Globe has 1st or 2nd warmest March on record; El Niño fades to weak category

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 02:20 PM GMT del 16 Aprile 2010

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The globe recorded its warmest March since record keeping began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Climatic Data Center. The March temperature anomaly of 0.77°C (1.39°F) beat the previous record set in 2002 by 0.03°C. The last time the globe had a record warmest month was in January 2007 (according to NOAA) or in November 2009 (according to NASA). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated March 2010 the second warmest March on record, 0.01°C behind the record set in 2002. The year-to-date period, January - March, is the 4th warmest such period on record, according to NOAA, and the warmest on record, according to NASA. March 2010 global ocean temperatures were the warmest on record, while land temperatures were the 4th warmest. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest on record in March, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) groups. The March temperature anomaly of 0.66°C was the third highest monthly anomaly on record, behind the 0.76°C anomalies measured in February and April of 1998.

For those interested, NCDC has a page of notable weather highlights from March 2010.


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

A warm March for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., it was the 32nd warmest March in the 116-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. For the third month in a row, Florida was the coldest state, relative to average. It was Florida's 4th coldest March. No other state had a top-ten coldest March. Rhode Island had its warmest March on record, and thirteen other states had a top-ten warmest March, including all of New England, plus Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Montana.

U.S. precipitation and drought
For the contiguous U.S., March 2010 ranked as the 35th driest in the 116-year record. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Montana recorded a top-ten driest March. However, all-time March precipitation records were set in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire and Connecticut each had a top-five wettest March. At the end of March, 2.0% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought. This is the lowest March drought footprint in the U.S. in the past ten years.


Figure 2. Computer model forecasts of El Niño/La Niña made in April. The forecasts that go above the red line at +0.5°C denote El Niño conditions; -0.5°C to +0.5°C denote neutral conditions, and below -0.5°C denote La Niña conditions. No computer models predict El Niño conditions and six predict La Niña for the upcoming hurricane season (ASO, August-September-October). The rest of the models predict neutral conditions. Image credit: Columbia University's IRI.

El Niño fades from moderate to weak
El Niño slowly weakened during late March and early April, and El Niño conditions crossed the threshold from moderate to weak during the past two weeks. Sea surface temperatures over the tropical Eastern Pacific in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were at 0.83°C above average on April 11, which is just below the 1.0°C threshold to be considered a moderate El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Anomalously strong westerly winds along the Equator that had helped maintain the current El Niño slackened in late March, and winds are now near average over the Equatorial Pacific. It now appears very likely that El Niño will be gone by hurricane season. None of the sixteen El Niño models (updated as of April 15) are predicting El Niño will be around during the height of hurricane season (August-September-October); six are predicting La Niña conditions for hurricane season. The expected demise of El Niño, coupled with sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic that are currently at record levels, have prompted two major hurricane forecasting groups (tropicalstormrisk.com and Colorado State University) to predict a well-above average 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

March sea ice extent in the Arctic 5th lowest on record
March 2010 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 5th lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. Ice extent was lower than in 2009 and 2008, but greater than in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The weather pattern over the Arctic during much of March 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, and the Arctic lost less ice this winter compared to the previous few years. The larger amount of multi-year ice could help more ice to survive the summer melt season. However, this replenishment consists primarily of younger, two- to three-year-old multi-year ice; the thickest ice more than three years old has continued to decline.

Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano continues to disrupt European air travel
The Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland erupted Wednesday, sending a towering cloud of volcanic ash 6 - 11 km (20,000 - 36,000') high in the air from its 1666 meter (5500') high peak. The ash cloud continues to cause a dramatic interruption of air traffic over much of northern Europe today, and this disruption will spread southwards and eastwards as the ash cloud gradually spreads and disperses. For the latest forecasts of where the ash cloud is expected to go, consult the UKMET Office. The Norwegian Institute for Air Research runs a computer trajectory model called FLEXPART that has longer, 3-day forecasts. The FLEXPART model shows that ash will continue to be a problem for much of Europe through Tuesday. Spain and Portugal look like the best bet to have airports that will stay open. An excellent source of links of information on the eruption is available at http://islande2010.mbnet.fr/2010/04/eyjafjallajok ul-links-liens-a-propos-de-leyjafjallajokul/. My post on Thursday discusses the likely non-impact of this eruption on Earth's climate.


