January 2010: extremes and monthly summary

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 02:33 PM GMT del 19 Febbraio 2010

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The globe recorded its fourth warmest January since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated January 2010 as the 2nd warmest January on record, behind January 2007. January 2010 global ocean temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, next to 1998. Land temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record, but in the Northern Hemisphere, they were the 18th warmest. The relatively cool Northern Hemisphere land temperatures may have been due to the well-above average amount of snow on the ground--January 2010 snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the 6th highest in the past 44 years. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest on record in January, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and RSS data sets. This was the second time in the past three months that the UAH data set has shown a record high global atmospheric temperature.


Figure 1. Departure of surface temperature from average for January 2010. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A few notable global weather highlights from January 2010:

According to the United Kingdom's Met Office, the U.K. as a whole had its coolest January since 1987 and the eighth coolest January since records began in 1914. Scotland had its coolest January since 1979. During the first two weeks of January, the Irish Republic experienced a spell of extreme cold weather that began in mid-December, resulting in the most extreme cold spell over Ireland since early 1963, according to the Irish Meteorological Service. Most places of the Irish Republic had its coolest January since 1985 and the coolest January since 1963 in the Dublin area.

A rare summer snowfall occurred on January 18th in the town of Bombala, New South Wales, Australia. The town received a light dusting of accumulation, marking the first summer snow in the high terrain of southeast Australia since records began in 1965. The town has an elevation of around 3,000 feet (900 meters) above sea-level. Forecasters said that snow at such low elevations is unusual at any time of year, especially summer. Six days before the snow, temperatures had hit 37°C (99°F) in Bombala.

Eleven inches (28 cm) of snow fell in Seoul, South Korea on the 3rd, marking the greatest snowfall amount for that city since records began in 1937 (Source: BBC).

Central Beijing, China received 3 inches (8 cm) of snow on the 2nd, the most for a single day since January 1951, while suburbs of the city reported 13 inches (33 cm). Over 90 percent of flights at Beijing.s International Airport were affected. On January 6th, temperatures in Beijing dropped to -16.7°C (1.9°F), the lowest minimum temperature in the first ten days of January since 1971.


Figure 2. An unusual sight: Virtually all of Britain was covered by snow on January 7, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

January 2010: near-average temperatures in the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., the average January temperature was 0.3°F above average, making it the 55th coolest January in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The U.S. has been on quite a roller coaster of temperatures over the past four months--the nation recorded its third coldest October on record, followed by its third warmest November, followed by its 14th coolest December, followed by an average January. The coolest January temperature anomalies were in Florida, which had its 10th coldest such month. The Pacific Northwest was very warm, with Oregon and Washington recording their 4th warmest January on record. Seattle experienced its warmest January since records began in 1891.


Figure 3. Ranking of temperatures by state for January 2010. Florida had its 10th coldest January on record, while Washington and Oregon had their 4th warmest. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

U.S. drought
Precipitation across the U.S. was near average in January. Notably, Arizona had its 5th wettest January and New Mexico its 7th wettest. The only state much drier than average was Michigan, which had its 8th driest January. At the end of January, 3% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought, a decrease of 4% from the previous month. This is the lowest drought footprint for the country since detailed drought statistics began in 1999.

U.S. records
A few notable records set in the U.S. during January 2010, courtesy of the National Climatic Data Center::

All-time low pressure records were set across most of California, Arizona, Nevada, and southern Oregon on January 20 - 21. This was approximately 10 - 15% of the area of the U.S.

Arizona set its all-time 24-hour state snowfall record: 48" at Sunrise Mountain Jan. 21 - 22.

The 50.7 inches (129 cm) that fell in Flagstaff, AZ Jan. 16 - 23 was the third highest five-day total ever recorded there.

Yuma, Arizona's total of 2.44 inches of rain (62 mm) was their 2nd greatest January total ever, narrowly missing the record of 2.49 (63 mm) set in 1949. Their daily total of 1.95 (50 mm) inches on the 21st was the greatest one-day January total ever.

Near Wikieup, AZ, the Big Sandy River crested at 17.9 feet, washing away numerous roads and setting a new all-time record crest, breaking the previous record of 16.4 feet set back in March 1978.

Burlington, VT had its largest single snowstorm on record, 33.1" on Jan. 1 - 3.

Sioux City, IA tied its all-time max snow depth record (28" on Jan. 7).

Beckley, WV had its snowiest January on record (40.9"; old record 37.3" in 1996)

Bellingham, Washington tied its record highest January temperature of 65°F on January 11.

Hondo, Texas tied its record coldest January temperature of 12°F on January 9.

