Fourth warmest May on record

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

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

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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280. WPBHurricane05
5:28 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
CURIOSWEATHERGRL- It is normal for the Atlantic to be quiet. On average the first storm doesn't form until July and in fact in 2004 the first storm didn't form until July 31. The EPAC is running slightly above average. The B storm doesn't normally form until July 23. I expect to see a bellow average hurricane season for them since there is a La Nina forming.
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277. eye
9:20 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
there is a BIG difference about the GA/FL fires and the Tahoe one, main thing is the FL/GA, no mater how huge, it was confined to a park, few if any homes were really ever threatened....the Tahoe one started right where there are homes. I doubt putting foam would of done anything with 30mph winds.
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9:20 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
The tropics have been really quiet. Is the wind shear still really high in the eastern atlantic and is this hurricane season still predicted to be high?
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274. rwdobson
9:14 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
"last time I checked, Trilobites and Dinosaurs didn't drive cars and fly airplanes."

they also didn't co-exist with humans, either. so the climate conditions that were present then aren't really relevant to discussion of human ecology.
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273. melwerle
9:13 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
another gorgeous day at the beach...the water temps are WARM though - like swimming in bath water.
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272. Jedkins
9:12 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
99 wow, thats pretty crazy
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269. hurricane91
9:02 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
wow its hot out, its 99 right now in Ft. Myers
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268. MisterPerfect
8:58 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Yeah, you are right, those USGS guys have about as much credit as a flea market vendor...

Good day all, get ready for the flare ups Wednesday if you're in Florida!
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267. MisterPerfect
8:52 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Like the atmospheric scientists. As opposed to overly simplistic, cereal box climatological surveys.

So you prefer overly complex, cereal box climatological opinion then.
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266. MisterPerfect
8:47 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Not to mention that the earth is warming faster now than any period previous

Did you over look the end of the Ordovician into the Silurian periods?
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265. MisterPerfect
8:46 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Thanks, but ill trust the experts.

Like whom?
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263. sporteguy03
8:39 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Storm W, Hurricane 23,
If the A/B continues to move SWWD, won't the trofs be forced further North to ride over them? Or will the trofs win out?
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262. MisterPerfect
8:28 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Global Warming is excelerated by man? Ok, perhaps. Now how about the other 5 dramatic rises in global temperature throughout Earth's history? It took, so we think, serious volcanic episodes, astronomical collisions, underwater gas eruptions, and other REASONABLE natural events to generate a dramatically higher global temperature average than today, a difference somewhere between +22 C avg(then) to +12 C avg (now) throughout the eras.

So we're all doomed because we burn fossil fuel? Sorry, if all the fossil fuel ever could go up in a huge plume of smoke, it wouldn't cause a radical, extinction-like rise such as those in the Precambrian, Silurian, Permian-Triassic periods.

No matter how brilliant and achieving we think we are, we might be able to wipe ourselves out but we can't wipe out life and forever scar the Earth. For that, it would take an event so powerful and destructive, it has not happened to the planet EVER....yet.

Take a look at this graph:

Our burning of fossil fuels on Earth's timeline is at the very top, can you honestly sit there and tell me that is the reason for a rise in less than one degree celsius when you take a look at Global Temperature over the eons??...last time I checked, Trilobites and Dinosaurs didn't drive cars and fly airplanes.

The truth is out there, we're just blinded by our own naiveness to find it.

Precambrian Period

Silurian Period

Permian Period

Triassic Period

Jurassic Period

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261. ClearH2OFla
4:20 PM EDT on June 25, 2007
Anyone know about a wave heading towards florida by friday our weather guy on Channel 13 mentioned it.
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260. Skyepony (Mod)
8:05 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
TAZ~ that fire has burnt like 220 homes~ unimaginable. FL has burned alot recently but they'll go in & coat the houses with a foam to keep them from burning. Somethings may melt but it's rare to lose structures.

Alotta lightnin in FL today & it's far from over~
Lightning/2000 Summary (Monday, June 25, 2007 at 4:10:04 PM EDT)

Since midnight (970.1 mins.):
Total strokes: 24,554 (avg. 25.3/min.)
Intracloud/Intercloud: 4222 - 17.2% (avg. 4.4/min.)
+IC: 2926 - 69.3% (avg. 3.0/min.)
-IC: 1296 - 30.7% (avg. 1.3/min.)
Cloud to ground: 19,431 - 79.1% (avg. 20.0/min.)

A house got struck in Seminole county yesterday & burnt to the ground.
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259. obsessedwweather
7:53 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
I think I'm in for a 'not so fun' commute home from work. Northern mid FLA to Northeast FLA.
Go figure. Seems like this is a typical time of day for storms to flare up.
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258. PalmHarbor
7:54 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
As long as it has rain in it:)
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257. nash28
7:53 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
That's exactly what I wanted to hear Jed.
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256. Jedkins
7:49 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
This could be similar to friday night, although they have a 40% coverage in place instead of 20% so probably for for strong late evening storms at the west coast is expected to be more widespread.

These type of events can get violent sometimes, when you have full sunshine and mid 90's for highs in Florida with unstable conditions, once the humid air rolls in with the seabreezes and they clash during the evning or night, you can get massive intense thunderstorms. This isn't necessarily going to happen. But Ive seen it many times before here.

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255. BoyntonBeach
7:50 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Taz, I cant find an article but I heard the Florida-Georgia fire was almost out. Having scorched 900 Square Miles !
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253. Jedkins
7:48 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Could be an active evening across west central Florida as I thought earlier, this is now backed by the NWS lol

234 PM EDT MON JUN 25 2007

234 PM EDT MON JUN 25 2007





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252. Patrap
2:47 PM CDT on June 25, 2007
I see Red Blobs..

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251. obsessedwweather
7:45 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN I say!!!!
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250. Skyepony (Mod)
7:45 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
I don't know if it got posted, fell a few pages behind.. invest 93E, residing in the the East Pacific. 20kts 1007mb

& it is linked to loop

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249. PalmHarbor
7:44 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Special Weather Statement

Statement as of 2:34 PM EDT on June 25, 2007

... Strong thunderstorms expected along West Coast of Florida
between 5 to 8 PM...

Numerous storms across eastern Florida should diminish in
coverage as they move into central Florida for the rest of this
afternoon. However... the activity will again increase after 5 PM
near Interstate 75 as outflow boundaries collide with the West
Coast sea breeze front.

The late afternoon and evening commute across west Florida will
likely see numerous thunderstorms with torrential rains... small
hail and winds to 45 mph. Some of the storms may produce hail the
size of a penny or larger and winds in excess of 60 mph. Stay
tuned for later statements and possible warnings.

Maybe rain for us?:)
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248. obsessedwweather
7:38 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Severe Thunder Storm Warning for Putnam County, FLA capable of producing penny sized hail and 60 mph wind. And earlier today they said no rain until at least Wednesday.
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247. ricderr
7:29 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
well hey there then dudette fur...and caster.....welcome to you...i'm not new...just an old cranky arse that enjoys....may you enjoy also
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246. Tazmanian
7:19 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
The Angora Fire, believed to be caused by human activity, began Sunday and was approaching 2,500 acres -- nearly 4 square miles -- on Monday morning when it was less than 10 percent contained, said Lt. Kevin House of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department. No injuries were reported.

As day broke, a layer of black, mushy ash lapped along boat docks in the lake raising fears the fire also could have disastrous long-term economic consequences for a community heavily dependent on the lake's recreational tourism.

The National Weather Service issued a dense smoke advisory warning people from South Lake Tahoe to Carson City about heavy ash making it difficult to see and breathe. Plans to send up airborne tankers and helicopters to drop water and retardant over the heavily wooded, parched terrain had to be scrapped because of visibility problems caused by thick smoke.

Residents were urged to stay inside as fire officials warned the afternoon wind could again turn the fire back toward the east and in the path of more than 500 homes bordering the lake.

"This is far and above the biggest disaster that has happened in this community, I don't know, probably in forever," House told reporters in an early morning briefing.

The number of firefighters battling the blaze nearly doubled, to more than 700, on Monday morning, when all that remained of entire neighborhoods in Meyers were the smoldering silhouettes of stone and concrete chimneys.

Caravans of firefighters sliced through smoke-filled mountain passes to reach the remote blaze. Dozens also took up defensive positions around South Lake Tahoe High School as flames came within a quarter mile of the 1,500-student school.

They were aided Monday by winds that had slowed to 12 mph after gusting to about 35 mph the day before. Temperatures also dipped into the 30s. But crews did not approach their goal of containing 25 percent of the fire by sunrise.