Figure 3. Forecast extent of the plume from the Iceland volcano with the unpronounceable name. Forecast was made at 17 UTC Saturday, April 17, 2010, and is valid for 12 UTC Tuesday, April 20, 2010. Image credit: Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

Jeff Masters

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The webcam has cleared up nicely.


Big plume!

Link

Takes a while to load..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:

Just think, this is a fairly small eruption in the grand scheme of things. Imagine if Katla blows its top!


This is the point I was making yesterday. In the grand scheme of things, this is really not a big deal. The column has only gone a few clicks into the atmosphere, no large cloud of poisonous gas, and I have yet to see an image of ash falling from the sky and accumulating on the ground in several inches/feet.

All of these things are possible, and quite likely from a historical view, but the current situation is really quite benign. Precautionary measures have been taken by airports to avoid having engine troubles at higher altitudes has stranded passengers at airports... but this is a bit like a large winter snow/ice storm, large power outages, or that time I enjoyed the Jo-burg airport for over 24 hours.
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Quoting SQUAWK:

It is gonna be a whole lot uglier!!
Let's hope it doesn't happen.

I do not want it to happen, however, every time the little "E" volcano erupted in history, Katla did also.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:

Just think, this is a fairly small eruption in the grand scheme of things. Imagine if Katla blows its top!

It is gonna be a whole lot uglier!!
Let's hope it doesn't happen.
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Quoting NRAamy:
POLO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quoting SQUAWK:


That is just plain ugly!

Just think, this is a fairly small eruption in the grand scheme of things. Imagine if Katla blows its top!
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Quoting SQUAWK:


That is just plain ugly!


Can't begin to imagine what will happen if Katla blows.
Member Since: Agosto 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
goes 13 vis. anim. sat image

Member Since: Luglio 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting Bordonaro:


That is just plain ugly!
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POLO!!!!!!!!!!!!
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MARCO!!!!
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Hey Dan, who was the blogger who said we are all making a big fuss over a little volcano the other night? He hasn't been on since.

I think he said he was gonna be hiding out in JFV's bathroom...
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey Dan, who was the blogger who said we are all making a big fuss over a little volcano the other night? He hasn't been on since.


Sure he has, even bad mouthed me for pointing it out. LOL

Jeff9641
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi, I know that you said in March that you will wait until May to make a more complete forecast.But what you have seen until Mid-April,what has changed if anything?


Unfortunately, if anything has changed it's that things look worse than they did when I wrote my preliminary outlook in February.
Member Since: novembre 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i call them people blind why because they have eyes but cannot see or better yet refuse to see


Can't blame them too much. They are probably having trouble seeing through all that ash!!!
Member Since: Luglio 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26848
Quoting PcolaDan:


Noticed that too. Guess now that it's been reported on the US news it's different. ;-)

He got real quiet after I pointed out that the article he referred to was OLD NEWS.


I remember that! A day late and a dollar short. LOL
Member Since: Luglio 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26848
Several counties now under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning:
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey Dan, who was the blogger who said we are all making a big fuss over a little volcano the other night? He hasn't been on since.


Noticed that too. Guess now that it's been reported on the US news it's different. ;-)

He got real quiet after I pointed out that the article he referred to was OLD NEWS.
Member Since: Agosto 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
192. xcool
trough of low pressure, in gom ???
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Flightradar24.com shows live aircraft traffic in the airspace above Europe.


Showing: 98 aircrafts of 125 worldwide. (78 %)

Users online: ≈Too many
Member Since: Agosto 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Hi everyone!