Cotulla la Salle, Texas tied its record coldest January temperature of 16°F on January 9.

Records were broken or tied at Daytona Beach, Orlando, Melbourne, and Vero Beach Florida for the greatest number of consecutive days in which the daily high temperature remained below 60 degrees F (15.5 C). Daytona Beach's string was twelve days.

Jackson, KY and London, KY tied their record for longest streak of consecutive days falling below 32°F (11 days). Pensacola, FL had its 2nd longest such streak (10 days), and Mobile, AL its 3rd longest (10 days).

Key West, FL had its 2nd coldest temperature ever measured, 42°F. The record is 41°F, set in 1981 and 1886.

Moderate El Niño conditions continue
Moderate El Niño conditions continue over the tropical Eastern Pacific. Ocean temperatures in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were at 1.2°C above average on February 10, in the middle of the 1.0°C - 1.5°C range for a moderate El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The strength of El Niño has been roughly constant for the first two weeks of February. A burst of westerly winds that developed near the Date Line in January has pushed eastwards towards South America over the past month, and this should keep the current El Niño at moderate strength well into March. All of the El Niño models forecast that El Niño has peaked and will weaken by summer. Most of the models predict that El Niño conditions will last into early summer, but cross the threshold into neutral territory by the height of hurricane season.

January sea ice extent in the Arctic 4th lowest on record
January 2010 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 4th lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. Ice extent was lower than in 2009 and 2008, but greater than in 2005, 2006, and 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The weather pattern over the Arctic in the first half of January 2010 featured a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation (AO). This pattern tends to slow the winds that typically flush large amounts of sea ice out of the Arctic between Greenland and Iceland. In this way, a negative AO could help retain some the second- and third-year ice through the winter, and potentially rebuild some of the older, multi-year ice that has been lost over the past few years. However, the ice pack is the thinnest on record for this time of year, and much above average temperatures this summer would likely cause a new record summertime sea ice loss.

Next post
My next post will be Monday or Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting pottery:
Good Morning Aussie, Good Evening Orca and everyone else.
Whatever is burning out there in the bush east of me, I'm smoking. Whether I like it or not.
The wife is Complaining about the black feet from soot.
The gas powered water pump packed up.
The cisterns are low.
Anyone need a house guest for 3 months?


Oh, geez, no wonder RobDaHood temporarily closed his blog -- must have heard you were lookin' (J/K)!
:)

Now where we gonna' go? :(

Matzoh-ball & chicken soup tonight, Pottery.
It's still cold here...they say it hit 50F., but I swear it felt colder...dirty snow on the ground doesn't make one feel very warm towards anything.

Soup's ready, BBL.
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Good Morning Aussie, Good Evening Orca and everyone else.
Whatever is burning out there in the bush east of me, I'm smoking. Whether I like it or not.
The wife is Complaining about the black feet from soot.
The gas powered water pump packed up.
The cisterns are low.
Anyone need a house guest for 3 months?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


I hear your going to have snow.. sorry to hear that.. (snicker snicker)

Between gardening, mowing the lawn.. and golfing... its been a nice weekend :)


FINALLY. But not a big storm compared to what we got on January 3 (Toronto didn't get that much).
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Quoting centex:
It's been a warm sunny and very dry day here, so while snow may be forecasted we have vey nice weather today also. Didn't get the clubs out but wished I did but did prepare garden for planting.


Its been to warm here... was 15 yesterday and 13 today.. no clouds at all.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I hear your going to have snow.. sorry to hear that.. (snicker snicker)

Between gardening, mowing the lawn.. and golfing... its been a nice weekend :)
It's been a warm sunny and very dry day here, so while snow may be forecasted we have vey nice weather today also. Didn't get the clubs out but wished I did but did prepare garden for planting.
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
whatever yer smoking

evening aussie or good morning


I hear your going to have snow.. sorry to hear that.. (snicker snicker)

Between gardening, mowing the lawn.. and golfing... its been a nice weekend :)
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Quoting centex:
I can't divulge the sources but the plane that crashed into building housing IRS offices hit a main steel beam head on, why you see tail of plane outside of building. If he flew feet higher or lower the body count would have been much higher. It's also expected he had 55 gallon drums onboard
Sorry for repeat, was trying to correct typos.
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
Quoting centex:
.
I can't divulge the sources but the plane that crashed into building housing IRS offices hit a main steel beam head on, why you see tail of plane outside of building. If he flew feet higher or lower the body count would have been much higher. It's also expected he had 55 gallon drums onboard
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
whatever yer smoking

evening aussie or good morning
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Quoting pottery:
As a matter of interest, the temp on my shaded patio is now 94F, with smoke in the air.
Not very nice.......

