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Archive for January 13th, 2011

2010 Tied For Warmest Year on Record: NOAA

Posted by feww on January 13, 2011

2010 joint warmest and  wettest year on record

Last year tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record for global surface temperature

  • The 2010 global land surface temperature were 0.96ºC (1.73º F) above the 20th century average.
  • Global ocean surface temperatures in 2010 tied with 2005 as the third warmest at 0.49ºC (0.88ºF ) above the 20th century average.
  • 2010 was also the wettest year on record, compared to global average precipitation.

Highlights from NASA Climate Section:

  • September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 11.5 percent per decade, relative to the 1979 to 2000 average. The September 2010 extent was the third lowest in the satellite record.
  • As of December 10, 2010, the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere were 391 ppm.
  • Data from NASA’s Grace satellite show that the land ice sheets in both Anarctica and Greenland are losing mass. The continent of Antarctica (left chart) has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice per year since 2002.
  • Sea levels have risen by 53mm since 1993, and by 100 to 200mm since the past century. Sea rise is caused by the thermal expansion of sea water due to climate warming and widespread melting of land ice.

“2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year of the global surface temperature record, beginning in 1880. This was the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th century average. For the contiguous United States alone, the 2010 average annual temperature was above normal, resulting in the 23rd warmest year on record,” NOAA researchers say.

The following is mirrored from NOAA website:

2010 Global Climate Highlights

Global surface temperature anomalies for 2010. Click image to enlarge.

  • Combined global land and ocean annual surface temperatures for 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest such period on record at 1.12 F (0.62 C) above the 20th century average. The range of confidence (to the 95 percent level) associated with the combined surface temperature is +/- 0.13 F (+/- 0.07 C).*
  • The global land surface temperatures for 2010 were tied for the second warmest on record at 1.73 F (0.96 C) above the 20th century average. The range of confidence associated with the land surface temperature is +/- 0.20 F (+/- 0.11 C).
  • Global ocean surface temperatures for 2010 tied with 2005 as the third warmest on record, at 0.88 F (0.49 C) above the 20th century average. The range of confidence associated with the ocean surface temperature is +/- 0.11 F (+/- 0.06 C).
  • In 2010 there was a dramatic shift in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which influences global temperature and precipitation patterns — when a moderate-to-strong El Niño transitioned to La Niña conditions by July. At the end of November, La Niña was moderate-to-strong.
  • According to the Global Historical Climatology Network, 2010 was the wettest year on record, in terms of global average precipitation. As with any year, precipitation patterns were highly variable from region to region.
  • The 2010 Pacific hurricane season had seven named storms and three hurricanes, the fewest on record since the mid-1960s when scientists started using satellite observations. By contrast, the Atlantic season was extremely active, with 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes. The year tied for third- and second-most storms and hurricanes on record, respectively.
  • The Arctic sea ice extent had a record long growing season, with the annual maximum occurring at the latest date, March 31, since records began in 1979. Despite the shorter-than-normal melting season, the Arctic still reached its third smallest annual sea ice minimum on record behind 2007 and 2008. The Antarctic sea ice extent reached its eighth smallest annual maximum extent in March, while in September, the Antarctic sea ice rapidly expanded to its third largest extent on record.
  • A negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) in January and February helped usher in very cold Arctic air to much of the Northern Hemisphere. Record cold and major snowstorms with heavy accumulations occurred across much of eastern North America, Europe and Asia. The February AO index reached -4.266, the largest negative anomaly since records began in 1950.
  • From mid-June to mid-August, an unusually strong jet stream shifted northward of western Russia while plunging southward into Pakistan. The jet stream remained locked in place for weeks, bringing an unprecedented two-month heat wave to Russia and contributing to devastating floods in Pakistan at the end of July.

