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Archive for the ‘precipitation’ Category

U.S. Warmer, Drier in March

Posted by feww on April 11, 2010

Despite the appearances ‘U.S. Averaged Warmer-than-Normal, Drier-than-Normal in March’

According to NOAA’s State of the Climate report the March 2010 average temperature for the contiguous United States was warmer than average.

Thirteen states recorded an average temperature that was among their 10 warmest ever for March:

  • Rhode Island experienced its warmest March on record;
  • Maine its second warmest for the month
  • New Hampshire its third warmest

Again, despite the appearances, average precipitation for the U.S. was below normal, but heavy rainfall in parts of the Northeast set March records.

NOAA’s monthly temperature analysis are based on data recorded since 1895.

U.S. Temperature Highlights

Source: National Climatic Data Center/ NESDIS/NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

Temperature Highlights for March 2010

  • March temperature average across the contiguous United States was 44.4 degrees F, some 1.9 degrees F above the long-term average. “However, several storms developed along the Atlantic Coast, bringing below-normal temperatures to the South and Southeast, while bringing warm and wet weather to the Northeast and Midwest regions (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin).”
  • Thirteen states averaged temperature among their 10 warmest for March.
  • Gulf Coast states, New Mexico, Georgia and South Carolina experienced cooler-than-normal temperatures. Florida recorded its fourth coolest March.
  • January-March period
    • Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire: Warmest ever
    • Florida: Coldest ever
    • Louisiana: Second coldest
    • Mississippi and Alabama : Third coldest

U.S. Precipitation Highlights

Source: National Climatic Data Center/ NESDIS/NOAA. Click image to enlarge.

Precipitation Highlights for March 2010

  • Average March precipitation  across the contiguous United States fell below the long-term mean (LTM). The month’s national average fell 0.24 inches below the LTM of 2.16 inches. “The Northeast was above-normal, while much of the interior United States was below-normal. All other regions were near normal.”
  • January – March period
    • Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey:  Wettest on record
    • Delaware: Second wettest on record
    • Vermont:  Fifth wettest
    • Twenty other states:  Precipitation ranked among the top 10 wettest.
    • Michigan:  Driest ever January-March period
    • Wisconsin: Fourth driest
    • Montana and Wyoming: Sixth driest.

Other Highlights

  • The preliminary tornado count for March was 36 – joint  4th quietest March since reliable records began in 1950,  NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center said.
  • Mid-March ice coverage over the Great Lakes was at a record low, covering only 3.5 percent of the Lakes’ surface, the Canadian Ice Service said.The average ice extent for the period was estimated at 31 percent of the Lakes’ surface. The records started in 1973.
  • Drought on March 30 covered about 9.0 percent of the United States, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Click image to enlarge.

Serial No  1,560. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by the authorities/Google in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in precipitation, temperature, US Drought, US Precipitation, US temperature | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Surprise! World’s largest rivers drying UP!

Posted by feww on April 22, 2009

Climate change drying up world’s 925 largest ocean-reaching rivers

About 72 percent of the world’s 925 largest ocean-reaching rivers are drying up, most of them because of the climate change, according to a report by National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

The Horseshoe Bend of the ‘sewage-green’ Colorado River located near the city of Page, Arizona (
dated April 13, 2008). Photo:  Christian Mehlführer, User:Chmehl. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.

The largest rivers affected include the Colorado in the United States, the Yellow River in China, the Ganges in India and the Niger in West Africa.

Lower water levels combined with the impact of exponentially growing demands on water for damming, irrigation and other uses could pose a threat to future supplies water and food globally, the researchers said in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.

Highlights of the report:

Rivers in some of the world’s most populated regions are losing water, many because of climate change, researchers reported on Tuesday.

  • Some 925 largest ocean-reaching rivers are drying up,mostly because of climate change
  • The largest affected rivers include the Colorado in the southwestern United States, the Yellow River in northern China, the Ganges in India and the Niger in West Africa.
  • “About one-third of the top 200 rivers (including the Congo, Mississippi, Yenisey, Paraná, Ganges, Columbia, Uruguay, and Niger) show statistically significant trends during 1948–2004, with the rivers having downward trends (45) out-numbering those with upward trends (19).”
  • Reduced water levels due to climate change combined with the impact of exponentially growing demands on water for damming, irrigation and other uses could pose a threat to future supplies of water and food globally, the researchers said in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.
  • “Reduced runoff is increasing the pressure on freshwater resources in much of the world, especially with more demand for water as population increases … Freshwater being a vital resource, the downward trends are a great concern.” Said the report’s lead author.
  • About one-third of the top 200 rivers  show significant changes during 1948–2004, some 45 rivers showing downward trends, while only 19 show upward trends.
  • Annual freshwater discharge into the world’s oceans decreased during the 1948–2004 research period as follows
  • Pacific Ocean: down by about 6 percent, or 526 km3
  • Indian Ocean: down by about 3 percent, or 140 km3
  • In the case of Arctic Ocean annual discharge (from melting ice) rose about 10 percent, or 460 km3
  • The Columbia River in the northwestern U.S. lost about 14 percent of its streamflow during the 54-year period because of reduced precipitation and higher water demands, while the Mississippi River flow rose by 22 percent because of increased precipitation in the U.S. Midwest.
  • “[T]here is evidence that the rapid warming since the 1970s has caused an earlier onset of spring that induces earlier snowmelt and associated peak streamflow in the western United States and New England and earlier breakup of river-ice in Russian Arctic rivers and many Canadian rivers.”

The following is a free abstract. Full report is sold online at the American Meteorological Society website.

