January 2010: extremes and monthly summary

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:33 PM GMT on February 19, 2010

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The globe recorded its fourth warmest January since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated January 2010 as the 2nd warmest January on record, behind January 2007. January 2010 global ocean temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, next to 1998. Land temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record, but in the Northern Hemisphere, they were the 18th warmest. The relatively cool Northern Hemisphere land temperatures may have been due to the well-above average amount of snow on the ground--January 2010 snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the 6th highest in the past 44 years. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest on record in January, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and RSS data sets. This was the second time in the past three months that the UAH data set has shown a record high global atmospheric temperature.


Figure 1. Departure of surface temperature from average for January 2010. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

A few notable global weather highlights from January 2010:

According to the United Kingdom's Met Office, the U.K. as a whole had its coolest January since 1987 and the eighth coolest January since records began in 1914. Scotland had its coolest January since 1979. During the first two weeks of January, the Irish Republic experienced a spell of extreme cold weather that began in mid-December, resulting in the most extreme cold spell over Ireland since early 1963, according to the Irish Meteorological Service. Most places of the Irish Republic had its coolest January since 1985 and the coolest January since 1963 in the Dublin area.

A rare summer snowfall occurred on January 18th in the town of Bombala, New South Wales, Australia. The town received a light dusting of accumulation, marking the first summer snow in the high terrain of southeast Australia since records began in 1965. The town has an elevation of around 3,000 feet (900 meters) above sea-level. Forecasters said that snow at such low elevations is unusual at any time of year, especially summer. Six days before the snow, temperatures had hit 37°C (99°F) in Bombala.

Eleven inches (28 cm) of snow fell in Seoul, South Korea on the 3rd, marking the greatest snowfall amount for that city since records began in 1937 (Source: BBC).

Central Beijing, China received 3 inches (8 cm) of snow on the 2nd, the most for a single day since January 1951, while suburbs of the city reported 13 inches (33 cm). Over 90 percent of flights at Beijing.s International Airport were affected. On January 6th, temperatures in Beijing dropped to -16.7°C (1.9°F), the lowest minimum temperature in the first ten days of January since 1971.


Figure 2. An unusual sight: Virtually all of Britain was covered by snow on January 7, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

January 2010: near-average temperatures in the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., the average January temperature was 0.3°F above average, making it the 55th coolest January in the 115-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The U.S. has been on quite a roller coaster of temperatures over the past four months--the nation recorded its third coldest October on record, followed by its third warmest November, followed by its 14th coolest December, followed by an average January. The coolest January temperature anomalies were in Florida, which had its 10th coldest such month. The Pacific Northwest was very warm, with Oregon and Washington recording their 4th warmest January on record. Seattle experienced its warmest January since records began in 1891.


Figure 3. Ranking of temperatures by state for January 2010. Florida had its 10th coldest January on record, while Washington and Oregon had their 4th warmest. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

U.S. drought
Precipitation across the U.S. was near average in January. Notably, Arizona had its 5th wettest January and New Mexico its 7th wettest. The only state much drier than average was Michigan, which had its 8th driest January. At the end of January, 3% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought, a decrease of 4% from the previous month. This is the lowest drought footprint for the country since detailed drought statistics began in 1999.

U.S. records
A few notable records set in the U.S. during January 2010, courtesy of the National Climatic Data Center::

All-time low pressure records were set across most of California, Arizona, Nevada, and southern Oregon on January 20 - 21. This was approximately 10 - 15% of the area of the U.S.

Arizona set its all-time 24-hour state snowfall record: 48" at Sunrise Mountain Jan. 21 - 22.

The 50.7 inches (129 cm) that fell in Flagstaff, AZ Jan. 16 - 23 was the third highest five-day total ever recorded there.

Yuma, Arizona's total of 2.44 inches of rain (62 mm) was their 2nd greatest January total ever, narrowly missing the record of 2.49 (63 mm) set in 1949. Their daily total of 1.95 (50 mm) inches on the 21st was the greatest one-day January total ever.

Near Wikieup, AZ, the Big Sandy River crested at 17.9 feet, washing away numerous roads and setting a new all-time record crest, breaking the previous record of 16.4 feet set back in March 1978.

Burlington, VT had its largest single snowstorm on record, 33.1" on Jan. 1 - 3.

Sioux City, IA tied its all-time max snow depth record (28" on Jan. 7).

Beckley, WV had its snowiest January on record (40.9"; old record 37.3" in 1996)

Bellingham, Washington tied its record highest January temperature of 65°F on January 11.

Hondo, Texas tied its record coldest January temperature of 12°F on January 9.

Cotulla la Salle, Texas tied its record coldest January temperature of 16°F on January 9.

Records were broken or tied at Daytona Beach, Orlando, Melbourne, and Vero Beach Florida for the greatest number of consecutive days in which the daily high temperature remained below 60 degrees F (15.5 C). Daytona Beach's string was twelve days.

Jackson, KY and London, KY tied their record for longest streak of consecutive days falling below 32°F (11 days). Pensacola, FL had its 2nd longest such streak (10 days), and Mobile, AL its 3rd longest (10 days).

Key West, FL had its 2nd coldest temperature ever measured, 42°F. The record is 41°F, set in 1981 and 1886.

Moderate El Niño conditions continue
Moderate El Niño conditions continue over the tropical Eastern Pacific. Ocean temperatures in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were at 1.2°C above average on February 10, in the middle of the 1.0°C - 1.5°C range for a moderate El Niño, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The strength of El Niño has been roughly constant for the first two weeks of February. A burst of westerly winds that developed near the Date Line in January has pushed eastwards towards South America over the past month, and this should keep the current El Niño at moderate strength well into March. All of the El Niño models forecast that El Niño has peaked and will weaken by summer. Most of the models predict that El Niño conditions will last into early summer, but cross the threshold into neutral territory by the height of hurricane season.

January sea ice extent in the Arctic 4th lowest on record
January 2010 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 4th lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. Ice extent was lower than in 2009 and 2008, but greater than in 2005, 2006, and 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The weather pattern over the Arctic in the first half of January 2010 featured a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation (AO). This pattern tends to slow the winds that typically flush large amounts of sea ice out of the Arctic between Greenland and Iceland. In this way, a negative AO could help retain some the second- and third-year ice through the winter, and potentially rebuild some of the older, multi-year ice that has been lost over the past few years. However, the ice pack is the thinnest on record for this time of year, and much above average temperatures this summer would likely cause a new record summertime sea ice loss.

Next post
My next post will be Monday or Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
I am rather surprised that we are not under a winter storm watch or warning as many places just downtrack (coined that word) from us in Michigan are under a warning and expected to see up to 8 inches of snow:

maybe after midnight we may see more after the passage then during
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I am rather surprised that we are not under a winter storm watch or warning as many places just downtrack (coined that word) from us in Michigan are under a warning and expected to see up to 8 inches of snow:

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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
I just saw a skunk outside, in Southern Ontario, in February. Probably not a common sight at this time of year, and I also saw a faint 22-degree colourless halo around the moon.
i've seen plenty of critters other morn at 6 a fox then two skunks next day i seen ground hog or groper and on fri at noon i seen a falcon swoop down under a van with a blue jay in its talons killed and flew away with it
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
ring around the moon rain or snow by noon


Yup...15 cm of snow expected by Tuesday morning here.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
I'm looking at this Olympics hockey score, but I'm not believing it. Good game, I hope Canada doesn't hold it against us forever. USA 5, Canada 3.


GO CANADA!!!
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Precipitation in the current warm anomaly from Africa to the Caribbean will be above average, hence hampering some of the SAL.



