Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 26, 2011Snow Cover vs 2010
























December 26, 2011 Snow Cover Compared to December 26, 2010
What a huge difference in snow cover across the U.S. this December (2011) compared to last year. December 26, 2011 finds much of the Great Plains up into Canada as well as the Great Lakes and NE U.S. without a snow cover compared to last year (December 26, 2010) when the southern edge of the snow cover extended from the Arkansas/Missouri border across to Georgia. Last year the entire Great Lakes region and down the east coast was snow covered. The only area with snow cover this year that didn't have snow cover last year is the SW U.S. region.

December 26, 2011 Conterminous U.S. snowcover = 27.5%
December 26, 2010 Conterminous U.S. snowcover = 52.9%


snow cover % data from (http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

January-March 2012 Climate Outlook





















Weather Outlook January - March 2012
(from the Climate Prediction center, NOAA)

3-Month Temperature Outlook for JFM of 2012
During the period of January through March 2012, enhanced probabilities for below normal temperatures are forecast across extreme northwestern portions of Wyoming and South Dakota and the western two thirds of North. In contrast, enhanced probabilities for above normal temperatures are forecast farther south from southeaster Colorado eastward across the central plains to the Chicago area and across the southern Great Lakes region. Finally, a ribbon of equal chances of above, below and near average temperatures are forecast across central sections of Central Region directly between the cold to the north and the warmth to the south.

3-Month Precipitation Outlook for JFM of 2012
The precipitation forecast for the meteorological winter season of January through March 2012 remains nearly unchanged from the previous forecast. Overall the forecast calls for enhanced chances for above normal precipitation across northwestern and eastern portions of central region. The eastern area extends from the Great Lakes region south through south central Missouri eastward across the Ohio Valley and the western area is west of a line from west central Colorado north to north central North Dakota. Within the eastern area, the area of greater potential for above average precipitation, for 40 to 50 percent probabilities, extends across portions of the Ohio valley. This includes southern Indiana and portions of Kentucky. In contrast, the threat of below normal-precipitation remains slightly enhanced across the western half of Kansas, and far southeastern Colorado. Finally, sandwiched between these two areas, the CPC is forecasting a narrow ribbon of equal chances for above, below and near normal precipitation. This CPC forecast was weighted heavily on the La Niña composites in addition to statistical tools.

3-Month Nebraska Temperature and Precipitation Outlook for JFM of 2012
During the period of January period of January through March 2012, Nebraska has a forecast of EC. "EC" means equal chances, i.e. there is no tendency for any of the three categories to be more likely. Therefore there is a 33% chance of above normal, normal or below normal for both temperature and precipitation in Nebraska for the period January - March 2012.

Satellite Image Shows Dec. 20, 2011 Snowfall



Snow storm snow cover, Dec. 21, 2011
The satellite image shown here from December 21, 2011 shows the extent of snow cover resulting from the High Plains Snowstorm of December 19, 2011.

Map Interpretation:
CLOUDS:
Clouds can be seen in north central Nebraska and the Nebraska panhandle. Clouds can also be seen in Se Iowa through eastern and southern Missouri into Arkansas. A few isolated small cloud clusters can be also be seen in eastern Nebraska.

SNOW COVER: The panhandle of Oklahoma is snow covered as is SE Colorado. The white area stretching up to far NE Kansas and barely into the southeast corner of Nebraska is also snow covered. It is important to note that there was no snow cover in this area prior to the snow storm. And, in fact many of the high temperatures on December 18 were in the mid to upper 60's in western Kansas, SE Colorado and the Oklahoma panhandle. Looking closely at the snow cover in north central to northeast Kansas, several lakes can be noted by their dark color in contrast to the surrounding white snow covered land area. It is difficult to see, but there is an area extending from McCook up into the Nebraska sandhills that has some remaining snow cover from a snowfall of over a week ago.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Probability of a White Christmas



Probability of a White Christmas


Using the recently released new 30-year normals (1981-2010) data, the NWS has computed the probability of a White Christmas across the conterminous U.S.

The attached map indicates that southern Nebraska has a 25-40 % chance of a White Christmas and northern Nebraska has a 40-50% chance of a White Christmas.

Using the Omaha data, The NWS Omaha/Valley computed the probability of a White Christmas in Omaha and it is 33% (39 out of 117 years).

Lincoln daily snow depth data extend back only to 1948. Using the 1948-2010 data, Lincoln has a 30% chance of a White Christmas (19 out of 63 years ).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Seasons



The Seasons

Seasonal weather patterns are shaped primarily by the 23.5-degree tilt of our planet's spin axis, not by Earth's elliptical orbit (see diagram attached here). During the Northern Hemisphere Winter the north pole is tilted away from the Sun. Seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. When the north pole is tilted away from the Sun, as it is now (December), the south pole is tilted toward it. Daylight is at a minimum at the Winter Solstice and is at a maximum on the Summer Solstice. It is interesting to note that the daylight begins to increase on the 2nd day of Winter (the day after the Winter Solstice), i.e. daylight increases during the entire Winter season all the way up to the Summer Solstice

Some people think that our seasons are caused by a variation in the distance of the earth from the sun during the year. However, the earth at its nearest point on the ellipse that is the earth's orbit around the sun, the earth is 91,445,000 miles (147,166,462 km) from the sun. This point in the earth's orbit is known as "perihelion" and it occurs on January 3. The earth is farthest away from the sun on July 4 when it is 94,555,000 miles (152,171,522 km) from the sun. This point in the earth's orbit is called "aphelion". So ironically during the Northern Hemisphere Winter, the earth is 3 million miles closer to the sun than during the Northern Hemisphere Summer.

Dates for the start of the next 5 seasons:

WINTER SOLSTICE 2011
December 22, 12:30 A.M. EST (December 21, 11:30 PM, CST)

SPRING EQUINOX 2012
March 20, 1:14 A.M. EDT

SUMMER SOLSTICE 2012
June 20, 7:09 P.M. EDT

FALL EQUINOX 2012
September 22, 10:49 A.M. EDT

WINTER SOLSTICE 2012
December 21, 6:12 A.M. EST

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 14 Snowcover 2010 vs 2011



Snow Cover December 14: 2011 vs 2010

There is quite a contrast between the snow cover of December 14, 2010 compared to December 14, 2011. Last year at this time, snow cover extended well down into the southeastern U.S. covering all of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio down through all of Kentucky, most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama and Georgia. This year finds most of the Great Lakes region snow free as well as most of the Midwest. It is snow free well up into the Dakotas and Minnesota. Many typically snowy locations in the Great Lakes and northeastern U.S. are still waiting for their first measurable snowfall of the 2011-12 snowfall season. The only area with more snowfall this year compared to the same day last year is the southwestern U.S.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

La Niña Update-Forecast, December 2011




La Niña Update-Forecast, December 2011.

