Fourth warmest May on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:25 PM GMT on June 25, 2007

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The tropical Atlantic remains quiet. None of the computer models are showing any tropical development over the next week. The best chance of a new threat area to watch may not occur until July 1, when a strong cold front pushes off the U.S. East Coast.

The Middle East will see their second tropical cyclone of the month on Tuesday. Tropical Cyclone 3B crossed India, killing at least 140, and re-formed in the Arabian Sea, and is poised to hit Iran or Pakistan tomorrow. The View From the Surface blog is following this storm. We may looking at hundreds of years since the last time the Middle East was hit by two tropical cyclones in the same month. Tropical Cyclone Gonu pounded Oman and Iran earlier this month.

Fourth Warmest May on record
May 2007 was the fourth warmest May for the globe on record, and the period January - May of 2007 was tied with 1998 for the warmest such period ever, according to statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center. The global average temperature for May was +0.53�C (+0.95�F) above the 20th century mean. Over land, May global temperatures were the warmest ever measured, the second straight month that has happened. Ocean temperatures were a bit cooler (ninth warmest on record), thanks to the cooling associated with the disappearance of the winter El Ni�o event. The global temperature record goes back 128 years.

May temperatures were particularly warm across Russia. Moscow recorded its highest May temperature since record keeping began 128 years ago--32.9�C (91.2�F). The heat forced Russia's energy administrator to restrict the use of non-residential energy for the first time in summer. In India, a heat wave during mid-May produced temperatures as high as 45-50�C (113-122�F) resulting in at least 128 fatalities. Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change blog has more on the India heat wave. Although record heat was more prevalent across the globe, Argentina experienced its coldest May in twenty years, and at least 23 fatalities were reported as a result of cold weather during the last week of May.

11th warmest May on record in the U.S.
In the U.S., May 2007 ranked as the 11th warmest since record keeping began in 1895. The period January through May was the 20th warmest such period on record. Spring (March - May) was 5th warmest on record in the continental U.S. The past six months (Dec-May) were the driest on record for the Southeast U.S. Portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee are experiencing exceptional drought. However, the drought has eased some since late May over the Florida Peninsula.


Figure 1. Temperature departure from average for May 2007. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

Sea ice extent
Sea ice extent in the Arctic for May was the third lowest on record, a modest recovery from the lowest ever sea ice coverage observed in April. Arctic sea ice coverage in May has declined by about 8% since measurements began in 1979 (Figure 2).


Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent for May, for the years 1979-2007. May 2007 had the third lowest Arctic sea ice extent since satellite measurements began in 1979. May sea ice coverage has declined about 8% since 1979. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

I'll have a new blog on Tuesday.
Jeff Masters

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382. PBG00
1:02 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Gator..Where are you located? Fran and Jeanne were just so inconvenient..Frances just pounded us forever! The cold showers were hard..My youngest was 1 at the time and he was covered in a heat rash that was just aweful.It was hard to get him in the bath. We have gas but to boil all those pots and take them up the stairs was no fun!Sleeping was rough too.. I must admit I was one ill prepared person for the first one. I would have never imagined being out of power for 10 days.Thank god I did have enough food.The county was not prepared either. It was a mess.
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381. nash28
1:04 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
One other note.... Our SOI (Sothern Oscillation Index) has risen dramatically in the last couple of weeks to +12 which indicates onset of La Nina. La Nina doesn't have to be strong to really influence our season.
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379. Patrap
8:04 PM CDT on June 25, 2007
The only route then..is up. Bad way to be after the fray....
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378. nash28
1:04 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Amen Pat.
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377. Patrap
8:01 PM CDT on June 25, 2007
Nash brings up a good point. We were 40 years between Large Surge bringers here.,1965 to 05.And even those that saw the water then..thought they would gamble.One cant run from the water..if theres no roads out.
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376. Gatorxgrrrl
1:00 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
PBG - yes we loaded up on battery operated everything...fans, tv, super duper lanterns...etc. The only thing that still is bad is the cold showers! ouch!
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 70 Comments: 15599
375. Gatorxgrrrl
12:59 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Yeah well maybe they need to have a real conversation with Patrap...he can tell them what its like to go thru Katrina.
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374. PBG00
12:59 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Hey Pat! You are always ready with the great links. Thanks
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373. Patrap
7:58 PM CDT on June 25, 2007
Tampa Bay SLOSH Model The Sea Land and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model, run by NOAA's National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center
Link
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372. nash28
12:56 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
I just fear a New Orleans all over again due to the complacency here. I hear people who are in their 80's saying they would not evacuate even if a CAT5 came right up the gut in the Bay. I plead with them, but they bring up Camille, Donna, etc...
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371. PBG00
12:55 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
After frances I got all these bat operated fans and t.v.s..Then the generator..I have it down to a science now and Wilma was actually a breeze..Helped that the weather was awesome and chilly!
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370. Gatorxgrrrl
12:56 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Hey JP!...yeah Nash when I was in Tampa the last time, my son took me down by the bay...wow...it was low ground. Scary to think a big one could really wipe it out. His hospital that he worked in Tampa General says it can operate with the whole first floor flooded.
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369. Gatorxgrrrl
12:55 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Oh please Adrian, lets get thru Aug and Jul...lol...before we start talking about Oct!!
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368. nash28
12:52 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Actually, it is difficult topography wise for some of those big boys and girls to hit Tampa or even Big Bend... Most of the time, they either drill areas at leat 100 miles south of W. Central FL or just split the uprights into the panhandle. But you do make a valid point JP. And Tampa is WAAAAAAYYY overdue. People here are complacent now to the point of disbelief.
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367. hurricane23
8:51 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 8:51 PM EDT on June 25, 2007.

