March 2012: Earth's 16th warmest on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:30 PM GMT on April 25, 2012

March 2012 was the globe's 16th warmest March on record, but the coolest March since 1999, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). March 2012 was the 17th warmest on record, according to NASA. March 2012 global land temperatures were the 18th warmest on record, and ocean temperatures were the 14th warmest on record. The relatively cool global temperatures were due, in part, to the lingering effects of the La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific that is now ending. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were near average, the 17th or 11th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). March temperatures in the stratosphere were the 1st or 2nd coldest on record. We expect cold temperatures there due to the greenhouse effect and to destruction of ozone due to CFC pollution. Northern Hemisphere snow cover during March was near average, ranking 23rd largest (24th smallest) in the 46-year record. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of March in his March 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary. Notably, Norway, Iceland, and Scotland all recorded their hottest March temperatures on record, and it was the warmest March in U.S. history. Portions of Italy received no measurable precipitation whatsoever, and for most of southern Europe, it was the driest March on record. In the U.K. it was the driest March since 1953.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for March 2012. The U.S. and Canada experienced the most extreme warmth of anywhere in the globe during March. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

La Niña conditions no longer present
La Niña conditions are no longer present in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures were approximately 0.4°C below average during March and the the first half of April. The threshold for a La Niña is for these temperatures to be 0.5°C below average or cooler. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center forecasts that La Niña will be gone by the end of April. The majority of the El Niño computer models (48%) predict neutral conditions for this fall, during the August - September - October peak of hurricane season, though 35% of the models predict an El Niño will develop. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic.


Figure 2. Ice age data show that first-year ice made up 75% of the Arctic sea ice cover this March. Thicker multi-year ice used to make up around a quarter of the Arctic sea ice cover. Now it constitutes only 2%. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

March Arctic sea ice extent ninth lowest on record
Arctic sea ice extent was at its ninth lowest extent on record in March, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This was the highest since 2008 and one of the highest March extents in the past decade. Ice extent as of April 23 was close to average, one of the few times during the past decade that has occurred. However, ice in the Arctic is increasingly young, thin ice, which will make it easy for this year's ice to melt away to near-record low levels this summer, if warmer than average weather occurs in the Arctic. During the 1980s, more than 20% of the Arctic ice was more than 4 years old; this March, that fraction was just 2%. Satellite sea ice records date back to 1979.

I'll have a new post by Friday.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Log In or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 145 - 95

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

XX/XX/XX
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good afternoon all
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 14 Comments: 9337
Antarctic ice shelves melting from warm water, study shows

CBS News Link

I don't brake for trolls !
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MTWX:
Here are some photos a buddy of mine took when he was stationed there.




Cool photos, where was he stationed again?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There is a good read on Weatherbell by Joe D about sea level rise and the melting ice caps, check it out it shows the other side of what might be really happening.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
137. MTWX
Here are some photos a buddy of mine took when he was stationed there.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:


Appears to be a circulation in the south Caribbean ,couple hundreds miles south of Jamaica 15N/78W


You folks are in for some squally wx in a couple of days in the Cayman Islands.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Appears to be a circulation in the south Caribbean ,couple hundreds miles south of Jamaica 15N/78W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I would be worried all across the Gulf Coast for weak tropical systems. But in terms of hurricanes, Florida and Texas seem to be targets.


If we follow the analog of 2002 then you would be right. I remember a powerful hurricane LILI that year that was target TX & LA but luckly weakened before she came ashore.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
133. MTWX
Quoting LargoFl:
clipped this from"how stuff works" but lots of other sites say the same thing..............The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world's ice (and 70 percent of its fresh water). Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet). But the average temperature in Antarctica is -37°C, so the ice there is in no danger of melting. In fact in most parts of the continent it never gets above freezing.
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Warm ocean driving Antarctic ice loss

Excerpt:

"Previously, you would have thought that we needed a lot of warming in the atmosphere to get a substantial loss of ice from Antarctica - because it's such a cold place. But what we show is that that's not necessary; you don't need radical change.

"All you need are quite subtle changes - such as a change in the winds - and that can produce effects at the edges of Antarctica that then lead to a loss of a lot of ice."