From the International Institute for Climate and Society.

The graph and shows forecasts made by dynamical and statistical models for SST in the Nino 3.4 region for nine overlapping 3-month periods. Note that the expected skills of the models, based on historical performance, are not equal to one another. The skills also generally decrease as the lead time increases. Thirdly, forecasts made at some times of the year generally have higher skill than forecasts made at other times of the year--namely, they are better when made between June and December than when they are made between February and May. Differences among the forecasts of the models reflect both differences in model design, and actual uncertainty in the forecast of the possible future SST scenario. The thick yellow line shows the average of the models.

Approximately two-thirds of the set of dynamical and statistical model predictions issued during late October and early November 2011 predict La Nina conditions from the November 2011 to January 2012 season currently in progress, continuing into the early part of 2012, with most of the other one-third predicting neutral ENSO conditions. Taking into account the latest observations of SST and the subsurface sea temperature in the eastern tropical Pacific, and low-level zonal wind anomalies and the Southern Oscillation Index, the probabilities for La Nina, neutral and El Nino conditions are estimated at 74%, 26% and close to 0% for La Nina, neutral and El Nino conditions, respectively. At the time of preparing this, the SST observations in the NINO3.4 region were in the weak La Nina range, with an area-averaged weekly anomaly of -0.9 C in the most recent week. Current predictions and observations indicate probabilities of 69% and 62% for La Nina conditions during the December-February and January-March periods, respectively, with corresponding probabilities for ENSO-neutral conditions of 30% and 35%. Probabilities for El Nino conditions are 5% or less through Feb-Apr 2012. After the first quarter of 2012, probabilities for each ENSO condition return toward their climatological values of 25%, 50% and 25% for La Nina, neutral and El Nino, respectively.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

U.S. November 2011 Climate Summary









November 2011 was Warmer than Average for the U.S. (NOAA)

November and the September-November autumn season were warmer than average across the contiguous U.S., according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C. Precipitation totals across the country were also above average during November, but near the long-term average for the autumn season.
The average U.S. temperature in November was 44.3 degrees F, or 1.8 degrees F above the 1901-2000 long term average, while the average autumn temperature was 55.5 degrees F or 1.3 degrees F above average. Precipitation averaged across the nation during November, was 2.33 inches or 0.21 inch above average. The severity of drought conditions lessened across northern Texas, where near-normal precipitation was observed for the month, but in other locations throughout the state, drier-than-normal conditions meant drought conditions remained unchanged.

U.S. Climate Highlights – November 2011
· During November, the eastern half of the country experienced above-average temperatures. The warmest temperature anomalies, which is the actual temperature compared to the 20th century average, occurred across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, with13 states across these areas having November temperatures among their 10 warmest on record.
· Cooler-than-average temperatures were present across parts of the West and Northwest, with six states having November temperatures below average.
· Precipitation during November was variable from region to region. Several storm systems brought above-average precipitation to the Ohio Valley and parts of the South, where eight states had precipitation totals ranking among their 10 wettest.
· Below-average precipitation was observed across parts of the West, and parts of the northern and southern United States. Minnesota tied its ninth driest November on record, with only 0.35 inch of precipitation – 0.95 inch below average.
· As of November 29, about six percent of the contiguous United States remained in the worst category of drought, called D4 or exceptional drought, a decrease from the nearly 9 percent at the beginning of the month. Drought conditions lessened across Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma, where there was above-normal precipitation during November.
· The 2011 North Atlantic hurricane season ended on November 30, after an above-average season for the basin. This year’s 19 named storms tied with three other years (2010, 1995, and 1887) as the third busiest season on record. Seven of the named storms became hurricanes, which is near average. Only Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene made landfall in the United States.
· A large and powerful extratropical cyclone slammed into western Alaska in early November, with extremely high tides, strong winds, heavy rain, and blizzard conditions. Winds gusted to over 80 mph and the storm surge topped eight feet, marking the strongest storm to impact the region in decades.
· A powerful Santa Ana windstorm whipped through mountain passes and canyons across the West and Southwest beginning on November 30 and continuing into December. The near-hurricane force winds were driven by the interaction between a strong high pressure system in the northwest and a low pressure system moving through the southwest. Portland, Ore., recorded its second highest maximum atmospheric pressure reading (30.76”) ever.

This monthly analysis, based on records dating back to 1895, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 3, 2011 Snowfall: Forecast vs Observed


December 3, 2011: Snowfall Forecast vs Snowfall Observed


The attached image shows the forecast made on Wednesday, November 30 for the time period 72 hours later, Saturday December 3, 2011. The attached image also shows the satellite image from Sunday December 4, 2011.

There is a remarkable agreement between the forecast snow path and what was observed. Although there are a few clouds in the image, it was mostly clear across the region so that the fresh snow cover can be easily seen. Note the gray color where Lincoln is located. That is typical of urban areas where the streets and buildings will shed their snow cover and make the image darker than the surrounding snow covered rural areas. You can also see some unfrozen lakes as they are darker compared to the snow covered land.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lincoln's First Snowfall of the Winter Season 2011









First Snowfall of Winter 2011-12.

December 3, 2011 marked the first measurable snowfall in Lincoln following Summer 2011 (aka, the first snowfall of the season). How does this compare to the normal or average first snowfall for Lincoln.

A total of 64 years of snowfall daily snowfall data exist for Lincoln, NE. Monthly snowfall data extend back to 1899 but daily snowfall data only extend back to 1948. The data were ranked from earliest to lastest first snowfall.(http://snr.unl.edu/lincolnweather/data/Last-Snowfall-Dates-Ranked.asp).

Lincoln, NE, First Measurable Snowfall of the winter season statistics:
The 64 year average first snowfall: November 15
The 1981-2010 30-year average first snowfall: November 17
The first snowfall of the 2011-12 Winter season: December 3
The December 3, 2011 first snowfall was the 14th latest out of 64 years of data
The latest first snowfall of the winter season was on December 31, 2006
The earliest first snowfall: September 29, 1985

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lincoln November 2011 Climate Summary




Lincoln, NE, November 2011 Climate Summary.






The attached graph shows the daily November normal highs (red line) and normal lows (blue line). The top of each vertical black bar is the observed high temperature for the day and the bottom of each vertical bar is the observed low temperature for the day.

