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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

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
Storm in the gulf
Do you like my hat!
Do you like my hat!
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.
Freezing Fog on Crocus
Freezing Fog on Crocus
In the fog was small patches of freezing fog.

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.

Reader Comments

Man will these cold temps ever end. Yesterday Record Lows out numbered Record Highs. 273 to 4 or about 68 to 1. Low Max outnumbered High Minimums. 197 to 15 or about 13 to 1.
I hope Andrea develops but I don`t see it likely having my fingers cross.Good Morning everyone everyone have a good Thursday.
Quoting nymore:
Man will these cold temps ever end. Yesterday Record Lows out numbered Record Highs. 273 to 4 or 68 to 1. Low Max outnumbered High Minimums. 197 to 15 or about 20 to 1.


Crazy days ny..
Quoting bluheelrtx:
Is there any way to get rid of all the lists and animated promos that come up when I just try to view a favorite weather page?

I gave up on the home page months ago, but it's getting so that I can't even view a weather page without a bunch of clutter and wasted bandwidth.


Firefox with AdBlocker plugin.
??
Quoting pcola57:


There is..
Google it..
I'd rather not say on here..

Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.
Todays new Drought Monitor..



12 week comparison..

Not sure if is me or this tropical disturbance in the subtropic is rotaring



Both GFS and Euro are showing active weather in the carribean. But not your imaginary storm, Scott, not yet at least.
Quoting FunnelVortex: Post# 508
Both GFS and Euro are showing active weather in the carribean. But not your imaginary storm, Scott, not yet at least.


Be cool Funnel..
It's the guidance models he prefers..
Quoting FunnelVortex:
Both GFS and Euro are showing active weather in the carribean. But not your imaginary storm, Scott, not yet at least.


Hey, I just post the models. You can do what you want with them. Also all the active weather is near the SE US not the Caribbean. Just wanted to clarify.
511. VR46L
Quoting pcola57:
Todays new Drought Monitor..



12 week comparison..



Wow Its really impressive the turnround in the Mid West Central Plains area ..... Can only be good news long term.....
Quoting bluheelrtx: Post# 505

Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.


I don't know how to advise you..
I think the banners and all are cool myself..
But I can see where it could bug folks..
Quoting pcola57:


Be cool Funnel..
It's the guidance models he prefers..


Guidance models?
Quoting VR46L: Post # 511


Wow Its really impressive the turnround in the Mid West Central Plains area ..... Can only be good news long term.....


Yes much better VR46L..
Good Morning..
My main concern is the lack of precip in the West Plains for fire dangers this year..
It can be so sad but I add a very natural occurance unless someone is playing with matches.. :(
Quoting FunnelVortex: Post# 513


Guidance models?


Ok Funnel..
Just go back a page..
What do you call them?
The GFS is showing the low, but part of a larger frontal storm system.
517. VR46L
Quoting pcola57:


Yes much better VR46L..
Good Morning..
My main concern is the lack of precip in the West Plains for fire dangers this year..
It can be so sad but I add a very natural occurance unless someone is playing with matches.. :(


Yes I remember last year both Colorado and Idaho had a very bad time with fires .
Quoting VR46L: Post# 517


Yes I remember last year both Colorado and Idaho had a very bad time with fires .


Yes I totally agree VR46L..
I remember Bastrop,Tx from the year before also.. :(
Hi everyone, every time I reload a page it starts at the bottom of the page, is there a cure for this?
Quoting nymore:
Man will these cold temps ever end.
Yes.
Quoting nymore:

Yesterday Record Lows out numbered Record Highs. 273 to 4 or about 68 to 1. Low Max outnumbered High Minimums. 197 to 15 or about 20 to 1.

At this rate April is likely to be in the below average (lowest tercile) category according to NOAA's long term record, barring some major warm-up.
https://sites.google.com/site/pettitclimategraphs /u-s-temperatures

Still doesn't quite look like the same magnitude and coverage of the anomalies like we saw this time last year.
BBL
So when does this potential storm form next week?.Because if it's 300+ out you have to take that with a grain of salt.Not even that though.I think the models feel our desperation and is playing games with us.
92P click pic for loop



Quoting bluheelrtx:

Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.

Maybe go back to classic Wundergroud?
Quoting Neapolitan:
Very cool! I've actually seen this phenomenon, and assumed that it was caused by moonlight being refracted through a sloped layer of clouds or fog; from my earthbound point of view, I was seeing a tilted conic section--aka an ellipse (This image looks almost exactly like that which I saw). However, I like the idea that they may be something more exotic, such as oddball ice crystals.


I saw one too for the first time ever in the last few weeks. I wunder if we will keep seeing them or if it has something to do with the weird cool spring.
Quoting washingtonian115:
So when does this potential storm form next week?.Because if it's 300 out you have to take that with a grain of salt.Not even that though.I think the models feel our desperation and is playing games with us.


Around 216 hours out.

