WEEKLY WEATHER AND CLIMATE NEWS
18-22 July 2016
Items of Interest:
- Hurricane awareness week in New England -- During week of 18-22 July 2016, several coastal New England states will observe Southern New England Hurricane Awareness Week.
- Peak in the annual temperature curves -- This upcoming week is the fourth full week of July, which for many locations across the nation typically marks the warmest week of the year, as indicated by the daily normal high and low temperatures. Usually, those stations located away from the moderating influences of the oceans reach their highest temperatures during the third to fourth week of July, or a roughly one month after the summer solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere receives the most hours of daylight and the largest amounts of solar radiation. During July, temperatures continue to rise to their highest typical values as radiational heating continues. However, the length of daylight and the amount of sunshine during this month begin decrease and the normal daily temperatures will begin to fall toward their lowest levels in mid to late January. Comparison is invited with the "Warmest Day of the Year" maps generated for the nation by NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information for the 1981-2010 normals interval.
- Rare "lunar photobomb" captured by NASA's DSCOVR spacecraft -- During a nearly three and one-half hour span during the late night hours of 4 July and the early morning of 5 July 2016, the EPIC (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera) instrument onboard NASA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft captured natural-color images of the "far side" of the Moon as it passed between the sunlit Earth and the DSCOVR satellite orbiting approximately one million miles from Earth around the sun-Earth first Lagrange point. This photobomb, or the unexpected appearance of an unintended object into the camera's field of view, was captured only one other time (on 16 July 2015)
[NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]
Weather and Climate News items:
- Eye on the Tropics -- During the last week, tropical cyclone activity was limited to the North Pacific Ocean basin during the last week:
- In the eastern North Pacific basin, Hurricane Celia strengthen to become a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it traveled to the west and west-northwest during the first half of last week. Weakening to a tropical storm on Wednesday, Celia continued westward and entered the Central Pacific basin early Friday as it crossed the 140-degree West meridian of longitude, which marks the boundary between eastern and central North Pacific basins.
As of Sunday morning (Hawaiian Standard Time), the remnant low of former Hurricane Celia was located approximately 440 miles
to the east-northeast of Honolulu, HI. This remnant low was expected to dissipate by early this week. The NASA Hurricane Page has additional information and satellite imagery on Hurricane Celia.
Early last week a tropical depression formed nearly 300 miles off Manzanillo on the western coast of Mexico, before strengthening into Tropical Storm Darby by midweek as it traveled generally westward. By Wednesday afternoon, Darby had intensified to become the third hurricane of 2016 in the eastern Pacific. During the later part of the week Hurricane Darby slowly intensified before unexpectedly strengthening to a major category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Saturday afternoon. By Sunday afternoon Darby had weakened to a category 1 hurricane as it was located approximately 1200 miles to the west-southwest of Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. For additional information on Hurricane Darby along with satellite imagery, consult the NASA Hurricane Page.
Last Friday morning Tropical Depression 6E formed approximately 370 miles off Manzanillo, Mexico and then intensified to become the fifth named tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Estelle, by Friday evening. Over the weekend, Estelle strengthened slowly as it continued its travels toward the west-northwest. As of Sunday afternoon, Tropical Storm Estelle was located approximately miles to the southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico as it was forecast to become the fourth eastern Pacific hurricane of the year by early Monday. A satellite image of Tropical Depression 6E (before becoming Tropical Storm Estelle) along with additional information is available on the NASA Hurricane Page.
- In the western North Pacific Ocean basin, Tropical Depression 3 formed late Sunday (local time) over the waters of the East China Sea several hundred miles to the east-southeast of Taiwan. This system was relatively short lived as it traveled to the north-northwest and began dissipating by early Monday approximately 350 miles to the south-southeast of Okinawa.
- National weather and climate reviewed for June 2016 -- Scientists at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
recently reported on their analysis of preliminary weather data collected during the month of June 2016. They found:
- The monthly temperature averaged across the coterminous United States for that month was 71.8 degrees Fahrenheit, which was 3.3 Fahrenheit degrees above the 20th-century
(1901-2000) June average. Consequently, this past June was the warmest June since 1895 when comprehensive climate records became available nationwide, surpassing the previous monthly record of 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit set in June 1933; incidently, the June nationwide temperature for June 2015 was 71.4 degrees.
With the exception of seven states in the Northeast and in Texas, all the other states in the contiguous US reported above to much above average monthly temperatures for June 2016. Arizona and Utah had record high June statewide temperatures in their respective 122 years of record. In addition, 13 other states extending from California eastward to Tennessee and northward from New Mexico to Montana reported statewide temperatures that ranked in the highest ten temperature readings. The maximum (or daytime) temperature for the 48 contiguous United States was 3.6 Fahrenheit degrees above the 20th century average, which was the third highest in 122 years, while the minimum (nighttime) temperature for the "Lower 48" was 3.0 Fahrenheit degrees above the 20th century average, which was the second highest minimum June temperature on record.
The June 2016 statewide temperature average for Alaska was the ninth highest
in the state's period of record that extends back to 1925.
- The nationwide average precipitation for June 2016 was 2.46 inches, which was 0.47 inches below the 20th-century average, making that month the fourteenth driest June in 122 years.
Many of the states running from the Intermountain West eastward to the Midwest and the Northeast reported below to much below statewide average precipitation totals. In the Rockies and adjacent Plains, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska experienced statewide precipitation totals in June 2016 that were within the twelve lowest on record. In addition, Massachusetts and Rhode Island had their twelfth lowest June totals since 1895. A half dozen states scattered across the Lower 48 had above average precipitation totals.
NCEI State of the Climate]
NOTE: A description is provided of the climatological rankings employed by NCDC for their monthly and seasonal maps. [NOAA/NCDC]
was posted that discusses the record warm month of June 2016 across the contiguous US.
[NOAA ClimateWatch Magazine]
- NOAA Administrator addresses the need to tackle America's water challenges with science -- Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the NOAA Administrator, wrote a blog early last week addressing the state of the nation's water supply, especially in light of the occurrence of extreme weather events. She identified several future water challenges that include dangerous flooding, rising sea levels, punishing drought and algae outbreaks. [NOAA News]
- A mid-year report on the nation's most extreme weather cities -- A senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel has assembled a listing of those cities across the nation that he considers to have experienced the most extreme weather during the first six months of 2016 ranked in terms of the warmest, coolest, wettest and driest, considering only those cities with at least 50 years of record. [Weather Underground News]
- June national drought report -- The National Centers for Environmental Information has posted its June 2016 drought report online. Using the Palmer Drought Severity Index, approximately four percent of the coterminous United States experienced severe to extreme drought conditions at the end of June, while nine percent of the area had severely to extremely wet conditions.
- La Niña watch continues -- ENSO (El Niño/Southern Oscillation)-neutral conditions were observed during June 2016 as sea surface temperatures (SST) across central and eastern sections of the equatorial Pacific were at near or below-average levels. In addition, atmospheric conditions across the tropical Pacific also suggested ENSO-neutral conditions where neither El Niño or La Niña conditions are found. Many of the predictive models used by forecasters with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) indicate that La Niña conditions are favored to develop during August -October 2016, with about a 55 -60 percent chance of La Niña during the Northern Hemisphere's fall and winter 2016-17. Therefore, the forecasters continued their La Niña watch as of late last week.
A detailed El Niño/Southern Oscillation Diagnostic Discussion with supporting maps and charts is available from CPC.