Changes in Continental Freshwater Discharge from 1948–2004

A new data set of historical monthly streamflow at the farthest downstream stations for world’s 925 largest ocean-reaching rivers has been created for community use. Available new gauge records are added to a network of gauges that covers ~80 × 106 km2 or ~80% of global ocean-draining land areas and accounts for about 73% of global total runoff. For most of the large rivers, the record for 1948–2004 is fairly complete. Data gaps in the records are filled through linear regression using streamflow simulated by a land surface model (CLM3) forced with observed precipitation and other atmospheric forcings that is significantly (and often strongly) correlated with the observed streamflow for most rivers. Compared with previous studies, the new data set has improved homogeneity and enables more reliable assessments of decadal and long-term changes in continental freshwater discharge into the oceans. The model-simulated runoff ratio over drainage areas with and without gauge records is used to estimate the contribution from the areas not monitored by the gauges in deriving the total discharge into the global oceans.

Results reveal large variations in yearly streamflow for most of world’s large rivers and for continental discharge, but only about one-third of the top 200 rivers (including the Congo, Mississippi, Yenisey, Paraná, Ganges, Columbia, Uruguay, and Niger) show statistically significant trends during 1948–2004, with the rivers having downward trends (45) out-numbering those with upward trends (19). The interannual variations are correlated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events for discharge into the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and global ocean as a whole. For ocean basins other than the Arctic, and for the global ocean as a whole, the discharge data show small or downward trends, which are statistically significant for the Pacific (−10.1 km3 yr−1) and Indian Ocean (−5.4 km3 yr−1). Precipitation is a major driver for the discharge trends and large interannual to decadal variations. Comparisons with the CLM3 simulation suggest that direct human influence on annual streamflow is likely small compared with climatic forcing during 1948–2004 for most of world’s major rivers. For the Arctic drainage areas, upward trends in streamflow are not accompanied by increasing precipitation, especially over Siberia, based on available data, although recent surface warming and associated downward trends in snow cover and soil-ice content over the northern high-latitudes contribute to increased runoff in these regions. Our results are qualitatively consistent with climate model projections, but contradict an earlier report of increasing continental runoff during the recent decades based on limited records. ( Copyrighted material.)

Posted in Climate Change, Continental Freshwater Discharge, Ganges river, niger river, precipitation | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

US Flooding Observation

Posted by feww on March 17, 2009

84 Locations in Flood – March 17, 2009


Contiguous United States


Note: Map is updated regularly. For latest report see:

Posted in drought and deluge, N Dakota, precipitation, River Forecasting, US flooding | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Climate Change Spreads “Deadly Dozen” Diseases

Posted by feww on October 8, 2008

12 deadly pathogens could spread into new regions aided by climate change

A report by Wildlife Conservation Society released on October 7 lists 12 deadly pathogens that could spread globally as a result of climate change. “All have potential impacts to both human and wildlife health as well as global economies.” Report said.

Titled ‘The Deadly Dozen: Wildlife Diseases in the Age of Climate Change,’ the report illustrates examples of diseases that could spread due to temperatures changes and variations in regional precipitation levels.

Gram-positive Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Bacteria

Under a high magnification of 15549x, this colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted some of the ultrastructural details seen in the cell wall configuration of a number of Gram-positive Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. As an obligate aerobic organism M. tuberculosis can only survive in an environment containing oxygen.

TB bacteria become active, and begin to multiply, if the immune system can’t stop them from growing. The bacteria attack the body and destroy tissue. If in the lungs, the bacteria can actually create a hole in the lung tissue. Some people develop active TB disease soon after becoming infected, before their immune system can fight off the bacteria. Other people may get sick later, when their immune system becomes weak for another reason.

Babies and young children often have weak immune systems. People infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have very weak immune systems. Other people can have weak immune systems, too, especially people with any of these conditions: substance abuse; diabetes mellitus; silicosis; cancer of the head or neck; leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease; severe kidney disease; low body weight; certain medical treatments (such as corticosteroid treatment or organ transplants); specialized treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease. [Source: CDC – Caption: CDC/ Dr. Ray Butler; Janice Carr. Photo Credit: Janice Carr]

“The term ‘climate change’ conjures images of melting ice caps and rising sea levels that threaten coastal cities and nations, but just as important is how increasing temperatures and fluctuating precipitation levels will change the distribution of dangerous pathogens,” said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, WCS President and CEO. “The health of wild animals is tightly linked to the ecosystems in which they live and influenced by the environment surrounding them, and even minor disturbances can have far-reaching consequences on what diseases they might encounter and transmit as climate changes. Monitoring wildlife health will help us predict where those trouble spots will occur and plan how to prepare.”

The “Deadly Dozen” list [ABC order]:

  1. Avian influenza
  2. Babesia
  3. Cholera
  4. Ebola
  5. Intestinal and external parasites
  6. Lyme disease
  7. Plague
  8. Red tides
  9. Rift Valley fever
  10. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis)
  11. Tuberculosis
  12. Yellow fever

    This micrograph of human liver tissue infected with the Ebola virus, the cause of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF), depicts the hepatic histopathologic changes that occur due to this illness.

    The Ebola pathogen is a member of the Filoviridae family of RNA viruses. The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the “natural reservoir”) of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic i.e., animal-borne, and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.

    Source: CDC. Caption and photo credit: CDC/ Dr. Lyle Conrad]

    The report “builds upon the recommendations included in a recently published paper titled ‘Wildlife Health as an Indicator of Climate Change,'” which is featured in a new book, Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence, which was published by the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine. The study examines the the impacts of climate change on wild animals and its implications for human health.

    Related Links:


    Posted in deadly pathogens, Drought, precipitation, tuberculosis, Wildlife | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »