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New current meter at Stevens will feed data into NOAA’s real-time information system to allow ships to navigate more safely in New York harbor

April 29, 2013

NOAA is using data from a new current meter in New York harbor, operated by one of its academic partners, New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology, to provide enhanced real-time information to mariners travelling through the nation’s second busiest port.

The Stevens current meter measures the  direction, speed, and volume of ocean currents in the harbor’s navigation channels, north of the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island.  Its data will be used in NOAA’s Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) system, which delivers real-time environmental observations, forecasts and other geospatial information to mariners in 21 major U.S. harbors. The system makes maritime commerce more safe and efficient by giving ship captains instant measurements of the water levels and temperatures, and the direction and speed of the current and wind as they come in and out of port.

Stevens is a partner in the NOAA-led U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) , and is the first academic institution that is part of IOOS to have its research data incorporated into the NOAA real-time PORTS program.

"This new sensor will provide crucial current information halfway between the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and Manhattan, the primary navigation route into New York and New Jersey ports. It’s a great addition to PORTS,” said Richard Edwing, director of NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. “This collaboration between Stevens and NOAA gives us access to previously untapped data to help us address marine commerce and other coastal issues.  It also lays the groundwork for future federal-regional collaborations.”

By providing real-time tide, current, and other information, NOAA’s PORTS program helps reduce the chances for accidents. Also, enhanced marine information can increase the amount of cargo moved through a port and harbor by enabling mariners to safely use every inch of dredged channel depth.

“This is how the national IOOS network – with federal, regional, academic, and private sector partnerships – is bringing more data and information to the table from more sources than the government has had access to before,” said Zdenka Willis, U.S. IOOS program director. “In these tough economic times, IOOS is really helping us do more for our nation at lower cost.”

IOOS brings together timely, reliable, and accurate data and information decision makers need to take action to improve safety, enhance the economy and protect the environment. These data provide a larger picture of the interaction between the ocean and global climate systems and advance our understanding of potential climate change impacts on our marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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Mobile app provides free nautical charts for recreational boating

May 20, 2013

MyNOAACharts.

MyNOAACharts, a mobile app beta test for Android tablets, can easily integrate the user's location, the nautical chart, and all the navigational information from the U.S. Coast Pilot.

Download here (Credit: NOAA)

As recreational boaters gear up for a summer of fun on coastal waters and the Great Lakes, NOAA is testing MyNOAACharts, a new mobile application that allows users to download NOAA nautical charts and editions of the U.S. Coast Pilot. The app, which is only designed for Android tablets for the testing period, will be released on May 20.

MyNOAACharts, which can be used on land and on the water, has GPS built-in capabilities that allow users find their positions on a NOAA nautical chart. They can zoom in any specific location with a touch of the finger, or zoom out for the big picture to plan their day of sailing. The Coast Pilot has “geotagged” some of the major locations -- embedding geographical information, such as latitude and longitude, directly into the chart so it is readable in the app -- and provides links to appropriate federal regulations. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play™ app store.

“Easy and workable access to nautical charts is important for boating safety,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA Office of Coast Survey. “I’ve seen a popular t-shirt that has a ‘definition’ of a nautical chart splayed across the front: ‘chärt, n: a nautical map that shows you what you just hit.’ As creative as that is, a boating accident can kill. Keeping a nautical chart on hand – to avoid hitting something – can save lives.”

The beta test for MyNOAACharts will expire this Labor Day, Sept. 2. Coast Survey will then evaluate usage and user feedback to decide whether to release a finished version of the app.

“Expanding the app across a multitude of platforms, ensuring easy accessibility to over a thousand charts and nearly 5,000 pages of U.S. Coast Pilot, will take considerable resources,” Glang said. “We can do it if the boating community likes the app. We truly want the users to let us know if the app meets their needs.”

Boaters without an Android tablet should not despair. The Office of Coast Survey provides free BookletCharts, which are 8 ½” x 11” PDF versions of NOAA nautical charts that can be downloaded and printed at home. The U.S. Coast Pilot is also available in a free PDF version. Those products, and information for purchasing other nautical products, are available at www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov.

Important notice for commercial mariners: The mobile app MyNOAACharts and the BookletCharts do not fulfill chart carriage requirements for regulated commercial vessels under Titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, originally formed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807, is the nation’s nautical chartmaker. Its hydrographers survey the coastal seafloor, respond to maritime emergencies and search for underwater dangers to navigation. Join Coast Survey on Twitter and check out the NOAA Coast Survey Blog for more in-depth coverage of surveying and charting.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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First GOES-R instrument ready to be installed onto spacecraft

May 2, 2013

The first of six instruments that will fly on GOES-R, NOAA’s next-generation of geostationary operational environmental satellites, has been completed seven months before its scheduled installation onto the spacecraft.

The instrument, the Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors, or EXIS, will provide forecasters at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center with some of the most important early warnings of impending solar storms. It will also give scientists a more accurate measure of the extremes in solar energy radiating toward earth, which can severely disrupt telecommunications, air travel, and the performance of power grids.

“Severe space weather has the potential to cause significant damage to the U.S. and global economy, so it’s critical GOES-R has this technology in place as quickly as possible to monitor it,” said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

GOES-R, scheduled to launch in 2015, will be more advanced than NOAA’s current GOES fleet. The satellites are expected to more than double the clarity of today’s GOES imagery and provide more atmospheric observations than current capabilities with more frequent images. Data from the GOES-R instruments will be used to create many different products, enabling NOAA meteorologists and other users to better monitor the atmosphere, land, ocean and the sun, facilitating more timely and accurate forecasts and warnings.

The University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) built and tested EXIS.

EXIS will be shipped from the LASP site in Boulder to Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Littleton, Colo., later this year to be installed onto the spacecraft. Lockheed is building the GOES-R spacecraft.

The remaining GOES-R instruments to be delivered are:

the Advanced Baseline Imager, the primary instrument on GOES-R for imaging Earth’s weather, climate, and environment;Geostationary Lightning Mapper, which will provide for the first time a continuous surveillance of total lightning over the western hemisphere from space;the Space Environment In-Situ Suite, which consists of sensors that will monitor radiation hazards that can affect satellites and communications for commercial airline flights over the poles; the Solar Ultraviolet Imager, a high-powered telescope that observes the sun, monitoring for solar flares and other solar activity that could impact Earth, andthe Magnetometer, which will provide measurements of the space environment magnetic field that controls charged particle dynamics in the outer region of the magnetosphere. These particles can be dangerous to spacecraft and human spaceflight.

 NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA program office, staffed with personnel from NOAA and NASA, and co-located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

“We’re just a few years away from seeing significant improvements in the way NOAA will serve the public with even better weather forecasts and warnings,” said Greg Mandt, director of the GOES-R Series Program..

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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2012 ranks as 2nd costliest year with 11 billion-dollar disasters causing more than $110 billion in damages

NCDC Releases 2012 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters Information | National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Clike here to visit NOAA.govNational Climatic Data CenterSkip to main contentSkip to site searchHomeClimate InformationData AccessCustomer SupportAbout NCDCSearch Field: Home > News > NCDC Releases 2012 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters InformationNCDC Releases 2012 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters Information Submitted by susan.osborne on Thu, 06/13/2013 - 10:41am 2012 Billion Dollar Disasters Map

U.S. 2012 Billion Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters. Full-size version also available.

According to NCDC’s 2012 weather and climate disasters information, 2012 saw 11 weather and climate disaster events each with losses exceeding $1 billion in damages. This makes 2012 the second costliest year since 1980, with a total of more than $110 billion in damages throughout the year. The 2012 total damages rank only behind 2005, which incurred $160 billion in damages due in part to four devastating land-falling hurricanes.

The 2012 billion-dollar events included seven severe weather and tornado events, two tropical cyclone events, and the yearlong drought and its associated wildfires. These 11 events killed over 300 people and had devastating economic effects on the areas impacted. With 11 events, 2012 also ranks second highest in total number of billion-dollar events behind 2011, which had 14 events.

The two major drivers of the damage costs in 2012 were Sandy at approximately $65 billion and the yearlong drought at approximately $30 billion. Sandy’s large size, with tropical storm force winds extending nearly 500 miles from the center, led to record storm surge, large-scale flooding, wind damage, and mass power outages along much of the East Coast.

The yearlong drought, which affected more than half the country for the majority of 2012, was the largest drought extent in the United States since the 1930s. U.S. Department of Agriculture Drought Disaster Declarations reached more than 2,600 of the Nation’s 3,143 counties. While drought impacts are often most costly to agricultural centers, their conditions also led to several devastating wildfires that burned over 9 million acres nationwide during 2012.

See NCDC’s Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters report for more information on the weather and climate events that have had the greatest economic impacts from 1980 to 2012.

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Sanctuaries establishes new business advisory council

September 12, 2013

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has established a new business advisory council to give its director the views of industry leaders as they work with corporate partners in marine resource protection.