November 2011 Lincoln, NE, Climate Statistics:
Highest temperature 72 F on November 24 (new record high for the date)
Lowest temperature 12 F on November 28
Average November 2011 low temperature was 27.2 F (0.4 deg. F Below Normal)
Average November 2011 High Temperature was 52.6 F (2.3 deg. F Above Normal)
Average November 2011 Temperature (Highs and Lows combined) was 39.9 F (1.0 deg. F Above Normal

Precipitation total = 1.66, (0.23 inches ABOVE normal)
Wettest November = 7.14 inches in 1909
Driest November = Trace in 1898




Friday, November 18, 2011

Bitter Cold November 2011 Alaska Temperatures





Bitter Early Winter Cold Temperatures in Alaska

From: US National Weather Service Alaska
Several record low temperatures which were set more than 40 years ago were broken overnight (November 17, 2011) in the Fairbanks area. This includes radio station KJNP in North Pole which bottomed out at 49 below this morning...breaking the previous record of 46 below set back in 1969. Other records from 1969 that were broken this morning include Eielson Air Force Base at 43 below...the Fairbanks Airport with 41 below and the University Experimental Station at 41 below which broke the record set in 1918. Outside of Fairbanks... Manley Hot Springs reported a bone chilling temperature of 54 below which broke the previous low of 51 below set in 1956 and is the first time temperatures have been colder than 50 below this season in Alaska! For the complete list of temperatures from the report, visit [ https://nwschat.weather.gov/p.php?pid=201111172210-PAFG-NOAK49-PNSAFG ] and check then latest forecast for Alaska here: [ http://www.arh.noaa.gov/ ]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

October 2011 Global Temperatures



Image and data Information from NOAA.

October 2011 Land Temperatures: 2nd Warmest on Record

While the combined land-ocean surface temperature was the 8th warmest on record (out of 132 years of data), land surface temperatures, when analyzed separately, were far above normal. Globally, the average October land surface temperature was second warmest on record, at 1.10°C (1.98°F) above average. On average, land areas across the Northern Hemisphere—where the majority of the Earth's land mass is located—were the warmest on record for the month, at 1.29°C (2.32°F) above the 20th century average. The warmth was especially pronounced across Alaska, Canada, Mongolia, and most of Russia and Europe. This image shows much of central and northern Russia with average temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) above average.
La Niña conditions in the Pacific have cooled ocean surface temperatures when compared to the above normal land temperatures. Globally, the average October sea surface temperature was 13th warmest on record. While it was cooler than normal in the central and eastern Pacific where La Niña conditions are most intense, it was notably warmer than normal across the north central and northwest Pacific, the northeast Atlantic, and portions of the mid-latitude Southern oceans.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

October 2011 Statewide Temperature Rankings


NOAA: "October 2011 was warmer than average in the United States"

Map: October 2011 Statewide Temperature Rankings.

During October 2011, a persistent upper-level weather pattern brought below-normal temperatures to the southeastern United States and above-normal temperatures from the Southwest, across the northern tier of the United States, and into parts of the Northeast. The average U.S. temperature in October was 55.7 degrees F, 0.9 degrees F above the 1901-2000 long term average

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 7, 2011 Lincoln Precipitation Record



A new daily precipitation record for Lincoln, NE, was set on November 7, 2011. The daily precipitation total of 0.80 inches broke the old record which was 0.63 inches set in 1986.


Lincoln's data records extend back to January 1887 (125 years ago).


The photo is from yesterday, November 7, 2011 in Lincoln, NE.


There is a lot of variability in the daily record precipitation amounts during November. The greatest daily precipitation for any day in November is 2.42 inches on November 12. The lowest daily record precipitation for any day in November is only 0.63 inches on November 28.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Urban Heat Island and Recent Snowfall









On Wednesday November 2, 2011 a frontal system moving through Nebraska produced rain and eventually several hours of light snowfall in Lincoln, NE. The temperature in the city center of Lincoln, NE, remained in the mid to upper 30's and the snow melted on contact with the surface. It was several degrees cooler in the suburban areas of Lincoln, NE and the snowfall accumulated on the grassy surfaces and roofs of the houses. The slush on the suburban streets was also evidence that the street surface was cool enough to start accumulating snowfall.

The main cause of the urban heat island is the modification of the natural land surface. Urban areas have a surface of concrete, asphalt and building all of which retain their heat. The urban environment also produces “waste heat” generated by the energy usage. All of this results in urban areas frequently being warmer than the surrounding suburban areas and especially the surrounding rural area.

The two attached photos were taken minutes apart and show the difference between the city center of Lincoln and the suburban edge. With a temperature of 37 F the snowfall was melting on contact with the surface in the city but with a temperature of 33 F the snowfall was accumulating on the surface in suburban Lincoln.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Winter 2010-11 Outlook




















According to the NOAA U.S. Winter 2011-12 Outlook (December through February)
odds tilt in favor of:


  1. Pacific Northwest: colder and wetter than average. La Niña often results in below-average temperatures and increased mountain snow in the Pacific Northwest and western Montana during the winter months. This may set the stage for spring flooding in the Missouri River Basin;

  2. California: colder than average and wetter than average conditions in northern California and drier than average conditions in southern California. All of the southern part of the nation are at risk of having above normal wildfire conditions starting this winter and lasting into the spring;


  3. Northern Plains: colder and wetter than average. Spring flooding could be a concern in parts of this region;


  4. Southern Plains and Gulf Coast States: warmer and drier than average. This will likely exacerbate drought conditions in these regions;


  5. Florida and south Atlantic Coast: drier than average, with an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures. Above normal wildfire conditions;

  6. Ohio and Tennessee Valleys: wetter than average with equal chances for above-, near-, or below-average temperatures. Potential for increased storminess and flooding;

  7. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: equal chances for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Winter weather for these regions is often driven not by La Niña but by the Arctic Oscillation. If enough cold air and moisture are in place, areas north of the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast could see above-average snow;

  8. Great Lakes: colder and wetter than average;

  9. Hawaii: Above-average temperatures in the western islands with equal chances of above-, near-, or below average average precipitation. Statewide, the current drought is expected to continue through the winter. Drought recovery is more likely over the windward slopes of the Big Island and Maui;

  10. Alaska: colder than average over the southern half of the state and the panhandle with below average precipitation in the interior eastern part of the state.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter 2011-12 La Niña Update

From NOAA/CPC:
La Niña conditions are expected to gradually strengthen and continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2011-12.

During September 2011, La Niña conditions strengthened as indicated by increasingly negative sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies across the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The weekly Niño indices continued their cooling trend and all are currently at or below –0.5oC . Consistent with this cooling, oceanic heat content (average temperature anomalies in the upper 300m of the ocean, remained below-average in response to a shallower thermocline across the eastern Pacific Ocean. Also, convection continued to be suppressed near the Date Line, and became more enhanced near Papua New Guinea. In addition, anomalous low-level easterly and upper-level westerly winds persisted over the central tropical Pacific. Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric patterns reflect the continuation of La Niña conditions.