Antartica is quite mountainous with most of the ice trapped in glaciers slowly sliding into the warmer oceans. The air temperatures aren't really a driving factor in Antartic ice depletion. Their is still massive amounts of ice loss on our southern continent due to calving glaciers and collapsing ice shelves.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I would be worried all across the Gulf Coast for weak tropical systems. But in terms of hurricanes, Florida and Texas seem to be targets.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35633
Quoting CybrTeddy:


El Nino years seem to have more troughs too associated with them. Heck the last front that came through pushed 40 degree weather into FL in late-April. That will probably cause storms to want to recurve away from land, and if timed right in the Caribbean - headed more northward.


Yeah I disagree with Adrian. El-nino years tend to have a weaker Bermuda high and this could pose a problem for the US especially Gulf Coast areas from TX to FL. I remember August 2004 all to well to say C.A. will be the target. Infact I think people even said that on here during that year that C.A appeared to be the hot spot instead it turned out to be FL. So If someone says Central America could be in trouble then if I lived along the Gulf then I would be worried.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:
127. Because it is the truth. Would you rather a map with a gigantic "high risk" area directly over your house, and its shower curtain?

That is exactly what he would prefer actually.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35633
127. Because it is the truth. Would you rather a map with a gigantic "high risk" area directly over your house, and its shower curtain?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricane23:


Again if you read my previous post above on steering currents if the bermuda high were to stay exactly were it is most storms would get shunted westward into CA. Our atmosphere is just to complex and coupled to be able to determine what absolute locations will be impacted this season. One must prepare regardless of what seasonal forecast may say.


El Nino years seem to have more troughs too associated with them. Heck the last front that came through pushed 40 degree weather into FL in late-April. That will probably cause storms to want to recurve away from land, and if timed right in the Caribbean - headed more northward.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 25798
Funny thing, TWC didn't even mention where the main threats might be in their predictions. No mention of the record warmth in the Gulf.

Just that always be prepared and it only takes one.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 25798
Quoting StormTracker2K:
The Weather Channel 2012 Hurricane Forecast.


hurricane season y u no average?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From the SPC for tomorrow..a lot of uncertanity

...TN VALLEY TO MIDDLE ATLANTIC...

DIGGING UPPER TROUGH OVER THE OH VALLEY/NEW ENGLAND STATES WILL
ENSURE SFC PRESSURES RISE WEST OF THE APPALACHIANS DURING THE DAY2
PERIOD. THIS IN TURN WILL FORCE A COLD FRONT ACROSS WV/KY INTO TN
DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON HOURS. EARLY IN THE PERIOD IT APPEARS
STRONG LOW LEVEL WARM ADVECTION WILL BE PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR
THUNDERSTORM CLUSTERS THAT WILL SPREAD ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE MIDDLE
ATLANTIC REGION AHEAD OF SFC LOW. THIS EARLY ACTIVITY IS NOT
EXPECTED TO BE PARTICULARLY SEVERE AS INSTABILITY WILL BE SOMEWHAT
LACKING. HOWEVER...THERE IS SOME CONCERN THAT STRONG BOUNDARY LAYER
HEATING WILL CONTRIBUTE TO SIGNIFICANT INSTABILITY ALONG THE
ADVANCING COLD FRONT. WITH WEAK HEIGHT RISES EXPECTED ALONG THE
TRAILING BOUNDARY IT/S NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR HOW MUCH CONVECTION WILL
EVOLVE IN THE WAKE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED UPPER TROUGH.
ADEQUATE
SHEAR WILL BE IN PLACE FOR POTENTIAL STORM ORGANIZATION AND A SLIGHT
RISK MAY BE REQUIRED IN LATER OUTLOOKS TO ACCOUNT FOR ISOLATED
SUPERCELLS
. AT THIS TIME WILL MAINTAIN 5% SEVERE PROBS ALONG THE
ADVANCING BOUNDARY...BUT IF IT BECOMES MORE CLEAR THAT STORMS WILL
FORM IN GREATER CONCENTRATION THEN THESE PROBS WILL BE INCREASED TO
ACCOUNT FOR DAMAGING WINDS/HAIL.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 18071
So, I know that a negative NAO in wintertime spells big trouble for us SoFLA gardeners, but if the NAO is going negative at this time of year, what does that indicate for the US?