“The ocean is a fundamental part of the U.S. economy, security, history, and culture,” said Daniel J. Basta, director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.“However, the relationship between the conservation and commercial sectors is not well understood or coordinated. We hope this council will help us bridge that divide.”

Business leaders will be invited to join the council, which will consist of 15 volunteers representing industries such as travel and tourism, recreation, fishing, transportation, energy, and marketing. Members will be appointed by the national marine sanctuaries director and serve two- to three-year terms.

Council members will serve as liaisons between their industries and NOAA, keeping sanctuary leadership informed of issues and concerns, as well as providing information to their respective sectors about national marine sanctuary system initiatives. The council will not have a role in providing advice on regulatory or administrative matters.

The council will work with sanctuary leadership on strategies to use the sanctuary system’s recreational value and beauty to aid local economies, engage the corporate sector and other non-traditional partners in marine resource protection, and develop projects to sustain and protect the sanctuaries and other marine protected areas, among other initiatives.

For additional information about the business council, visit http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/management/bac/

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as trustee for a system of 14 marine protected areas, encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes waters. Through active research, management, and public engagement, national marine sanctuaries sustain healthy environments that are the foundation for thriving communities and stable economies. Authority for the business advisory council is provided under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.


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Final report on Sandy service assessment released

May 15, 2013

NOAA/NASA’s Suomi NPP polar-orbiting satellite image of Sandy.

This image was taken on October 29, 2012 from NOAA/NASA’s Suomi NPP polar-orbiting satellite. Using its Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS, the satellite provides forecasters more information about the storm’s cloud structure.

Download here (Credit: NOAA/NASA)

After a thoughtful and deliberate review, today NOAA released a report on the National Weather Service’s performance during hurricane/post tropical cyclone Sandy. The report, Hurricane/Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy Service Assessment, reaffirms that the National Weather Service provided accurate forecasts for Sandy, giving people early awareness of the significant storm churning toward the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The report includes recommendations to improve products and services to fully meet customer and partner needs in the future.

“We found that core partners highly value the National Weather Service and thought the forecasts for Sandy were quite good – forecasters performed well predicting the track of this extremely large and complex storm, which undoubtedly saved lives,” said Peyton Robertson, director of NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office and team leader for the Sandy Assessment. “But we also found problems with NOAA’s ability to communicate the impacts associated with storm surge, one of the most significant hazards associated with Sandy.”

The report includes 23 recommendations for service improvements, identifying better storm surge forecasts as the highest priority. Although surge forecasts for Sandy were available two days before the storm, the team found that officials in New York and New Jersey needed information sooner and in more user-friendly, unified formats, including GIS maps and warnings that provide specific local impacts. Among others, the report recommends that NOAA unify public communications of forecast information and expand the use of social science to develop products, services and communication tools to drive public preparedness and response to severe weather.

NOAA GOES-13 satellite image of Sandy.

This NOAA GOES-13 satellite image taken on October 29, 2012, shows the storm as it is centered off of Maryland and Virginia. The storm is heading in a northwestern direction towards the Delaware and southern New Jersey coast. 

Download here (Credit: NOAA/NASA)

The National Weather Service has already implemented one of the team’s recommendations and is developing an action plan to ensure that the team’s remaining recommendations become reality. Earlier this year, the National Hurricane Center moved to change its policy to issue forecasts and warnings for dangerous storms like Sandy, even when they are expected to become post-tropical cyclones by landfall. This policy will be in place for the June 1 start of hurricane season.

“I’m committed to implementing these recommendations to give America a National Weather Service that is second to none,” said Dr. Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “We will achieve better storm surge forecasts, and more accurate and reliable weather forecasts across the board, with increased high performance computing capacity that is planned within the next few years to support improved numerical weather prediction models.”

He explained that the agency’s structure and operations were last modernized two decades ago, and much of the agency’s communications capacity was designed in the 1980s.

This spring Congress passed the Sandy Supplemental Appropriations Act, providing NOAA with unprecedented opportunity to strengthen the National Weather Service. The Act provides $48 million in supplemental funding to the agency’s FY13 budget for Sandy recovery efforts and to improve response and recovery capability for future weather events. The funding will allow the National Weather Service to make critical improvements in high-speed computing, higher resolution weather prediction models and key observation systems, among other projects that will improve the agency’s support to local communities for extreme weather events.

Sandy was a complex storm, resulting in 72 direct deaths across eight states and at least 75 indirect deaths, damages in excess of $50 billion, storm surge in excess of eight feet and up to three feet of snow in some places. At close to 1,000 miles in diameter, it was among the largest storms ever to strike the United States. The storm caused impacts in 24 states.

NOAA formed a team to assess the National Weather Service’s performance before and during the storm, as it does for destructive or deadly weather events. Team members were selected from across NOAA and other government agencies. The team’s charter called for the review of three key areas: the issuance and communication of watches and warnings during Sandy; National Weather Service’s use of the Internet to communicate with the customers and partners; and the development and communication of storm surge forecasts and information across NOAA.

The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. Working with partners, NOAA’s National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit us online at weather.gov and join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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Atlantic hurricane season on track to be above-normal

August 8, 2013

 Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013 from NOAA's GOES East satellite.

Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013, from NOAA's GOES East satellite.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA issued its updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook today saying the season is shaping up to be above normal with the possibility that it could be very active. The season has already produced four named storms, with the peak of the season – mid-August through October – yet to come.
“Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”
The conditions in place now are similar to those that have produced many active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995, and include above-average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a stronger rainy season in West Africa, which produces wind patterns that help turn storm systems there into tropical storms and hurricanes.
The updated outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season. Across the Atlantic Basin for the entire season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook (which includes the activity to date of tropical storms Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian) projects a 70 percent chance for each of the following ranges:

13 to 19 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including 6 to 9 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which3 to 5 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

These ranges are above the 30-year seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

The updated outlook is similar to the pre-season outlook issued in May, but with a reduced expectation for extreme levels of activity. Motivating this change is a decreased likelihood that La Niña will develop and bring its reduced wind shear that further strengthens the hurricane season. Other factors are the lack of hurricanes through July, more variability in the wind patterns across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and slightly lower hurricane season model predictions. In May, the outlook called for 13-20 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes.

“The peak of the hurricane season is almost upon us and it’s important to remain prepared for hurricanes through November," said Joe Nimmich, FEMA Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery. "Make sure to review your family emergency plan, check that your emergency kit is stocked and consider insurance options. Learn more about how you can prepare for hurricanes at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.”

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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Application to import 18 beluga whales for public display denied

August 6, 2013

Following a number of public engagement efforts, NOAA Fisheries today announced it is denying the Georgia Aquarium’s request for a permit to import 18 beluga whales from Russia for public display in the United States. NOAA Fisheries based the decision on requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).

The MMPA allows marine mammals to be removed from the wild or imported for the purpose of public display, and provides a process for issuing permits. This is the first application for a permit to import recently caught wild marine mammals in more than 20 years.

“The Georgia Aquarium clearly worked hard to follow the required process and submit a thorough application, and we appreciate their patience and cooperation as we carefully considered this case,” said Sam Rauch, acting assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “However, under the strict criteria of the law, we were unable to determine if the import of these belugas, combined with the active capture operation in Russia and other human activities, would have an adverse impact on this stock of wild beluga whales.”

After careful review, NOAA Fisheries concluded that the application did not meet several of the MMPA permit criteria. NOAA Fisheries denied the permit application because:

NOAA Fisheries is unable to determine whether or not the proposed importation, by itself or in combination with other activities, would have a significant adverse impact on the Sakhalin-Amur beluga whale stock, the population that these whales are taken from; NOAA Fisheries determined that the requested import will likely result in the taking of marine mammals beyond those authorized by the permit; NOAA Fisheries determined that five of the beluga whales proposed for import, estimated to be approximately 1½ years old at the time of capture, were potentially still nursing and not yet independent.  

Beluga whale pod in the Chukchi sea on July 1st 2008.

Beluga whale pod in the Chukchi sea on July 1st 2008.
Marine Mammal Permit: 14245

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The Aquarium sought to import the whales from Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station on Russia’s Black Sea Coast for public display at its own facility in Atlanta and at partner facilities, including SeaWorld of Florida, SeaWorld of Texas, SeaWorld of California and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

The whales were captured from Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk between 2006 and 2011. There is little reliable scientific information about the size and population trend of the Sakhalin-Amur stock of belugas, and the impact on the stock of other human activities, such as hunting and fishing, is unknown.

NOAA Fisheries held a public hearing on the proposed beluga whale importation on October 12, 2012. The 60-day public comment period closed Oct. 29, 2012, with NOAA Fisheries receiving approximately 9,000 comments.

Beluga whales are social animals that typically migrate, hunt and interact together in groups of ten to several hundred in the arctic and subarctic waters of Russia, Greenland and North America. Beluga whales face a number of threats including ship strikes, pollution, habitat destruction and entanglement in fishing gear.

For more information, including the decision memo, are available online.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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University and federal researchers to receive $1.3 million in NOAA investments for hurricane forecasting advances

September 4, 2013

 Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013 from NOAA's GOES East satellite.

Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013, from NOAA's GOES East satellite.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality has funded seven multi-year proposals totaling $1.3 million this year for university partners and federal scientists to more rapidly and smoothly transfer new technology, research results, and observational advances through NOAA’s Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) to operational hurricane forecasting.

These projects further NOAA’s commitment to create a Weather-Ready Nation, in which the country is able to prepare for and respond to environmental events that affect safety, health, the environment, the economy, and homeland security.

“NOAA’s Joint Hurricane Testbed research provides an opportunity for researchers and forecasters to interact and produce results that can be transitioned into operations,” said John Cortinas, director of NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality, the office that manages the U.S. Weather Research Program, which provides funding for JHT projects. “These important projects will help improve the information and tools that NOAA forecasters and researchers use to forecast tropical cyclones that impact the U.S. population and economy.”

Projects funded in 2013 include:

$327,000 Improving important NOAA and Navy hurricane models: This project will improve two computer hurricane models by improving ways to better incorporate atmospheric and oceanic processes. Awarded to the University of Rhode Island (Isaac Ginis) and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Morris Bender). $221,300Testing new algorithm to better identify a storm’s center: This project will test the use of an automated satellite image center-fixing program to identify the center of tropical cyclones and help improve our ability to objectively and quickly identify the location of tropical storms. Awarded to the University of Wisconsin (Anthony Wimmers) and the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison (Chris Velden). $197,792Examining if integrating 5 new global models could improve forecasts: This project’s aim is to examine and improve forecasts of tropical cyclone formation by combining the output from five global computer models in a way that produces a skillful forecast. (Awarded to Florida State University Bob Hart, Henry Fuelberg). $178,772Developing a visualization tool for assessing storm surge and inundation threats: This project will develop a tool for forecasters to access and visualize a growing and distributed set of storm surge predictions across the U.S. Awarded to the University of North Carolina (Brian Blanton, Rick Luettich) $152,257Improving confidence in hurricane intensity forecasts: Computer programs will be developed to estimate the confidence of the intensity forecasts from the NOAA National Hurricane Center’s primary intensity models and develop a consensus forecast from them. Awarded to the University of Miami (David Nolan), the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University (Andrea Schumacher), and NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (Mark DeMaria) $141,903Predicting the rapid intensification of tropical cyclones:This project will develop a computer program to predict the onset of tropical cyclone rapid intensification using satellite data. Awarded to Florida International University (Haiyan Jiang) $86,000Estimating wind speed and duration inside a hurricane:This project will update and improve a computer program that estimates the probability that any location within a hurricane will experience 40, 60 or 75 mph winds, as well as the arrival and departure times of those winds, out to 7 days in advance. Awarded to the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (Andrea Schumacher) at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (Mark DeMaria).

Started in 2001, the JHT is supported in part by the NOAA Office of Weather and Air Quality through the U.S. Weather Research Program and is jointly managed by NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and National Weather Service. To learn more, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/jht/.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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New analyses find evidence of human-caused climate change in half of the 12 extreme weather and climate events analyzed from 2012

September 5, 2013

Breezy Point, New York, November 14, 2012, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade/Released

The "Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective" report was published today by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. (Full report).

High resolution (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Human influences are having an impact on some extreme weather and climate events, according to the report “Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective” released today by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Overall, 18 different research teams from around the world contributed to the peer-reviewed report that examined the causes of 12 extreme events that occurred on five continents and in the Arctic during 2012. Scientists from NOAA served as three of the four lead editors on the report.
The report shows that the effects of natural weather and climate fluctuations played a key role in the intensity and evolution of the 2012 extreme events. However, in some events, the analyses revealed compelling evidence that human-caused climate change, through the emission of heat-trapping gases, also contributed to the extreme event.

“This report adds to a growing ability of climate science to untangle the complexities of understanding natural and human-induced factors contributing to specific extreme weather and climate events,” said Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). “Nonetheless, determining the causes of extreme events remains challenging.”

In addition to investigating the causes of these extreme events, the multiple analyses of four of the events — the warm temperatures in the United States, the record-low levels of Arctic sea ice, and the heavy rain in both northern Europe and eastern Australia — allowed the scientists to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of their various methods of analysis. Despite their different strategies, there was considerable agreement between the assessments of the same events.

Thomas Peterson, Ph.D., principal scientist at NOAA’s NCDC and one of the lead editors on the report, said, “Scientists around the world assessed a wide variety of potential contributing factors to these major extreme events that, in many cases, had large impacts on society. Understanding the range of influences on extreme events helps us to better understand how and why extremes are changing."

Key findings include:

Location and type of events analyzed in the Paper.

Location and type of events analyzed in the Paper.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Heat Wave and Drought in United States:

Human-induced climate change had little impact on the lack of precipitation in the central United States in 2012.The 2012 spring and summer heat waves in the U.S. can be mainly explained by natural atmospheric dynamics, however, human-induced climate change was found to be a factor in the magnitude of warmth and was found to have affected the likelihood of such heat waves.  For example: High temperatures, such as those experienced in the U.S. in 2012 are now likely to occur four times as frequently due to human-induced climate change.Approximately 35 percent of the extreme warmth experienced in the eastern U.S. between March and May 2012 can be attributed to human-induced climate change.  

Hurricane Sandy Inundation Probability:

The record-setting impacts of Sandy were largely attributable to the massive storm surge and resulting inundation from the onshore-directed storm path coincident with high tide. However, climate-change related increases in sea level have nearly doubled today’s annual probability of a Sandy-level flood recurrence as compared to 1950. Ongoing natural and human-induced forcing of sea level ensures that Sandy-level inundation events will occur more frequently in the future from storms with less intensity and lower storm surge than Sandy. 

Arctic Sea Ice:

The extremely low Arctic sea ice extent in summer 2012 resulted primarily from the melting of younger, thin ice from a warmed atmosphere and ocean. This event cannot be explained by natural variability alone. Summer Arctic sea ice extent will continue to decrease in the future, and is expected to be largely absent by mid-century.  

Global Rainfall Events:

The unusually high amount of summer rainfall in the United Kingdom in 2012 was largely the result of natural variability. However, there is evidence that rainfall totals are influenced by increases in sea surface temperature and atmospheric moisture which may be linked to human influences on climate.The magnitude of the extreme rainfall experienced over southeastern Australia between October 2011 and March 2012 was mainly associated with La Niña conditions. However, the likelihood of above-average precipitation during March was found to have increased by 5 percent to 15 percent because of human influences on the climate. Extreme rainfall events such as the December 2011 two-day rainfall in Golden Bay, New Zealand, are more likely to occur due to a 1 percent to 5 percent increase in available moisture resulting from increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.The July 2012 extreme rainfall events in North China and southwestern Japan were mainly due to natural variability. 

The report was edited by Peterson, along with Martin P. Hoerling, NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory; Peter A. Stott, UK Met Office Hadley Centre and Stephanie C. Herring of NCDC and written by 78 scientists from 11 countries. View the full report online.

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Report highlights climate change threats to nation’s estuaries

August 7, 2013

Report on Climate Sensitivity of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

Report on Climate Sensitivity of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

Full report. (Credit: NOAA)

The nation’s 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) are experiencing the negative effects of human and climate-related stressors according to a new NOAA research report from the National Ocean Service. 

The national study, Climate Sensitivity of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, points to three East Coast reserves, Sapelo Island NERR in Georgia, ACE Basin NERR in South Carolina and Waquoit Bay NERR in Massachusetts, and  the Tijuana River NERR on the California-Mexico border, as the most sensitive to climate change.

“The National Estuarine Research Reserves are uniquely positioned across the U.S. to assess ongoing climate change in our nation’s estuaries which is the degree to which the natural resources and the local communities who depend on them are affected by changing climate conditions,” said Dwight Trueblood, Ph.D. a co-author and NOAA program manager for the study. “This information is important to helping coastal managers and local community leaders make informed decisions about the best ways for coastal communities to adapt to climate change.”

Estuaries are places where rivers meet the sea, providing nursery habitat for fish and shellfish while buffering many coastal communities from the impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise. The climate exposure of each reserve provides first alarm indicators about the effects of climate change on the coastal ecosystems. Ongoing research at each of the reserves provides real-time data about how climate change impacts these important natural resources.

Almost 40 percent of all Americans, or about 123 million people, live in the counties directly along the shoreline and depend on these resources for food, jobs, storm protection, and recreation. Approximately 50 percent, or $6.6 trillion, of the nation’s gross domestic product comes from coastal watershed counties which support more than 51 million jobs.

Researchers determined the extent of relative climate sensitivity in the reserves by looking at five factors: social, biophysical, and ecological sensitivity, and exposure to temperature change and sea level rise.

Key Findings

Reserve ecological resilience was examined and the key underlying estuarine stressors were found to be toxic pollutants, storm impacts, invasive species, habitat fragmentation, sedimentation and shoreline erosion. The most frequently identified factors contributing to these stressors included residential development, land use, population growth, wastewater treatment and sea level rise.