Currently, La Niña is not as strong as it was in September 2010. Roughly one- half of the models predict La Niña to strengthen during the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter. Of these models, the majority predict a weak La Niña. In addition, a weaker second La Niña winter has occurred in three of the five multi-year La Niñas in the historical SST record since 1950. However, the NCEP Climate Forecast System predicts a moderate-strength La Niña this winter and one model predicts a strong La Niña, which rivals last year’s peak strength.There is uncertainty as to whether this strong amplitude will be achieved. Thus, at this time, a weak or moderate strength La Niña is most likely during the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Across the contiguous United States, temperature and precipitation impacts associated with La Niña are expected to remain relatively weak during the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere early fall, and to strengthen during the late fall and winter. It is important to note that the strength of U.S. impacts is not necessarily related to the strength of La Niña across the equatorial Pacific. During October-December 2011, there is an increased chance of above-average temperatures across the mid-section of the country. Also, above-average precipitation is favored across the Pacific Northwest, along with a higher probability for drier-than-average conditions across much of the southern tier of the country

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Global Temperature Anomalies September 2011

The Earth experienced its eighth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880. The annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent was reached on September 9 and ranked as the second smallest extent since satellite records began in 1979.

This monthly analysis from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.

Global Temperature Highlights: September 2011

· The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for September was the eighth warmest on record at 59.95 degrees F (15.53 degrees C), which is 0.95 degrees F (0.53 degrees C) above the 20th century average of 59.0 degrees F (15.0 degrees C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.20 degrees F (0.11 degrees C).
· Separately, the global land surface temperature was 1.57 degrees F (0.87 degrees C) above the 20th century average of 53.6 degrees F (12.0 degrees C), making this the fourth warmest September on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.43 degrees F (0.24 degrees C). Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across Europe, northern and western Africa, western Russia, the western and northeastern United States, Canada, and Mexico. Cooler-than-average regions included much of eastern Asia, and part of the central United States.
· The September global ocean surface temperature was 0.72 degrees F (0.40 degrees C) above the 20th century average of 61.1 degrees F (16.2 degrees C), making it the 14th warmest September on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07 degrees F (0.04 degrees C). The warmth was most pronounced across the north central and northwest Pacific Ocean and within about the 30°N–40°N latitude belt across the Atlantic.
· The United Kingdom marked its warmest September since 2006 and sixth warmest in the last 100 years, at 2.7 degrees F (1.5 degrees C) above the 1971–2000 average.
· Spain had its warmest September since 1990 and fifth warmest for the past 50 years, at 3.2 degrees F (1.8 degrees C) above the 1971–2000 average.



La Niña Update-Forecast, October 2011

La Niña Update-Forecast, October 2011
from IRI (the International Research Institute) for Climate and Society.

Climatologists know that El Niño and La Niña can have a Strong influence on our winter weather patterns in North America. So what is it looking like for this coming Winter?

Most of the set of dynamical and statistical models (see graph) predict La Niña conditions through this coming Winter season. Several computer models keep conditions neutral and only one forecasts a return to El Niño conditions.

The graph in this posting shows forecasts made by dynamical and statistical models for SST in the Nino 3.4 region for nine overlapping 3-month periods.

Note that the expected skills of the models, based on historical performance, are not equal to one another. The skills also generally decrease as the lead time increases.

Thirdly, forecasts made at some times of the year generally have higher skill than forecasts made at other times of the year--namely, they are better when made between June and December than when they are made between February and May.

Differences among the forecasts of the models reflect both differences in model design, and actual uncertainty in the forecast of the possible future SST scenario.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

La Niña and El Niño Winters, Lincoln, NE Snowfall






Lincoln, NE, Snowfall During
La Niña, El Niño & Nada NiñoWinters


It is true that La Niña and El Niño events can significantly influence weather patterns in the U.S. However, the question to be asked is whether there is a significant influence on the winter weather during each of these events in Lincoln, NE.

The attached data table is a climatology of snowfall in Lincoln during La Niña, El Niño, and neutral (Nada Niño--my terminology) Winters. The Winter snowfall months were broken into October 1-December 31 (OND) and January 1-March 31 (JFM). This was done to see if there is a difference in the early part of winter compared to the later half of winter. The "30 year normals" refers to all snowfall data 1981-2010 combining La Niña, El Niño & Nada Niño events for that 30 year time period.

During the OND time period, La Niña averaged the least snowfall, El Niños averaged the most snowfall. However, during the second half of winter, La Niñas averaged the most snowfall and El Niño events averaged the least amount of snowfall. However, do note the huge range (variation) in the snowfall amounts during La Niña,El Niño and Nada Niño (neutral) events. For example, La Niña-JFM time periods, although averaging 18.2 inches of snowfall have seen as much as 41.0 inches and as little as 5.3 inches of snowfall. This makes it very difficult to forecast snowfall totals for Lincoln based only on the occurrence of a La Niña event.

Monday, October 10, 2011

This day in weather history-October 10



Lincoln, Nebraska


October 10, 2011:

low 57 F, high 70 F, am rain; pm sun


October 10, 2009:

low 27 F; high 38 F, am SNOW; pm cloudy, cold.


The photo attached shows a snow covered Lincoln, NE, on October 10. 2009.


This early season snowfall was in fact the 3rd earliest snowfall in the Lincoln, NE, snowfall data records. For more information check out the following link: October 10, 2009 snowfall




Sept. 2011 U.S. Statewide Temperature Rankings




From NCDC:


Climate Highlights — September 2011



•During September, a persistent upper-level weather pattern brought above-average temperatures to the western third of the country, below-average temperatures to the central United States, and above-normal temperatures to the Northeast.
•The average U.S. temperature in September was 66.9 degrees F (19.4 degrees C), which is 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) above the long-term (1901-2000) average. •Above-normal temperatures dominated the western United States, with five states — California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — having one of their ten warmest Septembers on record.
•A persistent upper-level low pressure system was associated with 14 states having below-normal September temperatures across the central United States. Mississippi tied its ninth coolest September on record.
•Eight states in the Northeast had September temperatures among their ten warmest — Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September 2011 Lincoln Climate Summary




September 2011 Climate Summary Lincoln, NE.




The graph shows the daily highs and lows (top and bottom of each vertical bar) and the normal highs (red line) and normal lows (blue line).


