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

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:09 PM GMT on May 08, 2012

Share this Blog
42
+

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1584 - 1534

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32Blog Index

Quoting Neapolitan:
The European heat wave talked about yesterday continues again today, with hundreds of locations in western and southeastern Europe breaking long-time daily record high temperatures. A few all-time May highs have even been reached, a rarity for so early in the month.

hot Europe

About the only region in the world experiencing general record cold at the moment is the extreme NW US (western Washington and western Oregon) and a small section of Canada around Vancouver.


Watch this:



Tee hee.

Antarctica isn't warming at all. In fact, it's gaining ice.

*sarcasm flag off again now*
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
I just checked radar, it's not good for sela
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
New Blog
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SteveDa1:
To put in perspective just how incredible the March 18th-23rd heat wave was, we have seen just 4 days above 20C(68F) (here in my neighborhood) since March the 22nd and this is the 11th of May.

Not less than five days in a row of temperatures above 20C were felt during this highly anomalous March heat wave.
That is pretty impressive. As Dr. Masters wrote above:

"But what's really remarkable about April was that eight states--Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia--had average April temperatures cooler than their March temperatures, even though their April temperatures were still above the long-term average for the month." That's astounding that such a large area experienced a warm April--yet April wasn't as warm as March.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13462
The European heat wave talked about yesterday continues again today, with hundreds of locations in western and southeastern Europe breaking long-time daily record high temperatures. A few all-time May highs have even been reached, a rarity for so early in the month.

hot Europe

About the only region in the world experiencing general record cold at the moment is the extreme NW US (western Washington and western Oregon) and a small section of Canada around Vancouver.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13462
To put in perspective just how incredible the March 18th-23rd heat wave was, we have seen just 4 days above 20C(68F) (here in my neighborhood) since March the 22nd and this is the 11th of May.

Not less than five days in a row of temperatures above 20C were felt during this highly anomalous March heat wave.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DavidHOUTX:
Houston did not get near the amount of rain forecasted. Flood Watch has been cancelled. Wondering if we will even see more rain today after the atmosphere was worked over so much last night.. Guess it will be a waiting game.

The low pressure system is moving northeast not east like was forecasted.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DavidHOUTX:
Houston did not get near the amount of rain forecasted. Flood Watch has been cancelled. Wondering if we will even see more rain today after the atmosphere was worked over so much last night.. Guess it will be a waiting game.


The NWS thinks most of today will be pleasant, but another line may form up and push through in the early evening (likely due to the heat of the day + the low destabilizing the atmosphere). I wouldn't call this a busted forecast for Houston, though - we did get storms, they did form up into a line, and they did come through between 06z and 12z. They just had a bit of a lead foot when they came through, which reduced rain totals.

Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Good Morning, low was 61 here this morning with 98 percent humidity. 2.80 inches of awesome rain Thursday and now 16.90 for the year. From Late Sept 2010 to Oct 2011 I received less than 10 inches of rain since Nov 2011 I have received over 26 inches of rain. Most rain I saw yesterday in the area was 4.62 at Johnson City. Have a great friday everyone.

Awesome to hear you got some rain. I would have liked more here, but y'all needed it more than we do.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5875
Quoting LargoFl:
Good Morning folks......................
Good Morning, low was 61 here this morning with 98 percent humidity. 2.80 inches of awesome rain Thursday and now 16.90 for the year. From Late Sept 2010 to Oct 2011 I received less than 10 inches of rain since Nov 2011 I have received over 26 inches of rain. Most rain I saw yesterday in the area was 4.62 at Johnson City. Have a great friday everyone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1575. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
XX/INV/90E
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
ISSUED 613 AM CDT FRI MAY 11 2012/

UPDATE...
UPDATE TO REMOVE FLOOD WATCH FROM TODAY.

DISCUSSION...
LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS IS CONTINUING TO MOVE OUT OF THE CWA THIS
MORNING. ADDITIONAL RAINS COULD BE HEAVY IN SPOTS THIS AFTERNOON
AND EVENING BUT FLASH FLOOD GUIDANCE VALUES REMAIN IN THE 2.5+
CATEGORY FOR 1 HOUR RATES SO LET WATCH TERMINATE EARLY.BRIEF MORNING RESPITE EXPECTED BEFORE MORE DISORGANIZED
CONVECTION FORMS BY EARLY AFTERNOON ACROSS THE CWA. ARW/NMM
MESOMODEL RUNS SUGGEST MORE ORGANIZED CONVECTION POSSIBLE BY THIS
EVENING BEGINNING IN NW AND N PART OF CWA WHICH MOVES THROUGH
OVERNIGHT. ARW/NMM BEEN DOING QUITE WELL LATELY SO WILL FOLLOW ITS
GUIDANCE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Houston did not get near the amount of rain forecasted. Flood Watch has been cancelled. Wondering if we will even see more rain today after the atmosphere was worked over so much last night.. Guess it will be a waiting game.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Invest 90 in E Pac.

12 GMT 05/11/12 8.7N 104.8W 20 1007 Invest


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
1571. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
This may need a mention in a Special Tropical Weather Outlook soon.

A little consolidation is needed.