High social sensitivity to climate change was indicated where there is higher employment within natural resource-dependent industries, lower per capita income and median home values, higher percentages of minority populations, and a higher percentage of individuals lacking a high school education.

Social sensitivity to climate change was generally highest in the southern portions of the East and West coasts of the U.S., the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

Tijuana River NERR, California.

Tijuana River NERR, California.

High resolution (Credit: Tijuana River NERR)

Biophysical sensitivity summarizes each reserve’s relationship between annual spring atmospheric temperature and rainfall data and water quality factors such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH.

Temperature change exposure risk was greatest for reserves located in the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions of the country, while reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, parts of the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, California, and Oregon showed the greatest risk of sea level rise exposure.

The study, funded by NOAA’s Climate Program Office, was conducted by a collaborative, interdisciplinary team of investigators from the University of Wisconsin, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management working with staff across the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.  For a digital copy of the full study is available online.

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 28 reserves that serve as “living laboratories” around the U.S. representing unique biogeographically diverse coastal ecosystems. Established under the Coastal Zone Management Act, the reserves are jointly managed by NOAA and the coastal states and territories for long-term research, ecosystems monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. Through integrated research and education, the reserves help communities develop strategies to deal successfully with coastal resource management issues such as water pollution, habitat restoration and climate change.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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After 10 years of service, GOES-12 satellite retires

August 19, 2013

GOES-12 captured this visible image of Hurricane Katrina on August 28, 2005, at 11:45 a.m. (EDT). At that time, the storm was at Category 5 strength and projected to impact New Orleans.

GOES-12 captured this visible image of Hurricane Katrina on August 28, 2005, at 11:45 a.m. (EDT). At that time, the storm was at Category 5 strength and projected to impact New Orleans.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

GOES-12 has seen it all, from Hurricane Katrina that hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, to the Christmas blizzard that crippled the Central United States in 2009. It even traveled south of the equator to provide coverage for South America starting in 2010. Now, after more than 10 years of stellar service, NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-12 spacecraft is being retired.

Launched on July 23, 2001, the satellite lasted well beyond its original operational design life of two years for on-orbit storage and five years of actual operations to support forecasters and scientists in NOAA’s National Weather Service.

“GOES-12 gave the Western Hemisphere many years of reliable data as the operational eastern GOES for accurate forecasts, from small storms to those of historic proportions,” said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

Built by Space Systems/Loral, GOES-12 became operational April 1, 2003 as the GOES-East satellite, monitoring weather across the U.S. East Coast and part of the Atlantic Ocean. On May 10, 2010, when GOES-12 was no longer able to be maintained to meet the requirements of the National Weather Service, it was shifted to a new position, where it provided coverage of weather conditions affecting South America, including volcanic ash clouds, wildfires, and drought.

When NOAA decommissions a geostationary satellite like GOES-12, it is boosted further into orbit, the remaining fuel is expended, the battery is disabled and the transmitters are turned off. These maneuvers reduce the chances the satellite will collide with other operational spacecraft. Additionally, decommissioning lowers the risk of orbital debris and stops the satellite from transmitting any signals that could interfere with any current or future spacecraft.

NOAA continues to operate GOES-13, which serves as the GOES East satellite for the United States and GOES-15, which is the GOES West satellite - both hovering 22,300 miles above the equator. NOAA also has an orbital backup geostationary satellite, GOES-14, which can be activated if any of the operational satellites experience trouble.

Kicza added: “The NOAA-NASA partnership is making steady progress toward developing and launching the more advanced GOES-R satellite series to position us into the future.”

GOES-R is expected to more than double the clarity of today’s GOES imagery and provide more atmospheric observations than current capabilities with more frequent images.

On January 29, 2010, GOES-12 captured a powerful storm developing in the U.S. mid-west. In the coming days, two blizzards hit the East Coast resulting in historic snowfall totals.

On January 29, 2010, GOES-12 captured a powerful storm developing in the U.S. mid-west. In the coming days, two blizzards hit the East Coast resulting in historic snowfall totals.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Data from the GOES-R instruments will be used to create many different products that will help NOAA meteorologists and other users monitor the atmosphere, land, ocean and the sun. GOES-R will also carry a new Geostationary Lightning Mapper that will provide for the first time a continuous surveillance of total lightning activity throughout the Americas and adjacent oceans.

In addition to GOES, NOAA also operates the polar operational environmental satellite (POES) program satellites, the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program series satellites and the Suomi NPP spacecraft.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.


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Contiguous U.S. wetter, warmer-than-average during July; 5th wettest and 30th warmest July on record

July Extreme Weather/Climate Events
Climate Highlights — JulyThe average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 74.3°F, 0.8°F above the 20th century average, and ranked as the 30th warmest such month on record. The western U.S. was warmer than average, where Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah each had a top ten warm month. Several cities, including Salt Lake City, Utah, and Reno, Nev., had their warmest July on record. Seven states across the Northeast also had July temperatures ranking among the ten warmest on record, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, each of which had a record warm July. Locations from the Central and Southern Plains into the Southeast were cooler than average. Four states — Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee — had July temperatures that were among the ten coolest on record. The Alaska statewide average temperature was 1.7°F above the 1971-2000 average and ranked as the fifth warmest July on record for the state. Anchorage had its fourth warmest July, and the city set a record with 14 consecutive days above 70°F. The nationally-averaged July precipitation total of 3.47 inches was 0.71 inch above average and was the 5th wettest July on record for the contiguous United States. Wetter-than-average conditions stretched from California, through the Southwest and Plains, and along the Eastern Seaboard. In the Southwest, seasonal monsoonal flow brought above average precipitation to several states, where Arizona and California both had July precipitation totals ranking among their ten wettest. During this time of year in parts of the Southwest, even light precipitation can result in above-average monthly totals but have minimal impacts on alleviating drought conditions. In the East, 13 states had one of their ten wettest Julys on record, with the highest precipitation totals across the Southeast. Florida had its wettest July on record, with 12.38 inches of rainfall, 4.91 inches above average. The above-average precipitation in the Southeast resulted in widespread flooding and significant damage to crops. The Northwest was particularly dry. Oregon had its driest July on record with only 0.03 inch of rainfall accumulating, 0.41 inch below average. Washington had its eighth driest July. Below-average precipitation was also observed in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, where Iowa had its tenth driest July. According to the July 30 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 45.6 percent of the contiguous U.S experienced drought conditions, up slightly from the beginning of July. Drought remained entrenched throughout much of the West and in parts of the Central and Southern Plains, and drought expanded into parts of the Lower Mississippi River Valley and Midwest. Over 20 percent of Alaska was in drought at the end of July, with severe drought developing in central parts of the state. Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during July was above average and ranked as the 41st highest July value in the 119-year period of record.The components of the U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) that examine extremes in warm night time temperatures, the spatial extent of wetness and drought, and extremes in days with rainfall were all above average. When combined with the other components of the index, the USCEI, as a whole, was only slightly above average. The USCEI is an index that tracks the highest and lowest 10 percent of extremes in temperature, precipitation, tropical cyclones, and drought across the contiguous United States.On a local basis, the number of record warm daily highs and lows (2560) during July was roughly the same as the number of record cool daily highs and lows (2846), although there were slightly more cool records. Climate Highlights — year-to-date (January – July)The year-to-date contiguous U.S. temperature of 51.8°F was 0.5°F above the 20th century average and tied with 1952 as the 42nd warmest January–July on record. Above-average temperatures were observed in the West and Northeast, where California, New Hampshire, and Vermont had one of their top ten warmest year-to-date periods. Below-average temperatures stretched from the Northern Plains to the Southeast. The year-to-date contiguous U.S. precipitation total of 19.14 inches was 1.54 inches above average and tied with 1997 as the 22nd wettest January–July on record. However, rainfall was not evenly distributed across the country. Dry precipitation extremes were observed in the West and wet precipitation extremes were observed in the East. California, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon each had a top ten dry year-to-date period. California's precipitation total of 4.58 inches was record low for the seven-month period at 9.82 inches below average, and 1.69 inches less than the previous record dry January–July of 1898. Above-average precipitation was observed across most locations east of the Rockies, with ten states having one of their ten wettest year-to-date periods. Michigan was record wet with 24.35 inches of precipitation, 6.92 inches above average, and 2.30 inches above the previous record wet January–July of 1950. Several cities, from Fargo, North Dakota to Greenville, South Carolina, had a record wet January–July. Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January–July was below average and ranked as the 47th lowest January–July value in the 119-year period of record.The components of the USCEI that examine extremes in the spatial extent of drought, as well as 1-day precipitation totals and days with rainfall were much above average for the year-to-date. When combined with the other components of the index, the USCEI, as a whole, was only slightly above average.

For additional details about recent temperatures and precipitation across the U.S., see the Regional Highlights section below and visit the Climate Summary page. For information on local temperature and precipitation records during the month, please visit NCDC's Records page. For details and graphics on weather events across the U.S. and the globe please visit NCDC's Global Hazards page.