CLIMATE NORMAL PERIOD 1981 TO 2010
CLIMATE RECORD PERIOD 1887 TO 2011


TEMPERATURES (F)
HIGHEST 95F 09/01
LOWEST 35F 09/23
AVG. MAXIMUM = 75.1 (normal = 78.7F, departure from normal = -3.6F)
AVG. MINIMUM = 47.9 (normal = 53.4F, departure from normal = -5.5 F)
MEAN = 61.5 (normal = 66.0F,departure from normal = -4.5F)

PRECIPITATION

Total = 1.33 inches (normal = 3.02 inches, departure = -1.69 inches



Friday, September 30, 2011

Arctic Sea Ice 2nd Lowest on Record





From the National Snow and Ice Data Center (nsidc):



Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent for this year (2011) on September 9, 2011. The minimum ice extent was the second lowest in the satellite record, after 2007, and continues the decadal trend of rapidly decreasing summer sea ice.

On September 9, 2011 sea ice extent dropped to 4.33 million square kilometers (1.67 million square miles). This appears to have been the lowest extent of the year, and marked the point when sea ice begins its cold-season cycle of growth.

This year's minimum was 160,000 square kilometers (61,800 square miles) above the 2007 record minimum extent, and 2.38 million square kilometers (919,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average minimum. Note that our estimated uncertainty for extent is plus or minus 50,000 square kilometers (about 20,000 square miles). The minimum ice extent this year is very close to 2007, and indeed some other research groups place 2011 as the lowest on record. At this point, using our processing and sensor series, the 2011 minimum is a close second.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

On this date in weather history

Late September is normally when we start thinking about the first freeze, not the first snowfall. But on this date in 1985, it was not only unseasonably cold, it also snowed. Granted, it was only 0.8 in. of snowfall at the Lincoln airport and it didn't hang around for more than a few hours, but I imagine it still caught most people off guard. Much of western and north central Nebraska did have significant accumulations between September 28-29, 1985 though. Here are some of the totals across the state, some of which would be impressive at any time of year:

Lincoln: 0.8 in.
North Platte: 3.0 in.
Grand Island: 3.8 in.
Sidney: 4.0 in.
Halsey: 4.0 in.
Scottsbluff: 4.8 in.
Alliance: 6.0 in.
Valentine: 18.4 in.

The early season snow was a precursor into what would be a chilly fall and early winter in Nebraska, as most of the state was in the deep freeze from mid-November to Christmas.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

U.S. Summer 2011 Climate Update

From: NCDC.
Climate Highlights — Summer 2011
The average U.S. temperature during the summer of 2011 was 74.5 degrees F (23.6 degrees C) — 2.4 degrees F (1.3 degrees C) above the long-term (1901-2000) average and the second warmest summer on record.
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The unprecedented heat during the summer period (June-August) of 2011 across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana resulted in these states having their warmest summers on record. Average temperatures for the summer in Texas and Oklahoma, at 86.8 degrees F (30.4 degrees C) and 86.5 degrees F (30.3 degrees C), respectively, exceeded the previous seasonal statewide average temperature record for any state during any season. The previous warmest summer statewide average temperature was in Oklahoma, during 1934, at 85.2 degrees F (29.6 degrees C).

During the summer, a persistent ridge of high pressure bestrode the eastern U.S., causing warmer than average temperatures east of the Rockies. Fifteen states had a summer average temperature ranking among their ten warmest. West of the Rockies, a persistent trough brought below-average temperatures to the Pacific Northwest, where Washington and Oregon were the only states across the lower 48 to have below-average summer temperatures.

Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand was 22.3 percent above average during summer. This is the largest such value during the Index’s period of record, which dates to 1895.
During the summer of 2011, all states across the contiguous U.S., with the exception of North Dakota and Vermont, experienced at least one day with a location having a daily maximum temperature exceeding 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C). A large swath of the Southern Plains and Southwest had over 30 days with a daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C) or warmer.

Friday, September 16, 2011

El Niño & La Niña Winter temperatures and Precipitation



This is an amazing site. http://ggweather.com/enso2011/

The site at the above link has maps (down to the county level) for every El Niño & La Niña showing Winter temperature anomalies and Winter precipitation anomalies for the U.S. The archive has data and maps for the period 1950 and up through last Winter 2010-2011.

Many people when they hear El Niño & La Niña assume that the climate for all El Niño events is pretty much the same and during all La Niña events is pretty much the same. That is not the case, although there are some similarities among all El Niño & some similarities among all La Niña events, there is also a large amount of variation.

For example, the two La Niña winter maps attached here, 1995-96 and 2010-11 both show a colder than normal Midwest and eastern U.S., however, the 1995-96 Winter (unlike 2010-11) had much more area with above normal temperatures in the western U.S. For a real contrast, go look at the La Niña Winter of 1999-2000 (at the above link) Temperatures were above normal for 95% of the U.S. during the La Niña Winter of 1999-2000.

Summer 2011 Global Climate Update



From NOAA/NCDC:
"Summer 2011, 3rd Warmest on Record for Global Land Surfaces"

For the June–August three month period (Northern Hemisphere summer / Southern Hemisphere winter), this was the third warmest global land surface temperature on record. This was also the 19th consecutive June–August with the average global land temperature above the 20th century average. The 2011 Northern Hemisphere summer was the second warmest on record, behind 2010, while the Southern Hemisphere winter was the eighth warmest on record. Across the globe, warmer-than-average conditions were observed across Mexico, the eastern two-thirds of the United States and Canada, and most of Europe and Asia. Cooler-than-average regions included Alaska, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, part of western Russia, northern Kazakhstan, and northern Australia.

In northern Europe, Finland had its fourth warmest summer since records began in the early 1900s with temperatures 2.62°C (6.52°F) above the 1971–2000 average, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The June–August 2011 global ocean temperature ranked as the 12th warmest in the 132-year period of record as ENSO-neutral conditions held during June and July before returning to La Niña in August. The warmth was most pronounced across the north central, northwest, and south central Pacific, the equatorial north Atlantic, and the Labrador Sea.

Combined, the June–August global land and ocean temperature was the seventh warmest such period on record and the 35th consecutive June–August (since 1976) with the average temperature above the long-term average. Separately, it was the 26th consecutive above-average Northern Hemisphere summer and 43rd consecutive above-average Southern Hemisphere winter.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer 2011 Second Warmest on Record for U.S.


From NCDC: The blistering heat experienced by the nation during August, as well as the June through August months, marks the second warmest meteorological summer (June 1 - August 31) on record according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C. The persistent heat, combined with below-average precipitation across the southern U.S. during August and the three summer months, continued a record-breaking drought across the region.

The average U.S. temperature in August was 75.7 degrees F, which is 3.0 degrees above the long-term (1901-2000) average, while the summertime temperature was 74.5 degrees F, which is 2.4 degrees above average. The warmest August on record for the contiguous United States was 75.8 degrees F in 1983, while its warmest summer on record at 74.6 degrees F occurred in 1936.

