UAH continental US Temperature for May 2012: +1.26 deg. C

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The U.S. lower-48 surface temperature anomaly from my population density-adjusted (PDAT) dataset was 1.26 deg. C above the 1973-2012 average for May 2012, with a 1973-2012 linear warming trend of +0.14 deg. C/decade (click for full-size version):

The corresponding USHCN anomaly computed relative to the same base period was +1.65 deg. C, with nearly double my warming trend (+0.27 deg. C/decade). The warming of the USHCN relative to my dataset shows that most of the discrepancy arises during the 1996-98 period:


Despite the weaker warming trend in my dataset, Spring 2012 still ranks as the warmest spring since the beginning of my record (1973). The 12-month period ending in May 2012 is also the warmest 12-month period in the record.

Due to a lack of station data and uncertainties regarding urban heat island (UHI) effects, I have no opinion on how the recent warmth compares to, say, the 1930s. There is also no guarantee that my method for UHI adjustment since 1973 has done a sufficient job of removing UHI effects. A short description of the final procedure I settled on for population density adjustment of the surface temperatures can be found here.

 

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38 thoughts on “UAH continental US Temperature for May 2012: +1.26 deg. C

  1. Not a single hot May day in the San Francisco Bay area this year, but we often seem to be at odds with rest of the country.

  2. Heat due to city getting bigger. Anchorage Alaska compare to Soldotna, Alaska. Use Wolfram Alpha
    data collection, Average temperature of Anchorage, Alaska click current week and select all for temp records from 1945 to present. Big city temps go up, Soldotna going down. NOT GETTING WARMER!!!!!!!

  3. FYI, when BBC forecasters talk about night time temperatures, they now tend to say “… but these temperatures are for towns and cities. The temperature in the countryside may be several degrees cooler than that, perhaps with a chance of frost in sheltered glens.”

  4. My simple electrical engineering model of the Sun/Earth heat relationship reveals the following:
    a) Average 10.7 cm Flux between 70 to 100 units -> Earth’s temperature -0.1C/2.5 years.
    b) Average 10.7 cm Flux between 100 to 130 units -> Earth’s temperature 0.0C [no change].
    c) Average 10.7 cm Flux between 130 to 170 units -> Earth’s temperature +0.1C/2.5 years.

    Presently, we are at b) above. This is due to the approaching peak of the Sunspot [Flux] cycle occurring now.

    Don’t expect any cooling changes until this Sunspot cycle has reduced the Flux to a) above.

    I will send the model and the data to anyone interested, if requested. Running the model requires the latest version of Mathematica.
    jlurtz@basicisp.net

  5. So its the USA thats hogging all the warmth is it ? This month in England we havnt yet matched the temperature we had at Christmas ! Today County summer festival shows are being cancelled due to the danger the weather is causing ( very high 60 mph winds, cold and driving rain ) that have been held every year at the same date for more than a century , not this summer though , the Met people are still forecasting frosts …. it will be mid summer soon and we are still getting winter frosts , in fact we have had more frosts reported this spring and summer than we had through the Winter !!! So do please waft some of your excess warmth over to us and i can stop putting the central heating on !!!

  6. The unusually warm spring was due, I believe, to jet stream patterns that pulled Gulf of Mexico air all the way up to the Great Lakes region. Once the jet stream goes back to a more zonal flow, I would expect to see temperatures in the central US to return to more normal values. One thing to note about this “loopy” jet was that if there were land 500 miles West of San Francisco, it would have experienced a much colder than normal spring as the jet dropped very far South before looping North again to Washington / British Columbia.

  7. One curious thing. Somehow the Eastern US (and much of the adjacent Atlantic) seems out of synch with the rest of the world, and has continued to warm while everyone else goes colder and colder. What in the heck is going on?

  8. News reports noted that the March-May 2012 temps were slightly higher than March-May 1910, the #2. But NOAA climate figures show 1910 was only the 35th warmest year of the 20th Century, showing how scooping out a certain section of time can mislead. No doubt we’ll next hear about the hottest-ever hour in the US, or maybe microsecond…

  9. SteveSadlov says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am
    One curious thing. Somehow the Eastern US (and much of the adjacent Atlantic) seems out of synch with the rest of the world, and has continued to warm while everyone else goes colder and colder. What in the heck is going on?
    >>>>>>>>>>

    Nothing. It wasn’t that long ago that the eastern US was cooling while everyone else was warming. Hansen actually published papers on it to show that it was a consequence of oceanic processes in order to claim that it wasn’t representative of the whole earth. I accept that premise. It wasn’t representative of the whole earth when it was cooling, and it isn’t representative of the whole earth when it is warming. The notion that the whole planet should heat up or cool off on a consistent manner makes little sense when you consider how complex it is and the massive amounts of energy that get moved around the planet is a chaotic 24×7 manner.

  10. Can they send some this heat to Oregon? We are wetter and colder than “normal”.

  11. ANTHONY HOLMES says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:00 am
    So its the USA thats hogging all the warmth is it ? ….. So do please waft some of your excess warmth over to us and i can stop putting the central heating on !!!
    ==================================================================
    We’re a larger country so we have more politicians. You can have Obama but then you might not be able to afford to turn your heat on.