What you smoking?
I have 89F and heading for 95F. Clear blue skys and a light NNE breeze.
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I can't divulge the sources but the plane that crashed into building housing IRS offices hit a main steal beam head on, why you see tail of plane outside of building. If he flew feet higher or lower the body count would have been much higher. It's also expected he had 55 gallon drums onboard.
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
701. JRRP
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Basically to sum it up: 2008 part 2.

exactly
Member Since: Agosto 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5707
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


I see that you are using MY SST anomaly image! :P



Are the black areas cloud cover? If so then that's a storm directly over the area that's poised to let the ENSO warm pool spin out of control.

Yes, black areas, outside of landmass, are persistent cloudiness.

(No comment on that out-of-controlness)
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Quoting Drakoen:
Winter storm warning is up for areas between I-20 and I-10 in Texas.

GFS 18z has spread the moisture further northward and eastward to even give coastal communities of Texas a shot at some snow. GFS attempting cyclogenesis in the GOM may be the reason for this.
Please post link, I'm not seeing the warnings at this time.
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
Quoting StormW:




I see that you are using MY SST anomaly image! :P

Quoting atmoaggie:

global SSTs measured in the last week


(Click for full size)


Are the black areas cloud cover? If so then that's a storm directly over the area that's poised to let the ENSO warm pool spin out of control.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
I assume you mean winter storm watch. HGX is also considering issuing one for my area. From HGX:

THE MAIN FORECAST ISSUE IS THE WINTER WEATHER EXPECTED TUE AFT AND
NIGHT ACROSS THE N/NW PORTIONS OF THE AREA. THE LATEST GFS IS
INDICATING THAT WE COULD SEE ACCUMULATIONS OF GREATER THAN AN INCH
ALONG AND NORTH OF A CALDWELL TO TRINITY LINE. MAY SEE
ACCUMULATIONS OF GREATER THAN 2 INCHES A LITTLE FURTHER NORTH THAN
THIS LINE. IT IS ALL GOING TO DEPEND ON WHERE MESOSCALE BANDING
SETS UP. WE HAVE THE LUXURY OF A LITTLE MORE TIME BEFORE DECIDING
ON A WINTER STORM WATCH...BUT THIS IS A POSSIBILITY FOR A FEW OF
OUR N/NW COUNTIES. STAY TUNED. FURTHER SOUTH...WE COULD BE IN AN
ADVISORY SITUATION FOR A MIX OF SNOW AND RAIN. HARD TO DRAW THIS
LINE ATTM.


You could see 1-2 inches in College Station
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A brief warm up for us in so. Fla., then another cool down later this week:

Local Text Forecast for
West Palm Beach, FL (33409)

Feb 21 Tonight
Cloudy with a few showers. Low 62F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Feb 22 Tomorrow
Cloudy with occasional showers. Thunder possible. High 74F. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Feb 22 Tomorrow night
Rain showers in the evening becoming more intermittent overnight. Thunder possible. Low 62F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Feb 23 Tuesday
Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Feb 24 Wednesday
A few thunderstorms possible. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 50s.
Feb 25 Thursday
Sunshine. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the mid 40s.
Feb 26 Friday
A few clouds. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the mid 40s.
Feb 27 Saturday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the mid 50s.
Feb 28 Sunday
More sun than clouds. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the upper 50s.
Mar 1 Monday
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Mar 2 Tuesday
Showers. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
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I assume you mean winter storm watch. HGX is also considering issuing one for my area. From HGX:

THE MAIN FORECAST ISSUE IS THE WINTER WEATHER EXPECTED TUE AFT AND
NIGHT ACROSS THE N/NW PORTIONS OF THE AREA. THE LATEST GFS IS
INDICATING THAT WE COULD SEE ACCUMULATIONS OF GREATER THAN AN INCH
ALONG AND NORTH OF A CALDWELL TO TRINITY LINE. MAY SEE
ACCUMULATIONS OF GREATER THAN 2 INCHES A LITTLE FURTHER NORTH THAN
THIS LINE. IT IS ALL GOING TO DEPEND ON WHERE MESOSCALE BANDING
SETS UP. WE HAVE THE LUXURY OF A LITTLE MORE TIME BEFORE DECIDING
ON A WINTER STORM WATCH...BUT THIS IS A POSSIBILITY FOR A FEW OF
OUR N/NW COUNTIES. STAY TUNED. FURTHER SOUTH...WE COULD BE IN AN
ADVISORY SITUATION FOR A MIX OF SNOW AND RAIN. HARD TO DRAW THIS
LINE ATTM.
Member Since: Agosto 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
Winter storm warning is up for areas between I-20 and I-10 in Texas.