actually Adrian considering how active the West Caribbean has been in terms of convection already plus how boiling the SST's are, I am very concerned about these troughs being in place

I would rather them be gone, because lets be honest, we get hit directly from our west coast more often then our east, at least lately we have been

Thats absolutely correct jp and things could get interesting for us during the season and especially during the month of october.
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366. nash28
12:46 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Adrian I completely agree. If you live in hurricane alley, and you do not yet have a basic plan put together, well then.... God help you. No excuse to ignore... I do know what Dr. Masters has said. It happened last year, Having said that, I also know that it didn't get that memo in 2004 and 2005. Also, has anyone noticed the A/B High will be shifting to the SW and stretching late this week? Not good if it parked there...
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363. Gatorxgrrrl
12:48 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Yes that is correct...lol...2004.

It hit about 10 miles south of me, but we were on the NE side. No power for about 3 weeks in Sept...nice oven to live in!
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362. PBG00
12:46 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Hey gatorgirl..It was 2004 Frances and Jeanne slammed us. We had just got our power back(after 10 days) and Jeanne came and knocked it out again!
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361. nash28
12:45 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Going great! Just took Peanut for a walk. She is happy, panting and laying on the kitchen floor.
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360. hurricane23
8:41 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
Nash28 remember the quote from dr.masters...

He said that sometimes when a pattern can persists like this for weeks it sometimes can stay put for months.Overall we should all be prepard no matter what.There is no reason at all to not be prepard with all this quite time we have had.Dont wait folks for the storm to be bearing down on you.Adrian
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359. PBG00
12:44 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Had two in three weeks here in 04(I think it was 04)That was just no fun!
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358. nash28
12:45 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Oh Gator.... You got trashed in 2004. Weren't Frances and Jeannes landfall within a few miles of one another??? Crazy!
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357. Gatorxgrrrl
12:44 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Hey there PBGOO and Nash. How is your evening going?
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356. nash28
12:42 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Yes 03 it was a trough. My point was that troughs are not the make/break of the season. If the Caribbean begins to go ape@#%$, most of the troughs won't matter much because the system will be too far south. Troughs are great with long track Cape Verde canes that are at 15N and above moving west.
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355. Gatorxgrrrl
12:42 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Although there are similarities with tropic seasons based on like conditions, there are so many variables that it is unlikely we will have a repeat of 2005. Hope not, 2 canes in 10 days at my house...not fun.
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354. nash28
12:40 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
2005 was absolutely horrific, but it was also special for those of us who live for the tropics. It is something you marvel at. You realize when mother nature gets pissed, she gets pissed. You get out of the way, and let her clean her house as it were.....

Fortunately, it is not likely to happen again until well past our lifetimes if you look at history.
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353. PBG00
12:39 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Kind of my point..Change is constant..we can not assume that the pattern we are in now will last the season..If the trofs stop and the high lifts and its the florida storm train all over again.If not they all recurve I am just not banking on either scenerio and will wait and watch.
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352. sporteguy03
12:40 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Nash remember what caused Charley to make that hard right turn you guessed it a TROF an unusually late deep trof, so they can be good and bad. Depends where you are in relation to them.
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351. sporteguy03
12:35 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
And the part he said "normal hurricane season" made me laugh, whats that suppose to mean.

Dave is an excellent forecaster though, he did come back later and said we don't expect activity in June and July out East towards Africa but we look more closely towards August. He said 2005 was an abnormal year.
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350. nash28
12:33 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Adrian you are correct. But the one thing that I cannot stop harping on is that in 2004 we had the exact same pattern as we do right now through the first two months of the season. We barely had any invests until we reached August. Then, almost like a light switch, the troughs ceased... the A/B High bridged and parked well to the west of the normal position, and the rest is history.

I know it is easy to feel comfort in local mets saying the troughs keep coming, but I will NEVER forget 2004. Charley scared the hell out of me. We had to pack our entire lives in one day and leave. Thankfully, it made the hard right turn at the last minute. My point is, conditions right now do not give me any sense of hope or false belief. It only takes a shift in the pattern lasting a few weeks to make it a very bad year.
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349. PBG00
12:31 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Sportguy..my comment was not really aimed at you..just a generalization actually. I have been reading the blogs go back and forth from busy season to bust all on the different predictions coming out. I know alot of the speculation is by those less weather knowledgeable? but it just seems irresponsible to give these predictions much weight..
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348. sporteguy03
12:27 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
PBG,
The reason I ask is he is a meteorologist and if you make a claim like that on tv you should back it up factually, he is entitled to his opinion I just wanted to know why he said that, because of what happening now? wind Shear, Ssts? etc
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347. hurricane23
8:20 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
Posted By: sporteguy03 at 8:19 PM EDT on June 25, 2007.

