U.S. experiences warmest 12-month period on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:09 PM GMT en Mayo 08, 2012

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The past twelve months were the warmest twelve months in U.S. history, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on Tuesday, in their monthly "State of the Climate" report. Temperatures in the contiguous U.S. during May 2011 - April 2012 broke the previous record for warmest 12-month period, set November 1999 - October 2000, by 0.1°F. The past twelve months have featured America's 2nd warmest summer, 4th warmest winter, and warmest March on record. Twenty-two states were record warm for the 12-month period, and an additional nineteen states were top ten warm. NOAA said that the January - April 2012 period was also the warmest January - April period since record keeping began in 1895. The average temperature of 45.4°F during January - April 2012 was 5.4°F above the 20th century average for the period, and smashed the previous record set in 2006 by an unusually large margin--1.6°F.


Figure 1. The ten warmest 12-month periods in the contiguous U.S. since record keeping began in 1895. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 2. The average temperature of 45.4°F during January - April 2012 was the warmest on record: 5.4°F above the 20th century average for the period, and was 1.6°F above the previous record set in 2006. January - April temperatures have been rising at about 1.9°F per century since 1895. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

April 2012: 3rd warmest on record
April 2012 was the third warmest April in the contiguous U.S. since record keeping began in 1895. Ten states had a top-ten warmest April, and no states were cooler than average. But what's really remarkable about April was that eight states--Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia--had average April temperatures cooler than their March temperatures, even though their April temperatures were still above the long-term average for the month. These statistics show just how remarkably warm March 2012 was. Most extreme was Illinois, where April 2012 temperatures ranked in the top 20% for warmest Aprils, yet were cooler than March 2012 temperatures.


Figure 3. Temperature rankings for April 2012 in the Contiguous U.S. Ten states had a top-ten warmest April, and no states were cooler than average. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 4. NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for January - April shows that 2012 had the most extreme weather on record.

Most extreme January - April on record
NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), an index that tracks the highest 10 percent and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought, was 42% during the January-April period, over twice the average value, and the greatest on record. Remarkably, 82% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically, and 68% had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10%, with records going back to 1910. The previous records were 56% (2000) and 57% (1992) for maximum and minimum temperatures, respectively. The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions during January - April was 19%, which was the 17th greatest since 1910. Extremes in precipitation as computed by the CEI were near average for the January - April period.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Serious rain going here south of Buda, received about 1.5 inches in a little over 10 minutes. I have been in this house for almost 4 years and this is like the first time I can hear it raining in every room I walk thru.



Is there a particularly large number of Buddhists in that area?


:)
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Dennis! how much rain total you think you have?
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1532. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting j2008:
Ahh tropical weather, I guess its getting time to emerge from hideing and come back to the posting world. I see the models want to jump our seasons in motion a little early.. Any thoughts on first storm formations for the EPAC and Atlantic? Im guessing May 28 and June 10 but I could be wrong if the models have thier way.
may 21 445am edt
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1531. xcool
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Quoting nigel20:
Good night all
Good Night
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
I am a 54 year old retired person, far from Buda Boy. :)
My name is Dennis FYI.
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1528. nigel20
Good night all
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Buda boy gettin' his rain now

I am a 54 year old retired person, far from Buda Boy. :)
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1526. Grothar
Who wants to do a blog on the difference between a Modoki El Nino and a Normal El Nino?
Member Since: Julio 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Serious rain going here south of Buda, received about 1.5 inches in a little over 10 minutes. I have been in this house for almost 4 years and this is like the first time I can hear it raining in every room I walk thru.
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1524. hydrus
NSSL WRF 4 km grid initialized 00 UTC May 10 2012

36 h Total Precipitation (mm)
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Quite the busted forecast for SEFL peninsula today, lol.


Hi Pulse,

I don't consider today's weather a total bust. Even if you focus on only one county (Miami-Dade), the northern part of the county got some heavy rain around 6 PM. The heaviest and most concentrated activity has been in Palm Beach County and near the lake. This is actually what most of the high resolution models (RAP, HRRR) showed for today. Even now as of 11 PM there are still showers and a few tstms developing in that same area, which indicates pretty unstable air. The frontal boundary near that area is helping focus activity in that area versus farther south. Perhaps a little drier air aloft down to the south kept the southern areas from seeing most of the rain. That's the challenge of forecasting for ALL of South Florida, not just one county. We have to consider our entire area and forecasting afternoon thunderstorms in May has a large potential for errors. All in all, I don't think our forecasts were bad. We had a 50% chance of rain for the eastern counties, which is far from a sure thing that it will rain.

adrian
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1522. hydrus
GOES Sounder Effective Cloud Fraction
May 11, 2012 - 00:46 UTC
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After a needed break from the flooding rains in Puerto Rico,it seems like another round will come on Friday.

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
1045 PM AST THU MAY 10 2012

.UPDATE...AT THIS MOMENT THE DOPPLER RADAR IS SHOWING A FEW
SHOWERS ACROSS THE LOCAL WATERS. MODELS SUGGEST AN SIGNIFICANT
INCREASE ON SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN
WATERS. THESE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE ON SHORE AND
AFFECT SOUTHEAST PORTIONS OF PUERTO RICO THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

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1520. hydrus
GOES Sounder Combined CTP
May 11, 2012 - 00:46 UTC
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1519. hydrus
GOES Imager Spectral Difference
May 10, 2012 - 23:45 UTC
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1518. Grothar
Description English: Tracks of major (category 3, 4, or 5 at maximum strength) hurricanes in the East Atlantic, West Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico during hurricane seasons that followed El Niño "Modoki" winters, between the years 1990 and 2005, as 2010 is not included in the database - 1992, 1995, 2003 and 2005. Derivative (cropped) work of NOAA hurricane database search.


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Quoting Levi32:
The other problem with Dr. Knabb's analysis is that he cites the GFS's change to a coarser resolution beyond 192 hours as the reason why he believes this particular forecast is bogus. However, a global model showing a significant lowering of pressures in the tropics despite a coarser resolution only makes it a more significant event in the simulation, since variations in the tropics are small compared to the mid-latitudes.

There are other reasons why the GFS runs were and still could be bogus. Almost every time the GFS shows a "ghost storm" in the western Caribbean, it is because of an over-zealous strengthening of an MJO pulse in phases 8 and 1. Here, the GFS still is making the coming MJO pulse too quick and too strong if we believe the more moderate European models which have been beating the tar out of the GFS for the last 3 weeks on the tropics.



I agree its more then resolution that is the problem, but you can't exclude the resolution issue, either...
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1516. hydrus
Quoting snotly:
Another cut off low? (this one over Texas) What's the count for the year? Is that a sign of the weather of this current age or something? Didn't they used to be rare?
Lol..Yeah, past couple years or so they have been common, and powerful too.....Powerful winds with the most intense Upper Midwest storm in 70 years to blow here over the coming 3 days; a 51-year Chicago October low pressure record is in jeopardy
October 26, 2010 12:29 AM
By Meteorologist Tom Skilling

The howling winds of a large and still intensifying Midwest autumn storm are to rake the Chicago area the next three days. A line of vigorous thunderstorms may come first, affecting Tuesday morning's rush hour. Non-thunderstorm winds are to follow the remainder of the day as well as Tuesday night into Wednesday and may produce damage as they reach velocities of 50 to 60+ mph at times.

The storm system responsible is huge, measuring 2,100 miles by 2,800 miles, and it's formed as the season's coldest air to date plunges out of Canada into the northern tier of U.S. states where it is doing battle with the unseasonable warmth of the past week. Varied temperatures drive all weather on this planet. The especially large spread in readings between the incoming cold air and lingering unseasonable warmth, are producing swift jet stream winds which have been clocked in recent days as high as 240 mph over the eastern Pacific.

As air parcels are ejected from these pockets of strong upper-level winds, air from below is drawn aloft, lowering air pressures and encouraging air to rush in to replace the ascending air. It's in that manner storm's like Tuesday's generate such strong low level winds.

Chicago's lowest October barometric pressure has been 29.11 inches. Computer model predictions suggest that record may be broken Tuesday morning with readings as low as 29.05 inches likely to occur.

Across the greater Chicago area---as in sections of 13 states---the system has prompted high wind warnings from 7am Tuesday through 7 p.m. Wednesday. Gusts with the storm--- which late Monday raced across the Chicago area at speeds topping 30 mph---are to build at times to 50 to 60 mph Tuesday/ Tuesday night and Wednesday.

By late Monday evening, weather advisories of one form or another covered sections of 30 states as a result of the rapidly intensifying system.

Storm intensities are closely related to projected central barometric pressures. That's why meteorologists often cite a storm's central pressure. The latest system---arguably most intense storm to occur in the western Great Lakes or Upper Midwest since the 965 mb (28.50 inches) Armistice Day Storm 70 years ago on November 11-12, 1940---is to produce a pressure even lower than that deadly storm. That storm left produced snow drifts as high as 20 feet over sections of the Plains and Upper Midwest.

Projections of the current system's barometric pressure generated by a suite of forecast models suggests readings Tuesday may dip to 957 mb 28.26 inches

The long duration of the system's high winds is related to its size. The occasional 60+ mph peak wind gusts it is to produce, may be strong enough to down tree limbs which in turn could bring down power line in some areas. The current system's snows won't be near that prolific.


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Quoting Xyrus2000:


What about "the Virjay-jays"?

I kid, I kid. :)


I could get behind that ;)
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


I know the feeling though... when people refer to West Virginia and Virginia as the Virginias... Don't want to be lumped in the same category as them "mountain folk"...


Maybe the mountain folk don't want to be associated with the flatlanders to the east. I mean, come on, where else in the world can you find ramp ice cream?

