Friday, July 18, 2014

State of the Climate Update

Headline:  2013 State of the Climate Report Released


Update from Ken Dewey, Applied Climate Science, School of Natural Resources, UNL.

From NOAA:  On July 17, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society released the 2013 State of the Climate report. The report was led by editors from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

The report, a 24-year tradition encompassing the work of 425 authors from 57 countries, uses dozens of climate indicators to track patterns, changes, and trends of the global climate system. These indicators often reflect many thousands of measurements from multiple independent data sets. The report also details cases of unusual and extreme regional events, such as Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated portions of Southeast Asia in November 2013.








 The following image does NOT have any links.  It does list the various topics found in the report.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

June 2014 Statewide Rankings

The Contiguous U.S. had its 6th wettest and 33rd warmest (88th coldest) June on record (120 years of data, 1895-2014).

Nebraska had near normal average June temperatures but a top 5 wettest June on record. Much of the upper Midwest and Plains had a very wet month during June 2014.  The drought in the SW U.S. continued unabated.

 MAPS: See the statewide temperature and precipitation rankings maps below the text.

 From NCDC/NOAA:
  • Climate Highlights — June
  • The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during June was 69.6°F, 1.1°F above the 20th century average, ranking as the 33rd warmest June in the 120-year period of record. The average maximum (daytime) June temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 81.8°F, 0.4°F above the 20th century average, while the average minimum (nighttime) June temperature was 57.4°F, 1.7°F above the 20th century average, tying as the 10th warmest June minimum temperature.
  • Above-average June temperatures were observed along the East Coast and into the Midwest. The Southwest was also warmer than average, where Arizona and California both had their 11th warmest June on record. No state had a top 10 warm June.
  • Near-average June temperatures were observed from the central Gulf Coast, through the Central Plains, and into the Northwest. Below-average temperatures were observed in the Northern Rockies and parts of the Northern Plains. No state had a top 10 cool June.
  • Interestingly, in much of the Lower Mississippi Valley and mid-South, afternoon temperatures were below average, while nighttime temperatures were much above average. This likely reflects a relatively wet and cloudy summer month acting to moderate both afternoon and overnight temperatures.
  • The June national precipitation total was 3.62 inches, 0.69 inch above the 20th century average, marking the sixth wettest June on record, and the wettest since 1989.
  • A significant portion of the contiguous U.S. — parts of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and the Great Plains — had above-average precipitation during June. Eight states had one of their 10 wettest Junes on record, with Minnesota being record wet for the month. The 7.75 inches of precipitation averaged across Minnesota was 3.64 inches above the 20th century average, marking the wettest month of any month for the state, surpassing July 1897 and June 1914 when 7.32 inches of precipitation was observed. In Canton, South Dakota, 19.65 inches of precipitation fell during June, setting a new record among all months for any location in the state, according to the South Dakota State Climatologist.
  • Below-average June precipitation was observed in the Southwest, across parts of the coastal Southeast, and southern New England. Arizona tied its third driest June on record, with 0.01 inch of precipitation, 0.28 inch below the 20th century average; only June 1916 and 1951 were drier.
  • Alaska was much wetter than average during June with a statewide precipitation total 53 percent above the 1971-2000 average, the second wettest June for the state. The wettest June occurred in 1980 when the monthly precipitation was 74 percent above average. Juneau and Fairbanks each had their wettest June on record, while Anchorage had its second wettest.
  • According to the July 1 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 34.0 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down about 3.3 percent compared to the beginning of June.
    • Beneficial rain improved drought conditions by one to three categories across parts of the Midwest and the Central and Southern Plains. Nebraska, which had its fourth wettest June, saw dramatic drought improvement.
    • Warm and dry conditions in parts of the West led to scattered locations experiencing worsening drought conditions. In California, the percent area of the state experiencing exceptional drought, the worst category, expanded to 36.5 percent, up over 11 percent since early June. In the East, abnormally dry conditions expanded in the Tennessee River Valley and southern New England.
  • Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during June was 33 percent above average and the 25th highest in the 1895-2014 period of record.
  • There were more record cool high temperature records (676) than record warm high temperature records (391), but warm nighttime temperatures dominated with more record warm low temperatures (1257) than record cold low temperatures (344). When aggregated together, there were more than one and a half times as many record warm daily highs and lows (1648) as record cold daily highs and lows (1020).