An interesting situation being portrayed on the models, if they're consistent it will at least mean heavy rain for the Bahamas and the east coast of Florida. The ECMWF isn't showing any real tropical or subtropical development, instead it looks like a sheared frontal mess. The GFS shows more of the same, near the Georgia coast on the 6z, but again no real tropical development from what I can see. The CMC is showing some sort of low developing, and it does appear to at least be subtropical. If they're consistent, expect at least rain from this storm. I'm obviously not expecting a powerful hurricane, or even anymore than a tropical depression (the origins remind me of TD 1 in 2009), but I'd watch it. It would be quite something if we had two Subtropical Storm Andrea's develop in early May.

Either way, it's good to get my model links dusted off.
DO you see that??
CMC




It go to 996MB
Hey this is going on my FB ok!?
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Around 216 hours out.

An interesting situation being portrayed on the models, if they're consistent it will at least mean heavy rain for the Bahamas and the east coast of Florida. The ECMWF isn't showing any real tropical or subtropical development, instead it looks like a sheared frontal mess. The GFS shows more of the same, near the Georgia coast on the 6z, but again no real tropical development from what I can see. The CMC is showing some sort of low developing, and it does appear to at least be subtropical. If they're consistent, expect at least rain from this storm. I'm obviously not expecting a powerful hurricane, or even anymore than a tropical depression (the origins remind me of TD 1 in 2009), but I'd watch it. It would be quite something if we had two Subtropical Storm Andrea's develop in May.

Either way, it's good to get my model links dusted off.
Quoting Skyepony:


I saw one too for the first time ever in the last few weeks. I wunder if we will keep seeing them or if it has something to do with the weird cool spring.
its the weird cool spring has to be strange and rare

hoping to see it tonight but likly not as clouds should be over the region maybe friday night will be a good chance as it should be clear with some high cloud
Sorry, but I don't really trust the models on tropical storms forming until at least late May.
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Hey this is going on my FB ok!?


Go for it!
Cybreted I really don't see this potential mess being anything tropical in nature.
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Sorry, but I don't really trust the models on tropical storms forming until at least late May.
Ditto on that, Its way too early for anything tropical but IF something gives us rain its a good thing.
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Sorry, but I don't really trust the models on tropical storms forming until at least late May.


The models don't suddenly increase in quality of predicting storms just because the calendar flips to June 1st. Beryl, for example, was predicted with a high level of accuracy by the models up to two weeks out and it formed on May 26th.
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
DO you see that??
that cirle region flashing or blinking sorta as the sun rise passes over MDR at the bottom right
Quoting washingtonian115:
Cybreted I really don't see this potential mess being anything tropical in nature.


Neither do I, however it does bare watching if they remain consistent with this solution. Shear is screaming across that area - anything that develops will be strictly subtropical or nontropical.
192 hours out, its just a front..looks like a strong on too....
Quoting bluheelrtx:

Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.


If you use Firefox and are relatively geeky you might want to try Greasemonkey.
Summit Webcam April 25, 2013 - 12:02 WGST Green House / Fuel Pit

May 13, 2012

Invest 92L.... as organized as it looked, the NHC did not bring it higher than a 40% chance of developing, yet the system lived for 2 days (I think)
It was located SW of the Azores

so, not even if they look like this they become named


note that it's 92L, there there three other invests before this one
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Neither do I, however it does bare watching if they remain consistent with this solution. Shear is screaming across that area - anything that develops will be strictly subtropical or nontropical.
Perhaps a Beryl type situation.I'm sorry guys but I don't think this is the one.Maybe if we're lucky we'll get something in late May by memorial day if the jet stream is in Canada by then.Like a Author situation from 2008.
iam planning on updating my blog on the weekend with the remaining hurricane season info storm name updates and move the section to the top of the page

maybe it will be just in time for nexts weeks test

we will see
Quoting washingtonian115:
Perhaps a Beryl type situation.I'm sorry guys but I don't think this is the one.Maybe if we're lucky we'll get something in late May by memorial day if the jet stream is in Canada by then.Like a Author situation from 2008.


Perhaps but I'm tired of seeing these cold core spinups. I'm really hoping for some powerful major hurricanes to develop in the MDR and move out to sea this year.
Quoting bluheelrtx:

Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.

Probably some middle manager told them they needed to improve the web site. They are just justifying their existence.
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Perhaps but I'm tired of seeing these cold core spinups. I'm really hoping for some powerful major hurricanes to develop in the MDR and move out to sea this year.
Haven't seen a true season since 2010.
549. SLU
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Perhaps but I'm tired of seeing these cold core spinups. I'm really hoping for some powerful major hurricanes to develop in the MDR and move out to sea this year.


We have not had a classical Cape Verde-type major hurricane since 2011. The setup this year could very well favour their return in 2013.