2010 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map. Source: NOAA

Top 10 Climate Anomalies in 2010
1.    Russian – European – Asian Heat Waves     (Summer)
2.    2010 as [near] warmest year on record     (calendar year)
3.    Pakistani Flooding     (Late July – August)
4.    El Niño to La Niña Transition     (Mid-to-Late Boreal Spring)
5.    Negative Arctic Oscillation     (Early 2010 )
6.    Brazilian Drought     (Ongoing)
7-tie.     Historically Inactive NE Pacific Hurricane Season     (May 15 – Nov 30)
7-tie.     Historic N. Hemispheric Snow Retreat     (January – June )
9.    Minimum Sea Ice Extent     (mid-September)
10.    China Drought    (First Half of 2010)

Contenders for the Top 10 List

  • China Floods     (Early Aug)
  • Large Iceberg Breaks off Petermann Glacier    (5-Aug)
  • Igor & Julia Simultaneous Category 4 Hurricanes     (15-Sep)
  • Super Typhoon Megi     (Oct 12-24 )
  • Coral Reef Bleaching     (NH Spring -Summer)
  • Cyclone Phet     (Early June)
  • Bangladesh Driest Monsoon Season since 1994     (Warm Season)
  • Hurricane Celia     (Jun 19-28)
  • Summer Snow in Australia     (18-Jan)
  • Atlantic Cyclone Xynthia     (27-Feb)
  • European Cold Snap & Winter Storm     (Early Jan)
  • South American Cold Snap     (July)
  • Extreme Winter Weather in Europe**     (Most of December)
  • Australian Flooding**     (25-Dec)

** This event occurred after the top ten voting, but may have warranted top ten placement.

Click image to enlarge. (Source: NOAA)

See Also:

State of the Climate Global Hazards

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Hazards for November 2010, published online December 2010, retrieved on January 10, 2011 from

Related Links:

Posted in Global Climate Extremes, global precipitation patterns, Global SST Departures, Global Temperature, ocean surface temperature | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brisbane Bruised and Bloodied

Posted by feww on January 13, 2011

Australia Flood Disasters Round One:  Brisbane Bruised and Bloodied

The Brisbane River peaked at 4.46m (14.6ft) at about 05:30 local time today (19:30UTC Wednesday), which was less than a meter lower than the 1974 peak.

However, floodwaters have submerged about 3 dozen suburbs in Brisbane and large areas of Ipswhich, causing widespread damage.

Flood Facts

  • The Brisbane River peaked at 4.46m (14.6ft) at about 05:30 local time Thursday (19:30UTC Wednesday)
  • Water levels  are expected to remain high for at least 12 hours.
  • Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city, is said to be experiencing the worst flooding in at least 50 years.
  • Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes.
  • About 25,000 homes are either partially or totally flooded.
  • Floodwaters have caused substantial damage to infrastructure.
  • Large areas of Brisbane and Ipswich remain under water.
  • At least one death was reported in the area as a result of flooding.
  • A list of flooded suburbs released by Brisbane City Council includes:   Albion,  Auchenflower, Bowen Hills, Brisbane City, Bulimba, Chelmer, Coorparoo, East Brisbane, Fairfield, Fig Tree Pocket, Fortitude Valley, Graceville, Hemmant, Indooroopilly, Kangaroo Point, Lytton, Murrarie, New Farm, Newstead, Norman Park, Oxley, Pinkenba, Rocklea, Sherwood, South Brisbane, Tennyson, Toowong, Windsor, Wacol, Yeronga, Yeerongpilly
  • A partial list of inundated suburbs of Ipswich is available HERE.
  • Drinking water supplies are a major concern in many areas, especially in the Lockyer Valley.
  • About 120,000 properties in Queensland are without electricity.
  • Confirmed death toll from flooding has now reached 15 19 from this week’s flooding (12 died in TooWoomba; total of 29 in Queensland since December) with a reported 61 people still missing.

Brisbane Flood Map

Source: Brisbane City Council

Larger Flood Maps (PDF)

Queensland’s Premier Anna Bligh said: “This is still a very dangerous situation and we have thousands of people who are waking this morning to the total devastation of either their homes, businesses – for some people it’s both.

“We should be very mindful that Mother Nature has done shocking and devastating damage. People are living, at the moment, in what I would call a post-war zone.”

