Tuesday, October 30, 2012

First Snowfall Climatology

The following map shows the median (middle date) of the "first measurable Snowfall" each Autumn in the Midwest as well as the Plains states.  The map was produced by the Midwest Regional Climate Center and is based upon the 1981-2010 data period.  This time period corresponds to the current 30 year climate normals.  The 30-year climate normals are re-calculated every 10 years.  The next 30-year normals will not be calculated until the year 2012. 

Information about the Lincoln, NE, snowfall climatology can be found underneath the map.

Lincoln's Snowfall Statistics:  http://snr.unl.edu/lincolnweather/data/snowfall-statistics.asp

Lincoln's Snowfall Climatology:  http://snr.unl.edu/LincolnWeather/data/snowfall.asp

Friday, October 26, 2012

Winter 2012-13 Outlook

Winter 2012-13 Outlook (Two maps and then text below the maps)

From NOAA (October 2012):

Winter 2012-13 Outlook (December through February) odds favor:
  • Warmer-than-average temperatures in much of Texas, northward through the Central and Northern Plains and westward across the Southwest, the Northern Rockies, and eastern Washington, Oregon and California, as well as the northern two-thirds of Alaska.
  • Cooler-than-average temperatures in Hawaii and in most of Florida, excluding the panhandle.
  • Drier-than-average conditions in Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, including Idaho, western Montana, and portions of Wyoming, Utah and most of Nevada.
  • Drier-than-average conditions in the upper Midwest, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and northern Missouri and eastern parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and western Illinois.
  • Wetter-than-average conditions across the Gulf Coast states from the northern half of Florida to eastern Texas.
The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning these areas have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.
This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

“This is one of the most challenging outlooks we’ve produced in recent years because El Niño decided not to show up as expected,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “In fact, it stalled out last month, leaving neutral conditions in place in the tropical Pacific.”

When El Niño is present, warmer ocean water in the equatorial Pacific shifts the patterns of tropical rainfall that in turn influence the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific Ocean and United States. This climate pattern gives seasonal forecasters confidence in how the U.S. winter will unfold. An El Niño watch remains in effect because there’s still a window for it to emerge.
Other climate factors can influence winter weather across the country. Some of these factors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, a prominent climate pattern, are difficult to predict more than one to two weeks in advance. The NAO adds uncertainty to the winter outlook in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic portions of the country.

Areas ravaged by extreme drought over the past year are unlikely to see much relief from drought conditions this winter.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

September 2012 Globe Tied Warmest on Record


From NCDC:  Global Highlights

  • The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest September on record, at 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). Records began in 1880 (133 years of data).

  • The globally-averaged land surface temperature for September 2012 was the third warmest September on record, at 1.02°C (1.84°F) above average. The globally-averaged ocean surface temperature tied with 1997 as the second warmest September on record, at 0.54°C (0.97°F) above average.
The average global temperature across land and ocean surfaces during September was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the long-term 20th century average. This temperature ties with 2005 as the record warmest September in the 133-year period of record. The Northern Hemisphere tied with 2009 as second warmest on record, behind 2005. The Southern Hemisphere also ranked second warmest on record, behind 1997. It was also the highest departure from average for any month in the Southern Hemisphere since May 2010.  It also marked the 36th consecutive September and 331st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.  The last below average September temperature was September 1976, and the last below average temperature for any month was February 1985.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

September 2012 Statewide Temperature Rankings

From NCDC:  September 2012 Climate Summary
  • Climate Highlights — September 2012
  • The average contiguous U.S. temperature during September was 67.0°F, 1.4°F above the 20th century average, tying September 1980 as the 23rd warmest such month on record. September 2012 marks the 16th consecutive month with above-average temperatures for the Lower 48.
  • Higher-than-average temperatures were anchored across the West during much of September with California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming experiencing a top ten warm September. Monthly temperatures were below average across the Midwest and Ohio Valley.

  • Nebraska was ranked 67th coolest (which is conversely, 45th warmest) September on record (118 years of data, 1895-2012).

