Dr. Jeff Masters on August Heat

August 2012: Earth’s 4th warmest August on record

Published: 3:07 PM GMT on September 18, 2012

August 2012 was the globe’s 4th warmest August on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated August 2012 the 6th warmest on record. August 2012 global land temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 5th warmest on record. August 2012 was the 330th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average; the last time global temperatures were below average was February 1985. Global satellite-measured temperatures in August for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 3rd warmest in the 34-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). Wunderground’s weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of August in his August 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.

Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for August 2012. Most areas of the world experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including much of Canada, Southeast Europe, and Western Asia. Central Russia was much cooler than average. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

El Niño watch continues
Sea surface temperatures were at 0.5°C above average as of September 17 in the equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America, and have been near or above the 0.5°C above average–the threshold needed for a weak El Niño event–since the beginning of July. However, winds, pressures, and cloud cover over the region have not responded in the fashion typically associated with an El Niño, and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) classified conditions as being neutral in their September 6 El Niño discussion. They continued their El Niño watch, and gave a 69% chance that an El Niño event will be in place by the end of September. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. Wind shear has been close to average over the tropical Atlantic since the beginning of hurricane season in June. However, the past few runs of the GFS model have predicted a significant rise in wind shear over the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic by early October, which may represent El Niño finally beginning to kick in and affect the atmospheric circulation over the Atlantic.

Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent as of September 18, 2012 (black line) compared to the previous record low years, in millions of square kilometers. This year’s extent is far below any previous year, and is close to its minimum for the year. Satellite measurements of ice extent began in 1979. Image credit: Danish Meteorological Institute.

Arctic sea ice falls to all-time record low during August
August 2012 Arctic sea ice extent reached its lowest August extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The new sea ice record was set on August 26, a full three weeks before the usual end of the melting season. Every major scientific institution that tracks Arctic sea ice agrees that new records for low ice area, extent, and volume have been set (see the comprehensive collection of sea ice graphs here.) Satellite records of sea ice extent date back to 1979, though a 2011 study by Kinnard et al. shows that the Arctic hasn’t seen a melt like this for at least 1,450 years (see a more detailed article on this over at skepticalscience.com.) The latest September 18, 2012 extent of 3.5 million square kilometers is approximately a 50% reduction in the area of Arctic covered by sea ice, compared to the average from 1979 – 2000. The amount of open ocean exposed this September compared to September 1980 is about 43% of the size of the contiguous United States. The ice extent is close to its minimum for the year, and should start in increase within the next week or two, but that open water over the Arctic will provide a significant amount of heat and moisture to the atmosphere over the next few months that will significantly alter weather patterns. One possible impact may be an increase in the intensity and duration of extreme weather events during fall and winter.

Video 1. This animation shows the 2012 time-series of ice extent using sea ice concentration data from the DMSP SSMI/S satellite sensor. The black area represents the daily average (median) sea ice extent over the 1979-2000 time period. Layered over top of that are the daily satellite measurements from January 1 – September 14, 2012. A rapid melt begins in July, whereby the 2012 ice extents fall far below the historical average. Source: NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

Nadine approaching the Azores
Long-lived Tropical Storm Nadine is headed northeastwards on a track that will bring the storm close to the Azores Islands on Wednesday and Thursday. A tropical storm watch has been posted for the islands of Flores and Corvo in the northwestern Azores. Steering currents for Nadine are expected to weaken on Wednesday, and the storm will move slowly and erratically for many days in the Central Atlantic late this week and early next week. On Friday, Nadine will become tangled up with an upper-level low pressure system, and the storm may partially or fully convert to an extratropical storm. By this weekend, the GFS and ECMWF models predict Nadine will move southwestward over warmer waters, and it could become fully tropical again.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, thunderstorm activity associated with a tropical wave that moved through the Lesser Antilles Islands yesterday (92L) has diminished, and this wave is no longer a threat to develop. None of the reliable computers models is showing development of a new tropical cyclone in the Atlantic through September 24.

from:    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html

Weather Historian C.C. Burt on July’s extreme Temps Worldwide

Recap of record-breaking heat this past July in the U.S. + Asian heat record?

Published: 8:52 PM GMT on August 02, 2012

Recap of record-breaking heat this past July in the U.S. Possible new heat record for Asia observed

Although the final ranking of this past July will not be released by the NCDC until around August 7th, it would appear that the month will almost certainly rank in the top five warmest July’s on record since official records began in 1895 (and perhaps even in the top three). Here is a summary of some of the more notable records set so far this summer. In addition, I have included a brief message concerning a potential new heat record for the continent of Asia.