Monday, July 14, 2014

Lake Mead Drops to Record Low Elevation

Headline:  Persistent drought lowers Lake Mead to record low elevation.


Lake Mead at Hoover Dam, July 2014.
Photo © Ken Dewey, Applied Climate Science, SNR, UNL.
The red line labeled "A" shows the "bathtub ring", i.e., the height of the water when the Lake is at capacity. The red line with the label "B" shows the height of the water level on December 21, 2012. The red line with the label "C" shows the height of the water level on July 11, 2014 (1081.77 feet or 147.23 feet below capacity)..  
 
The white "bathtub ring" is the result of exposing rocks that were at one time under the water and collecting mineral deposits.  A clear glass, for example, dipped in water and then allowed to dry will have mineral deposit "spots" on the glass.

The Bureau of Reclamation noted that Lake Mead, the reservoir created by Hoover Dam, reached its lowest water level since the lake’s initial filling in the 1930s.

Lake Mead elevation as of July 11, 2014 was 1081.77 feet, which is 147.23 feet below capacity.
Lake Mead was dedicated in 1935 and began filling up that year. Note that the elevation in July 1935 and 1936 (see table: Table of historical Lake Mead Levels.) was only 928.40 feet and 1020.40 feet. Because Lake Mead was in the process of filling up in 1935-36, the actual record minimum elevation following the initial fill up of the Lake occurred on July 11, 2014. The level of the lake could continue to fall below the July 11, 2014 elevations.
 
It took 19 years after the 1964 low point for Lake Mead to fill up again.

For more information, check out our full report at:  Lake Mead 2014

Lake Mead at Hoover Dam, July 2014.
Photo © Ken Dewey, Applied Climate Science, SNR, UNL.



Monday, June 2, 2014

May 2014 Climate Summary, Lincoln, NE

Headline:  May 2014 was warmer than normal and wetter than normal for Lincoln, NE.

TEMPERATURES:
The highest temperature observed in Lincoln, NE in May 2014 was a record high of 98F on May 7.  This was also the earliest ever recorded temperature of 98F in the 128 year (1887-2014) data record for Lincoln.


Just nine days later, on May 16, the temperature fell to the coldest temperature of the month 30F, which was also a record low for the date.  This is also the latest in the Spring to have a temperature this cold with temperature data extending 128 years (1887-2014).

May 2014 averaged 65.2F or 2.9 degrees F ABOVE normal ended the 6 month string (October 2013-March 2014) of monthly temperatures averaging below normal.

PRECIPITATION:
The May 2014 precipitation total in Lincoln, NE was 5.26 inches, or 0.97 inches ABOVE normal.
 

The May 2014 precipitation of 5.26 inches was also more than the first four months combined (Jan. 0.24in + Feb 0.62in +Mar 0.13 in + Apr 3.50 in= 4.49 inches). 

The Year to date January 1 - May 31, 2014 precipitation total of 9.75 inches is 1.56 inches below the normal for this time period of 10.34 inches.


The cold season snowfall season officially ended in May with a 2013-14 seasonal snowfall total of only 18.2 inches which is well BELOW the normal of 25.9 inches.

OBSERVED COMPARED TO NORMAL TEMPERATURES GRAPH:
The following graph shows the Lincoln, NE, May 2014 daily high and low temperatures compared to normal daily highs and lows. The red line is the average high and the blue line is the average low.  The top of each vertical bar is the observed high temperature and the bottom of the vertical bar is the observed low temperature for each day.

  NOTE:  The May 2014statistics are located below the graph.




 
Here are the Lincoln, NE, summary statistics for May 2014.