Regional Highlights:These regional summaries were provided by the six Regional Climate Centers and reflect conditions in their respective regions. These six regions differ spatially from the nine climatic regions of the National Climatic Data Center.

Northeast Region: (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)The Northeast continued to be warmer than normal in July. With an average temperature of 72.4 degrees F (22.4 degrees C), it was 2.5 degrees F (1.4 degrees C) above normal and the 12th warmest July on record. All twelve states were warmer than normal with Rhode Island and Massachusetts reporting their warmest July in 119 years. Departures for those two states were +4.6 degrees F (+2.6 degrees C) and +4.5 degrees F (+2.5 degrees C) respectively. Vermont had its 2nd warmest July on record at +4.1 degrees F (+2.3 degrees C) while Connecticut (+4.3 degrees F or +2.4 degrees C) and New Hampshire (+3.5 degrees F or +1.9 degrees C) saw their 3rd warmest July. New Jersey had its 5th warmest July on record at +3.0 degrees F (+1.7 degrees C) and Delaware reported its 6th warmest July with +2.4 degrees F (+1.3 degrees C). July 2013 ranked among the top 20 warmest in New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Departures for those states ranged from +2.6 degrees F (+1.4 degrees C) to +1.4 degrees F (+0.8 degrees C). West Virginia, while warmer than normal, was the coolest state at +0.6 degrees F (+0.3 degrees C).The wet conditions of June spilled over into July for most Northeast states. The region ended the month with 5.14 inches (130.6 mm) of precipitation, 121 percent of normal, making it the 15th wettest July since 1895. Connecticut and Rhode Island were the dry states at 91 percent of normal. Vermont was the wettest state, receiving 143 percent of normal precipitation, making it the 7th wettest July on record. New Hampshire received 135 percent of normal precipitation, making it the 8th wettest July, while West Virginia received 126 percent of normal, their 10th wettest July. With departures of 126 percent of normal and 123 percent of normal, Maine and New York ranked this July among their top 15 wettest. Departures for the other states ranged from 127 percent of normal in Delaware to 101 percent of normal in Massachusetts. At the start of July, lingering abnormal dryness was located along the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border, but by mid-month, ongoing abundant precipitation eased dryness in that area. Downpours were common throughout July. For instance, on the 9th, 2.5 inches (63.50 mm) of rain fell in 20 minutes in Orleans County, Vermont. On the 17th, Caribou, Maine, had its wettest July day on record with 3.81 inches (96.77 mm) of rain. And in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 28, 2013 became the rainiest day on record when 8.02 inches (203.71 mm) of rain fell, most of it in a four-hour period. The city also reported its wettest July on record with 13.24 inches (336.30 mm) of precipitation. The excess precipitation had many consequences. Heavy rain during June left waterways already running high in July. Flash flooding occurred in parts of every Northeast state. Roads were washed out and closed, homes and businesses were flooded, cars were stranded, and people were evacuated and rescued from the rising waters. Also, heavy rains flushed excessive nitrogen into the waters of estuaries on the south side of Long Island, New York, helping cause the first summer brown tide since 2008. Substantial runoff caused Lake Champlain to rise to a record high summer level, 99.68 feet (30.38 m), on July 7-8. In addition, the precipitation affected agriculture. In New Jersey, farmers in Burlington County reported the wet weather caused disease in vegetables while farmers in Cape May County reported some squash fields were completely lost due to excess moisture. July also had its share of tornadoes. Seven EF-0 tornadoes and five EF-1 tornadoes touched down in the Northeast. The EF-0s primarily uprooted and topped trees while the EF-1s also caused some structural and crop damage. In addition, a gustnado in New Jersey on the 22nd caused some damage and multiple waterspouts were spotted on Lakes Erie and Ontario on the 29th. One other highlight of the month was a hot, humid air mass that set up over the region from July 14 through 20. On the 19th, New York City and Westchester County set an all-time peak electric usage, 13,322 MW. At the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, the warm temperatures contributed to an overgrowth of bacteria and a lack of oxygen in the waters. The harbor's water turned a milky green and hundreds of fish died. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, set a record for longest string of days at or above 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C) with 30 such days from June 24 through July 23. For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)July temperatures in the Midwest ranged from near normal to 3 degrees F (2 C) below normal. The near normal temperatures stretched across the upper Midwest and then southward into Ohio. Slightly cooler than normal temperatures were recorded in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The month began with cool temperatures and then warmed to well above normal mid-month before cooling to well below normal in the last week of July. More than 900 daily record low temperatures were set or tied in the last eight days of the month. Many of these records were also the record lows for the entire month including more than two dozen on the 28th alone.July precipitation ranged from less than 25 percent of normal in western Iowa to about twice normal in parts of southern Missouri, southern Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Upper Michigan, and in the arrowhead of Minnesota. A few cities in western Iowa set new July precipitation records with less than a quarter inch (6 mm). The dryness in Iowa was a drastic change from the wettest spring on record for the state.The Midwest began the month nearly drought free but dryness in the western states, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri, has led to expanding areas of moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions in the US Drought Monitor. Moderate drought expanded only slightly from under one percent to just over two percent of the region. Abnormally dry conditions grew much more going from about two percent to nearly 19 percent of the region. The dryness has started to show in crop condition reports but has been mitigated somewhat by the moist soils from earlier rains and cooler than normal conditions.Severe weather reports were spread across the region with Ohio having the highest concentration. Just a handful of days in July went without a Midwest severe weather report including a three-day stretch in mid-month. July tornadoes touched down in six Midwest states sparing only Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Tornado numbers across the US in 2013 were well below normal and the same departure applied to the Midwest. The cooler weather in July has been good because the crops have seen little heat stress but the accumulation of growing degree days has been slowed. Because planting was later than normal and degree day accumulation has also behind normal, concerns about a damaging fall freeze are increasing because the crops will likely mature and dry down later than normal in 2013.For details on the weather and climate events of the Midwest, see the weekly summaries in the Midwest Climate Watch page.Southeast Region: (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)Mean temperatures were variable across the Southeast in July. The greatest departures were found across much of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and South Florida, where monthly temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees F (1.1 to 1.6 degrees C) below average. Temperatures were also below average across much of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In contrast, monthly temperatures were 1 to 2 degrees F (0.5 to 1.1 degrees C) above average across much of Virginia and parts of eastern North Carolina. In particular, minimum temperatures in these areas were exceptionally warm. For the month, the mean minimum temperature ranked as the third warmest in Washington D.C. and Richmond, VA in records extending back to 1871 and 1887, respectively. For the second consecutive month, there was a relative absence of extreme heat across much of the Southeast region. In fact, several locations recorded monthly maximum temperature departures of 5 to 7 degrees F (2.8 to 3.9 degrees C) below average. In addition, more than 200 daily low maximum temperature records were tied or broken across the region. On the 17th of the month, Miami, FL recorded a maximum temperature of 78 degrees F (25.6 degrees C), which was only 1 degree F (0.5 degrees C) shy of the all-time daily low maximum temperature for July in a record extending back to 1895.For the second consecutive month, precipitation was much above average across a large portion of the Southeast region. The wettest locations were found across the western Panhandle of Florida, the Upstate of South Carolina, and western North Carolina, where monthly totals exceeded 20 inches (508 mm) in places, or more than 300 percent of normal. Precipitation was also above average across Puerto Rico and much of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Several locations recorded their wettest July on record, including Gainesville, FL (16.65 inches, or 423 mm), Asheville, NC (13.69 inches, or 348 mm), Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (14.45 inches, or 367 mm), Roanoke, VA (12.73 inches, or 323 mm), and San Juan, PR (14.18 inches, or 360 mm). Monthly totals at these locations also ranked in the top 5 all-time wettest months on record. Asheville, NC came within just 0.07 inches (1.8 mm) of breaking its all-time monthly total, which was last set in August 1940. Many of the highest daily rainfall totals (greater than 5 inches, or 127 mm) were recorded during the first week of the month, as a plume of deep tropical moisture spread across much of the region. In particular, over 10 inches (254 mm) of rain fell from the 4th to the 5th of the month across portions of northwest Florida, which resulted in numerous reports of flash flooding. Some locations also recorded particularly intense rainfall. On the 10th of the month, 3.37 inches (86 mm) fell in just one hour in Roanoke, VA, yielding an average return interval of 200 to 500 years. On the 9th of the month, the spillway at Lake Hartwell, one of the largest lakes in the Southeast and located along the northern border of Georgia and South Carolina, was opened for only the third time since 1948 to control for flooding. Over the past three months, rainfall totals around and upstream of the lake have exceeded 40 inches (1016 mm), which is more than 200 percent of normal. Heavy rains across South Florida also forced the release of water from Lake Okeechobee to help mitigate flooding from a potential tropical cyclone. The heavy rains across western North Carolina caused several cracks along part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, forcing officials to close a 20 mile (32 km) section near Asheville. On the 18th of the month, a strong tropical wave dropped 9.23 inches (234.4 mm) of rainfall in San Juan, PR, marking the second highest daily total for any month since 1898. More heavy rain towards the end of the month caused several rivers in western North Carolina to crest above flood stage, including the south fork of the Catawba River west of Charlotte, which crested at 17.31 feet (5.3 m) on the 28th, its third greatest height recorded in over 70 years. Severe flood damage to homes and buildings, as well as several washed-out sections of roadways, have resulted in numerous disasters declarations across the region. At least two drowning deaths have been confirmed across the Southeast, both occurring on the 27th in Wilson Creek in Caldwell County, NC. While most of the region observed above average rainfall for the month, parts of eastern North Carolina were relatively dry in July. Cape Hatteras, NC recorded just 1.88 inches (48 mm) for the month, which was more than 3 inches (76 mm) below normal. There were 486 preliminary reports of severe weather across the Southeast in July, with at least one report on every day of the month. The vast majority of these reports were for damaging thunderstorm winds. Winds in excess of 50 mph (22 meters per second) were also reported across Puerto Rico in association with Tropical Storm Chantal on the 9th and 10th of the month, resulting in some minor damage and heavy surf. There were also at least nine tornadoes reported or confirmed across the region. On the 2nd of the month, an EF-0 tornado caused significant damage to trees and homes near the town of Roxboro in Person County, NC. A brief tornado blew roofing tiles off of several buildings near Seminole in Okaloosa County, FL on the 5th, while a waterspout that moved onshore near Oldsmar in Pinellas County, FL caused minor damage to a few homes on the 8th of the month. Another brief tornado damaged several mobile homes in Palmetto in Manatee County, FL on the 9th of the month. A waterspout was observed moving onshore on Hunting Island in Beaufort County, SC on the 13th of the month, though no damage was reported. Another waterspout on the 19th of the month came onshore near Pompano Beach in Broward County, FL. Three injuries were reported from felled tents that were set up for a lifeguard competition. On the 21st, a weak tornado was confirmed in St. John's County, FL. Two days later, another weak tornado was confirmed near Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, FL. Several boats in a local marina were overturned. Lastly, a tornado was reported near the Suwannee River State Park in Hamilton County, FL on the 31st of the month. In addition, at least four people were injured from lightning strikes during the month across Florida.July marked the first time in over three years that the Southeast region was free of any U.S. Drought Monitor designation. However, the persistent wet pattern continued to cause problems for farmers. Heavy rains and standing water prevented many farmers from harvesting their crop, cutting hay, spraying chemicals and applying treatments, and preparing fields for fall and winter crops. Mold and other fungal diseases were reported across the region, particularly on crops such as corn, tomatoes, peanuts, and forage. The excess moisture has also degraded the quality and flavor of many crops, including watermelons, tobacco, and peaches, and has hampered the growth of cotton and corn by limiting the amount of oxygen available to the roots. In some locations across northern Florida and southern Georgia, the corn crop reached only half its normal height. Agricultural officials have predicted that losses across much of the region could be in the billions of dollars. The cool, cloudy conditions have resulted in generally good air quality across most