Although this map is specifically for July 5th, it represents the overall pattern that most of the country has been stuck with for almost the entire month of July 2012.

Warmest Single Month on Record (any month)

Preliminary data from the NCDC reports that 4,313 record daily highs, 293 monthly record highs, and 171 all-time record highs were observed this past July (among the approximately 5,500 various official weather sites across the nation). Many of these sites, however, have limited periods of record that do not extend back to the 1930s when the country’s greatest heat waves occurred.

The WU extremes U.S. database follows 298 significant sites in the country, all of which have long periods of record (almost all back to the 19th century) and represent a mosaic of evenly spaced geographic locations representing all the climate zones in the country. About 90% of the country’s population resides within a 50-mile radius of one of these sites. From this list the following cities recorded their single-warmest month on record:

The following cities from the WU extremes database have broken or tied their all-time absolute maximum temperatures on record (including this past June):

Comparing this July to July of 2011

Perhaps what is truly astonishing is that this July (2012) piggybacks upon the equally torrid summer (and July) of 2011. Although, back-to-back record-breaking hot summers are not unheard of (summers in the 1930s and 1950s come to mind) it is nevertheless disconcerting.

Here is a comparison of extremes reached in July 2012 versus July 2011. Also, to put this in context, is a comparison to July of 1936, still almost certainly the hottest July (and single month) in U.S. records. Again this list includes only the 298 cities in the WU database:

This table shows the number of cities (out of 298 in all) that recorded their respective single-warmest month on record and absolute maximum temperature on record for the June-July month timeframes in 2012, 2011, and 1936.

Honorable Mentions

Other major cities came VERY close to breaking their all-time warmest single month on record including Washington, D.C. (National Airport) with a July average of 84.0° just shy of the record 84.5° set last July (2011). The Dulles Airport location was also close with 80.6° vs. 81.0° in July 2011. Raleigh, North Carolina averaged 83.5°, shy of their record 84.1° set in August 2007. Chicago, Illinois official site at O’Hare Airport registered an average of 81.1° just short of the 81.3° record set in July 1995. However, the Chicago Midway Airport location, which is more representative of the city itself and also has a much longer period of record (POR) than O’Hare, smashed its all-time warmest month record with an average of 82.6° versus 81.3° in July 1955. Louisville, Kentucky experienced its warmest ever July with an average of 84.5°, but fell short of its single-hottest-month record of 85.0° set in August 2007. Madison, Wisconsin (home of my alma matter!) has just endured its 2nd hottest month on record with a 79.4° average, just short of the record 79.8° set way back in July 1901.

Of course, this is just a short list of the many amazing ‘heat feats’ this past July. I should also mention a couple of the many endurance records that have been set:

Fort Wayne, Indiana: 22 consecutive days above 90° ending on July 18 (old record was 14).

St. Louis, Missouri: 11 days above 105° (old record was 10 in 1934). Also, St. Louis tied its warmest night on record with a low of 86° on July 25th (also occurred on July 24, 1901).

New Asian Heat Record Set?

On a similar topic but different continent, I have late word in from temperature detective Maximiliano Herrera that on July 31st a temperature of 53.6°C (128.5°F) was measured at Sulaibya (Sulaibiya), Kuwait. This location is on the outskirts of Kuwait city and is a water treatment facility.

A Google map image of the location in Kuwait of Sulaibya. Google Earth image.

Although the Kuwaiti meteorological office must make a final determination towards the records validity, a local expert, Dr. Juergen Herrmann (Team Leader Meteorology Specialists, Stanley Consultants, Int’l based in Kuwait) has the following comments in response to a request from Max for additional details:

“We are aware of the new record temperatures. There is no reason why these should not be considered records. Everything is technically OK at the station. You may have detected that the same day we had quiet an amount of other stations in the “vicinity” also have high to record temperatures.

The microclimate at this agro-station is surrounded by high sand dunes and thus has very low wind speeds at 2m height [which] results in a local heat island. Therefore I would not consider this temperature representative for an area bigger than 0.5×0.5km. The next station to Sulaibiya which gives a proper picture for the surrounding area is Jahra – 40586 – and had maximum temperature at the same day of 51.8 deg C. To my best guess this verifies both stations are working properly. Especially as a number of other stations also had really high temperatures that day due to generally low wind speeds with nearly no dust reducing the incoming solar radiation.”

If verified, this would surpass the 53.5°C (128.3°F) measured at Moen Jo-Daro, Pakistan on May 26, 2010. The reading of 54°C (129.2°F) from Tirat Tsvi, Israel on June 22, 1942 remains under suspicion. The Israeli Met. Office pursued an investigation of the record this past year (prompted by an enquiry from the WMO and myself) and concluded it was valid. However, they have refused to make public the details leading to their conclusions, so until they do so the record remains suspect.