TEMPERATURE:
May 2014 Temperature Statistics:
Average High Temperature 78.2 F (4.0 degrees
ABOVE Normal)
Average Low Temperature 52.2F (1.7 degrees
ABOVE Normal)
Mean Temperature 65.2 F (2.9 degrees
ABOVE  Normal)
Note: Mean temperature = the average of all the highs and lows
Number of days ABOVE Normal = 21
Number of Days BELOW Normal = 8
Number of Days exactly Normal = 2
Highest temperature 98 on May 7

Lowest temperature 30 F on may 16
Record low 30F on May 16
Record high 98F on May 7

PRECIPITATION:
May 2014 Precipitation Statistics:
Total precipitation 5.26 inches (0.97 inches
ABOVE Normal)
Heaviest precipitation 2.96 inches on May 11
Daily record precipitaion of 2.96 inches May 11, Old May 11 record was 1.33 inches


Normal January 1 - May 31 precipitation =  10.34 inches
Observed Total precipitation January 1 - May 31, 2014 = 9.75 inches
January 1 - April 30, 2014 precipitation deficit =  0.59 inches 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Record Summer Heat in early May

Headline:  May 7, 2014 Was  Record Breaker in Lincoln, NE

The high temperature in Lincoln of 98F on May 7, 2014 was a record high for the date.
The old record was 96F set in 1934.
There are 128 years of data in the data archive.
The 98F was also the hottest for so early in the season.

The following map shows the observed high temperatures on May 7, 2014.
Note that southeastern Nebraska was hotter than the desert southwest cities of Phoenix and Tucson.

More text and analysis are located below the temperature map >>>>>>>>>>>>



The state highest temperature on May 7, 2014 was 99F set in  Tekama, Nebraska (southeastern Nebraska).
Omaha's high temperature of 96F was also a record for the date.  Their old record was 95F set in 1966

This was the first observed temperature of 90F or higher for the year in Lincoln Nebraska and it was 10 days earlier than the average..

Climatology of first 90F or higher for Lincoln, NE
Earliest: March 22
Latest:  June 29
Average:  May 17

The following graph shows the day of the year of the occurrence of the first 90F or higher temperature in Lincoln for the 128 year period 1887-2014



The following graph shows the day of the year of the occurrence of the first 90F or higher temperature in Lincoln for the 128 year period 1887-2014 AND it has a trend line (in red) for the last 40 years.
(1974-2014).  Although there is year to year variability there is a downward trend (earlier in the year) in the date of first 90F or higher for Lincoln.  The trend line shows a trend of 40 days earlier for the first 90F or higher (Day 153 to Day 113) in Lincoln, NE




Related Links:

Lincoln Weather and Climate
Lincoln Weather Records
Lincoln First 90F or Higher Climatology





Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 2014 Lincoln, NE, Climate Summary

Headline:  April 2014 was warmer than normal and wetter than normal for Lincoln, NE.

The highest temperature observed in Lincoln, NE in April 2014 was a near record high of 85F on April 12 (the record for that day is 86F).  Just three days later, on April 15, the temperature fell to the coldest temperature of the month 19F which was also a record low for the date.  This is also the latest in the Spring to have a temperature this cold with temperature data extending from 1887-2014, 128 years.


April 2014 averaged 1.1 degrees F ABOVE normal ended the 6 month string (October 2013-March 2014) of monthly temperatures averaging below normal.

The April 2014 precipitation total in Lincoln, NE was 3.50 inches, or 0.79 inches ABOVE normal.

The April 2014 precipitation of 3.50 inches was also more than the first three months combined (Jan. 0.24in + Feb 0.62in +Mar 0.13 in = 0.99 inches).  

The Year to date January 1 - April 30, 2014 precipitation total of 4.49 inches is 1.56 inches below the normal for this time period of 6.05 inches.

Lincoln saw one minor snowfall of 0.5 inches on April 13, 2014.  How unusual was this?  During the past 115 years, there has been measurable snowfall during April in Lincoln 54 times and no measurable snowfall 61 times.  So although perhaps unwelcome, the April 15 snowfall wasn't all that unusual.  The seasonal snowfall total as of the end of April is only 18.2 inches which is well BELOW the normal of 25.9 inches.
The following graph shows the Lincoln, NE, April 2014 daily high and low temperatures compared to normal daily highs and lows. The red line is the average high and the blue line is the average low.  The top of each vertical bar is the observed high temperature and the bottom of the vertical bar is the observed low temperature for each day.

  NOTE:  The April 2014statistics are located below the graph.