I was just watching Central Florida News 13 Tropical Update and my good buddy Dave Cocharella said " You might of heard about La Nina developing but that and El Nino take a long time to develop and effect weather, there is every reason to expect that Florida would have a normal hurricane season."

What is he baseing this on I may ask?

Well sporteguy03 for florida if these trofs of low pressure continue threw the comings months it will be hard for a system coming from the east to make across it and affect us.This has has been the general trend almost 4-5 weeks now or maybe longer.In any given year for us in florida we can easily expect 1-2 threats from a tropical system so we're just going to have to wait and see how things evolve and of course be ready no matter what the predictions call for.Adrian
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345. PBG00
12:20 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
Why is it that everyone puts so much stock in predictions? I know the science behind it all..but change is constant..and things do change so how is anyone to know what The Season will bring? Just the fact that there are conflicting opinions is enough for me to take the wait and see approach..Expect the best, be prepared for the worst. Last year turned out to be a bust because of el nino..right? Well why wasn't it predicted from the beginning?Because change is constant. Just something to ponder. Back to your regular blogging.
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344. Gatorxgrrrl
12:17 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
crownwx at 6:27 PM GMT on June 25, 2007.

Gatorxgrrl: Yes, tornadoes do occur way up here in northern Maine during the summer. For instance, back in July of 1994, I had a F0 tornado pass about a half a mile from my house, it took a roof off of a barn. Also in 1954, a F2 tornado carved about a 10 mile path in the Allagash Waterway about 50 miles west of us. One thing I noticed up here is that the most favorable weather setup for tornadoes is if a quasi-stationary front sets up either over us or to our north. Basically it sets up a convergence boundary. Also terrain plays a very big role in tornado genesis up here as the valleys seems to initiate a "spin" to any thunderstorms that form. It has already been documented in the Hudson Valley of New York and I have been able to find the same weather factors up here in tornado genesis.


Thanks for the info Crown - hope all is well tonight for you in Maine. Went to your site...very nice and easy to read!
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 70 Comments: 15599
343. Stormy2day
12:13 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
wow, thanks for the explanations, links and cool graphic of a gust front! And here I just thought it was the weather folks way of saying ...that big storm that you thought you were going to get? ...gone, gone in a gust... I had never heard that term used - certainly looks like something I wouldn't want coming my way if I'm in a little boat on the water.
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342. sporteguy03
12:14 AM GMT on June 26, 2007
I was just watching Central Florida News 13 Tropical Update and my good buddy Dave Cocharella said " You might of heard about La Nina developing but that and El Nino take a long time to develop and effect weather, there is every reason to expect that Florida would have a normal hurricane season."

What is he baseing this on I may ask?
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341. hurricane23
8:10 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
Gust front is the leading edge of cool air rushing down and out from a thunderstorm. There are two main reasons why the air flows out of some thunderstoms so rapidly. The primary reason is the presence of relatively dry (low humidity) air in the lower atmosphere. This dry air causes some of the rain falling through it to evaporate, which cools the air. Since cool air sinks (just as warm air rises), this causes a down-rush of air that spreads out at the ground. The edge of this rapidly spreading cool pool of air is the gust front. The second reason is that the falling precipitation produces a drag on the air, forcing it downward. If the wind following the gust front is intense and damaging, the windstorm is known as a downburst.

gustfront
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339. mermaidlaw
11:52 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Thanks to all that responed to my question! I am an OLD weather geek, and proud of it!!LOL!!:) I have seen many hurricanes and storms in my day! They still amaze me. Much has changed over the years, and I am very excited about the fact that we now can watch for these storms!! I am proud of all of you here for your opinions, your thoughts, and your great information!
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338. hurricane23
8:05 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
.


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337. Patrap
6:58 PM CDT on June 25, 2007
Heads Up Mississippi Gulf Coast ,Coastal Ala...Radar Link
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336. Stormy2day
11:50 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
I'm with you Nash - where did it go? And, I LOVE this "nowcast" on my WU Local weather page ...what is a gust front?

Nowcast as of 5:07 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
Now
Numerous storms did not develop as expected when outflow boundaries collided with the West Coast sea breeze front. Expect isolated thunderstorms until night fall. Mariners near the coast should expect winds to become east and increase to 25 knots between 530 and 6 PM. Boaters may want to seek safe Harbor until the gust front moves offshore.
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335. rxse7en
11:46 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Zrad droogies!

Weekly check-in complete. Hope everyone's doing well.
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333. Patrap
6:38 PM CDT on June 25, 2007
I see Red Blobs..on radar



Link
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332. salter
7:35 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
Hey Nash28, I feel your pain storms everywhere up here even drove threw one got to the house bone dry go figure
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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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