9th warmest February on record; La Niña conditions continue but weaken

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:35 PM GMT en Marzo 20, 2009

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Global temperatures in February remained about where they've been the past year, with Earth recording its 9th warmest February on record, according to statistics released by the National Climatic Data Center. This past winter was the eighth warmest winter on record (December-February), and the January-February year-to-date period was also the eighth warmest. The most notable extreme February heat occurred February 7 in southern Australia. Many locations set new all-time hottest temperature records, including an all-time state record for Victoria when temperatures reached 48.8°C (119.8°F) in Hopetoun, shattering the previous record of 47.2°C (117.0°F) set in January 1939. The extreme heat was accompanied by very dry conditions that contributed to the development of deadly wildfires that killed 210 people. The most notable cold conditions for the winter of 2008/2009 occurred in the United Kingdom, which had its coldest winter since 1995/1996.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for the month of February 2009. Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

A dry and warm February for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., February temperatures were the 27th warmest in the 114-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The month was very dry, ranking as the 8th driest February. New Jersey and Delaware had their driest February ever recorded. The winter of 2008/2009 (December - February) ranked as the 5th driest winter on record, and the year-to-date January - February period was the driest ever such period. Texas recorded its driest winter. Thanks to all the dry weather, the U.S. has only seen about 50% of normal tornado activity in 2009, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. On March 19, 2009, 21% of the contiguous United States was in moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is unchanged from January.

La Niña conditions continue
La Niña conditions continued in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in February, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is continuing their La Niña Advisory. They define La Niña conditions as occurring when the 1-month mean temperature anomaly in the equatorial Eastern Pacific (the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region") cools below -0.5°C and is expected to persist for three consecutive months. In addition, the atmospheric response typically associated with a La Niña must be observed over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Sea surface temperatures anomalies peaked at -1.1°C below average in the Niña 3.4 region during early January. It appears that La Niña has peaked, as ocean temperatures in the Niña 3.4 region have warmed to -0.4°C below average as of March 15. Nearly all the model forecasts for the Niño 3.4 region show that La Niña will dissipate between May - July 2009, and neutral conditions are expected for the August - October peak of hurricane season. Only three out of 16 El Niño models are predicting an El Niño event for hurricane season. The number of Atlantic hurricanes is typically reduced in an El Niño year, due to increased wind shear from strong high-level winds, but that doesn't look like it will happen this year.

Expected impacts of the current La Niña conditions during during March - May 2009 inlude above-average precipitation over Indonesia, and below-average precipitation over the central equatorial Pacific. Compared to the Northern Hemisphere winter, La Niña impacts over the United States are typically less pronounced. For the contiguous United States, potential impacts include below-average precipitation across the southern states. Other potential impacts include below-average temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and above-average temperatures across much of the southwestern and south-central United States.

Sea ice extent
February 2009 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 4th lowest on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and is currently near its annual maximum. The record February low was set in 2005. Since today is the Spring Equinox, the sun will rise at the North Pole, bringing 24-hour daylight and warming conditions that will begin melting Arctic sea ice.

Portlight Relief Walk this weekend
Saturday March 21 in New Orleans marks the inaugural event in a series of 18 fundraising Relief Walks sponsored by Portlight.org. A hearty thanks go to all the organizers and participants in this effort!



Jeff Masters

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141. KEHCharleston
3:59 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


Ossqss, borrowed your stir stick, get it back please... he seems intent on getting me in trouble.... we are suppose to use it on others... hehe not us
I took it back. How's your fin?
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
140. Orcasystems
3:57 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting KEHCharleston:
From your keyboard to God's eyes.


Ossqss, borrowed your stir stick, get it back please... he seems intent on getting me in trouble.... we are suppose to use it on others... hehe not us
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
139. KEHCharleston
3:53 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting hurricanelover236:
I think this may be the quietest season yet that we have had in a long time due to increased wind shear, coller water temperatures, and a lot of african dust. I predict maybe 10 storms if that. Probably 3 hurricanes.
From your keyboard to God's eyes.
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
138. hurricanelover236
3:50 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
I think this may be the quietest season yet that we have had in a long time due to increased wind shear, coller water temperatures, and a lot of african dust. I predict maybe 10 storms if that. Probably 3 hurricanes.
Member Since: Agosto 12, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 183
137. Orcasystems
3:48 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting hurricane23:


Based on what?


Based on what has happened so far this year... NADA. BY this time in that last 2 years we had already had some action.. so far this year.. nothing.

We have had unusually cold weather in the GOM, and Surfmom even came close to snow.

I know, I can't back it up with fancy diagrams and charts, but thats the feeling I have.
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
136. lakeEFX
3:46 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
China's a huge contributor to global pollution and pretty soon they'll be richer than the U.S., especially if we keep importing their toxic products. How many climate change refugees want to relocate to China? Doesn't sound like a good alternative to me.
Member Since: Marzo 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
135. KEHCharleston
3:45 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Ossqss:
"So, if the USA produces 25 percent of emissions, it would have to accommodate 25 percent of the world's climate refugees," he said, to hearty applause from some conference participants.
I have learned on this blog that not all emissions are alike. The 25% emissions belched out by the USA, may not be as toxic as 2.5% of the emissions belched out by China. Or not... who knows. As for taking immigrants, the US has been doing that since the founding of our country.
There are enough questions as to the biases (both scientific and political) of the IPCC. Comments such as those and 'hearty applause' give the appearance of smug, self serving folks whose care for the environment is only exceed by their enjoyment in bashing the US. Not good for the cause.

119. Patrap Not surprised. What folks building/remodeling/restoring a house need now, is a list of companies where they can buy drywall NOT made in China.
Member Since: Agosto 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
134. ajcamsmom2
3:45 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
I have the fear of Katrina in me as I face every hurricane season with gloom and doom...
Member Since: Marzo 15, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2490
133. hurricane23
3:44 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


I think it will be a quiet one...


Based on what?
Member Since: Mayo 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13705
132. Orcasystems
3:40 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting hurricanelover236:
is anyone with me that this will be a very quiet hurricane season like 2006?


I think it will be a quiet one...
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
131. Orcasystems
3:39 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Ossqss:


Score Card
Canada 2
USA 0


Hmmm your really trying to get me in trouble aren't you. Give KEH back his stir stick :)
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
130. hurricanelover236
3:39 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
is anyone with me that this will be a very quiet hurricane season like 2006?
Member Since: Agosto 12, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 183
129. Ossqss
3:37 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


You get what you pay for :)
If you created 25%, then you get 25%. How could you possibly argue with that?


Score Card
Canada 2
USA 0
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
128. Orcasystems
3:28 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Ossqss:



accommodate 25 percent of the world's climate refugees

Perhaps a billion or so?


You get what you pay for :)
If you created 25%, then you get 25%. How could you possibly argue with that?
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
127. Ossqss
3:21 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


Seems fair, if you create 25% of the problem, then you should be ready to assume 25% of the result.



accommodate 25 percent of the world's climate refugees

Perhaps a billion or so?
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
126. hahaguy
3:20 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


Oh oh.. not sure thats a game I should be playing while I am on drugs.


LMAO
Member Since: Agosto 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
125. Orcasystems
3:18 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Ossqss:


Score Card
Canada 1
USA 0

(x¿x)


Oh oh.. not sure thats a game I should be playing while I am on drugs.
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
124. hahaguy
3:16 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting zoomiami:
Beautiful, windy and cool here this morning. This is the weather we all live here for - wish we could can it & bring back in August.

Hi Pottery, nice to see you. Orca - your fin must be a little better - see you are typing this morning.

I hear ya its not to hot it's perfect lol
Member Since: Agosto 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
123. Patrap
3:16 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Thanx zoomiami..we had a great time and enjoyed the day.
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
122. Ossqss
3:16 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


Cheap pharmaceuticals always help :)


Score Card
Canada 1
USA 0

(x¿x)
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
121. zoomiami
3:15 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Hi Pat - congratulations on yesterday's event.
Member Since: Agosto 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4150
120. Orcasystems
3:15 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Ossqss:




"So, if the USA produces 25 percent of emissions, it would have to accommodate 25 percent of the world's climate refugees," he said, to hearty applause from some conference participants.


Seems fair, if you create 25% of the problem, then you should be ready to assume 25% of the result.
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
119. Patrap
3:13 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Chinese Sheetrock Poses Health Risk

Americas Watchdog's Homeowners Consumer Center is leading a national investigation into what could be toxic imported Chinese dry wall that began showing up in the United States in 2001. Aside from Florida, and the eastern half of the U.S., the group has now found the imported Chinese dry wall in New Orleans & Southeast Louisiana.


Investigation into Toxic Chinese Sheetrock Drywall Goes National
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
118. Orcasystems
3:12 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting zoomiami:
Beautiful, windy and cool here this morning. This is the weather we all live here for - wish we could can it & bring back in August.

Hi Pottery, nice to see you. Orca - your fin must be a little better - see you are typing this morning.