Very strong storms are coming across the area and we just got hit be one that produced hail. It was just now that I found out that we were under a Sever Thunderstorm Watch!
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey Dan, who was the blogger who said we are all making a big fuss over a little volcano the other night? He hasn't been on since.
i call them people blind why because they have eyes but cannot see or better yet refuse to see
Member Since: Luglio 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting PcolaDan:
From France and Belgium to the Czech Republic and the eastern Baltic states, aviation authorities declared their airspaces closed, with many predicting the bans to last until Sunday. Eurocontrol said the impact would continue "for at least the next 24 hours".


Hey Dan, who was the blogger who said we are all making a big fuss over a little volcano the other night? He hasn't been on since.
Member Since: Luglio 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26848
Levi, I know that you said in March that you will wait until May to make a more complete forecast.But what you have seen until Mid-April,what has changed if anything?
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Having a meteor would be sweet.
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I will miss dr. lyons he knew his stuff whos his replacement?
Member Since: Aprile 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
From France and Belgium to the Czech Republic and the eastern Baltic states, aviation authorities declared their airspaces closed, with many predicting the bans to last until Sunday. Eurocontrol said the impact would continue "for at least the next 24 hours".
Member Since: Agosto 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting JFLORIDA:


that was a large one.


I actually found a small meteorite on my property about three years when clearing some bush and trees; about the size of a grapefruit..Based upon the color of the skin, it had probably been there in the bush for at least 15-30 years......Too cool to sell it so I keep it on "display" on the mantle...(and won't let the kids take it to school cause I don't want it lost)..
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180. xcool
Dr. Steve Lyons I've really enjoyed my 12 hurricane seasons at The Weather Channel. I thank all of you for your viewing support, web interactions and for joining my facebook page. I'm returning to the National Weather Service where I will help make weather forecasts that save lives and property. I am extremely excited about my new opportunity; I’ll see you in the Lone Star State soon! Sincerely, Dr. Steve
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Quoting atmoaggie:

???
No city-boy, here. No Demodont, either. And, no, I am not leaving America. I am calling my state legislator, instead.

Really, though, you do know why falsely yelling "Fire!" in a theater isn't protected free speech, right?

And most states do have laws about this, some very stringent: http://www.offroaders.com/info/tech-corner/lift-laws.htm

And I promise that if I get in an accident with a lifted vehicle outside of the bounds for it's state of register, I will absolutely be pointing that out, regardless of fault. Especially if it causes extra damage or injury (almost guaranteed).


I am a Yankee living in TX, a Blue Dog Democrat, who used to off road, owned several 4-wheel drive vehicles. I always tread-lightly, not to tear up and destroy nature's beauty. My kids and I had a blast, even had to burrow out of the mud a few times, we all loved it.

I was raising a large family, couldn't afford to install a lift kit, too expensive.

I am almost 50, I have learned to respect people, it makes for a peaceful life.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
they can only watch 10 percent of the sky at any given time there is and never will be 100 percent coverage


Just because of the sun there will always be a small amount uncovered- it seems we should have at least an automated network watching the inner planets with better coverage. IMHO - all it would take is one.
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Quoting JFLORIDA:


Its kinda disturbing they didnt pick this up before it hit the atmosphere.
they can only watch 10 percent of the sky at any given time there is and never will be 100 percent coverage
Member Since: Luglio 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
With this activity sturring in the Gulf it does appear we are in for one hect of an active season. Numerous thunderstorm activity all over the Caribbean as well for it being so early. Trinidad appears to have entered there rainy season early this year by about a month early. This means it is just a matter of time now before tropical waves start moving into the Caribbean.
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Quoting Jedkins01:




dude seriously, this is america, even Obama wouldn't consider a law against trucks with big lifts. If you don't like it, then leave america and go find a communist nation that would be cruel enough to actually regulate something of that nature.