Quoting ScottLincoln:
At this rate April is likely to be in the below average (lowest tercile) category according to NOAA's long term record, barring some major warm-up.
https://sites.google.com/site/pettitclimategraphs /u-s-temperatures

Still doesn't quite look like the same magnitude and coverage of the anomalies like we saw this time last year.
Not even close. Between March and April of 2012, there were 21,961 record highs (15,272 + 6,689); between March and April (to-date) of this year, there have been 9,340 record lows (2,849 + 6,491), meaning last year's high temperature anomalies for the two-month period were 235% as numerous as this year's low temperature anomalies. Too, difficult though it may be to believe, there have already been more record highs this month than there were last month, which will be a bit of a mitigating factor.

Still, though, April 2013 will doubtless see several states in the lowest tercile, especially some in the Midwest. A few may even wind up having experienced their coldest April ever--all thanks to that remarkably long-lasting blocking pattern funneling Arctic area into the nation's midsection, which is still evident:

cold
Good Morning. We are a bit overdue for your "classic" Cape Verde hurricane on a long-track busting through the Antilles at or near hurricane strength. Never know this far out what will happen this year until we get to August and that part of the season......Certainly not hoping for one but it is what it is and a fact of life/science for those living in/near the tropics.
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
May 12, 2012

Invest 92L.... as organized as it looked, the NHC did not bring it higher than a 40% chance of developing, yet the system lived for 2 days (I think)
It was located SW of the Azores

so, not even if they look like this they become named


note that it's 92L, there there three other invests before this one

Convection was organized for all of 3 hours. Not long enough to be classified.
with tonights temps in the low 40's..brrrrr.......THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL
ALABAMA...SOUTHWEST ALABAMA...THE COASTAL WATERS OF ALABAMA AND
NORTHWEST FLORIDA...NORTHWEST FLORIDA AND SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

A MODERATE RISK OF RIP CURRENTS CONTINUES ALONG AREA BEACHES TODAY.

A COLD FRONT MOVED EAST ACROSS THE REGION THIS MORNING...WITH A
DRIER AND COOLER AIRMASS MOVING INTO THE AREA BEHIND THE FRONT. LOW
CLOUDS AND DRIZZLE WILL BE POSSIBLE THIS MORNING...BUT SKIES
CLEARING THIS AFTERNOON. NO PRECIPITATION EXPECTED TONIGHT.
may be some showers for texas today,they need it too..
for a change NO severe storms today.......so far huh.
Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Well see. I think our system may come from the SW Atlantic. Not sold on the Gulf system yet but we will see if the trend continues.


Will the temps in the gulf even support anything tropical yet? Possibly sub-tropical?
Florida Drought Index..im in solid red,need more rain for sure..
The question is how will the predominant tracks of Cape Verde season systems will look like.

Like this?



Or like this?

560. VR46L
Quoting hericane96:


Will the temps in the gulf even support anything tropical yet? Possibly sub-tropical?


Quoting LargoFl:


Hardly the Rocket fuel yet!!
561. SLU
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Morning. We are a bit overdue for your "classic" Cape Verde hurricane on a long-track busting through the Antilles at or near hurricane strength. Never know this far out what will happen this year until we get to August and that part of the season......Certainly not hoping for one but it is what it is and a fact of life/science for those living in/near the tropics.


Fairly high chance of that happening this year
Quoting VR46L:




Hardly the Rocket fuel yet!!
yes its going to take another month or so to warm the waters up..the cold fronts this year might be slowing it down some right now.
OK Can you TOP this?...........
Police said a St. Petersburg woman called 911 to try and get her money back after buying cocaine and marijuana.

Officers arrested Katrina Tisdale, after they say she allegedly gave her last $50 to a drug dealer and then called 911 to say she needed the cash for something else and wanted the officers to help her get it back.

Tisdale has been charged with misusing the 911 system and is being held on $100 bail.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting LargoFl:


Hi Largo. That map doesn't look right. The SST's off Fort Myers Beach are currently 80°...
505 bluheelrtx: Thanks, but if you are referring to ad blocking, that's not what I mean. I have been a paid member for a long time now, but all these banners, sections, and various news lists are driving me nuts.

Then what you are receiving is not from WU or WU advertisers/sponsors.

Your browser and/or computer is infected with tracking cookies and adware from other sites; with browsing actions here triggering those cookies&adware into over-posting ads onto this site.
MalwareBytes will remove cookies&adware if your AntiVirus isn't comprehensive enough to do so.

Just shutting off the browser between sessions-on-the-computer should remove most of those cookies&adware.
And do not select "remember my computer" when signing into sites.

On the other hand, it could be that your browser security&privacy settings aren't set high enough.
If just shutting off the browser doesn't work, rebooting between sessions should.

A third possibility is that you are being deliberately infected by social media sites such as Facebook, GooglePlus, Twitter, Reddit, etc through your membership.
Don't know if they're still doing it cuz I quit them waybackwhen when I first noticed such behaviour, and haven't ventured into social media since then.