 
Here are the Lincoln, NE, summary statistics for April 2014.
TEMPERATURE:
April 2014 Temperature Statistics:
Average High Temperature 66.2 F (1.9 degrees
ABOVE Normal)
Average Low Temperature 39.3F (0.5 degrees
ABOVE Normal)
Mean Temperature 52.7 F (1.1 degrees
ABOVE  Normal)
Note: Mean temperature = the average of all the highs and lows
Number of Days ABOVE Normal = 16
Number of Days BELOW Normal = 12
Number  of Days exactly Normal = 2
Highest temperature 85F on April 12

Lowest temperature 19 F on April 15
Record cold daytime 19F on April 15
PRECIPITATION:
April 2014 Precipitation Statistics:
Total precipitation 3.50 inches (0.79 inches
ABOVE Normal)
Heaviest precipitation 1.14 inches on April 13

Snowfall total 0.5 inches (0.9 inches  BELOW  Normal)

Normal January 1 - April 30 precipitation =  6.05 inches
Total precipitation January 1 - April 30, 2014 = 4.49 inches
January 1 - April 30, 2014 precipitation deficit =  1.56 inches 


The following photo is a Lincoln, NE, garden Center the morning of April 14.
A Lincoln garden center with tender plants exposed to the snow and subfreezing temperatures.    





Thursday, April 17, 2014

January1-March 31, 2014 Statewide Temperature, Precipitation Rankings

Headline:  January 1-March 31, 2014:  Has it been one of the coldest and wettest starts to a year?


The perception by many people is that this year to date is one of the coldest on record. 

And, with the numerous snowfalls to our east during this time period, many also assume that this must be one of our wettest starts for a year in the 120 year (1895-2014) U.S. data archives.

The following two maps
January 1-March 31, 2014 Statewide Temperature Rankings
January 1-March 31, 2014 Statewide Precipitation Rankings

illustrate that facts can be quite differenct from perceived reality. 

Text continues below the two maps.


While the Midwest, Great Lakes states down to the gulf and over across the Ohio River valley suffered through an unusually cold winter much of the western U.S. was warmer than normal.  In fact, California and Arizona had their warmest January 1-March 31 on record.

It is fascinating to look back over the first three months and to see how many snowstorms were featured on the national news reports yet the country as a whole averaged below normal precipitation. Note that none of the Great Lakes states had a wetter thna normal January 1-March 31 time period. The area of greatest concern right now is the region of the Plains and southwest that are top ten driest starts to the year.

The NOAA/NCDC highlights are listed below>>>>>>>>>>

  • For the first three months of 2014, below-average temperatures were widespread in the eastern U.S. Twelve states, from the Upper Midwest to the Southeast, had three-month temperatures that ranked among the 10 coldest on record. The largest cold departures from average occurred across the Great Lakes region due to persistently below-average daily temperatures. No state had its coldest January-March on record.
  • The West was warmer than average during January-March. Nevada, Oregon, and Utah each had one of their 10 warmest on record. Arizona and California were record warm for the period, with temperatures 5.2°F and 5.6°F above average, respectively.
  • Collectively during the year-to-date period, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 34.4°F, 0.8°F below the 20th century average. This marked the 41st coldest January-March on record and the coldest since 1985.
  •  Alaska had its third warmest January-March on record, behind only those of 1981 and 2001, with an average temperature 6.3°F above the 1971-2000 average. 
  • January-March precipitation averaged across the contiguous U.S. was 5.90 inches, 1.06 inches below average, marking the 14th driest such period on record and driest since 2009.
  • The Central and Southern Plains and Southwest were much drier than average during the first quarter. Seven states, from Arizona to Missouri, had three-month precipitation totals ranking among the 10 driest on record. The northern Rockies and Northwest were wetter than average, where Montana had its eighth wettest January-March.
  • Beneficial rains reduced drought coverage across Hawaii during the first quarter, with 14.4 percent of the islands in moderate to extreme drought at the end of March compared to 49.5 percent of the state at the beginning of the year. Extreme drought (D3) persisted through March on central Molokai, where low water levels in the Kualapuu Reservoir have forced mandatory irrigation restrictions.