“Post-War Zone”

Brisbane residents awoke to the “post-war zone” this morning with entire suburbs submerged under water.  “The worst flood in 50 years” has caused widespread destruction to the infrastructure throughout the area, a report said.

“It’s a very mixed story here today, there is some relief and I’m grateful Mother Nature hasn’t been as terrible as she could have been, but people are waking up to unbearable agony across our city today,” Blight told reporters.

“We’ve seen scenes of unbelievable devastation and destruction: entire suburbs where only rooftops can be glimpsed, whole big workplaces are completely under water.”

“Whole industrial parks (and) railway stations under water, bridges, roads all closed. What I’m seeing looks more like a war zone in some places,” she said.

Bligh described the scale of damage as massive requiring “post-war” rebuilding effort.

Floodwaters Kill Two

Two Seven Brisbane area deaths have raised this week’s toll in SE Queensland to 15 19, a total of 25 29 reported deaths in Qld since December.

“Early reports indicated the man walked around road closed signs into property that is believed to be his father’s property to check that property,” Premier Blight said.

“Unfortunately as he walked he was sucked into a stormwater drain.”

A second death has since been reported.

Excerpts from News Reports

Extra police deployed to prevent looting

“Extra police are being brought in to patrol vast flooded areas in Brisbane and Ipswich to provide security and prevent looting.” Source

Looters target Ipswich flood victims

“IPSWICH was dealing with a scourge worse than the floods after looters broke into unattended homes and businesses.” Source

“The small town of Goondiwindi in Queensland’s south-west is on high alert, with fears the flooding Macintyre River could breach the town’s levee bank.” Source

Forecast Total Rainfall

Forecast for Friday 14 January 2011 to Friday 21 January 2011. Source Australia BOM.

Latest Weather Observations for the Brisbane Area

Queensland Warnings Summary

Australia’s Latest Weather Warnings

Related Links:

Other Links

Posted in australia disasters, Australia flood, Australia Rainfall Forecast, Brisbane Flood Map, Brisbane looting | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nor’easter Pummels the U-S East Coast

Posted by feww on January 13, 2011

Powerful snow storm triggers blizzard conditions in parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut

The third snowstorm in 3 weeks brought strong winds, heavy snow, claps of thunder and blizzard conditions to the U-S East Coast.

Fifty-seven centimeter (22.5 inches) of snow in Hartford, Connecticut, set a new one-day record. As of January 12, 2011, all but two of the U.S. states had snow cover.

U-S Snow Cover

Continental U.S. Snow Cover Map. As of January 12, 2011, Florida was the only state without snow cover.  Image source:  NOHRSC

Continental US Snow Depth Chart. Image source:  NOHRSC. Click image to enlarge.

January 12, 2011
Area Covered By Snow: 70.9%
Area Covered Last Month: 35.1%
Snow Depth
Average: 6.9 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 895.5 in (2,274.4cm)
Std. Dev.: 11.3 in
Snow Water Equivalent
Average: 1.4 in
Minimum: 0.0 in
Maximum: 435.1 in (1,105.1cm)
Std. Dev.: 3.0 in

Snowstorm along the U.S. East Coast

Fifty-seven centimeter (22.5 inches) of snow in Hartford, Connecticut, set a new one-day record. “The storm began developing late on January 11, as a snow-making system that had hit the Southeastern U.S. rode up the Atlantic seaboard and merged with another system crossing from the Midwest.”  The natural-color image above was captured by
MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite at 10 am EST on January 12, as the storm center passed over southern New England. Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (6 MB, JPEG)

A rare view of snow across the southern U-S

A rare view of snow across the southern United States! A snow system moved across the United States between January 9 and January 11 prompting the governors in 6 southern states to declare states of emergencies. MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite captured the above image on January 12, 2011. Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (9 MB, JPEG)

Forty-nine U-S states had snow cover

Source: NOAA

Snow Cover Animations:

Click Below for 31 Day Animations

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Posted in Cryology, New England Snowstorm, Southern US Snow satellite image, US snow, US Snow Cover | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »