age 15, and still growing. It's funny to see them together- one 5'2" and barely makes 100 pounds, and the other 6'2" with a lovely figure to match :) I tell her she needs to marry a short man so the kids can be average.

Just to make it weather-y, my friends in the DC area will be getting some thunder showers soon- I sent them to ya! The temp behind the front has dropped from a humid 81 back to a lovely 68.
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
289. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:36 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
The long range pattern is definitely conducive for tropical development. Big, elongated area of high pressure over Canada forces convergence farther south into the southwestern Atlantic and prevents troughs from rushing out to sea. They get stuck and things can get going, with ease too.

Very similar to the pattern that spawned Tropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm--almost hurricane--Beryl.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31430
288. Ameister12
10:35 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So who's getting ready for the season? ;)

Hey MH! How've you been? :)
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4898
287. MississippiWx
10:34 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So who's getting ready for the season? ;)


Oh, look. It's the guy who only shows up for hurricane season. :-)

Nice to see you're at least alive, possibly doing well?
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
286. stormchaser19
10:33 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
East Pacific tropical waves,the season is just 3 weeks to start..
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
285. MiamiHurricanes09
10:31 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
So who's getting ready for the season? ;)
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
284. nymore
10:30 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting Chicklit:


Breaking news: The paranoia argument has lost.

As people gain access to more information, that sort of thinking goes the way of the television antenna and the land line.


I don't know about the antenna. It is the only way to get uncompressed HDTV, you know the best picture possible.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2255
283. MississippiWx
10:27 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting dfwstormwatch:

However, the EURO does not go out as far as May 7-10.


Yeah, true. The Euro was showing development in the NW Caribbean at the 240 hour frame. GFS is showing development in the 300+ time frame. Our conclusion is that it's almos that time of the year, so the models are beginning to show ghost storms.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
282. Chicklit
10:26 PM GMT on April 24, 2013

This is a neat new WU-ground map for SSTs but it's not showing the scale when you copy and paste properties. Nice that it also shows wind barbs tho.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
281. nymore
10:26 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE: Post 254>

The frog in the pot analogy is as false as it gets. Just another debunked theory some alarmists like to use.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2255
280. wxchaser97
10:24 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
This is what I saw when I left my job shadow at the NWS today, more snow. No accumulations, but it was definitely snowing. The job shadow went really well, and I will blog more about that when I have the time(so Friday or Saturday). Luckily, they think it will get into the mid 70s next week.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
279. Chicklit
10:23 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
278. bappit
10:19 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Here's another piece on the drought in Texas and beyond. The closing statements:

"When these higher food costs are added to the estimated $14 billion losses by the FCIC, total taxpayer losses from this past year’s scorching weather are expected to total $16.3 billion.

"These costs contribute to a climate disruption tax that we are already paying today to deal with a changing climate. By comparison, the costs of curbing the pollution responsible for climate change is a fantastic bargain that we can’t afford to pass up."
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5941
277. PedleyCA
10:19 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Didn't make the High here today. I got 70.0 of 76 forecast and I noticed the WU was only showing 72 as a forecast. Either way it didn't get close. 68.4 now.



Cleared out here early, but the Coast never did get away from it. Nice cutoff low near the coast.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5672
276. dfwstormwatch
10:19 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting MississippiWx:
12z Euro doesn't show much in the way of tropical/subtropical development this time around, but it could certainly be showing quite the severe weather outbreak with this kind of setup.



More bad news is that there could be very chilly air behind the bowling ball upper low.

However, the EURO does not go out as far as May 7-10.
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 808
275. txjac
10:17 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting yonzabam:


Not in the UK, there aren't. If there really are LOTS of 14 year old girls that are 5' 11" in the US (which I seriously doubt), then there must be 'something in the water'.


It's all the hormones that are put into animal feed. It's causing puberty/maturity to happen earlier in life.
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2454
274. MississippiWx
10:16 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
@NWSNewOrleans: EF1 tornado confirmed in Kenner. Estimated winds near 90mph, 1/2 mile long, and 50 yards wide. #lawx”

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
273. MississippiWx
10:10 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
12z Euro doesn't show much in the way of tropical/subtropical development this time around, but it could certainly be showing quite the severe weather outbreak with this kind of setup.



More bad news is that there could be very chilly air behind the bowling ball upper low.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
272. dfwstormwatch
10:04 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Meanwhile, GFS trying to indicate that a Sub-tropical storm may form around May 7-10
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 808
271. yonzabam
9:59 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting Chicklit:


Breaking news: The paranoia argument has lost.

As people gain access to more information, that sort of thinking goes the way of the television antenna and the land line.


Tinfoil hats will never go out of fashion.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2892
270. Chicklit
9:54 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting luvtogolf:


It will always be presented in a way to eliminate the blue colors.


Breaking news: The paranoia argument has lost.

As people gain access to more information, that sort of thinking goes the way of the television antenna and the land line.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11168
269. TropicalAnalystwx13
9:52 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
The 12z GFS had a tropical cyclone develop a few hundred miles southeast of North Carolina and move northwestward into Maryland or Delaware.

While development in the Caribbean like some models were suggesting earlier is [likely] not plausible given the subtropical jet, development off the SE coastline is a favored location given the pattern, and indeed, the GFS has shear values that are much lower than farther south...but still pretty unfavorable.

It's something to watch.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31430
268. hurricaneben
9:45 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


please don't even think about that...


Ya sorry--it was a terrible year for many...just pointing out that we've seen a lot of cases that people were caught off guard because of either an abrupt change in path or rapid intensification. Now the other way 'round has happened too--major evacuations only for the path to change abruptly and spare the region from a direct hit like Floyd did to Florida.
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 414 Comments: 677
267. hurricaneben
9:43 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


to see an exodus this hurricane season.

A very high chance in Florida for mass evacuation, I really hope people listen, prepare and act!


Well the evacuations may not be that major if the storm catches people by surprise: like Charley (2004).
Member Since: May 15, 2009 Posts: 414 Comments: 677

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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.