May Temperature Anomalies

Here is a chart of the reanalysis surface temperature anomalies for May 2016 using reanalysis data from NOAA. As you can see in May the bulk of the central Atlantic remained slightly cooler than average (-1°C), but the Arctic around Baffin bay and the Barents sea is anomalously warm (+5°C) as were northeast Russia and eastern Scandinavia. The recent heat wave over northern Pakistan and Afghanistan are clear to see (+5°C), as are the very warm conditions in central Canada (+4°C).

Air Temperature Anomalies 01 May to 31 May 2016

Air Temperature Anomalies 01 May to 31 May 2016

From what I can see, I would hazard a guess that when the global surface temperatures for May are released, although well above average, may not be quite at the record levels of previous months. Incidentally I’ve changed the mapping component that I use in my application, and there are some issues with it at the moment, one of the major ones being I can’t see much further south than the equator! I’ll have to get my programmer to pull his finger out and sort this out tout suite.

Just where has all the warm air gone?

Air Temperature [°C] for Sat, 4 Jun 2016 at 0900 UTC

Air Temperature [°C] for Sat, 4 Jun 2016 at 0900 UTC

It’s a topsy-turvy Europe at the moment with the warmest air over Denmark, north Germany and Poland, with the cool air over France.

Arctic meltdown

How low can it go?

With the suspension of the normal sea ice index, here are some of the images from the provisional F18 data of the ASINA site. To be honest the Americans couldn’t have picked a better year to update the way that they measure sea ice, because as you can see from the chart below, Arctic sea ice totals are in meltdown – well in summer they always are I suppose but this time it’s a doozy. There seem to be holes appearing in the ice sheet where they just shouldn’t be holes at this time of the year.  The coast of eastern Greenland looks stripped bare of sea ice, and there are long gaps all along the Alaskan coast with no ice, not to mention the frontal lobotomy that has existed right through the winter in the Barents sea area. It looks odd on that summer 2016 is going to set a new extreme low record for Arctic sea ice, the only question is how low will it get? This story is not going to away and is going to big news the closer we get to September.N_stddev_timeseries N_daily_extent_hires

Antarctic

Things are looking a little more healthy in the Antarctic, but having said that the gains that the sea ice made in the early Autumn now seemed to have vanished, and the graph of the total sea ice extent has shifted to the other side of average during the last month or so. Looking at the map the sea ice seems to have exploded out of the Weddell sea, but the sea ice edge has been trimmed back to the NNE and WSW (best I can do without a better map!). Hopefully the NSIDC sea ice index will make a swift return in the next month or so.

S_stddev_timeseries S_daily_extent_hires

All images courtesy of the NSIDC.

Dry Devon

Precipitation 03839 Exeter Airport - United Kingdom  31 AMSL 3 April - 3 June 2016

Precipitation 03839 Exeter Airport – United Kingdom 31 AMSL 3 April – 3 June 2016

Only 68.4 mm of rainfall in the last two months at Exeter Airport in Devon. I make that total approximately 57% of the long-term average (119.3 mm) going by this useful table of statistics from the Met Office. Interestingly just 6.63 miles to the north we have collected even less, around 58.3 mm in the same period – I calculated the distance between two locations using this useful site.

Exeter Rainfall Statistics (courtesy of Met Office)

Exeter Rainfall Statistics (courtesy of Met Office)

Here comes the sun

0630-1045 on Fri, 3 Jun 2016

0630-1045 on Fri, 3 Jun 2016

It’s took it all morning, but we’ve finally started to clear the low stratus that invaded southern parts of Devon overnight, and the sun has burst through. It’s kept temperatures at around 8°C at places like nearby Dunkeswell, I was beginning to feel how someone who lives in the east of England has been feeling in the last week. Apologies for the small animation, but my programmer chappie is having problems with the scaling of animated GIF’s, but it’s interesting to see how the edge of the stratus is running ENE/WSW across central Devon with very little movement, all I can think is the low-level flow must have backed a little and there is slightly more of a northerly component to the flow than there was earlier.

Synop Grid - 03840 Dunkeswell

Synop Grid – 03840 Dunkeswell

Tri weather data sets

A bit of a strange title I know, but I’ve recently written an application that displays climate data for the UK from three separate daily data sets for atmospheric circulation, temperature and precipitation, and hence the tri.

  • Daily Central England Temperature [CET]
  • Objective Lamb Weather Type [LWT]
  • UK regional precipitation series [HadUKP]

It’s not the first time I’ve merged weather data sets in a single application, but this is probably the first time I’ve managed to finish it and publish the results that it generates. The essential requirement of course is a source of regular daily weather data, and so the CET and LWT series were the ideal (and only) choice because they are both updated on a daily or weekly basis. The other daily weather set that fits was the HadUKP series that the Met Office maintain, but there are a couple of problems with this series, one being that is only updated on a monthly basis, and the other is that the series isn’t very long and only extends back to 1931, and not 1772 and 1861 as in the case of CET and LWT. The big plus for anyone interested in the climate of the British Isles is that you can explore the climate of a particular day, week, month or season very easily and quickly. Here is a screenshot of the application as it stands now:

LWT-CET-UKP application

LWT-CET-UKP application

Below are a few examples of some particular well-known periods and spells of weather from the past, starting with a look at last Autumn and Winter.

27 Sep 2015 - 20 Mar 2016

27 Sep 2015 – 20 Mar 2016

You can certainly see the lovely anticyclonic spell that we had in September 2015, and the record mild November and December that followed, in this six month overview. Next a four-month window and a look at the Winter of 1946-47, you can clearly see how the cold started with an anticyclonic spell in the second half of January 1947, with the snow following along at the start of February.

1 Dec 1946 - 23 Mar 1947

1 Dec 1946 – 23 Mar 1947

Here’s the summer of 1976 and the record warmth of late June and early July, notice also the preponderance of anticyclonic types up until the start of September, then the breakdown into more cyclonic weather and the rains that brought an end to the drought.

18 Apr 1976 - 17 Oct 1976

18 Apr 1976 – 17 Oct 1976

Here’s the great winter of 1962-63, in comparison to 1946-47 it’s clear that winter 1962-63 started much earlier (before Christmas) and finished earlier, but was also drier and more anticyclonic.

16 Dec 1962 - 24 Mar 1963

16 Dec 1962 – 24 Mar 1963

Improvements

I could maybe add an extra chart in the shape of a ‘barograph’ because I hold all the mean pressure points in the LWT data. I could present that as a scatter graph of all the 16 MSLP grid values for 12 UTC and then plot a moving average. I could also highlight with a star the named storms, but that would only work for the very latest years. I could also colour the precipitation bar chart blue to indicate snow rather than rain when the CET was less than 1 or 2 °C (I have in fact now implemented that idea as you can see if you look at the screenshot of the application!). I do plan to add functionality to show a grid of archived weather charts for the selected period from Wetterzentrale. The one element that I think it does miss is daily sunshine data, but there is no source that I know of for daily sunshine values for a region, let alone for a single station, so that’s a non-starter. I must say that this really is an excellent tool for any climatologist with an interest into the weather of the British Isles over the last 150 years or so.

East-West split continues

The awful cold and cloudy conditions are continuing again today down the east coast of England, and the infamous east-west split coined by Michael Fish has been called into play again today by weather presenters at the BBC.

Satellite Image 12 UTC on Thu, 2 June 2016

Satellite Image 12 UTC on Thu, 2 June 2016

Philip Avery was very agitated about the storms over France when he presented the BBC weather this lunchtime, and proceeded to show us a couple of days worth of satellite images in a loop, and his arms went round and round as he described the “storm” that had been causing all the flooding problems in France and Germany. He then muttered something about “a bit of an east-west split going on” and showed this graphic.

BBC Weather 1356 UTC 2 June 2016

BBC Weather 1356 UTC 2 June 2016

All I can say to Philip is, yes you’re quite right there is most definitely an “east-west split” going on, and yes, to use another tired old cliché “west is best”. In fact it’s been going on for several days now and has suppressed temperatures across the eastern and central parts of England, have a look at these thermograph traces that illustrate the temperature differences between east and west. Approximately around +4°C warmer in the SW than the SE, and still no appreciable rain west of Yeovilton for almost a fortnight.

03827 Plymouth - United Kingdom 50 AMSL 26 May-2 June 2016

03827 Plymouth – United Kingdom 50 AMSL 26 May-2 June 2016

03772 London Heathrow - United Kingdom 24 AMSL 26 May-1 June 2016

03772 London Heathrow – United Kingdom 24 AMSL 26 May-2 June 2016

He then went onto present another graphic of the forecast situation at 1600 BST. But looking at the spread of temperatures along the south coast you would be forgiven for thinking that it was the SW of England that had been covered in cloud all day and not the SE.

BBC Weather 1357 UTC 2 June 2016

BBC Weather 1357 UTC 2 June 2016

Plymouth is not a great site to use as a representative temperature for the whole of Devon and Cornwall, and at the moment here in mid-Devon at 1500 BST it’s 19.7°C, and it could even be a little higher by 1600 BST under these blues skies. I am skeptical that the low cloud in the SE will break up as much as is indicated in the above graphic, and allow temperatures to rise to 18°C, but of course it may do, but I notice that it didn’t yesterday or the day before.

Latest Update  1830 BST

Just for completeness and complete “I told you so” here is what the cloud and temperatures were at 1600 BST.