That high is dislocated and positioned over the southeastern North Atlantic, leaving the Caribbean to warm rapidly as spring approaches, opening the Caribbean hurricane season by June.
ring around the moon rain or snow by noon
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I'm looking at this Olympics hockey score, but I'm not believing it. Good game, I hope Canada doesn't hold it against us forever. USA 5, Canada 3.
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WTPS32 PGTW 212100
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE 17P (SEVENTEEN) WARNING NR 001//
REF/A/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/210921Z FEB 10//
AMPN/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
RMKS/
1. TROPICAL CYCLONE 17P (SEVENTEEN) WARNING NR 001
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN SOUTHPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
WARNING POSITION:
211800Z --- NEAR 9.6S 157.9W
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 130 DEGREES AT 13 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
REPEAT POSIT: 9.6S 157.9W
---
212100Z POSITION NEAR 10.1S 157.8W.
TROPICAL CYCLONE (TC) 17P (SEVENTEEN), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 800 NM
EAST-NORTHEAST OF PAGO PAGO, HAS TRACKED SOUTHEASTWARD AT 13 KNOTS
DURING THE PAST SIX HOURS. AS OF 1800Z THREE OUT OF THE FOUR FIXING
AGENCIES IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC HAVE ASSESSED THE LOW LEVEL
CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) AT 35 KNOTS, JUSTIFYING THE ISSUANCE OF
THIS WARNING. A 210829Z ASCAT PASS SHOWS WINDS RANGING FROM 30 TO 35
KNOTS AROUND A CONSOLIDATING LLCC. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE LLCC HAS
CONTINUED TO STRENGTHEN AND CONSOLIDATE BETWEEN THE TIME OF THAT
PASS AND NOW GIVEN THE CONTINUED BUILD UP OF DEEP CENTRAL
CONVECTION. THE UPPER LEVEL WINDS ARE LARGELY DIFFLUENT OVER THE
REGION WITH NO ONE WELL-DEFINED OUTFLOW CHANNEL. VERTICAL WIND SHEAR
(VWS) IS LOW TO MODERATE, AND IS EXPECTED TO RELAX AS THE UPPER
LEVEL TROUGHING TO THE SOUTH WEAKENS AND PUSHES DOWNSTREAM. VWS IS
EXPECTED TO LIMIT SHORT TERM INTENSIFICATION. THE CYCLONE WILL TURN
SOUTH OVER THE NEXT 12 HOURS AS RIDGING BUILDS IN FROM THE EAST AND
BECOMES THE PREDOMINANT STEERING MECHANISM. THE SYSTEM WILL THEN
TRANSIT ALONG THE NORTHERN PERIPHERY OF THIS MID TO DEEP LAYER
RIDGING THROUGHOUT THE REMAINDER OF THE FORECAST AND QUICKLY
INTENSIFY IN AN IMPROVED UPPER LEVEL ENVIRONMENT, FAVORABLE SEA
SURFACE TEMPERATURES, AND OCEAN HEAT CONTENT (OHC). HOWEVER, AFTER
TAU 72 INTENSIFICATION SHOULD HALT WITH AN INCREASE IN VWS. OHC WILL
ALSO BEGIN TO TAPER AROUND THIS TIME. AS IS TYPICAL OF A FIRST
FORECAST THERE IS A LARGE SPREAD IN THE MODEL GUIDANCE. AS A RESULT
THE FORECAST CONSERVATIVELY FOLLOWS THE MODEL CONSENSUS WITH LARGER
DEVIATIONS OCCURRING IN THE LATER TAUS. NEXT WARNINGS AT 220900Z AND
222100Z. THIS WARNING SUPERSEDES AND CANCELS REF A, NAVMARFCSTCEN
210921Z FEB 10 TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT (WTPS21 PGTW
210930). MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 211800Z IS 12 FEET.//
NNNN

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I just saw a skunk outside, in Southern Ontario, in February. Probably not a common sight at this time of year, and I also saw a faint 22-degree colourless halo around the moon.
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Quoting JRRP:

do you think the SAL will be above average?


Precipitation in the current warm anomaly from Africa to the Caribbean will be above average, hence hampering some of the SAL.

Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
those later things will be decided as we get closer to start as well as the position and strengh of azores high as well


That high is dislocated and positioned over the southeastern North Atlantic, leaving the Caribbean to warm rapidly as spring approaches, opening the Caribbean hurricane season by June.
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no don't do the sports thing
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Keeper, not a hockey fan?
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TPPS10 PGTW 220019 COR

A. TROPICAL CYCLONE 17P (SEVENTEEN)

B. 21/2330Z

C. 9.0S

D. 157.9W

E. SIX/GOES11

F. T2.5/2.5/D0.5/24HRS STT: S0.0/06HRS

G. IR/EIR/VIS/MSI

H. REMARKS: 40A/PBO SBC/ANMTN. COR LINE F

RENALYSIS OF CONVECTIVE BANDING YIELDS A DT OF 2.5 WITH A .60
WRAP. MET AND PT AGREE. DBO DT.