(Thanks in advance!)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just because I find it interesting, areas in and surrounding the Springfield experienced a "Heat Burst". These are relatively rare evening/nighttime atmospheric events in which the temperature drastically increases and the dewpoint/humidity values significant decrease. Very gusty winds, sometimes in excess of 50 mph, also occur occasionally.

This heat burst occurred around 3:00 am CDT.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35633
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Yeah that ridge that has been parked out in the SW US all winter seems to wanna move east and is now over TX. Let's hope it doesn't stay like it did last year.


Again if you read my previous post above on steering currents if the bermuda high were to stay exactly were it is most storms would get shunted westward into CA. Our atmosphere is just to complex and coupled to be able to determine what absolute locations will be impacted this season. One must prepare regardless of what seasonal forecast may say.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Yeah, parts of FL could be out of this drought over the coming months. Especially if the MJO continues to hangout in our region. Also this MJO could spell tropical DOOM for US down the road.



I am in that isolated "persistence" spot in md. :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:

True. At least it isn't 100+ outside, though.


Yeah that ridge that has been parked out in the SW US all winter seems to wanna move east and is now over TX. Let's hope it doesn't stay like it did last year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The GFS has dropped the development of a tropical cyclone in the Eastern Pacific and continues to show an empty Atlantic basin over the next 16 days--would we really expect otherwise?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35633
Quoting jeffs713:
Looks like some decent rains coming for SFL, which y'all desperately need. (now if we can just get the panhandle and big bend area those same rains...)


Yeah, parts of FL could be out of this drought over the coming months. Especially if the MJO continues to hangout in our region. Also this MJO could spell tropical DOOM for US down the road.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
NAO negative and MJO in the region...hmm..
spotted that a couple of days ago watchin waiting
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:


We need more rains in TX, this high pressure and sunny clear days isn't needed

True. At least it isn't 100+ outside, though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicTraveler:
Hello everyone. Reporting from just north of the Sargasso sea near Bermuda. Sailing under tropical like skies, blue seas, calm, sunny days, absolutely beautiful. The navigator says this will last until we dock at the Azores on Saturday at which things get wet again and dismal. Interesting weather gathering fact, Celebrity partipipates as do do many cruise lines in extensive weather reporting and filed 29,000 plus actual weather observations from all over the globe last year to NOAA and other weather orgs to help with real time condition reporting. Also, their enhancements to GPS allows then to always calculate locations within 4 inches of actual location. I guess our car GPS's aren't as hot as we thought as they tell us within about 50 feet. Sigh.

Signing off - Sat coverage out here a little spotty so I pop in when it's up and operating.
A safe and happy journey to you T.T.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

goodday
well fla got nothin to worry about for as long as you and the shower curtain have been here there has not been a strike will the luck hold stay tuned to find out


lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes2012:
Good day, KOG!

good day
well fla got nothin to worry about for as long as you and the shower curtain have been here there has not been a strike will the luck hold stay tuned to find out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Do I spy.. mischief?
NAO negative and MJO in the region...hmm..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For those wondering about steering patterns for 2012 the important thing to watch for is what the conditions are that steer the storms when there is a storm in the area. Timing is critical. A pattern that would steer a Cape Verde Hurricane directly into Florida for example could exist for two months, but if there is no Hurricane to be steered the pattern is meaningless. Charley slammed into SW Florida because an early season trough just happened to be in the right place as Charley turned north in the Gulf. History shows most Tropical Cyclones that enter the Gulf pass west of the southwest coast of Florida and vent their fury from the Florida panhandle to Mexico. In 2007 as jeff713 mentioned a few posts above we watched as two Cat 5 monsters traveled the whole length of the Caribbean but couldn't turn north because of the strong high pressure system to the north that happened to be in place at just the right time to protect Florida and the gulf coast. In 2004 and 2005 we watched as Charley, Dennis, Katrina, and Rita were able to get into the Gulf because they were not blocked. Regardless of how strong a Tropical Cyclone is, it always follows the path of least resistance. It's not "where" a Hurricane is, but "when".

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:
Looks like some decent rains coming for SFL, which y'all desperately need. (now if we can just get the panhandle and big bend area those same rains...)