There almost appears to be two centers in that blob.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Yes, it is.



With this being mid May I would not be surprised to come all the way across the Gulf over the next 18 hours. Lots of moisture and heat across the Gulf and FL to sustain this line all the way across the Gulf.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
1568. ncstorm
the 00Z CMC
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14570
1567. LargoFl
Good Morning folks......................
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36972
1566. Grothar
Quoting StormTracker2K:
This convective complex is moving east pretty fast.




Yes, it is.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25382
Quoting washingtonian115:
Any news on future "Alberto"?


Euro Shows nothing but tropical moisture streaming north into FL while combining with an Upper Low in the Gulf, GFS full fledged Alberto Either going to FL or Bahamas, CMC about the same as the Euro tropical moisture streaming into FL in 10 days. My bet is the Euro has the better idea of what will happen and that's just lots of rain heading north into FL while merging with an upper low similar to the set up we had this time in May 2009.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Any news on future "Alberto"?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Very interesting and 12 hours ahead of schedule.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting biff4ugo:
Good Morning/Evening.

Wow that IS a powerful looking wave heading east toward FL. Great weather for the weekend and the rain that we need for the work week....PERFECT!


40% chance of storms here in Orlando on Sunday and maybe soon if this line continues to barrel east along the Gulf Coast.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
RAMMB has a floater on the convection in the East Pacific. You can clearly see two areas of strong rotation with either batch of thunderstorm activity.

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31508
Good Morning/Evening.

Wow that IS a powerful looking wave heading east toward FL. Great weather for the weekend and the rain that we need for the work week....PERFECT!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:
This convective complex is moving east pretty fast.




Yes, I think it's moving faster than the models forecast, or else the models are expecting it to back-build some maybe.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
These 2 things below are the key for potential development next week. Upper low over the C Gulf Coast to advect this tropical disturance north and this trough over the eastern Caribbean moving W/WNW toward the NW Caribbean.



Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
This is from the OZ GFS.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31508
It's 55F outside.

I'm freezing inside and it's 69F.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31508
This convective complex is moving east pretty fast.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Ahhhh, such a nice weekend on tap for me according to the local mets! And I agree with their assessment as it looks to be in the mid 70s with no rain, low humidity, and plenty of sunshine! It's a shame I have to be injured and unable to go and do much with this great weather!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What anomaly +3C water does for convection.

Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS shows very little in the way of any Severe Weather possibilities throughout its run.

Very unusual for May..


Similar to May 2009. Not surprised as we are heading into a El-Nino.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
I think S TX robbed the heaviest rain from the Houston area.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
This may need a mention in a Special Tropical Weather Outlook soon.

A little consolidation is needed.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31508
1548. ncstorm
I told ya, we may see development come off the east coast before the gulf..00Z Euro



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14570
Good morning... The 0z GFS was more optomistic than the 18z run with the potential storm... It appeared to take a mid strength TS into the Gulf, stall it there for a while, and then bring it in over the eastern Florida Peninsula

The brand new 6z run is far different... It takes a minimal TS on a very eastern course, crossing east Cuba and posing no threat to the US

Both runs support us having Aletta this time Monday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:



When it comes down to it, mountain people are like any other cultural/people group, there are great friendly people and then there are creepy people, that's just how it is, lol.


That's certainly true- but it's hard to get outsider's heads around the fact that "Wrong Turn" is a work of fiction. They equate poverty and disadvantage with ignorance, which isn't true. Keep an open mind and drive through the state sometime, you may find it enlightening :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

UPPER LOW OVER W TX IS EXPECTED TO DRIFT ENEWD TO A POSITION OVER
NCNTRL TX BY MID AFTERNOON FRIDAY. NEUTRAL-WEAK HEIGHT FALLS WILL
OVERSPREAD EAST TX EARLY IN THE PERIOD AND THIS SHOULD AID EWD
PROPAGATING MCS THAT SHOULD APPROACH THE SABINE RIVER BY SUNRISE.
EARLY THIS MORNING THE LEADING EDGE OF AN EXTENSIVE COMPLEX OF
STORMS EXTENDED FROM SOUTH OF THE METROPLEX...SWD TO THE MIDDLE TX
COAST BEFORE TRAILING SWWD INTO DEEP SOUTH TX. THIS ACTIVITY IS
EXPECTED TO PROGRESS WITHIN A MODESTLY SHEARED ENVIRONMENT ACROSS
EAST TX INTO WRN LA EARLY. WHILE ENVIRONMENTAL SHEAR IS SUFFICIENT
FOR ORGANIZED SEVERE STORMS...A DETERIORATING EML AND SOMEWHAT
MARGINAL AIR MASS AHEAD OF THIS ACTIVITY MAY LIMIT ORGANIZED SEVERE
THREAT WITH THIS EARLY MORNING CONVECTION. GIVEN THE TIMING OF
THESE STORMS AND THE CONVECTIVE OVERTURNING THAT WILL OCCUR IN THEIR
WAKE...IT/S NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR HOW MANY TSTMS WILL DEVELOP ALONG THE
TRAILING BOUNDARY DURING THE AFTERNOON ACROSS SCNTRL TX. LATEST
MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGEST THE STRONGEST HEATING WILL OCCUR NEAR THE RIO
GRANDE RIVER OF S TX AND GIVEN THE ABSENCE OF STRONG LARGE SCALE
SUPPORT HEATING WILL LIKELY PROVE INSTRUMENTAL IN CONVECTIVE
DEVELOPMENT DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON. IF SFC TEMPERATURES CAN WARM
INTO THE MID 80S THEN SBCAPE COULD EXCEED 2000 J/KG. THIS WOULD
SEEM MORE THAN ADEQUATE FOR ROBUST UPDRAFTS GIVEN THE EXPECTED
35-40KT OF DEEP LAYER SHEAR...AND FORECAST SOUNDINGS NEAR THE WIND
SHIFT SUGGEST A FEW SEVERE STORMS ARE POSSIBLE. HOWEVER...STORM
COVERAGE MAY REMAIN TOO ISOLATED TO WARRANT SEVERE PROBS REQUIRED
FOR A SLIGHT RISK. IF IT BECOMES MORE CLEAR THAT TSTMS WILL EVOLVE
DURING THE HEAT OF THE DAY...IN THE WAKE OF EARLY MORNING MCS...THEN
A SLIGHT RISK MAY BE REQUIRED FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR STRONG
WINDS/HAIL. SEWD STORM MOTIONS WOULD ALLOW THIS ACTIVITY TO SPREAD
INTO SOUTH TX DURING THE EVENING HOURS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This rain should help the extreme drought in Southwest Texas..





BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BROWNSVILLE TX
1136 PM CDT THU MAY 10 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BROWNSVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN JIM HOGG COUNTY IN DEEP SOUTH TEXAS...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF RANDADO AND THOMPSONVILLE
ZAPATA COUNTY IN DEEP SOUTH TEXAS...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...BUSTAMANTE...ZAPATA.

* UNTIL 100 AM CDT

* AT 1133 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS INDICATED
TORRENTIAL RAIN OF 5 TO 7 INCHES PER HOUR FROM SLOW MOVING
THUNDERSTORMS WITH VERY HEAVY RAINFALL.

* RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLASH FLOODING TO
OCCUR.

OTHER LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE...
ALEJANDRENAS...ESCOBA...ESCOBAS...FALCON LAKE ESTATES...FALCON
MESA...FALCON SHORES...GUERRA...LAS PALMAS...LOPENO...MEDINA...
MORALES-SANCHEZ...AND SIESTA SHORES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE
DANGERS OF FLOODING. IF FLASH FLOODING IS OBSERVED ACT QUICKLY. MOVE
UP TO HIGHER GROUND TO ESCAPE FLOOD WATERS. DO NOT STAY IN AREAS
SUBJECT TO FLOODING WHEN WATER BEGINS TO RISE.

TO REPORT FLOODING...HAVE THE NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY RELAY
YOUR REPORT TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN
BROWNSVILLE.

DON'T BECOME A STATISTIC. TURN AROUND...DON'T DROWN!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:


This.

Dr. Lyons' birthday was either yesterday or the day before. Told him happy birthday through Facebook and he wrote back. Wonderful person and a wonderful tropical forecaster.





http://www.blogcdn.com/www.asylum.com/media/2010/ 04/jeanetta-jones-294pg040910.jpg
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


I still miss John Hope.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
http://radar.weather.gov/Legend/NTP/MAF_NTP_Legend_ 0.gif
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
154 AM CDT FRI MAY 11 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LEAGUE CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN LIBERTY COUNTY IN TEXAS...
EXTREME EAST CENTRAL HARRIS COUNTY IN TEXAS...

* UNTIL 245 AM CDT

* AT 153 AM CDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM WAS LOCATED
NEAR BARRETT...AND MOVING NORTH AT 15 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
CHANNELVIEW...HIGHLANDS...BARRETT...CROSBY AND SHELDON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO A BASEMENT OR AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE
HOME OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

TORNADOES ARE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO SEE AND CONFIRM AT NIGHT. DO
NOT WAIT TO SEE OR HEAR THE TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW.

&&
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 679
1538. wxmod
Sahara dust is working it's way across the Atlantic Ocean. Behind it there are no dust storms to suppress tropical buildup.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Watch the cell incoming off the gulf merge with the solid line....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
and choosing to be amusing without losing and abusing...6 days out, tail end of a front in the gulf...Instant cat-5.



"Spurious" low pressure development :)


Really, though, its a good thing long term computer forecasts are usually way off about tropical cyclones. Otherwise Florida alone would get pummeled by 10 major hurricanes... LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting goosegirl1:


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

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

All kidding aside, I suppose I have to admit I am a native of VA... but mountain people are the salt of the earth :) You could a lot worse than be associated with us. And I'm not insulted :) I know the type of person you mean.



When it comes down to it, mountain people are like any other cultural/people group, there are great friendly people and then there are creepy people, that's just how it is, lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Serious rain going here south of Buda, received about 1.5 inches in a little over 10 minutes. I have been in this house for almost 4 years and this is like the first time I can hear it raining in every room I walk thru.



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


:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1584 - 1534

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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