KUDOS: Maximiliano Herrera for uncovering yet another possible world record temperature.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

from:    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/article.html

Warmest Spring on Record

Warmest Spring on Record Hits Continental US

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 08 June 2012 Time: 11:20 AM ET
Significant weather events for May 2012 in the U.S.

Significant weather events for May 2012 in the U.S.

Warmth across much of the continental U.S. last month secured an impressive list of weather records. So far, the lower 48 have seen their warmest spring on record, as well as the warmest year-to-date, and the warmest 12-month since record keeping began in 1895. ‘

These records derive from the unusual warmth the eastern two-thirds of the lower 48 states have been experiencing. In May, only the northwestern states did not experience warmer-than-average temperatures, according to the U.S. the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Adminstration.

For the season overall, 31 states had record warmth for the season, and 11 others had spring temperatures that ranked among their 10 warmest. Only Oregon and Washington had spring temperatures near their averages.

Warmest Spring on Record Hits Continental US

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 08 June 2012
Significant weather events for May 2012 in the U.S.
Significant weather events for May 2012 in the U.S.

Warmth across much of the continental U.S. last month secured an impressive list of weather records. So far, the lower 48 have seen their warmest spring on record, as well as the warmest year-to-date, and the warmest 12-month since record keeping began in 1895. ‘

These records derive from the unusual warmth the eastern two-thirds of the lower 48 states have been experiencing. In May, only the northwestern states did not experience warmer-than-average temperatures, according to the U.S. the National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Adminstration.

For the season overall, 31 states had record warmth for the season, and 11 others had spring temperatures that ranked among their 10 warmest. Only Oregon and Washington had spring temperatures near their averages.

Earlier this year, NOAA named winter — December, January and February cumulatively — as the fourth-warmest for the lower 48. Meteorologists and climate experts attributed this unusually mild winter to the configuration of the jet stream, a band of westerly high-altitude winds.

Last month itself ranked as the second warmest May on record. Meanwhile, April ranked as the third warmest for the lower 48 on record, following the warmest March on record for more than a century.

May saw cooler-than-average conditions in Alaska and drought in Hawaii. Precipitation patterns across the country were mixed; rainfall improved drought conditions in the Northeast, for example, but ongoing drought, combined with windy conditions, created ideal wildfire conditions across the Southwest, NOAA’s monthly report stated.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/20838-2012-warmest-record-continental.html


Winter Forecast fr/Storm Central

2011-2012 Winter Weather Forecast (NEW)

Posted: September 25, 2011 by Storm Central in Uncategorized


Storm Central is predicting a big year once again. This years winter will include both the Moderate and Weak Blocking Pattern with timing being forecast later. The La Nina pattern will be in full force this year.

Here are the Monthly Forecasts:
Important Key You Need To Know!

Precipitation Graphical Forecast: 
-Dark Green= Way Above Average Precipation
-Light Green= Above Average Precipation
-Gray= Average Precipitation
-Light Brown/Orange=Just Below Average Precipation
-Dark Brown=Way Below Precipitation

Temperatures Graphical Forecast:
-Dark Blue=Below Average Temperatures
-Light Blue=Just Below Average Temperatures
-Gray=Average Temperatures
-Light Brown/Orange=Just Above Average Temperatures
-Dark Brown= Way Above Average Temperatures 

 November^ (Precipitation)- November was a fairly east month to do with this years winter forecasts. The La Nina pattern will begin to get it’s act together greater starting in November. With the Greenland Blocking situation in November, Models consitanly to show weak blocking which would keep the cold air and moisture to the north where the Jet Stream is. That means most of the United States would be dry. Drier than a usual November in Texas and the South as November will not be providing relief to you guys down south. The Jet Stream would stretch into the upper North East so some areas would see rain but just above average rainfall. November is not looking like a major month for big winter storms but Alberta Clippers would produce precipitation to the North.

November (Below) Temperatures- Since the Blocking will be up north, Only those areas will see slightly below tempertures. Other areas to the south will see normal to way above average temperatures for the Month of November. The Southeast will contie to stay warm and areas that are not normally warm or average in November will be this year.

December ^ (Precipitation)- Oddly enough I am forecasting December to be allot like November. Cool pool only coming a bit farther south with the blocking to IL and some moisture to those areas. Texas and other areas will still be way below average with Tempatrues and so will California. As for Seattle the main machine begins to kick in for the rest of the Winter. Alberta Clippers will be the main threat for December with their little moisture.