We need more rains in TX, this high pressure and sunny clear days isn't needed
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:
Euro





Do I spy.. mischief?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 25798
Hello everyone. Reporting from just north of the Sargasso sea near Bermuda. Sailing under tropical like skies, blue seas, calm, sunny days, absolutely beautiful. The navigator says this will last until we dock at the Azores on Saturday at which things get wet again and dismal. Interesting weather gathering fact, Celebrity partipipates as do do many cruise lines in extensive weather reporting and filed 29,000 plus actual weather observations from all over the globe last year to NOAA and other weather orgs to help with real time condition reporting. Also, their enhancements to GPS allows then to always calculate locations within 4 inches of actual location. I guess our car GPS's aren't as hot as we thought as they tell us within about 50 feet. Sigh.

Signing off - Sat coverage out here a little spotty so I pop in when it's up and operating.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like some decent rains coming for SFL, which y'all desperately need. (now if we can just get the panhandle and big bend area those same rains...)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Euro



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 18071
Quoting Hurricanes2012:


HIGHLY DOUBTFUL as that ridge of high pressure is no where near as strong as the MONSTROSITY that was in place over the Southern Atlantic during the '07 hurricane season. Of which, yes, kept everything buried down in the Caribbean as you had mentioned. Such as Felix and Dean. But don't exaggerate, please.


That's no exaggeration there. We all know what you want.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
That low you are talking about is showing up on the NWS 5 day as a tropical wave...


Interesting! Looks like South Florida will get those much needed rains.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 18071
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1 year ago today, the record breaking April 25-28 super outbreak would begin. Several tornadoes devastated parts of Arkansas on the 25th, including the town of Vilonia which was hit very hard by a massive EF2 tornado.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5167
Quoting Hurricanes2012:
G'afternoon, bloggers! I hope you're all doing well on this gorgeous Hump Day!

Now, what is this I hear about a possible ''tropical entity'' impacting Southern Florida by this upcoming weekend?

Anyone care to elaborate on this matter? I'd appreciate it.

Thanks, =)


Look to HPC JFV


Extended Forecast Discussion

Excerpt:

HEAVY RAINS MAY AFFECT SRN FL AND THE BAHAMAS/CUBA AS A STRONGER THAN AVERAGE SYSTEM BEGINS THE LATE MID SPRING WET SEASON IN THIS REGION WITH AN UPPER LEVEL TROF DIGGING INTO THE ERN GLFMEX/WRB CARRIBEAN WITH MDT/STRONG LOW LEVEL EASTERLY CONVERGENCE INTO THE BAHAMAS AND GREATER ANTILLES.



TROPICAL DISCUSSION - INTERNATIONAL DESKS

Excerpt:

THROUGH 72-84 HRS ACTIVITY WILL SPREAD NORTH ACROSS THE CENTRAL/NORTHWEST BAHAMAS...WITH A LOW LEVEL TROUGH/ILL ORGANIZED CYCLONIC CIRCULATION PROVIDING THE LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE. IN THIS AREA EXPECTING RAINFALL ACCUMULATION OF 15-20MM/DAY AND MAXIMA OF 30-60MM/DAY. NOTE THAT FOR THIS AREA THE GLOBAL ENSEMBLE MEMBERS ARE SHOWING MAXIMA OF NEARLY 100MM FOR
DAYS 04-05.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
the north pole isnt what people should be worried about..its the South they really should be concerned with..3 miles thick in places and if IT goes..the oceans rise 60 meters..gotta love those scientific shows on the weekends..just really know how to make you feel good huh..well anyway by the time it does happen i'll be poof i guess


The Antarctic continental ice shelf won't be melting anytime soon. Due to it's unique environment and the fact that it is land locked, the impacts of warming are gradual and mainly relegated to the edges of the continent. That can accelerate ice loss but it will still take quite a long time.

The Arctic ice, on the other hand, is melting from both sides. Most of the world's population lives in the norther hemisphere, and when our arctic regulator vanishes it's going to bring some noticeable changes (some of which we are already seeing). Current projections have the arctic ice melting out this century (sooner rather than later it seems). Greenland and Antarctica won't be melting out completely for quite some time.

The Arctic is the big focus for now because it will affect the most people and will be happening in the very near future. Eventually Antarctica will become an issue, but not anytime in the near future.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2552

Viewing: 145 - 95

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

Top of Page
Ad Blocker Enabled

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog

About

Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Pictured Rocks dunes and clouds
Grizzlies in Lake Clark National Park
Mount Redoubt Lava Dome
Matanuska Glacier