Satellite Image 1500 UTC on Thu, 2 June 2016

Satellite Image 1500 UTC on Thu, 2 June 2016

The cloud remained solid down the east coast and across London and most of Sussex, which of course reflected in lower temperatures than forecast, in other words a poor forecast for the southeast even though it was for less than three hours in the future! I may be that the presenters don’t have any way of modifying model cloud amounts, but surely they can inject a few more temperatures to reflect reality. It’s a great shame that the BBC presenters can’t display thermograms or meteograms for the last week temperatures from locations in the east to compare them with those in the west, like I have done. Incidentally the maximum here in mid-Devon was 19.8°C at 1429 UTC.

Air Temperature [°C] for Thu, 2 Jun 2016 at 1500 UTC

Air Temperature [°C] for Thu, 2 Jun 2016 at 1500 UTC

Final update (I promise) 10000 BST on 3 June 2016

I’ll let the graphics do the talking…

Maximum Temperature Anomaly [06-18] UTC on Thursday, 2 June 2016

Maximum Temperature Anomaly [06-18] UTC on Thursday, 2 June 2016

Rainfall: May 2016

Looking at the SYNOP rainfall totals for May 2016 over the British Isles it looks like the month has been below average for many parts. Wettest were Lusa in Skye (152.9 mm 24 hour total), and Capel Curig in Wales (127.8 mm 24 hour total). Parts of eastern Scotland and NE England were also very dry with Inverbervie driest with only 11.8 mm (24 hour total) and Aberdeen 14.9 mm (12 hour total). I don’t always get 100% of the possible SYNOP reports during the month although usually I do receive 98% or more from most stations. The other thing that can introduce differences is the fact that you can build an accumulation from 12 or 24 hour totals.

Driest Places - May 2016

Driest Places – May 2016

s.

Accumulated Precipitation for May 2016

Accumulated Precipitation for May 2016

Accumulated Precipitation May 2016

Accumulated Precipitation May 2016

Of course there has also been the recent flooding of the last week in France and Germany from that small but intense low pressure system. Wettest place in northern France for the whole month appears to have been Trappes from the SYNOPs that I receive with 201.7 mm of rain (24 hr totals).

Accumulated Precipitation 2 May - June 2

Accumulated Precipitation 2 May – June 2

French Rainfall May 2016

French Rainfall May 2016

The wettest day seems to have been the 30th of May and overnight into the 31st. Here are the 24 hour totals up to 06 UTC on the 31st for most of France.

Daily Rainfall [mm] for Tue, 31 May 2016 at 0600 UTC

Daily Rainfall [mm] for Tue, 31 May 2016 at 0600 UTC

Synops for Tue, 31 May 2016 at 0600 UTC

Synops for Tue, 31 May 2016 at 0600 UTC

I can’t comment much on Germany because there’s a big hole of missing rainfall data in the middle of Europe this month by the looks of things.

Accumulated Precipitation - May 2016

Accumulated Precipitation – May 2016

Not clear what’s going on with the Germans, who seem to have joined the Danes in not reporting rainfall totals this month, either 6, 12 or 24 hourly which is a great shame. I’ll have to investigate, it could all be down to my parsing of course, but it maybe that the Germans have now switched to BUFR and OGIMET aren’t doing the conversion to SYNOP very well. There’s certainly a lot of blocks in a BUFR SYNOP as you can see in this example but no rainfall. I’ll email OGIMET about the problem but I’ve never received a reply for them before so the death by a thousand cuts continues as far as quality SYNOPs and climate data are concerned.

AAXX 01001 10400 02884 81801 10141 20134 30090 40139 50002 60001 8158/ 333 31/// 55/// 21552 31312 55300
20000 30000 60007 81657 87465 91001 90760 91104 90760 91203==

The 1st of June 1954 and 2016

DWR 1 June 1954 (courtesy of Met Office)

DWR 1 June 1954 (courtesy of Met Office)

I was just comparing today’s weather situation with that of the 1st of June 1954 (as you do) and noticed just how similar they were. Having said that if you look at the temperatures 2016 does look a good deal warmer than 1954 was.

06 UTC on 1, Jun 2016

06 UTC on 1, Jun 2016

Central England Temperatures: May 2016

As far as I can make out, May 2016 was the 37th warmest in the Central England Temperature [CET] series that started in 1659. It had started coolly but warmed up significantly between the 4th and the 12th when two maximum CET records were broken (8th and 9th), but a colder week followed and wiped out a lot of the positive anomalies that had been gained.

Daily Central England Temperature - May 2016

Daily Central England Temperature – May 2016

Here are the May rankings since 1659, it certainly was the warmest since the exceptionally warm May of 2008, with a mean anomaly of +1.46°C. So although global temperature records are being broken on a monthly basis, CET records certainly aren’t.

Warmest May CET

Here is a look at all May’s since 1659.

May mean CET & anomaly

May mean CET & anomaly

And finally looking back over the last 62 years of CET monthly anomalies.

Central England Temperature Mean Anomalies 1954 - 2016

Central England Temperature Mean Anomalies 1954 – 2016