GFS 18z has spread the moisture further northward and eastward to even give coastal communities of Texas a shot at some snow. GFS attempting cyclogenesis in the GOM may be the reason for this.
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Quoting beell:
Drak,
So that brings us back to shape and track of the mid-level energy. Would this be a good spot to continue this discussion at a later time?

Appreciate your thoughts!




If you wish to continue the discussion at a later time that is fine. The models differ on the shape on the mid level energy. The GFS looks less elongated than it did yesterday but it's still shearing out the vorticity as it the PVA moves eastward. It's tracking down through the Texas/Mexico border. The ECMWF has a much more organized shortwave with the vorticity being more compact. The NAM seems to have issues ejecting the shortwave out of the four corners region and show several embedded vortices within the trough. My thoughts are the the shortwave may end up looking more like the ECMWF which has a relatively consistent showing of the vort max associated with the shortwave. With the shortwave axis being just west of the precipitation with the stimulation from vertical acsent in the right entrance region of the jet stream would yield higher amounts of QPF.
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This was the most intersting excerpt from NWS discussion from FW NWS office. This covers the area waco and N.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
352 PM CST SUN FEB 21 2010

ALL OF THE INGREDIENTS ARE THERE FOR HEAVY SNOW BANDING LATE
TUESDAY MORNING OR EARLY TUESDAY AFTERNOON. BECAUSE WE ARE
EXPECTING MOST OF THE ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL TO COME FROM BANDING
THERE IS QUITE A BIT OF UNCERTAINTY AS TO THE EXACT PLACEMENT OF
THESE FEATURES. BEING MESOSCALE IN NATURE...WE MAY NOT HAVE A
GREAT HANDLE ON THE PLACEMENT OF THESE FEATURES UNTIL 6-12 HRS
BEFORE THEY DEVELOP.
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
690. beell
Drak,
So that brings us back to shape and track of the mid-level energy. Would this be a good spot to continue this discussion at a later time?

Appreciate your thoughts!

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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Global SSTs again:


global SSTs measured in the last week


(Click for full size)

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Quoting beell:


Match that up with the surface and 850mb temps.


I did that. 850mb temps between -3C to 0C. Surface temperatures in the lower to mid 30s. I mentioned steep lapse rate in respect to heavy snowfall which will probably cool the surface faster and allow the snow to accumulate.
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687. beell
Quoting Drakoen:


500mb-700mb:



Match that up with the surface and 850mb temps.
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Quoting beell:


Through what layer?


500mb-700mb:

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685. beell
Quoting Drakoen:


I'm looking at the GFS soundings which are near steep conditions around 7.5C/km


Through what layer?
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Quoting beell:


Those same BUFKIT soundings are only showing 5-6°C/km lapse rates (500mb-700mb). Mostly due to the mid-level trough hanging back (in the models).


I'm looking at the GFS soundings which are near steep conditions around 7.5C/km
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683. beell
Quoting Drakoen:


LOL!!!

I change around data in the bufkit to include my snow to liquid ratio estimates based on averaging the zone omega ratios with the standard ratios. The Bufkit is the best thing to look at in terms of forecasting snow. My current thinking is for the heaviest snow to occur around Brownwood eastward towards Waco. That's where the heavy snow axis should set up where the frontogenetical forcing will be the strongest with steep mid level lapse rates to allow for heavy snow bands to form. I'm leaning towards the GFS and ECMWF solution which would give San Angelo more around 6-8inches. I could see 8-12 inches of snow in Brownwood and Waco.


Those same BUFKIT soundings are only showing 5-6°C/km lapse rates (500mb-700mb). Mostly due to the mid-level trough hanging back (in the models). ADDED: And also limit the amount of forcing from any type of front untill the mid-level trough finaly pulls through the area.
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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
256 PM CST SUN FEB 21 2010

THE GFS/ECMWF/NAM SNOW AMOUNTS FOR THIS EVENT ARE IN GOOD
AGREEMENT...WITH THE GFS BEING THE MOST BULLISH. WE HAVE USED A
BLEND FOR OUR SNOW ACCUMULATION FCST. THE WEST TO EAST SNOW BAND
WILL STRETCH ACROSS WEST CENTRAL AND NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS WITH OUR
AREA BEING ON THE SOUTHERN PERIPHERY. HOWEVER SNOW AMOUNTS OF 1 TO
2 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS LLANO...BURNET AND WILLIAMSON
COUNTIES WITH 1 INCH POSSIBLE ACROSS NORTHERN TRAVIS COUNTY.
NORTHWEST BEXAR COUNTY COULD SEE UP TO ONE-HALF INCH. GROUND
TEMPERATURES ARE STILL WARM...SO MOST OF THE ACCUMULATIONS WILL
OCCUR ON GRASSY SURFACES.

