Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tropical Rainfall Rate in Arctic Alaska

From the National Weather Service in Alaska:
Roughly one third of the annual precipitation has fallen in Northwest Alaska over the past 4 days! 3.5 inches of rain at Kivalina, 2.5 inches at Kotzebue and 5 inches at Red Dog Mine, a region where rainfall in excess of 3 inches over 3 days is a once-in-a-hundred-year event.

The Wulik River below Tutak Creek crested at 6 A.M. this morning with a river level of 15.31 feet. This was the highest stage ever observed since the gauge was installed in 1985, and far exceeds the previous record of 12.21 feet set in August of 1994. Water levels in the area will remain high as additional rainfall of 1 to 3 inches is expected in the next 48 hours. Water levels are also high in the village of Noatak.

The system is moving east, and rises are expected on the Kobuk River, although the Kobuk near Kiana remains well below flood stage.

Many of the rivers in this area do not have gauges, but based on rainfall there is significant potential for widespread flooding.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

4th Warmest July Global Temperature, All-Time Warmest July Northern Hemisphere Land Temperature

The July 2012 global temperature analysis, posted this morning by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), shows that the combined land and ocean temperature was the 4th warmest on record. The Northern Hemisphere land temperature was the warmest on record for July. As was the case in May, all 12 of the Julys since 2001 have been in the top 14 warmest on record.

Highlights from the NCDC:
The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for July 2012 was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F). This is the fourth warmest July since records began in 1880.

The globally-averaged land surface temperature for July 2012 was the third warmest July on record, at 0.92°C (1.66°F) above average.

The Northern Hemisphere land surface temperature for July 2012 was the all-time warmest July on record, at 1.19°C (2.14°F) above average.

The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January–July 2012 was the 10th warmest such period on record, at 0.53°C (0.95°F) above the 20th century average.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Muller Keeps Spinning

Self-designated climate expert Richard Muller appeared on the Diane Rehm show on NPR this morning, along with Juliet Eilperin, a shark book author and occasional environment reporter, and Michael MacCracken, chief scientist at the Climate Institute. Although apparently now convinced of 1980s-level climate science, Muller kept spinning the story as a political issue, almost immediately casting it as a Republican vs. Democrat story (i.e., Republicans were "more aware" of the "terrible quality" of the temperature record).

Among the voluminous Muller whoppers:
- Katrina is irrelevant because it was only a Category 3 at New Orleans
- Precipitation extremes are not significant
- Emissions are China's fault
- Decades of previous inaction are not a problem

Audio at the link, if you can stand it:
New Consensus On Climate Change

Sunday, August 12, 2012

34th and 35th Consecutive Warm Weeks Continue U.S. Hot Trend Into 9th Month

August 14 Update: The preliminary National Climatic Data Center analysis shows that the U.S. national average temperature was 1.9° above normal in the past week, with the month-to-date average 1.7° above. For the first time in 10 weeks, the East North-Central region was below average at -1.0°.

Original post:
CapitalClimate analysis of preliminary reports from 215 National Weather Service stations across the 48 contiguous states shows that the unadjusted U.S. national average temperature was 1.4° above climatological normal for the week ending yesterday, August 11. Thanks to some cooling in the Midwest and Southeast, this was down somewhat from the record 3.3° for the month of July. However, the past 2 weeks are the 34th and 35th consecutive weeks of above-average temperatures. With August now one-third over, every single week so far in 2012 has been warmer than climatology. The last cool week ended 8 months ago, on December 10.

Of the 215 locations, 63% were above average, vs. 88% the previous week. All of the 9 National Climatic Data Center climate regions have been warmer than average for each of the 5 weeks through August 4.

Images (click to enlarge):
- Weekly average U.S. temperature departures from normal, weeks ending June 4, 2011 (20110604) through August 11, 2012 (20120811); CapitalClimate chart from NOAA/NCDC data
- Weekly average NWS station temperature departures from normal, weeks ending August 4 and August 11, 2012; stations listed alphabetically by state and 3-character station identifier; CapitalClimate charts from NWS data
- Average U.S. temperature departure from normal for August 5-11, 2012 from High Plains Regional Climate Center

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.