Look if people want to drive small cars that are really green friendly, I don't mind, everyone is there own individual. This is america, the land of the free.

But please don't go criticizing country boys for their big trucks, that's a great way to make an enemy, if you're intimated by big trucks, then go live in the big city.

???
No city-boy, here. No Demodont, either. And, no, I am not leaving America. I am calling my state legislator, instead.

Really, though, you do know why falsely yelling "Fire!" in a theater isn't protected free speech, right?

And most states do have laws about this, some very stringent: http://www.offroaders.com/info/tech-corner/lift-laws.htm

And I promise that if I get in an accident with a lifted vehicle outside of the bounds for it's state of register, I will absolutely be pointing that out, regardless of fault. Especially if it causes extra damage or injury (almost guaranteed).
Member Since: Agosto 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Boca:
High hurricane activity predicted (once again) this year.

If they keep predicting it-- it will eventually happen.

Long term forecasts by these agencies are looking more and more to me like ways to pump headlines for their organizations. When they are wrong no one holds them accountable and the following year they get quoted again. Cheap hype to me.


Many of the signs trend towards a busier 2010 Atlantic/Caribbean Hurricane season. The dying El Nino, lower wind shear over the Atlantic basin, the -NAO, above normal SST off of E Africa and portions of the Caribbean.

At this point, an accurate prediction for the 2010 ATL Hurricane season is no better than a n educated guess.
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Its kinda disturbing they didnt pick this up before it hit the atmosphere.
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Quoting Boca:
High hurricane activity predicted (once again) this year.

If they keep predicting it-- it will eventually happen.

Long term forecasts by these agencies are looking more and more to me like ways to pump headlines for their organizations. When they are wrong no one holds them accountable and the following year they get quoted again. Cheap hype to me.



They have to justify THIS
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Boca:

I know you already know this... but 'hype' is just making claims without substantial back-up facts.

Yes, weather forecasters have engaged in that in the past, as has the weather channel, CNN and all of the others. Hype sells.

However, this year is different. There are substantial reasons and anomalies to back up the claims of a much more active than normal season. This year's forecast is a warning... not hype.
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lol
Member Since: Luglio 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting gordydunnot:
unless you think Pat Roberts controls the weather.
not unless pats got a ultra sonic atomospheric wave generating device
Member Since: Luglio 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting gordydunnot:
I cannot believe some of the topics that get discussed here, unless you think Pat Roberts controls the weather. So I'll give my two cents, Jesus said it best to pray in private. A little suspect of all those that make a public display of it.
Amen...
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Quoting Ossqss:
Meteorite Found West of Madison


that was a large one.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
I cannot believe some of the topics that get discussed here, unless you think Pat Roberts controls the weather. So I'll give my two cents, Jesus said it best to pray in private. A little suspect of all those that make a public display of it.

:0)
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I cannot believe some of the topics that get discussed here, unless you think Pat Roberts controls the weather. So I'll give my two cents, Jesus said it best to pray in private. A little suspect of all those that make a public display of it.
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163. Boca
High hurricane activity predicted (once again) this year.

If they keep predicting it-- it will eventually happen.

Long term forecasts by these agencies are looking more and more to me like ways to pump headlines for their organizations. When they are wrong no one holds them accountable and the following year they get quoted again. Cheap hype to me.
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Hey y'all - it's time for the 2010 Portlight/WU Honor Walk & Roll! Get out there and enjoy the gorgeous Spring weather!! Help us build permanent shelter in Haiti AND gear up for disaster response for the upcoming hurricane season.

2010 Portlight/WU Honor Walk & Roll
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Is it raining were you are yet bordonaro?

I felt 2 sprinkles yesterday, and 1 sprinkle today. So far it's Mostly Cloudy, about 72F, very humid, sun peaking out every now and then.

Will probably rain later this afternoon, as the daytime heating stirs up the atmosphere.
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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.