metropolitan areas in the region this summer. Through the end of July, Atlanta, GA has recorded just one air quality violation, a code red violation on the 30th of the month. This marked the latest calendar day the city has gone before its first air quality violation since 1997. For more information, please go to the Southeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.High Plains Region: (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center)Average temperatures were generally below normal in the east and above normal in the west across the High Plains Region this month. Temperature departures of 2.0-4.0 degrees F (1.1-2.2 degrees C) below normal occurred in eastern Kansas, central South Dakota, western North Dakota, and a few pockets of Nebraska. Meanwhile, western portions of Colorado and Wyoming had temperature departures of 3.0-5.0 degrees F (1.7-2.8 degrees C) above normal. The cooler temperatures in the east were in stark contrast to last year, when a good portion of the area had temperature departures of 6.0-8.0 degrees F (3.3-4.4 degrees C) above normal. Although monthly records were not set, a few stations did manage to sneak in to the top 10 rankings for warmest or coolest July. On the cool side, long-term station Wamego 4 W, which is located in northeastern Kansas, had its 5th coolest July with an average temperature of 75.6 degrees F (24.2 degrees C). The coolest July at Wamego 4 W was 72.0 degrees F (22.2 degrees C) in 1950 (period of record 1912-2013). On the warm side, Lander, Wyoming had its 10th warmest July with 74.2 degrees F (23.4 degrees C). Interestingly, 7 of the top 10 warmest Julys have occurred since 2000 in Lander and the top spot of 75.9 degrees F (24.4 degrees C) occurred in both 2003 and 2006 (period of record 1891-2013). While monthly extremes were not common, numerous daily records occurred throughout the month. One notable record was for the July all-time coolest maximum temperature in Concordia, Kansas. On July 28th, Concordia's high temperature only reached 62.0 degrees F (16.7 degrees C) and beat out the old record of 63.0 degrees F (17.2 degrees C) which occurred back in 1979 and 1988 (period of record 1885-2013). July precipitation was hit or miss across the High Plains Region. Areas receiving at least 150 percent of normal precipitation included central Kansas, central South Dakota, central and western Colorado, and scattered pockets in eastern Wyoming, north central Nebraska, southwestern South Dakota, and northern North Dakota. While rain was needed to help alleviate ongoing drought conditions, some storms brought heavy rain which caused mudslides in fire burn scars in Colorado and flash flooding in parts of Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. Areas which missed out included eastern and central Nebraska, eastern and central North Dakota, and central Wyoming. These areas received less than 50 percent of normal precipitation. Because of the wide range in precipitation, there were stations which ranked in the top 10 driest or wettest Julys on record. With only 11 percent of normal precipitation, Omaha, Nebraska had its 2nd driest July on record with 0.44 inches (11 mm) of precipitation (period of record 1871-2013). The driest on record occurred only last year with 0.01 inches (0 mm). Meanwhile, precipitation in central Kansas helped alleviate drought conditions there, although long-term deficits were still high. For instance, Wichita, Kansas had measurable precipitation on 17 days in July, which broke the old record of 16 in 1950 (period of record 1888-2013). On average, Wichita has about 8 days with measurable precipitation in July. By the end of the month, Wichita received 7.69 inches (195 mm) of precipitation making this July its 4th wettest. Although 232 percent of normal, this was not nearly enough to beat the top spot of 13.37 inches (340 mm) in 1950. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor showed both improvements and degradations over the past month. At the end of July, approximately 64 percent of the Region was in moderate (D1) to exceptional (D4) drought - down just slightly from 67 percent at the end of June. An expansion of abnormally dry conditions (D0) occurred in east-central North Dakota and eastern parts of Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In addition, two new areas of D1 were introduced in far southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Kansas. One category improvements were made in some areas of north-central and eastern Colorado. There was quite a bit of jostling of drought conditions in Kansas where some areas had improvements, while others had degradations. By the end of the month, 25 percent of the state remained in the D4 designation, however. Wyoming had an increase in severe (D2) and extreme (D3) drought coverage, going from about 47 percent of the state to 52 percent of the state. According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released July 18th, the only area of drought expected to improve was in southwestern Colorado. Drought conditions were expected to develop in north-central Colorado and persist elsewhere through October 2013.For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)For the Southern Region, the month of July proved to be a cooler than normal month across the board. Temperatures across the six states generally averaged between 0 to 4 degrees F (0 to 2.22 degrees C) below normal, with the highest negative anomalies occurring in northwestern Arkansas and western Tennessee. With the exception of some areas in southern Texas, temperatures were consistently lower than normal over the course of the month. The state average temperatures for the month are as follows: Arkansas with 77.80 degrees F (25.44 degrees C), Louisiana with 80.60 degrees F (27.00 degrees C), Mississippi with 78.60 degrees F (25.89 degrees C), Oklahoma with 79.70 degrees F (26.50 degrees C), Tennessee with 75.00 degrees F (23.89 degrees C), and Texas with 81.30 degrees F (27.39 degrees C). All six states reported temperature averages that were below the 1895-2013 average. For Mississippi, it was the seventh coldest July on record (1895-2013), while Arkansas and Tennessee saw their tenth coldest July on record (1895-2013). Louisiana experienced its sixteenth coldest July on record (1895-2013), while Texas recorded its twenty-sixth coldest July on record (1895-2013). In the case of Oklahoma, it was their thirtieth coldest July on record (1895-2013). For some parts of the Southern Region, July was a much wetter than normal month, while other areas in the region experienced a much drier than normal month. The drier than normal areas of the region extended over much of the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast zones, and through eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi. The wettest areas of the region included much of central Tennessee, central Texas, and Oklahoma, where precipitation totals ranged from one and a half to over three times the monthly normal. The state average precipitation totals are as follows: Arkansas with 4.34 inches (110.24 mm), Louisiana with 4.38 inches (111.25 mm), Mississippi with 4.35 inches (110.49 mm), Oklahoma with 5.41 inches (137.41 mm), Tennessee with 7.16 inches (181.86 mm), and Texas with 3.36 inches (85.34 mm). Tennessee experienced its sixth wettest July on record (1895-2013), while for Oklahoma, it was the tenth wettest July on record (1895-2013). Texas reported its twenty-fifth wettest July on record (1895-2013), where as Louisiana experienced its twenty-ninth driest July on record (1895-2013). All other state rankings fell within the two middle quartiles. Drought conditions changed little over the month of July. Dryness throughout much of Arkansas led to the introduction of some moderate drought. This was also the case for some parishes in west central Louisiana. Drought conditions in Texas and western Oklahoma are relatively unchanged, despite anomalously high precipitation in central Texas. In Texas, the cooler and wetter weather has helped farmers and ranchers across the state. East Texas vineyard owners are predicting one of their best harvests in years due to perfect conditions. Corn and cotton farmers in central Texas believe the July rains saved several million dollars of crops after the dry June. Still, problems for ranchers persist, but efforts to help the continually hurting herd numbers are taking place, including hay planting in 197 counties across the state to provide food for cattle. Not all of the rainfall was beneficial, however. Many rainstorms brought flooding, slowing down commuters in Houston, filling up a jail in Hale County, and flooding neighborhoods in El Paso. The rains also brought lightning, which sparked several house fires and small grassfires across the state. Damages greater than $260,000 were reported in Austin, more than 5,000 people lost power in El Paso, and several lightning-caused grassfires burned hundreds of acres across much of the central portions of the state (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office).Unfortunately, reservoirs throughout Texas continue to decline. Many regions across the state have ramped up their water restrictions, including Stage 2 restrictions in Austin and Victoria, Stage 3 in Galveston, and Stage 4 in Marlin after Dow Chemical claimed senior water rights along the Brazos River. To combat this, water reclamation projects are gaining steam in Austin, with an estimated 8.5 billion gallons of reused water possible, and a new pipeline in Dallas from Lake Palestine, costing an estimated $2.3 billion (Information provided by the Texas State Climate Office).For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Regional Climate Center)The North American Monsoon was very active this month, bringing much needed precipitation to the Southwest. As is typical for July, dry conditions dominated in the Pacific Northwest. The Great Basin and Intermountain West saw record high July temperatures, while temperatures in coastal regions were moderated by persistent marine stratus and temperatures in the Southwest curbed by frequent thunderstorms.Persistent ridging produced record monthly temperatures in the northern Great Basin. In Nevada, Reno and Elko logged their warmest month in their 126-year records, at 80.2 F (26.8 C) and 76.8 F (24.9 C), respectively. In Utah, Salt Lake City averaged 84.1 F (28.9 C), its warmest month in a 140-year record. Boise, Idaho saw its 3rd warmest July in a 136-year record, with 30 days reaching 90 F (32.2 C), tying 2007 for the most such days in July there. In Oregon, Medford saw its hottest month in an 86-year record, averaging 78.9 F (26.1 C), surpassing the previous record of July 2009 by 1.0 F (0.6 C). In Washington, Yakima recorded its hottest month on record as well, at an average 77.5 F (25.3 C), exceeding the July 1998 record by 1.4 F (0.8 C). In the Southwest, Tucson, Arizona ended a 39-day streak (June 1-July 10) of temperature reaching 100 F (37.8 C), the longest such streak in a 119-year record. Monsoon clouds lowered temperatures from the warmest Tucson June on record to the 19th warmest July.Monsoon precipitation brought spotty and minor drought relief to Arizona and New Mexico, with many locations recording above normal precipitation. After consecutive below normal monsoon seasons, the Albuquerque, New Mexico airport recorded 2.77 in (70 mm) this month, the 9th wettest July in a 117-year record. This rainfall came in deluges, with nearly half (1.36 in/35mm) on the 26th, resulting in some flooding. In Arizona, Flagstaff tied 1919 for the wettest July on record at 7.58 in (193 mm). Phoenix, Yuma, and Tucson all saw an excellent start to the monsoon season as well, receiving above normal precipitation for the month. Cedar City, Utah logged 5.25 in (133 mm) of monsoon rain, 625% of normal and easily surpassing the previous July record of 4.37 in (111 mm) set in 1975. Los Angeles, California typically receives no precipitation in July, so that a mere 0.09 in (2.3 mm) led to the 3rd wettest July in a 108-year record. In contrast, the Northwest experienced its typical dry July weather. Seattle, Washington received a trace of precipitation this month, tying 1958 and 1960 for driest July. Normal there is 0.7 in (18 mm). Quillayute, Washington averages 1.98 in (50 mm) for July, but saw only 0.01 in (0.25 mm) on the last day of the month, beating out 2010 (0.35 in/9 mm) for driest July in its 48-year record. Locations throughout Northern California, such as San Francisco and Sacramento stayed dry this month. July 6 brought the first rainfall to Las Vegas since April 16. This 80-day dry stretch is the 4th longest on record.Quiescent conditions prevailed in Hawaii for most of July until the remnants of Tropical Storm Flossie brought high winds and locally heavy precipitation near the close of the month. Storm totals were highest around Maui County, helping stations in that area surpass their July normals. Kahului recorded 0.86 in (22 mm) for the month, 238% of normal. Of this, 0.79 in (20 mm) fell on the 29th associated with Flossie. Further north, warm temperatures continued in Alaska this month. Anchorage set a record of 14 consecutive days above 70 F (21.1 C) July 17th-30th. This beats the previous record of 13 days set in August of 2004 and helped to make this the 4th warmest July on record in Anchorage. On July 31, Fairbanks tied its all-time record for number of 80 F or greater (26.7 C) days in a summer at 30 days. So far, this is the second warmest summer on record at Fairbanks behind the summer of 2004. July (all month): Wildfires in the West: Though many large fires burned throughout the West this month, year-to-date the nationwide number of fires is 58% of the 10-year normal and acres burned is 55% of the 10-year normal. Some of the fires include:Douglas Complex Fire, Southwest Oregon: This group of fires ignited by lightning on the 26th had burned approximately 28,000 acres (11,300 hectares) and was 9% contained at month's end. Smoke from these fires has produced hazardous air quality in many southwest Oregon cities such as Medford, Grants Pass and Glendale. Bison Fire, Northwest Nevada: This lightning-caused fire burned from July 4th through July 14th, charring over 24,000 acres (9,700 hectares), one of the largest fires in western Nevada history. High winds helped the fire spread quickly, and smoke from the fire caused poor air quality in Carson City and Reno, Nevada.Aspen Fire, Southeast California: This lightning-caused fire began July 22 and was 45 % contained on July 31. The fire had burned nearly 18,000 acres (7,300 hectares) and caused hazardous air quality in Mammoth Lakes and northern Inyo County. July (throughout month): Flooding in the Southwest: Heavy precipitation caused several instances of flooding in Arizona and New Mexico. On July 28, a tour bus was swept off the road while trying to cross a wash near Kingman, Arizona. In Albuquerque, high winds and lightning caused power outages. Flooding and winds damaged homes and businesses as well as city's zoo. For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.

See NCDC's Monthly Records web-page for weather and climate records for the most recent month. For additional national, regional, and statewide data and graphics from 1895-present, for any period, please visit the Climate at a Glance page.

PLEASE NOTE: All of the temperature and precipitation ranks and values are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final data are processed, but will not be replaced on these pages. Graphics based on final data are provided on the Temperature and Precipitation Maps page and the Climate at a Glance page as they become available.


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Global July temperatures sixth highest on record

Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed. Effective September 2012, the GHCN-M version 3.2.0 dataset of monthly mean temperature replaced the GHCN-M version 3.1.0 monthly mean temperature dataset. Beginning with the August 2012 Global monthly State of the Climate Report, released on September 17, 2012, GHCN-M version 3.2.0 is used for NCDC climate monitoring activities, including calculation of global land surface temperature anomalies and trends. For more information about this newest version, please see the GHCN-M version 3.2.0 Technical Report.

*The GHCN-M version 3.1.0 Technical Report was revised on September 5, 2012 to accurately reflect the changes incorporated in that version. Previously that report incorrectly included discussion of changes to the Pairwise Homogeneity Algorithm (PHA). Changes to the PHA are included in version 3.2.0 and described in the version 3.2.0 Technical Report. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about this update.

An omission in processing a correction algorithm led to some small errors on the Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly dataset (GHCN-M v3.2.0). This led to small errors in the reported land surface temperatures in the October, November, December and Annual U.S. and global climate reports. On February 14, 2013, NCDC fixed this error in its software, included an additional improvement (described below), and implemented both changes as GHCN-M version 3.2.1. With this update to GHCN-M, the Merged Land and Ocean Surface Temperature dataset also is subsequently revised as MLOST version 3.5.3.

The net result of this new version of GHCN-M reveals very small changes in temperature and ranks. The 2012 U.S. temperature is 0.01°F higher than reported in early January, but still remains approximately 1.0°F warmer than the next warmest year, and approximately 3.25°F warmer than the 20th century average. The U.S. annual time series from version 3.2.1 is almost identical to the series from version 3.2.0 and that the 1895-2012 annual temperature trend remains 0.13°F/decade. The trend for certain calendar months changed more than others (discussed below). For the globe, ranks of individual years changed in some instances by a few positions, but global land temperature trends changed no more than 0.01°C/century for any month since 1880.