Cheap pharmaceuticals always help :)
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
117. Ossqss
3:12 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting Skyepony:
Exhibit pieces together remnants of Katrina


COPENHAGEN -- Scientists are gloomy; economists are more upbeat. Such was the bottom line of an epic, three-day international congress of climate change experts that ended here yesterday.




Quite the interesting excerpt from the above link. I think someone needs to tell them, we have run out of ink printing money already this year in the USA. Interesting concept on migration, but I don't actually get the premise as to why they would want to come here. It would not be different than any other place under this hypothetical climate change senario. I guess I am glad they are just having protocol negotiations in Dec. and not really imposing real policy.
En guard !!

'Major migrations' will be part of social disruptions

As the congress wound down, members produced a list of six key conclusions that will be included in a report to U.N. decision-makers prior to December's climate change protocol negotiations in Copenhagen.

On climate trends, the conference noted: "Given high rates of observed emissions, the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are becoming a reality. There is a significant risk that many of the trends will accelerate, leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts."

On social disruption, it said: "Societies are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, with poor nations and communities particularly at risk. Temperature rises above 2° C will be very difficult for contemporary societies to cope with, and will increase the level of climate disruption for the remainder of the century."

Major migrations will be part of these potential social disruptions. On this topic, one of the conference's key speakers, John Schellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact and Research, proposed that rich countries accommodate future climate refugees on their soil according to their historical share of greenhouse gas emissions.

"So, if the USA produces 25 percent of emissions, it would have to accommodate 25 percent of the world's climate refugees," he said, to hearty applause from some conference participants.
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
116. zoomiami
2:57 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Beautiful, windy and cool here this morning. This is the weather we all live here for - wish we could can it & bring back in August.

Hi Pottery, nice to see you. Orca - your fin must be a little better - see you are typing this morning.
Member Since: Agosto 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4150
115. Orcasystems
2:40 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Complete Blog Refresh, with New Weather/CritterCam
Mirror Site
Current Home weather station data.

Looks like the weather has finally cleared up for Zoo and she is easy to find today :)

Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
114. pottery
2:06 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Good Morning.
Hi Mom !
Great weather here, with the dry season looking to be finally established. But the winds are still north of east, and the Island is cool.
Went to the beach yesterday and never went into the water. It was too cold LOL. Strong wind coming into Maracas Bay almost due north was really cold.
For the first time in my life, I saw Maracas had been changed big-time by recent heavy seas. Lots of erosion, and the beach is "scalloped" rather than being a perfect curve of sand. Now, it is a series of small bays, with a 4 foot drop of eroded sand, exposing a lot of coconut roots and some rock.
Talked to the lifeguards on duty, they say that since Jan. the sea has been big, and they have been busy !
There were 3 days in Feb. when the inter-island ferry could not sail, due to the conditions. And those are big ferries.
Hope everyone is having a good Sunday.
Member Since: Octubre 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24233
113. HIEXPRESS
2:06 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
NEW ORLEANS %u2013 A lawsuit blaming the Army Corps of Engineers for flooding from Hurricane Katrina can proceed to trial, a judge ruled Friday...

Welcome to accountability. We use it a lot, but it tends to come on a lot quicker.

They've got our canal messed up too - Can't get boats in & out half the year, but the floods don't have any problem getting to us.
Member Since: Octubre 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
112. Skyepony (Mod)
2:02 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Exhibit pieces together remnants of Katrina


COPENHAGEN -- Scientists are gloomy; economists are more upbeat. Such was the bottom line of an epic, three-day international congress of climate change experts that ended here yesterday.


Member Since: Agosto 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37809
111. SWFLgazer
1:51 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Question, Dr. Masters:

What happens if you change the base period to, say '71 to 2000? Or even better, '78 to 2007? Where are the places to find current anomalies relative to the most current 30 year period, which is usually the definition of climate?

I suppose that if I were able to choose the base period, I could make the current temps look either warmer or colder than the chosen base period.
Member Since: Agosto 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 447
110. surfmom
1:49 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
107 - negativity has way of being reflected back to the source from whence it came.

Member Since: Julio 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
109. aquak9
1:21 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting calusakat:
Re: Post 98

So...

How many people actually were in attendance?

I counted four including the speaker.


Sometimes it's quality, not quantity, that's important.

Behave yourself- Wunderground (yeah, the site you're visiting right now) is a sponsor.
Member Since: Agosto 13, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 25838
108. surfmom
1:01 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Good Morning - Temp in SRQ is 60 degrees , Sun is shining bright....... last post b/4 I hit the road for a long run. Got perfect weather for POLO here this afternoon -- totally perfect temp. for the two and four leggeds. Nice since I won't have to worry about keeping the horses cool b/4 they play.