Lincoln had five days with 100 F or higher temperatures, 4 at exactly 100 F and one day at 104 F. Note the white dots on the map indicate 1 to 10 days with temperatures reaching 100 F or higher.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New 30-Year Normals for Lincoln, NE








The official new 30 year normals (1981-2010) were released in August 2011.
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Here are the monthly normal temperatures for Lincoln for the new 30-year normals (1981-2010) and the old 30-year normals (1971-2001). There is also a comparison between the two time periods. All temperatures are in degrees F.

The latest 30-year normals show the greatest warming to be taking place in the Winter months (with January seeing the most warming) and several of the Summer months show a slight cooling. The annual average temperature for Lincoln warmed 0.5 degrees comparing the new to the old 30-year normals.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer Plains Record Heat Wave


Record Breaking Hot Summer in The Southern Plains.

It has been a record breaking hot summer in the Southern Plains. The attached map shows the temperature departures from normal across the conterminous U.S. with a red hot bulls-eye over Texas and Oklahoma.

The following link has a table listing the number of days with 100 F or higher temperatures across the Southern Plains this year.

http://snr.unl.edu/lincolnweather/data/100degree-days-southern-plains-summer2011.asp

Many of the cities on this list had their greatest number ever record of days with 100 F or higher temperatures with some records extending back over 100 years. That means it was even hotter than during the famous dust bowl years in the 1930's.

There are some locations that have had over 90 days with temperatures of 100 F or higher.
For example:
Wichita Falls, TX : 95 days
San Angelo, TX 93 days

It has also been record dry in that area of the country, but that is another story for another posting.





Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Arctic Sea Ice Update
























August 16, 2011: Arctic sea ice at the crossroads
After a period of slow melt from late July through early August, Arctic ice extent is again declining at a brisk pace, but remains higher than for 2007, the record low year. Data also indicate continued thinning of the ice. With about a month left in the sea ice melt season, the amount of further ice loss will depend mostly on weather patterns.

Graph: Arctic sea ice extent on August 14, 2011 was 5.56 million square kilometers (2.15 million square miles). Map: The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data.
—Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

Overview of conditions
As of August 14, 2011, Arctic sea ice extent was 5.56 million square kilometers (2.15 million square miles), 2.11 million square kilometers (815,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average for that day, and 220,000 square kilometers (84,900 square miles) above the extent on that day in 2007.

Sea ice is low across almost all of the Arctic, with the exception of some areas of the East Greenland Sea. It is exceptionally low in the Laptev and Kara Sea areas.

The southern route of the Northwest Passage, now appears to be free of sea ice according to imagery from the University of Bremen and the NSIDC Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) analyses. However, U.S. National Ice Center analyses indicate that there may be up to 20% ice concentration remaining in some parts of the route .







Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winter 2011-12 El Niño & La Niña Outlook



Winter 2011-12 El Niño & La Niña Outlook

Climatologists know that El Niño and La Niña can have a Strong influence on our winter weather patterns in North America. So what is it looking like for this coming Winter?

Most of the set of dynamical and statistical models (see graph) predict neutral ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) conditions from the July-September 2011 season currently in progress, through the early part of 2012.

Current predictions and observations indicate a probability of 26% for La Niña conditions for the November 2011-January 2012 time period, with the probability for El Niño conditions at 14% for the November 2011-January 2012. The probability of Neutral or "Nada Nino" (my term) conditions from November through January is the largest at 60% .





July 2011 Global Temperatures 7th Warmest on Record




July 2011 Global Highlights (from NCDC)
•The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for July 2011 was the seventh warmest on record (out of 132 years of data) , at 16.37°C (61.43°F), which is 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F).


•The July worldwide land surface temperature was 0.84°C (1.51°F) above the 20th century average of 14.3°C (57.8°F)—the fifth warmest July on record.


•The worldwide ocean surface temperature was 0.47°C (0.85°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F)—the 11th warmest July on record.


•Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present during July 2011. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011.


•For the year-to-date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 14.31°C (57.82°F) was the 11th warmest January–July period on record. This value is 0.51°C (0.92°F) above the 20th century average.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

July 2011: 4th Warmest on Record for the U.S.


NOAA: Heat wave leads to fourth warmest July on record for the U.S.

Persistent, scorching heat in the central and eastern regions of the United States shattered long-standing daily and monthly temperature records last month, making it the fourth warmest July on record nationally, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The heat exacerbated drought conditions, resulting in the largest “exceptional” drought footprint in the 12-year history of the U.S. Drought Monitor. “Exceptional” is the most severe category of drought on the drought monitor scale. Drought conditions at several locations in the South region are not as long lived, but are as dry, or drier, than the historic droughts of the 1930s and 1950s.

The average U.S. temperature in July was 77.0 degrees F, which is 2.7 degrees F above the long-term (1901-2000) average. Precipitation, averaged across the nation, was 2.46 inches. This was 0.32 inch below the long-term average, with large variability between regions. This monthly analysis, based on records dating back to 1895, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Which month normally has the hottest temperature in Lincoln

Although the greatest amount of daylight and possible solar energy occurs around June 21 each year, the hottest temperatures typically occur at least a month later. Climatologically, the hottest week is normally the last week in July. Sometimes the hottest temperatures are delayed even further into the summer and occur in August.

The hottest Summer 2011 temperature was 104 F on August 1.

Here are the hottest days, each year, for the past 10 years, with the hottest day occurring in July 5 times and August 5 times:

2010 August 12
2009 August 8
2008 August 3
2007 August 13
2006 July 19
2005 July 23
2004 August 3
2003 July 17
2002 July 21
2001 July 6

Looking back over the past 30 years (1981-2010), the hottest day occurred
in May 1 time
in June 2 times
in July 14 times
in August 12 times
in September 1 time

all of the Lincoln hottest temperatures for each year can be found at our "Heat Wave" page:

Link to Heat Wave Page

Friday, July 29, 2011

Streaks of 90 F or higher Temperatures

July 14-27, 2011 saw 14 days with the temperature in Lincoln of 90 F or higher.

How does this streak of 14 days compare to the climatological record?

The longest streak was July 8 through August 14 in 1934 with 38 days of temperatures reaching 90 F or higher.

The 2nd longest streak was June 24 through July 28, 1936 with 35 days of temperatures reaching 90 F or higher. AND, during the same Summer, August 8 through August 21, 1936 there was a streak of 14 days with temperatures reaching 90 F or higher. What an awful Summer with a streak of 35 days and shortly thereafter another streak of 14 days of hot temperatures.

The streak of 14 days this year, in July 2011, in perspective, wasn't all that bad!

LINK to data table showing the rankings

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lincoln's 90 F or Higher Climatology

July 27, 2011 was the 29th day in 2011 that Lincoln had a high temperature of 90 F or higher and it was the 19th day in July 2011. How does this compare to the climatological data archive?

The following table shows the climatology of days 90 F or higher for Lincoln, NE 1887 to present.

The 1887 through 2010 average number of days 90 F or higher is 42 days
The most number of days 90 F or higher occurred in 1936 with 82 days
The least number of days 90 F or higher occurred in 1889 with only 7 days

During the past 10 years, the greatest was 65 days in 2002
During the past 10 years the least was 22 days in 2009

Link to data table.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

La Niña Update-Forecast, July 2011





We are currently (July 2011) emerging from a strong La Nina which impacted the weather patterns over the U.S. during the past Winter and spring.




From The International Research Institute for Climate and Society:

The following graph shows forecasts made by dynamical and statistical models for SST in the Nino 3.4 region for nine overlapping 3-month periods. Note that the expected skills of the models, based on historical performance, are not equal to one another. The skills also generally decrease as the lead time increases. Thirdly, forecasts made at some times of the year generally have higher skill than forecasts made at other times of the year--namely, they are better when made between June and December than when they are made between February and May. Differences among the forecasts of the models reflect both differences in model design, and actual uncertainty in the forecast of the possible future SST scenario.

Most of the set of dynamical and statistical model predictions issued during late May and early June 2011 predict neutral ENSO conditions from the June-August 2011 season currently in progress, through the end of the calendar year. However, a minority of models call for a re-emergence of La Nina conditions going forward, while a few other models suggest the development of El Nino conditions. For the June-August season the probabilities for La Nina, neutral and El Nino conditions are estimated at 9%, 84% and 7%, respectively. At the time of preparing this, the SST observations in the NINO3.4 region had returned to the climatological average (the middle of the ENSO-neutral range), with an area-averaged weekly anomaly of 0.0 C in the most recent week. Current predictions and observations indicate probabilities of 14% and 15% for La Nina conditions during the August-October and September-November periods, respectively, with corresponding probabilities for El Nino conditions of 15% and 15%. Probabilities for ENSO neutral conditions are substantially greater than those for La Nina or El Nino during all seasons, hovering near 70% for all seasons going forward into early 2012.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

June 2011 Statewide Temperature Rankings






Climate Highlights - June 2011

(From NCDC)



•June 2011 brought extremes in both temperature and precipitation across the United States. An oppressive heat wave accompanied by intensifying drought conditions shattered temperature records in the South and Southwest.
•The average U.S. temperature in June was 70.7 degrees F (21.5 degrees C), which is 1.4 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) above the long-term (1901-2000) average. Precipitation, averaged across the nation, was 2.48 inches (63.0 mm). This was 0.41 inch (10.4 mm) below the long-term average, with large variability in different locations.
•Several locations broke all-time high temperature records during June. On the 26th, Amarillo, Texas set an all time high temperature record of 111.0 degrees F (43.9 degrees C), breaking the record of 109.0 degrees F (42.8 degrees C) set just two days prior. On the 15th, Tallahassee, Florida also recorded an all-time high, 105.0 degrees F (40.6 degrees C). For the month, 42 U.S. locations tied or broke all-time maximum high temperature records.
•In addition to the daily high temperatures, average temperatures during June were also historic in Texas. In Lubbock, the average temperature of 85.8 degrees F (29.9 degrees C) was 8.5 degrees F (4.7 degrees C) above the June average. This surpassed July 1966 (85.4 degrees F or 29.7 degrees C) as the city's warmest month on record. In Midland, the average temperature of 88.0 degrees F (31.1 degrees C) was also the warmest month on record, surpassing the monthly average of 87.2 degrees F (30.7 degrees C) set in August 1964. Additionally, Houston and Galveston had their warmest June on record.
•The expansive heat across Texas resulted in an average statewide temperature of 85.2 degrees F (29.6 degrees C), which was 5.6 degrees F (3.1 degrees C) above normal, surpassing 1953 as the warmest June in 117 years of records. This was the Texas' fourth consecutive June with temperatures at least 2 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) above the long-term average.
•Several other states also had temperatures much above normal. Both Louisiana and Oklahoma (tied) had their second warmest June; Georgia tied for its third warmest. It was the sixth warmest for Arkansas, Delaware (tied), Florida, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
•Along with the heat, parts of the Southwest through much of the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast experienced a continuation of intense drought. New Mexico had its driest June on record while Arizona and Oklahoma had their fourth driest. June was the fifth driest in Texas and the ninth driest in Florida.
•According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 63 percent of the Southeast was in moderate to exceptional drought at the end of June compared to 51 percent at the end of May. In the South, the percent area in the worst category of drought—called exceptional drought—rose from 28 percent to 47 percent.
•Above average wildfire activity continued across the Southern tier of the United States. Nationwide, 1.35 million acres burned during the month, bringing the year-to-date acreage burned to approximately 4.8 million acres -- the most on record for the period -- and more than twice the decadal average.





Monday, June 20, 2011

Global Temperature Anomalies May 2011





Global temperatures were 10th warmest on record for May 2011.


Data record 1880-2011.

Map (Credit: NOAA)
The globe experienced the 10th warmest May since record keeping began in 1880, as the climate phenomenon La Niña ended its 2011 cycle. The Arctic sea ice extent was the third smallest extent for May on record.

The monthly analysis from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides government, business and community leaders so they can make informed decisions.

Global temperature highlights: May

Last month’s combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the 10th warmest on record for May at 59.50F (15.30 C), which is 0.90 F (0.50 C) above the 20th century average of 58.6 F (14.8 C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.13 F (0.07 C).
Separately, the global land surface temperature was 1.31 F (0.73 C) above the 20th century average of 52.0 F (11.1 C), which was the seventh warmest May on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.25 F (0.14 C).
The global ocean surface temperature was 0.74 F (0.41 C) above the 20th century average of 61.3 F (16.3 C), making it the 11th warmest May on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07 F (0.04 C). The warmth was most pronounced in most of the central and western Pacific, most of the Atlantic, and much of the mid-latitude southern ocean regions.