    HPRCC Highlights:
  • High Plains Region: (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center)
  • While most the High Plains Region had near normal average temperatures, September 2012 continued to be dry. Most locations in the Region had average temperatures which were within 1.0-2.0 degrees F (0.6-1.1 degrees C) of normal. The largest temperature departures occurred in a few areas of Wyoming, where average temperatures were over 4.0 degrees F (2.2 degrees C) above normal, and an area along the border of northeastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska where average temperatures were 2.0-3.0 degrees F (1.1-1.7 degrees C) below normal. Unlike the majority of this year, the temperatures this month were not record setting; however a small number of locations did break into the top 10 warmest Septembers on record. Lander, Wyoming had its 6th warmest September on record with an average temperature of 63.2 degrees F (17.3 degrees C). In 1990, Lander had its warmest September with an average temperature of 64.8 degrees F (18.2 degrees C) (period of record 1891-2012). Even with some below normal temperatures this month, 2012, as a whole, has continued to be one of the warmest on record for much of the Region. For instance, the average temperature in Topeka, Kansas was 0.5 degrees F (0.3 degrees C) below normal this month, but this year's January 1-September 30 time period still ranked as the warmest. The average temperature in Topeka for that time period was 64.4 degrees F (18.0 degrees C), which easily beat the 1934 record of 62.3 degrees F (16.8 degrees C) (period of record 1887-2012).
  • Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Lincoln, NE, Drought Update, October 2012

    Drought Update for Lincoln, NE as of  October 8, 2012

    Holmes Lake, Lincoln, NE, October 2012.  The southeast area of the lake is almost empty.

    Lincoln, NE, Data Archive 1887 - 2012 (126 years)


    > January 1-October 8, 2012 Total Precipitation = 15.57 inches
    (8th driest on record, 9.63 inches below normal)

    > Normal January 1-October 8 Precipitation = 25.20 inches

    > Wettest January 1-October 8 time period = 40.81 inches in 1951

    Top Ten Driest January 1-October 8 time periods (value = precipitation in inches):
    Rank  Value  Ending Date
      1   12.60   10/ 8/1934
      2   12.93   10/ 8/1953
      3   12.99   10/ 8/1936 
      4   13.33   10/ 8/1890
      5   14.76   10/ 8/1894
      6   14.78   10/ 8/1918
      7   15.10   10/ 8/1895
      8   15.57   10/ 8/2012
      9   15.86   10/ 8/1940 
     10   16.56   10/ 8/1887


    January 1-October 8, 2012 = 48 days
    (2nd least number of days with precipitation on record)

    Least number of days with measurable precipitation = 47 days, January 1-October 8, 1890
    Most number of days with measurable precipitation  = 117 days, January 1-October 8, 1910 

    Friday, October 5, 2012

    El Niño or "Nada" Niño for this Coming Winter?

    El Niño or No Niño?  Update October 5, 2012.

    An El Niño watch remains in effect, but NOAA climate experts have downgraded the likelihood that it will develop from about 70 percent to 55 percent. Even though its development has slowed, El Niño may still emerge over the fall and winter. If it does, it's expected to be a relatively weak one.

    How can El Niño affect winter weather?

    It is too early to have a confident forecast for this upcoming Winter in Nebraska.  It does look like the current record breaking drought will persist well into Winter (see the 2nd map below).  And it should be noted taht we are headed into the time of eyar with the normally lowest monthly precipiation amounts. Computer models are indicating that the highest probablity is for cooler than normal for the rest of October for eastern Nebraska over to the Great Lakes region and down into the Southeastern U.S.  However the Climate Prediction Center has indicated that the highest probablity for the December to February time period is for warmer than normal temperatures for Nebraska as well as the larger region from Montana across the northern and central Plains states and into the Great Lakes and Midwest  regions as well.


    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    September 2012 Lincoln, NE, Climate Summary

    September 2012 Climate Summary Lincoln, NE

    The Red Line is the normal high and the Blue Line is the normal low.
    The top of each vertical bar is the high for the day and the bottom of each vertical bar is the low for the day. All data in this graph are from the National Weather Service and HPRCC data archives.

    There are 126 years of data (1887-2012) for Lincoln, NE

    September 2012 Statistics:

    Total precipitation = 1.73 inches; 1.29 inches BELOW normal
    Wettest September = 8.32 inches in 1914
    Driest September = Trace (observed precipitation but not enough to measure) in 1894

    Average temperature = 64.6 F; 1.4 F BELOW normal 

    One record high = 102 F on September 4; old record was 101 F set in 1954 and 1913
    Warmest temperature for the month = 102 F
    Coldest temperature for the month = 32 F*
    Number of days with the temperature 90 F or higher = 7 days

    This was the 2nd month in a row with below normal tempertures.  Prior to August, Lincoln had 10 months in a row of above normal temperatures.

    *  The first freeze date of September 23 was the earliest since 1999. It was also the 7th earliest on record and 12 days earlier than the normal date.

    Year to Date (January 1-September 30, 2012) Statistics:

    Average temperature = 59.8 F Warmest Year on record (for Jan. 1-Sept. 30 time period)+
    Total number of days with the temperature 90 F or higher = 72 days (3rd greatest on record)
    Total precipitation = 15.57 inches; 9.03 inches BELOW normal, (9th driest on record).