WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

Earth has its 5th Warmest June on Record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:11 PM GMT on July 18, 2013

June 2013 was the globe's 5th warmest June since records began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated it the 2nd warmest June on record. The year-to-date period of January - June has been the 7th warmest such period on record. June 2013 global land temperatures were the 3rd warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 10th warmest on record. June 2013 was the 340th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. Global satellite-measured temperatures in June 2013 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 5th or 4th warmest in the 35-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of June 2013 in his June 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary.

Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for June 2013, the 5th warmest June for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. Record warmth was observed over much of northern Canada, far northwestern Russia, southern Japan, the Philippines, part of southwestern China, and central southern Africa. It was cooler than average across part of central Asia, central India, western Europe, and far northeastern Canada. No record cold was observed over land areas during the month. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

Five billion-dollar weather disasters in June
At least five billion-dollar weather disasters hit Earth during June. The most damaging of these was the historic $22 billion flood disaster that killed at least 23 people in Central Europe in late May and early June--the 5th costliest non-U.S. weather disaster in world history. Record flooding unprecedented since the Middle Ages hit major rivers in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia; the Danube River in Passau, Germany hit its highest level since 1501, and the Saale River in Halle, Germany was the highest in its 400-year period of record. Numerous cities recorded their highest flood waters in more than a century, although in some locations the great flood of 2002 was higher.

The world-wide tally of billion-dollar weather disasters so far in 2013 is sixteen, and the U.S. total is four, according to the June 2013 Catastrophe Report from insurance broker Aon Benfield:

1) Flooding, Central Europe, 5/30 - 6/6, $22 billion
2) Drought, Brazil, 1/1 - 5/31, $8.3 billion
3) Tornado, Moore, OK, and associated U.S. severe weather, 5/18 - 5/22, $4.5 billion
4) Drought, Central and Eastern China, 1/1 - 4/30, $4.2 billion
5) Flooding, Calgary, Alberta Canada, 6/19 - 6/24, $3.8 billion
6) Flooding, Indonesia, 1/20 - 1/27, $3.31 billion
7) Flooding, Australia, 1/21 - 1/30, $2.5 billion
8) Tornadoes and severe weather, U.S., 5/26 - 6/2, $2 billion
9) Severe weather, Midwest U.S., 3/18 - 3/20, $2 billion
10) Winter weather, Europe, 3/12 - 3/31, $1.8 billion
11) Drought, New Zealand, 1/1 - 5/10, $1.6 billion
12) Flooding, Sichuan Province, China, 7/7 - 7/11, $1.6 billion
13) Flooding, China, 6/29 - 7/3, $1.4 billion
14) Flooding, Argentina, 4/2 - 4/4, $1.3 billion
15) Flooding, India and Nepal, 6/14 - 6/18, $1.1 billion
16) Winter weather, Plains, Midwest, Northeast U.S., 2/24 - 2/27, $1.0 billion

The $8.3 billion cost of the 2013 drought in Brazil makes it by far the costliest natural disaster in Brazil's history, according to the international disasters database EM-DAT. Their 2nd most costly disaster was the drought of 1978 ($2.3 billion in 1978 dollars.)

Figure 2. The Danube River in Passau, Germany hit its highest level since 1501 during the June 2013 flood. Image credit: Stefan Penninger.

Figure 3. The $22 billion price tag of the June - June 2013 Central European floods puts that disaster in 5th place on the list of most expensive non-U.S. weather-related disasters.

Neutral El Niño conditions continue in the equatorial Pacific
For the 15th month in row, neutral El Niño conditions existed in the equatorial Pacific during June 2013. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) expects neutral El Niño conditions to last through summer and into the fall, and the large majority of the El Niño models also predict that 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 months for a La Niña episode to be declared; sea surface temperatures were 0.4°C below average as of July 15, and have been +0.1 to -0.4°C from average since April 1, 2013.

Arctic sea ice falls to 11th lowest June extent on record
Arctic sea ice extent during June was 11th lowest in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The relatively high coverage was due to wind patterns that helped spread the ice out over a larger area. During the first two weeks of July, Arctic ice extent has fallen to the 5th lowest level on record.

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no tropical cyclone threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming seven days. If the Atlantic stays quiet, I plan on making my next post on Saturday.

Jeff Masters

Climate Summaries

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