Friday, June 10, 2011

U.S. Climate Update May 2011


From NCDC: Climate Highlights - May 2011
•In May 2011 the United States had dramatic shifts in regional temperatures, but overall was slightly cooler and wetter than normal. Spring was marked by record wetness in the Northwest and Ohio Valley while drought conditions intensified across the South.
•The average U.S. temperature in May was 60 degrees F (15.6 degrees C), which is 1.0 degrees F (0.6 degrees C) below the long-term (1901-2000) average. Precipitation during the month was 0.34 inch (8.6 mm) above the long-term average.
•Average May temperatures across the western third of the country were below normal. Washington (tied) and Oregon experienced their sixth coolest May on record with average temperatures more than 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) below the 20th century normal. Wyoming and Utah had their seventh and eighth coolest May on record, respectively.
•Precipitation during May was above normal for much of the United States. Only the South and Southeast experienced average precipitation that was below normal. The average precipitation of 4.7 inches (119.4 mm) in the northern High Plains was a May record, 2.19 inches (56.6 mm) above the 20th century average.
•At the state level, average precipitation in every Gulf Coast state was below normal. Georgia had its fifth driest May, while it was sixth driest for Louisiana, eighth driest for both Mississippi and Texas, ninth driest in Florida, and the tenth driest for Alabama.
•A persistent storm track contributed to above normal precipitation for the majority of states across the northern half of the country. Many states were much above normal including: Utah and Wyoming (2nd wettest), Montana (3rd), Vermont (4th), New York (6th tied), and both Ohio and Nebraska (8th tied).
•The overall drought footprint across the contiguous U.S. remained above average, about the same as a month ago, at about 26 percent. The area of the country affected by the two most intense drought categories (Extreme and Exceptional) has increased for fifteen consecutive weeks, a streak dating to mid-February. Much of this very intense drought is focused in the Southern Plains and Southern Rockies.
•According to data from the Storm Prediction Center, tornado activity during May was above average with 368 preliminary tornado reports. This was significantly less than the April 2011 tornado count, despite the fact that May is typically the most active tornado month of the year.
•The EF-5 tornado which hit Joplin, Missouri on May 22nd resulted in 141 fatalities. This was the deadliest single tornado in the modern record (since 1950) and the seventh deadliest tornado of those known to ever affect the United States.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lincoln's First 100 F or Higher

The first 100 F or higher in 2011 occurred on June 6. This was the earliest in the year since June 6, 1969.

There have only been 5 occurrences of a first 100 F or higher earlier than June 6:
(May 24, 1967; May 29, 1934; June 2, 1911; June 4, 1960; June 5, 1933)

The earliest 100 F or higher temperature occurred on May 24 in 1967.

The latest first 100 F or higher occurred on September 5 in 1899.

There have only been 5 occurrences of a first 100 F or higher in Lincoln earlier than June 6: (May 24, 1967; May 29, 1934; June 2, 1911; June 4, 1960; June 5, 1933).

Note in some years Lincoln did not reach 100 F or higher and "none" is listed.

There were 24 years which had no temperatures reaching 100 F or higher:
(1889, 1891, 1893, 1896, 1902-06, 1908, 1915, 1920, 1923, 1949, 1958-59, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1986, 1992-94, 1996).

Click here for the link to the table showing the first 100 F or higher for Lincoln, NE, each year 1887 to present:



Friday, June 3, 2011

U.S. Year To Date (Jan-May 2011) Temperature Update







The average January 1-May 31, 2011 temperatures across the lower 48 states show a strong contrast across the U.S.

The northern Plains have averaged well below normal temperatures for this time period and the area to the west and north of a diagonal line stretching from the Great Lakes to Southern California has experienced near normal to below normal temperatures.

In contrast, the area to the south and east of a diagonal line stretching from the Great Lakes to Southern California has experienced near normal to above normal temperatures. Some smaller areas and much of Texas has experienced well above normal temperatures (along with a significant drought).

This pattern is consistent with the climatology of La Niña events. According to NOAA “La Niña often features drier than normal conditions in the Southwest in late summer through the subsequent winter. Drier than normal conditions also typically occur in the Central Plains in the fall and in the Southeast in the winter. In contrast, the Pacific Northwest is more likely to be wetter than normal in the late fall and early winter with the presence of a well-established La Niña. Additionally, on average La Niña winters are warmer than normal in the Southeast and colder than normal in the Northwest”.
LINK: http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/lanina_new_faq.html

Thursday, June 2, 2011

U.S. Year To Date (Jan-May 2011) Precipitation Update



Five months into the year finds a huge contrast in total January through May precipitation across the lower 48 states.


From southern Missouri and along the Ohio Valley and up into New York State, the total precipitation for the year to date is at 150% to 200% of normal.


There is also an area in Montana that has been receiving well above normal precipitation this year.


In contrast, Kansas, Oklahoma, western Texas and west through New Mexico and Arizona has areas with less than 25% of normal precipitation.

Lincoln, NE Climate Summary May 2011



May 2011 Climate Data for Lincoln, Nebraska
Warmest 96 F on May 9.
Coldest 30 F on May 3.
Monthly Average of all 31 days: 61.8 F, 0.2 deg. F below normal
Number of days above normal: 14
Number of days below nomal: 13
Number of days exactly normal: 4

Total Precipitation: 6.00 inches, 1.77 inches above normal (16th wettest out of 125 years of data, 1887-2011)
Wettest May: 10.72 inches, 1903
Driest May: 0.49 inches, 1934

RECORDS:
Record warm minimum (low) temperature on May 9, 2011: 69 F
(old record was 68 F set in 1895)

Record warm minimum (low) temperature on May 10, 2011: 72 F
(old record was 69 F set in 1922)

Record warm maximum (high) temperature on May 10, 2011: 95 F
(old record was 93 F set in 1962 and 1911)

Record daily precipitation amount, May 19, 1.99 inches:
(old record was 1.62 set in 1977)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Record "High Low" for Lincoln, NE, May 9, 2011

Everyone is familiar with a location having a Record High or a Record Low temperature for a given day. It is interesting when we experience these extremes and the media is quick to report the fact when we have the warmest ever recorded high temperature or coldest ever recorded low temperature for a calendar day.

For example, Lincoln Nebraska’s record high temperature for a May 9, is 97 F which occurred in 1895. And their record low temperature for May 9, is 30 F set in 1947.

However, there are also two other daily records. There is the warmest ever recorded daily minimum or low temperature, also known as a Record “High Low" temperature and there is also the coldest ever daytime high temperature, also known as a Record “Low High”.

For example, Lincoln Nebraska’s record coldest high temperature for the calendar day, May 9, is 41 F set in 1924. That is, of all the recorded May 9 high temperatures, from 1887 to 2011, the coldest daytime high ever experienced was a chilly 41 F.

Lincoln set a new record warmest low temperature (Record High Low) on May 9, 2011 when the coldest temperature observed during the entire calendar day was a balmy 69 F. The previous warmest low temperature for the date (May 9) was 68 F set way back in 1895.


In summary there are in fact 4 daily records for temperature and they are:

Record High Temperatures
Record Low Temperature
Record High Low Temperatures
Record Low High Temperatures

For more information about Lincoln’s Record temperatures check out our website:

http://snr.unl.edu/lincolnweather/records/daily.asp

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