December (Below) Temperatures- As you can see the cool pool is to the north and spreading just into the northern portions of the North East. Nebraska and Kansas will be above average and California and New Mexico will be Way Above Average for the Temperatures.

Way Above Average for the Temperatures.
January ^ (Precipitation)- This is where things begin to take a turn for the worse as the greenland block shifts to Moderate and the storms begin to move more southerly that could pick up moisture come the middle to end of January. That could spread snow into KY, IL, IN, OH and up the east coast come January. Clippers won’t be as big come January as mild to big storms will be more of an inportance. We could see 1 or 2 blizzards or big storms out of this pattern that could dump snow on areas that are not used to it. As for the West it will stay dry and so will the south as this pattern will not bring a huge amount of moisture to the south or the west.

January (Below) Temperatures- With this pattern comes the cold weather which could very well be strong in Wisconsin and Minnesota along with New York State and Portions of the North East. As for the middle of the Country, Normal to just below depending on your location. All depends on this moderate blocking I am expecting in January. West will stay warm and at times very warm.

February ^ (Precipitation)- This is when I am expecting to get hit with a rock so to speak with system after system. Still a moderate blocking pattern so the precipation train will as followed through the center of the country. A big point to notice in Feburay as Wisconsin and Minnesota will be just below average for Febuary. I am forecasting the major storms to stay south of their and the clippers will be sporadic.  West will contuie to be warm but a little more precipation with the more active moderate blocking pattern. Note how Texas could get some precipation from the southerly storm tracks that choose to make a run and grab mositure and pull northward. This would be the month where many big storms could be an affect to the country from Iowa to as far south as Tennesse with Wintery Precipitation.

February (Below) Temperatures- February will also be the most extreme month for cold tempartures as the cool pool with be a bit farther south. Chicago will be cold from Late January to Feburary. Cool air could even get into MS and AL as a brief spell of a Strong Blocking Pattern could take effect and send some coolrer than average temperatures or just around average to those areas. West will stay warm as the block will have virtully no affect on them.

Overall Storm Central Winter Forecast (For the Ones that Don’t Like to Read) :) 
The above is official to Storm Central along with all the other outlook graphics. Note the key on the side, it’s very basic. Let me do some more explaining.
-Dark Blue: South and North Dakota as well as the U.P. Of Michigan along with other areas will be very cold this winter. Snow will be a big deal come December and January but should lay off a bit over February when storm tracks should stay south or a stray one could go northward. 
-Light Blue: Looks like the worst of winter could actually be in this area at one point in time as that will be the average area per month for the Storm Tracks. A few Blizzards and big storms could affect these areas in light blue that could produce massive storm fall precipitation all the way to the East Coast. Temperatures will be from average to just below average for most of these areas through the months of November through February (Check Monthly Forecast Above).
-Red: Ice Storms could make an impact to these areas as the block will shift south. Snowfall could also occur if location is cold enough.
-Light Brown/Orange: Above average winter for most of these areas as well as below average precipitation (Depends on month). 
-Dark Brown: A really dry and warm winter for you. 

Overall: This winter will be a harsh one. One that will be a cold one for some areas or could be a warm one in others.

to read more and see more maps, go  to:    http://centralstorm.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/2011-2012-winter-weather-forecast-new/

Most Extreme July on Record

fr/Dr. Jeff Masters, an analysis of weather in July:

According to the National Climatic Data Center‘s Climate Extremes Index, July 2011 was the most extreme July on record (since 1910) with a value of 37%. The Climate Extremes Index is created by merging the various climate indicators (drought, flood, extreme heat, extreme cold, etc.) into an index that can be tracked over time. This month’s record CEI was due to extreme warm minimum temperatures across the country, wet northern Plains and Great Lakes, extreme warm maximum temperatures, and the severe drought across the South and Gulf Coast.

It was the fourth warmest July on record for the nation, and the fourth warmest month overall with an average temperature of 77°F. Extreme heat continued to bake the South, and Oklahoma and Texas both had their warmest months on record. Oklahoma’s statewide average temperature was a remarkable 88.9°F in July, which is the warmest monthly statewide average for any state in any month. Dallas, Texas hit or exceeded 100°F on 30 out of the 31 days in July. For the entire South climate region, which comprises Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, July 2011 was the warmest month on record for any of the climate regions.

As we noted in a previous blog, an unprecedented area of exceptional drought covered the United States in July, the largest area in the history of the U.S. Drought Monitor. 75% of Texas was in an exceptional drought, and the entire state of Oklahoma was in moderate to exceptional drought in July. The NCDC estimates that it would take 20 inches of rain to end the drought in one month in the worst hit areas of Oklahoma and Texas.

to read more, go to:    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1876