NCDC uses two correction processes to remove inhomogeneities associated with factors unrelated to climate such as changes in observer practices, instrumentation, and changes in station location and environment that have occurred through time. The first correction for time of observation changes in the United States was inadvertently disabled during late 2012. That algorithm provides for a physically based correction for observing time changes based on station history information. NCDC also routinely runs a .pairwise correction. algorithm that addresses such issues, but in an indirect manner. It successfully corrected for many of the time of observation issues, which minimized the effect of this processing omission.

The version 3.2.1 release also includes the use of updated data to improve quality control and correction processes of other U.S. stations and neighboring stations in Canada and Mexico.

Compared to analyses released in January 2013, the trend for certain calendar months has changed more than others. This effect is related to the seasonal nature of the reintroduced time-of-observation correction. Trends in U.S. winter temperature are higher while trends in summer temperatures are lower. For the globe, ranks of individual years changed in some instances by a few positions, but global temperature trends changed no more than 0.01°C/century for any month since 1880.

More complete information about this issue is available at this supplemental page.

NCDC will not update the static reports from October through December 2012 and the 2012 U.S and Global annual reports, but will use the current dataset (GHCN-M v. 3.2.1 and MLOST v. 3.5.3) for the January 2013 report and other comparisons to previous months and years.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for July 2013 was the sixth highest on record, at 0.61°C (1.10°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F). The global land surface temperature was 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average of 14.3°C (57.8°F), marking the eighth warmest July on record. For the ocean, the July global sea surface temperature was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), the fifth warmest July on record. The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–July period (year-to-date) was 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F), tying with 2003 as the sixth warmest such period on record.

Temperature anomalies and percentiles are shown on the gridded maps below. The anomaly map on the left is a product of a merged land surface temperature (Global Historical Climatology Network, GHCN) and sea surface temperature (ERSST.v3b) anomaly analysis developed by Smith et al. (2008). Temperature anomalies for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis. For more information, please visit NCDC's Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page. The July 2013 Global State of the Climate report includes percentile maps that complement the information provided by the anomaly maps. These maps on the right provide additional information by placing the temperature anomaly observed for a specific place and time period into historical perspective, showing how the most current month, season, or year-to-date compares with the past.

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In the atmosphere, 500-millibar height pressure anomalies correlate well with temperatures at the Earth's surface. The average position of the upper-level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure—depicted by positive and negative 500-millibar height anomalies on the July 2013 height and anomaly mapJuly 2013 map—is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.

The average global temperature across the world's land and ocean surfaces for July 2013 was 0.61°C (1.10°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F), making this the sixth warmest July since records began in 1880. This marks the 341st consecutive month, since February 1985, that the global monthly temperature has been higher than the long-term average for its respective month. Nine of the ten warmest Julys on record have occurred since the beginning of the 21st century (July 1998 is currently the record warmest).

Most of the world's land surfaces were warmer than average during July, with northern South America, the western and northeastern United States, much of Africa, western and central Europe, parts of southern Asia, and most of Australia classified as much warmer than average, as indicated by the Land and Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above. Parts of the central and southeastern United States, small regions across northern Canada, eastern Greenland, and parts of Mongolia and eastern Russia were cooler than average. Far northwestern Canada and part of the eastern United States were much cooler than their long-term averages. Overall, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was the eighth warmest July on record, at 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average. The Northern Hemisphere tied with 2008 as 10th warmest, while the Southern Hemisphere was second highest for July, behind only 1998.

Select national information is highlighted below:
The national July temperature for Australia was 1.46°C (2.63°F) above the 1961–1990 average, marking the third warmest July since national records began in 1901. The July maximum temperature was the third highest at 1.52°C (2.74°) above average, while the minimum temperature was eighth highest. With the exception of Western Australia, every state and territory had an average July temperature that ranked among their seven highest on record. Tasmania reported a record high state-wide maximum temperature that was 1.28°C (2.30°F) higher than average, breaking the previous record set in 1950 and tied in 1993. No state or territory had maximum or minimum temperatures below their long-term averages.
New Zealand observed its fourth warmest July since national records began in 1909, with a temperature that was 1.2°C (2.2°F) higher than the 1971–2000 average. Many locations around Otago and Canterbury on the South Island had a record warm July.
Spain had its fifth warmest July since national records began in 1961, with a temperature that was 1.6°C (2.9°F) above the 1971–2000 average. The northern regions observed the highest anomalies, with some areas up to 3°C (5°F) above average.
It was the third warmest July across the United Kingdom since records began in 1910, at 1.9°C (3.4°F) above the 1981–2010 average. The "most notable heat wave since 2006" contributed to the warmth, according to the UK Met Office. Provisionally, it was the warmest July and second warmest month of any month on record (behind August 1995) for Northern Ireland.
With records dating back to 1767, Austria reported its second warmest July, tied with July 1983 and behind only 2006, with the nationally-averaged temperature 2.2°C (4.0°F) above the 1981–2010 average. Upper Austria and Salzburg each set new state maximum temperatures on July 28th.
The average July temperature across South Korea was the fourth warmest in the country's 41-year period of record, at 1.8°C (3.2°F) above the 1981–2010 average. The July minimum temperature was second highest on record for the month, at 2.1°C (3.8°F) above average.
July was warmer than average across nearly all of Japan. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Western Japan was significantly warmer than average, with a regionally-averaged July temperature that was 1.6°C (2.9°F) above the 1981–2010 average.

The globally-averaged ocean temperature was the fifth highest for July in the 134-year period of record, at 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average. This marks the warmest July for the oceans since July 2009, when the last El Niño phase on record was beginning. During July 2013, conditions in the eastern and equatorial Pacific Ocean, where ENSO conditions are monitored via sea surface temperature observations, remained ENSO neutral, with near-average sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific and below-average sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Neutral conditions, with some temperature variation within the defined range (less than plus or minus 0.5°C / 0.9°F of average), have persisted since spring 2012. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, ENSO neutral conditions are expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2013. In other parts of the global oceans, many regions were much warmer than average, with part of the northeastern Atlantic off the coast of North America, sections of the southern Indian Ocean, and various regions in the western Pacific observing record warmth, as indicated on the Land and Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above. The far eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean off the coast of northern South America was the only region of the oceans that was much cooler than average for the month. Images of sea surface temperature conditions are available for all weeks during 2013 from the weekly SST page.

JulyAnomalyRank
(out of 134 years)Records

The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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With ENSO-neutral conditions present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean for the entire period, the globally-averaged combined land and ocean temperature for the first seven months of 2013 (January–July) was 0.59°C (1.06°F) higher than the 20th century average, tying with 2003 as the sixth warmest such period on record. The global land surface temperature was also the sixth warmest on record. The Northern Hemisphere land areas were eighth warmest on average, while the Southern Hemisphere land was third warmest. In this region, much of Australia, along with part of southern Chile and central Namibia, were record warm, as indicated by the Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above. Around the globe, only land surfaces across much of the United Kingdom and parts the central and southeastern United States were cooler than average for the January–July period. For the global oceans, the average January–July temperature was 0.45°C (0.81°F) above average, the eighth warmest such period on record. It was much warmer than average across the equatorial waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and western Pacific Oceans, along with waters surrounding most of Australia and the far northeastern Atlantic extending into the Arctic Seas.

January–JulyAnomalyRank
(out of 134 years)Records

The most current data may be accessed via the Global Surface Temperature Anomalies page.

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The maps below represent precipitation percent of normal (left) and precipitation percentiles (right) based on the GHCN dataset of land surface stations using a base period of 1961–1990. As is typical, precipitation anomalies during July 2013 varied significantly around the world. As indicated by the July precipitation percentiles map below, much of the eastern and central United States, India, southeastern Asia, and parts of eastern Russia were wetter or much wetter than average during July. Record dryness was present among regions that included part of central Europe, eastern Turkey, some scattered regions in west Africa, east central Brazil, and northern coastal Chile.

The United Kingdom had its driest July since 2006, with rainfall 82 percent of the 1981–2010 average. South-west England, East Anglia, and north-west Scotland were among the driest regions during the month.
Austria observed its driest July since national records began in 1858, with just 35 percent of the 1981–2010 average precipitation. Several regions only received 5 to 20 percent of their typical July rainfall.
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Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Database. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 78, 2837-2849.

Quayle, R.G., T.C. Peterson, A.N. Basist, and C. S. Godfrey, 1999: An operational near-real-time global temperature index. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 333-335.

Smith, T.M. and R.W. Reynolds, 2005: A global merged land air and sea surface temperature reconstruction based on historical observations (1880-1997), J. Clim., 18, 2021-2036.

Smith et al., 2008, Improvements to NOAA's Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006), J. Climate., 21, 2283-2293.

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