Congrats to the first PORTLIGHT.ORG walk in New Orleans....... when I checked the Portlight blog -- I spied the nicest T-shirts...... w/ a 'cane, a WU LOGO!!!
Member Since: Julio 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
107. calusakat
12:45 PM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Re: Post 98

So...

How many people actually were in attendance?

I counted four including the speaker.
Member Since: Octubre 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 716
106. hahaguy
3:44 AM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
We got some nice rain today. Started raining a little during my fantasy baseball draft lol
Member Since: Agosto 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
105. Skyepony (Mod)
3:14 AM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Ossqss~ + they've got 2 storms coming this week, the 2nd a doosey.
Member Since: Agosto 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37809
104. TampaSpin
2:26 AM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Quoting melwerle:
I'm not sure if anyone can help but maybe so...went on a regatta today and it was BLOWING STINK out there...we live in Savannah and are sailing on the wilmington river and out into the sound...can anyone point me in the rihgt direction to look for wind speed tomorrow? I don't think I can stand another day of 20 with gusts of 30. At one point was hanging from the shrouds by my hands with my feet not touching the deck because we were heeled over so hard...I wasn't ready for the tack. Is there a place to look for specific areas?


Melissa check my Web site out.....Boat, beach and tide section
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
103. Patrap
1:58 AM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
We sure had a fine day presslord.

Thanks for your's and stormjunkies and all ya'lls effort for us here as well..!

Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
102. presslord
1:43 AM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
the NOLA walk was a raving success....a great start to these efforts....major applause to all involved.....
Member Since: Agosto 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10480
101. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:32 AM GMT en Marzo 22, 2009
Link
Member Since: Julio 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53526
99. Mel
Here's a good graphic generated from the NAM model, but Savannah is right on the edge. The Florida map doesn't quite catch it either. Dont like the WU page?
Then there's the marine forecast.
Member Since: Octubre 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
I'm not sure if anyone can help but maybe so...went on a regatta today and it was BLOWING STINK out there...we live in Savannah and are sailing on the wilmington river and out into the sound...can anyone point me in the rihgt direction to look for wind speed tomorrow? I don't think I can stand another day of 20 with gusts of 30. At one point was hanging from the shrouds by my hands with my feet not touching the deck because we were heeled over so hard...I wasn't ready for the tack. Is there a place to look for specific areas?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanx to all who came out and supported the NOLA Portlight Relief Walk...and those online here.




It was a Wunderful day.





Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
The triple tone beta storm would be a good one
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
From the spring outlook.

Forecasters say flooding will begin next week and that the Red River of the North in Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D., will ultimately reach major flood stage and has a strong likelihood of a crest measuring among the top five highest on record. Away from rivers, widespread over-land flooding is expected due to the flat terrain and frozen drainage networks in the Red River Basin. The threat in this area is so great that the National Weather Service created a new category – “High Risk” – to distinguish it from the existing “Above Average” category for flooding potential.



Is that snow melt induced, above the clogged drain?
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
95. Skyepony (Mod)
From the spring outlook.

Forecasters say flooding will begin next week and that the Red River of the North in Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D., will ultimately reach major flood stage and has a strong likelihood of a crest measuring among the top five highest on record. Away from rivers, widespread over-land flooding is expected due to the flat terrain and frozen drainage networks in the Red River Basin. The threat in this area is so great that the National Weather Service created a new category – “High Risk” – to distinguish it from the existing “Above Average” category for flooding potential.

Member Since: Agosto 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37809
Quoting HIEXPRESS:
Fay?
Don't go there.
Folk's house is at 8.5'.
St. Johns River Stage for Fay
Knew my ignore instincts were good.

Excuse me!!, I got 12in from fay and flooded my whole neighborhood. The only reason why I said Fay was because she snapped us out of our drought. So don't give me that don't got here.
Member Since: Agosto 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
Hello Everyone,

Here's a bit a good news. I've just released Experience Hurricane Ike in HD! It has been re-edited and includes never-before-seen footage...all in spectacular HD.

Had Ike been a day storm, I would've had some amazing video of the piers being destroyed, but I was able to get a part of one of the piers giving up its ghost.

I hope you find the video interesting and worthy of the time it will take to download the HD version for viewing.

Please pause the video in HD at the beginning because it plays sporadically until fully loaded.

Peace, out!
CycloneOz
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Fay?
Don't go there.
Folk's house is at 8.5'.
St. Johns River Stage for Fay
Knew my ignore instincts were good.
Member Since: Octubre 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156


Wow

I definitely can't wait for the upcoming week
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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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