Spring 2012 vs. 2013 and moreJune 16th, 2013 at 10:08 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
Please click on the images to enlarge. The image on the left is the Spring (March, April, May) 2012 Temperature Anomaly (difference from average temperature) rank by state. We had the warmest spring ever over the Lower 48 states. Now, look at the image in the middle. That’s the Spring 2013 Temperature Anomaly by state for the Lower 48 states. What a difference a year makes! Fourteen states had a top-ten coolest spring ever. The third map on the right is the Spring 2013 Precipitation Anomaly by state. The Northern Plains into the Great Lakes had a wet spring. Iowa had the wettest spring ever, and Michigan the fifth wettest in 119 years. Often, the core of the summer heat sets up where it’s been dry. My thinking has been that the upper level (heat) ridge will be over the SW U.S. into the Central and Southern High Plains. The ridge wobbles back and forth, so the heat will try and come east into the Great Lakes from time to time this summer…but I think it will be hard to get the extended heat that we had last July. The heat may last a day or two…then retreat back to the southwest as temperatures come back to average or a little below. We have had a very wet year here in the G.R. area and being on the edge of the ridge with WNW flow much of the summer, we’ll probably continue to get periods of short-lasting WNW flow showers and thunderstorms. In this pattern, we are certainly susceptible to wind damage events. Note the difference in water temperatures in the western Gulf of Mexico from mid-May to mid-June. There’s been significant warming. We haven’t had many real humid days so far this month, but the humid air is going to be trying harder to get up to the Great Lakes. If we stay close to the edge of the ridge, farmers should see, overall, ample rain during mid-summer. At this point, the fruit crop is looking good. Here’s global sea-surface temperature anomaly. There has been significant warming of the water off of Southern Alaska, where they have had some record high temperatures. Barrow, at the northern tip of Alaska, had a rare thunderstorm with temperatures in the mid 60s, about 20-degrees warmer than average. See the Barrow webcam here (24-hour daylight now in Barrow, so look anytime of the day or night. The water is cold around Antarctica, where they could see a record ice extent (satellite era – since 1979). (images from NCDC).