Instead, the fire spread northward, enveloping hundreds of acres of unpopulated mountainside.

"We had more favorable conditions overnight. It was a good time to be charging in there and making some progress," U.S. Forest Service spokesman Rex Norman said. "But that could change if the winds change."

Fire officials say they have two days to get the fire under control because forecasters warn that high winds and low humidity will return Wednesday.

"We have a window right now where we're really trying to aggressively attack this fire," said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in Sacramento.

Many evacuated residents huddled in disbelief as ash rained down from a night sky turned bright orange by the advancing flames. Hotels offered free stays to many evacuees and locals clinged to one bit of good news: Despite the destruction, there were still no reports of injuries.

After leaving his rented home of five years with his wife, two young children and cat, Matt Laster, a legal assistant, showed up at a recreation center Monday morning looking for clothes and a sleeping bag. His family fled the fire Sunday afternoon and Laster said they lost "all the memories," including his Star Trek collectibles and Grateful Dead albums.

"We are doing OK. I think we are going to get resettled pretty quickly," Laster said. "We were going to have to move anyway. so we were laughing now, 'Well we are pretty much packed."'

In other areas, the fire seemed to randomly skip some homes, but downed power lines, trees and debris made clear that life would not return to normal any time soon, even for those whose homes were spared.

House said there were no reports of missing persons, but "the truth is we haven't really been able to get in there and see."

One family was pulled from the area by rescue workers as they raced back to their home, said Norma Santiago, the El Dorado County Supervisor who represents the district hardest hit by the blaze.

The family's house was destroyed leaving them with only the shorts, T-shirts and hiking gear they'd taken with them.

"It's unbelievable," Santiago said.

Steve Yingling, sports editor for the Tahoe Tribune newspaper, lives near where the fire started and had little hope that his home survived. He was leaving for work Sunday afternoon when he heard the sirens.

"I looked back and saw the huge plume of smoke," he said Monday. "That's when I really started to get scared because I know the danger alert that we've had in this area. Especially this year with the mild winter that we had."

State and federal fire officials had warned of a potentially active wildfire season in the Sierra Nevada following an unusually dry winter. The annual May 1 snow survey found the Tahoe-area snowpack at just 29 percent of normal levels, the lowest since 1988.

Among the communities evacuated were the Angora Lakes Resort and hundreds of homes in Meyers. The campground at Fallen Leaf Lake also was evacuated.

"I can't stay on the phone. We just got a notice to evacuate," Gloria Hildinger of the Angora Lakes Resort said Sunday. "The smoke is getting pretty thick. It's probably two miles away, and we're hoping it won't reach here."

Fire restrictions have been in effect in Tahoe National Forest since June 11. The No. 1 cause of blazes in the area was abandoned campfires, the U.S. Forest Service said.

In Southern California, a fire burned through some 6,000 acres of brush in the hills near the town of Rosamond, about 80 miles north of Los Angeles, officials said.

At least 30 people voluntarily left their homes in the Oak Creek Canyon area, but there were no reports of damage to houses, Kern County fire engineer Michael Nicholas said.

Hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze amid single-digit humidity levels and winds of up to 30 miles per hour, fire officials said. The blaze, which began Sunday at around 8:30 a.m., was 10 to 15 percent contained, Nicholas said early Monday. Its cause is under investigation.
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245. thisisfurious
7:09 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
well hi ric, sorry I got distracted actually doing my job for a few minutes. Not new, but appreciate your enthusiasm!


Oh yes, and I am a dudette.
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242. nash28
6:35 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
You're welcome StormW!
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241. crownwx
6:35 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Thanks BoyntonBeach and everyone else that visits my site!! You have no idea how much I appreciate it. Like many of you, weather is a passion for me and designing these website is an outlet for this passion. So Thank You!!!
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238. BoyntonBeach
6:32 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
Hi crownwx, I like your site because everything is right there on the one page...all I have to do is scroll down !
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237. sullivanweather
6:31 PM GMT on June 25, 2007

It may sound funny, but does 1998 go from being the hottest year, to now 2005 because of a different way data is collected?

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235. crownwx
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.
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234. ricderr
6:26 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
ok...where is the..thisisfurious your posts dude...don't think you're new here..but you tell em on!
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233. sullivanweather
6:25 PM GMT on June 25, 2007
weatherboykris, I doubt it...

Somehow data will be manipulated to show warming.
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