One of the researchers with IRI has posted an easy to read blog describing the current ENSO-neutral conditions and providing some insight as to the possible development of La Niña conditions later this year. [NOAA ClimateWatch Magazine]
- Recent deadly West Virginia floods caused by a "thousand-year" rainfall event -- An article was written in NOAA's ClimateWatch magazine describing the excessive rain event during the third week of June across sections of the Appalachian Mountains in southern West Virginia and western Virginia that resulted in deadly flash floods on many of the region's streams and rivers. These flash floods, which were the result of between eight and ten inches of rain in less than two days, claimed at least 23 lives and was considered to be the third deadliest in West Virginia history. The National Weather Service claimed that the heavy 24-hour rainfall totals in the sections of West Virginia could be considered to be a "one thousand-year" rain event, which means that only a 0.1% chance exists of an event of this magnitude happening in any given year. [NOAA Climate.gov News]
- An observing network for North American Great Lakes is certified -- During the last month, NOAA certified the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) as a Regional Information Coordinating Entity, which signifies that this observing network is collecting and making real-time and historical environmental and ecological data publicly available according to internationally approved high standards. GLOS is the regional association for the Great Lakes observing network for collecting data from a network of federal, state, academic and private institutions as part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOSŪ). The "GLOS Data Portal" provides weather and lake data, such as dissolved oxygen and turbidity, from point surface observations and satellite observations. Model forecasts for lake levels, waves and ice thickness are also available. [NOAA National Ocean Service News]
- Dramatic increase in extreme heat and humidity across US foreseen -- Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization consisting of scientists and science journalists that analyzes and reports on climate science, has been conducting its "States at Risk" project which is aimed at demonstrating how the public across the nation is experiencing the impacts of climate change. In their current project, the focus is upon the projected surge in "dangerous heat days" when the heat index (the combination of heat and humidity) exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit. After analyzing historic trends in summer temperatures since 1970 and projections for future extreme heat for hundreds of metropolitan areas across the contiguous United States, an interactive "States at Risk" map permits identifying the anticipated extreme heat for each state. According to the report, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Colorado would be the states hardest hit by the extreme heat and humidity by 2050. [Climate Central]
- Springtime Arctic clouds can play a role in determining autumnal sea ice extent -- Using surface-based observed surface radiative fluxes and the derived cloud radiative forcing (CRF) from Barrow, AK between 1993 and 2014, researchers from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and Science and Technology Corporation (STC) have found that clouds in spring appear to be an important factor in predetermining autumn sea ice concentrations. In low sea ice years enhanced positive CRF (increased cloud cover enhancing long wave forcing) in April is followed by decreased negative CRF (decreased cloud cover allowing a relative increase in shortwave forcing) in May and June. The opposite is true in high sea ice years. [NOAA Climate Program Office News]
- An unusual dust layer detected off coast of Chile -- A natural-color image obtained from data collected by the MODIS instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite at the end of the first week of July showed a layer of airborne dust over the waters of the eastern South Pacific off the coast of Chile. Large quantities of airborne dust are typically rare along the western coast of South America due to local topography and prevailing winds. [NASA Earth Observatory]
- Wave clouds seen off the coast of Africa -- A natural-color image made in late June from data collected by the MODIS sensor on NASA's Terra satellite shows wave clouds produced by atmospheric gravity waves over the South Atlantic Ocean offshore of Angola and Namibia. [NASA Earth Observatory]
- Unmanned systems help transform earth science -- NOAA scientists and their colleagues in other research institutions are using remotely controlled unmanned aircraft and watercraft to collect large quantities of observational data from the nation's wildlands and waterways, which then can be used to 1.) track changes in the Arctic on the high seas; 2.) check whale health from the air and 3.) map marshes where humans should not venture. [NOAA News]
- Funding is made available to address impact of climate change on US agriculture -- During the last week officials at the US Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced that they were making $8.4 million available as funding to study and develop new approaches for the nation's agriculture sector to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. [USDA NIFA News]
- An All-Hazards Monitor -- This Web portal provides the user information from NOAA's National Weather Service, FAA and FEMA on
current environmental events that may pose as hazards such as tropical
weather, fire weather, marine weather, severe weather, drought and
floods. [NOAA/NWS Daily Briefing]
- Earthweek -- Diary of the Planet [earthweek.com]
Return to DataStreme Atmosphere RealTime Weather Portal
Prepared by Edward J. Hopkins, Ph.D., email firstname.lastname@example.org
© Copyright, 2016, The American Meteorological Society.