I was born in VA and lived in Falls Church until I was 6. I love to visit the DC area, but the operative term is "visit". I would not want to move back- too many people, too much traffic, not enough quiet. I would move to the Shenandoah Valley, though- it's beyond beautiful there.

All kidding aside, I suppose I have to admit I am a native of VA... but mountain people are the salt of the earth :) You could a lot worse than be associated with us. And I'm not insulted :) I know the type of person you mean.
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1512. hydrus
Quoting MississippiWx:
The last two hurricane seasons have started with a large monsoonal circulation sparking the development of tropical cyclones. Both, as you can see, were very large tropical systems for Atlantic standards. The setup being depicted in a couple of weeks by the GFS and other models could be very similar to the setup that brought us Arlene and Alex. Upper level conditions might not be as favorable for us to have a cyclone with such an expansive outflow, but the development from a monsoon trof and upward MJO pulse just seems like de ja vu.

Tropical Storm Arlene 2011:



Hurricane Alex 2010:

My thoughts exactly. Monsoon trough, upward pulse and a large system moving west or close to it. A small weak system might track N.E. off the Eastern Seaboard.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS shows very little in the way of any Severe Weather possibilities throughout its run.

Very unusual for May..




last time we shaw that was in 2009 and that was a EL Nino year
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Wall of water in the sky heading for Corpus

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Buda boy gettin' his rain now

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The vertex of this bow echo is point straight towards me (just south of Bryan).

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1507. snotly
Another cut off low? (this one over Texas) What's the count for the year? Is that a sign of the weather of this current age or something? Didn't they used to be rare?
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1504. nigel20
Quoting MississippiWx:
The last two hurricane seasons have started with a large monsoonal circulation sparking the development of tropical cyclones. Both, as you can see, were very large tropical systems for Atlantic standards. The setup being depicted in a couple of weeks by the GFS and other models could be very similar to the setup that brought us Arlene and Alex. Upper level conditions might not be as favorable for us to have a cyclone with such an expansive outflow, but the development from a monsoon trof and upward MJO pulse just seems like de ja vu.

Tropical Storm Arlene 2011:



Hurricane Alex 2010:


Alex was a large and strong June system...it almost made it to Cat-3
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Our massive TX storm has a TVS again and is regenerating. dbZ over 70 again...
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Quoting xcool:


FIM Model Fields
That high over the Atlantic has me worried..
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The GFS shows very little in the way of any Severe Weather possibilities throughout its run.

Very unusual for May..
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1500. xcool


FIM Model Fields
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1499. Patrap
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1498. nigel20
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Massive, conducive venting going on for storm system over TX

L1 69 dBZ 46,000 ft. VIL 84 kg/m Hail 100% chance Severe Hail 100% chance Max Hail Size >4.00 in. Direction 17 knots WNW (287)

Storm of Biblical proportions. That's one insane supercell.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
So far .50 last 24 hours here, no rain this evening yet


Should be there in few minutes

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The last two hurricane seasons have started with a large monsoonal circulation sparking the development of tropical cyclones. Both, as you can see, were very large tropical systems for Atlantic standards. The setup being depicted in a couple of weeks by the GFS and other models could be very similar to the setup that brought us Arlene and Alex. Upper level conditions might not be as favorable for us to have a cyclone with such an expansive outflow, but the development from a monsoon trof and upward MJO pulse just seems like de ja vu.

Tropical Storm Arlene 2011:



Hurricane Alex 2010:

Member Since: Julio 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
Quoting RitaEvac:
Massive, conducive venting going on for storm system over TX
So far .50 last 24 hours here, no rain this evening yet
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Quoting j2008:
Ahh tropical weather, I guess its getting time to emerge from hideing and come back to the posting world. I see the models want to jump our seasons in motion a little early.. Any thoughts on first storm formations for the EPAC and Atlantic? Im guessing May 28 and June 10 but I could be wrong if the models have thier way.

I'm still satisfied with my predictions from two weeks ago.

Alberto (Atlantic): May 21-June 2
Aletta (Pacific): May 15-25
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Huge swirl....

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Massive, conducive venting going on for storm system over TX
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1489. j2008
Ahh tropical weather, I guess its getting time to emerge from hideing and come back to the posting world. I see the models want to jump our seasons in motion a little early.. Any thoughts on first storm formations for the EPAC and Atlantic? Im guessing May 28 and June 10 but I could be wrong if the models have thier way.
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Yea, Dr. Knabb video running right now on Wx Channel.
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Professor Wysong's been here teaching for over 30 years.
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All Gordon's in the Atlantic have attained hurricane intensity.

One Gordon (1994) killed over 1100 in Haiti and peaked as a Category 1.



The second Gordon (2000) killed 26 people and peaked as a Category 1.



The third and final Gordon (2006) killed no people and peaked as a Category 3.

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Quoting Grothar:


Is he working on his doctorate yet?

I'm not sure, he may have it already. He's the only original professor in the Science Department at HCC, and he is the head of the Science Department.
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About JeffMasters

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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