Member Since: Agosto 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3233
Quoting beell:


Hard to say, Drak. Somewhere between KJST and KACT for the heaviest maybe. The NAM certainly likes Waco. The BUFKIT soundings are so nice to look at-how could they be wrong, LOL?

Still a little mindful of the dry northerly flow the farther east you go across central TX.

Future shape of the shortwave has yet to reveal itself to me. Base of the shortwave just nosing into northern CA.
RAMSDIS IR/WV


LOL!!!

I change around data in the bufkit to include my snow to liquid ratio estimates based on averaging the zone omega ratios with the standard ratios. The Bufkit is the best thing to look at in terms of forecasting snow. My current thinking is for the heaviest snow to occur around Brownwood eastward towards Waco. That's where the heavy snow axis should set up where the frontogenetical forcing will be the strongest with steep mid level lapse rates to allow for heavy snow bands to form. I'm leaning towards the GFS and ECMWF solution which would give San Angelo more around 6-8inches. I could see 8-12 inches of snow in Brownwood and Waco.
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679. beell
Quoting Drakoen:


I don't even think the NAM is showing that much for KSJT; the NAM vertical soundings in the bufkit are very different from the GFS. The NAM is showing the best omega region beneath snow growth zone which would result in lower snow to liquid ratios. I would estimate around 3-4 inches based on the NAM bufkit.


Hard to say, Drak. Somewhere between KJST and KACT for the heaviest maybe. The NAM certainly likes Waco. The BUFKIT soundings are so nice to look at-how could they be wrong, LOL?

Still a little mindful of the dry northerly flow the farther east you go across central TX.

Future shape of the shortwave has yet to reveal itself to me. Base of the shortwave just nosing into northern CA.
RAMSDIS IR/WV

Or here-11th frame down, on the right side of the page

well, maybe RAMSDIS blocks them all now...
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


That looks set to change as above-average temperatures and precipitation are expected in most of that SAL area by early hurricane season.
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Global SSTs again:

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


I'm really surprised about that area west of Peru. It looks like the Humboldt has retreated spetacularly.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Based on analog years for the past five hurricane seasons, and early-season SST anomalies, I predict that the 2010 hurricane season will produce:

16 named storms
7 major hurricanes
7 Caribbean storms
5 Cape Verde storms
4 US landfalling hurricanes
9 storms in the current >+1.0C anomaly area from the Canary Islands to Western Caribbean
4 retired names


Basically to sum it up: 2008 part 2.
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671. barak
It is just too darn warm in Oregon. Man, going to have start watering well before July again. El Nino is nothing but a bug generating water slurping, snow melting mess up here.
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Quoting beell:
Axis of best isentropic ascent of moisture on the 300k surface to the snow growth zone over San Angelo, TX (KJST). Somewhere between 550/650 mb as a rough estimate.
5-6" of snow possible.

Based on the 12ZNAM, valid 12Z Tuesday.

Photobucket


I don't even think the NAM is showing that much for KSJT; the NAM vertical soundings in the bufkit are very different from the GFS. The NAM is showing the best omega region beneath snow growth zone which would result in lower snow to liquid ratios. I would estimate around 3-4 inches based on the NAM bufkit.
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Quoting StormW:


Regardless...even if El Nino stays as "weak", if the Atlantic and MDR a warmer than the EPAC, you get the net effect of "neutral" conditions


I think that El Nino will be at neutral to slightly above by mid-season. This is almost exactly the type of conditions that took place in 2004 and 2005. Also the WHWP will likely develop this year in the Caribbean months ahead of schedule.
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Quoting MrstormX:


Definitely a cyclone


That storm is about to plough directly through a 30C+ area, the easternmost such pocket within the ENSO warm pool.
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0_o looks like a 4 day snow event for the northeast, eventually the coast will get in on it too.
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Definitely a cyclone
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663. beell
Axis of best isentropic ascent of moisture on the 300k surface to the snow growth zone over San Angelo, TX (KJST). Somewhere between 550/650 mb as a rough estimate.
5-6" of snow possible.

Based on the 12ZNAM, valid 12Z Tuesday.

Photobucket

Direct link to graphic
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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