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS: NONE


GATES
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155

ABPW10 PGTW 212200

MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//

SUBJ/SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL WEATHER ADVISORY FOR THE WESTERN AND

/SOUTH PACIFIC OCEANS REISSUED/212200Z-220600ZFEB2010//

REF/A/MSG/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/211951ZFEB2010//

AMPN/REF A IS A TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING.//

RMKS/

1. WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC AREA (180 TO MALAY PENINSULA):

A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.

B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY: NONE.

2. SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA TO 135 EAST):

A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY:

(1) AT 211800Z TROPICAL CYCLONE 17P (SEVENTEEN) WAS LOCATED

NEAR 9.6S 157.9W, APPROXIMATELY 800 NM EAST-NORTHEAST OF PAGO PAGO,

AMERICAN SAMOA, AND HAD TRACKED SOUTHEASTWARD AT 13 KNOTS OVER THE

PAST SIX HOURS. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS WERE ESTIMATED AT 35

KNOTS GUSTING TO 45 KNOTS. SEE REF A (WTPS32 PGTW 212100) FOR

FURTHER DETAILS.

(2) NO OTHER TROPICAL CYCLONES.

B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:

(1) THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 7.9S

159.7W, IS NOW THE SUBJECT OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING. SEE PARA.

2.A.(1) FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

(2) NO OTHER SUSPECT AREAS.

3. JUSTIFICATION FOR REISSUE: UPGRADED AREA IN PARA 1.B.(1) TO

WARNING STATUS.//


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Quoting all4hurricanes:
Does anyone actually know the prediction for
factors of 2010 I know SSTs are above average, and neutral year, but what about SAL Shear and Steering?


According to the ECMWF, Sahel precipitation is forecasted to be near normal to ever so slightly above normal at the start of Hurricane Season. I am not sure at this time what the rainfall anomaly is forecasted to be come August/September.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
Does anyone actually know the prediction for
factors of 2010 I know SSTs are above average, and neutral year, but what about SAL Shear and Steering?
those later things will be decided as we get closer to start as well as the position and strengh of azores high as well
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I guess you guys wasn't expecting this to be so low near the north west caribben lol

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Does anyone actually know the prediction for
factors of 2010 I know SSTs are above average, and neutral year, but what about SAL Shear and Steering?
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

I remember every storm of 2007 but statistically the ACE was below average out of the 14 storms many were extremely brief and weak but because of the cat 5s and 3 retired storms I say it average


I understand what you mean.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


I wouldn't call 2007 Average. Everyone seems to forget that there were 2 landfalling Category 5 Hurricanes that Season in the Caribbean.

I remember every storm of 2007 but statistically the ACE was below average out of the 14 storms many were extremely brief and weak but because of the cat 5s and 3 retired storms I say it average
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738, I think he meant average in terms of numbers...
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http://firecongress.org/article.php/Story-Phil_Jones_No_Warmin_Since_1995
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735, I had not thought of that! Interesting.

736, no way of knowing, I dont think. We will have to see how the rains in the Sahel and east of there pan out. The forecasts for SAL have been pretty bad, as not enough is known about it.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
Ive noticed a pattern in the past few years for hurricane seasons
2005: monstrous
2006: bust
2007: average
2008: monstrous
2009: bust
2010: average?
except everyone is saying 16 storms and several major hurricanes but that's what everyone has said before every season


I wouldn't call 2007 Average. Everyone seems to forget that there were 2 landfalling Category 5 Hurricanes that Season in the Caribbean.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I hear your going to have snow.. sorry to hear that.. (snicker snicker)

Between gardening, mowing the lawn.. and golfing... its been a nice weekend :)
have fun fish i got somim coming fer yer
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736. JRRP
Quoting pottery:
Maybe the SAL will save us this year. In the Caribbean Islands anyway. LOL

do you think the SAL will be above average?
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Ive noticed a pattern in the past few years for hurricane seasons
2005: monstrous
2006: bust
2007: average
2008: monstrous
2009: bust
2010: average?
except everyone is saying 16 storms and several major hurricanes but that's what everyone has said before every season
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2005 had 28 named storms.
An Incredible year!
May it RIP !
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Blast from the past..Dr. Grey's 2005 Hurricane predictions:
Link
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Maybe the SAL will save us this year. In the Caribbean Islands anyway. LOL
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Exactly Pottery.…Shear saved us a lot of trouble last year.
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Interesting to note too, that the Trade winds have been relatively strong across the Trop Atl., and that would normally tend to cool the SST. Because there are waves and lots of water mixing.
If it stays sunny through May, when the winds begin to drop, the SST could raise more.
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725, Levi.
That's a good response.
My big concern this year is the probable reduction of the Atlantic shear compared to last year (due to Neutral ENSO). If we have SST's that are high already, and likely to increase then I see no reason to take this season lightly.
Kind of worrying actually.
But it's weather. It can change again. For instance, several forecasts around here call for rain on Thursday/Friday. If that happens, I will be surprised, but, it's weather...
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Endeavour set to land at 10:16, record the sonic booms!! that should be awesome.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Thank you for your honest synopsis….but I hope it doesn’t pan it. Most of us in my neck of the woods have become complacent when it comes to Hurricanes.


Indeed hopefully it is not a bad landfalling year.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26686
Thank you for your honest synopsis….but I hope it doesn’t pan it. Most of us in my neck of the woods have become complacent when it comes to Hurricanes.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Thanks Levi..so basically...way to early to tell. Just guesses as of now.


It's a bit early to get specific but it's not all guesses. A dying El Nino plus building heat in the deep tropics of the Atlantic = strong possibility of an active season. The big picture is very much leaning towards a dangerous Atlantic year. The models also agree with this logic, forecasting lower-than-normal pressures in the SW Atlantic and a surplus of heat in the Atlantic tropical breeding grounds. This is very much the opposite of last year's conditions, which obviously caused a bust season.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26686
Thanks Levi..so basically...way to early to tell. Just guesses as of now.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Are some of you saying this winter season is analogous with the 2004/05 winter seasons? Therefore, expect a similar and active Hurricane season for 2010?


No....the 04-05 winter was quite warm for the U.S. Sometimes there is a correlation between the winters and the hurricane seasons, but not all the time. However, the SST pattern in 2005 is very analogous to this year.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26686
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Wow. Big South Pacific Warm Anomaly Bulge drifting east and south, while global average SSTs are 0.5C above normal! With the Atlantic warm anomaly larger than it was in 2005 at this time of year, I'm blaming global warming.


Strong El Ninos such as this one can easily raise global ocean temps by 0.5C...this is quite normal.
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Wow! U.S. leads Canada 2-1 in a wild Olympic hockey game.
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Are some of you saying this winter season is analogous with the 2004/05 winter seasons? Therefore, expect a similar and active Hurricane season for 2010?
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Quoting StormW:




Wow. Big South Pacific Warm Anomaly Bulge drifting east and south, while global average SSTs are 0.5C above normal! With the Atlantic warm anomaly larger than it was in 2005 at this time of year, I'm blaming global warming.
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Also that same system giving Dallas more snow is expected to move up the east coast, merge with a Polar Vortex, and give the east coast(Carolina's-Northeast) a another historic snowstorm(just when you thought The Mid-Atlantic would thaw out).

After that, a significant arctic outbreak will be unleashed upon the eastern 2/3 by the weekend! Winter ain't over yet until the fat lady sings!
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Storm, post 714.
That's scary stuff there! Especially the Atl.
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Hi Awake. Yeah, I wondered about Hood locking his doors.LOL.
Chicken soup sounds good, but I am full of Grand Daughter's 1st birthday party food.
Cake, ice cream, smoked ribs, beers, and smokey air (from fires all around). That combination of foods will probably give me nightmares come to think of it!
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Quoting pottery:
Good Morning Aussie, Good Evening Orca and everyone else.
Whatever is burning out there in the bush east of me, I'm smoking. Whether I like it or not.
The wife is Complaining about the black feet from soot.
The gas powered water pump packed up.
The cisterns are low.
Anyone need a house guest for 3 months?


Oh, geez, no wonder RobDaHood temporarily closed his blog -- must have heard you were lookin' (J/K)!
:)

Now where we gonna' go? :(

Matzoh-ball & chicken soup tonight, Pottery.
It's still cold here...they say it hit 50F., but I swear it felt colder...dirty snow on the ground doesn't make one feel very warm towards anything.

Soup's ready, BBL.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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