  12. “We’re shocked, shocked there’s been heating going on here”,
    cry the thumb-on-the-scale Warmistas
    as they read off their hot-sited UHI-to-the-max thermometers
    and trumpet their down-adjusted U.S. temp history.
    Suddenly a once-in-20-year warm season
    is blown up into a harbinger of Doom.

  13. Dennis Cooper says:

    June 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Heat due to city getting bigger. Anchorage Alaska compare to Soldotna, Alaska. Use Wolfram Alpha
    data collection, Average temperature of Anchorage, Alaska click current week and select all for temp records from 1945 to present. Big city temps go up, Soldotna going down. NOT GETTING WARMER!!!!!!!

    It’s convection circulation. As the city gets hotter the convection increases cooling the surrounding countryside from where cool air is drawn to replace the hot city air.

  14. From crosspatch on June 8, 2012 at 8:54 am:

    According to NCDC, the warmest May was 1934.
    2012-64.34F for CONUS.
    1934-65.40F for CONUS

    A full 1.06°F difference? Don’t worry, it might have to wait for USHCN Version 3, but they’ll “adjust” that inconvenient 1934 number away eventually.

    BTW, they have 1998 as the warmest year for CONUS at 55.08°F, 2006 2nd warmest at 55.04°F, and 1934 is down to third place at only 54.83°F. Man, I’m so old I remember when 1934 was warmest. Seems like it was only last year or so too…

  15. In 2007 I copy/pasted each days record temperatures for Columbus Ohio into Excel. I did it again last April. I just compared the record highs and 33 of them have been changed. I didn’t count new records set that the older list didn’t cover. Sometimes the record high was changed. Sometimes the year it was set is changed. Here’s an example of both happening for the same day.
    The older list: Dec-29 67 1889
    The newer list: 29-Dec 64 1984
    Perhaps the newer record is based on a treemometer?

  16. I just compared the record highs and 33 of them have been changed. I didn’t count new records set that the older list didn’t cover.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Make that 25 to 27. I counted a few records set after the old list was made. (Of course, now I wonder if dthe more recent records really were records.)

  17. This news was trumpeted on the NBC nightly news yesterday complete with experts attributing it to global warming. Quite the bummer.

    Jim

  18. ANTHONY HOLMES says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:00 am
    …..the Met people are still forecasting frosts …. it will be mid summer soon and we are still getting winter frosts , in fact we have had more frosts reported this spring and summer than we had through the Winter !!! So do please waft some of your excess warmth over to us and i can stop putting the central heating on !!!
    _____________________________________
    WHAT warmth?

    I am in the “sunny” south (mid North Carolina) and last night it was 54 °F ( 12°C) and tonight it is supposed to be 57 °F (14°C) The average mean temp for the last week (all of June) has been 67 °F ( 19°C) instead of 74 °F ( 23°C) BRRRrrrrr

  19. SteveSadlov says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

    One curious thing. Somehow the Eastern US (and much of the adjacent Atlantic) seems out of synch with the rest of the world, and has continued to warm while everyone else goes colder and colder. What in the heck is going on?
    ________________________________
    As crosspatch said a “Loopy” jet stream. Ian W @ June 7, 2012 at 6:40 am in another post gave me the final clue when he said:

    This is what Stephen Wilde is talking about, as the Hadley Cell circulation increases in intensity the cells become larger and the jet streams get pushed away from the equator when the Hadley Cell circulation becomes weaker they shrink and the jet streams (and Ferrel Cells) move toward the equator. This is a larger scale longer term homeostatic response than the diurnal response that Willis has explained…

  20. Here in the Great Lakes, corn and bean crops are about 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Winter Wheat could be harvested about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. A drought in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan has some farmers worried. Just a quick look at weather analogues indicate that the current pattern over Much of North America resembles patterns similar to the late 20s, early 30s. I remember a JPL study done about a decade ago, which indicated that near record temps of the mid 1930s and the severe drought of the late 1920s- mid 1930s correlated with a general cooling of the Northern Pacific SSTs and increasing SSTs over the Central Atlantic. The results were an amplified Gulfstream flow across the Eastern US coupled with a strong easterly fetch into Old Mexico (Usually this fetch runs from Texas North and West into the lee of the Rockies and extending into the Mississippi Valey). Drought-like warm conditions of the middle section of the US have persisted for a year now. And the helter-skelter weather patterns across the Eastern fifth of the US indicate that this areas persists as a battle ground between the modified Continental Polar air masses from Canada and the modified Continentla Tropical air masses over Bermuda.

  21. Ooo, just love the nay-sayers citing temp differences over a year. It’s the average temps over decades that are the problems. The temp from year to year can go up or down, and it’s worldwide weather changes that we need to be worried about, not just local ones. The whole thing about global warming is that you only need to be wrong once to wipe out 3/4 or more of the life on the planet. You see, there is this stuff in large reserves in the ocean called methane hydrate that when melted releases methane gas into the atmosphere. The oceans in some areas only need to warm up a few degrees for that to happen. Then we’ll be experiencing what is called an avalanche effect, where temps will rapidly rise regardless of any attempt to reverse them because methane is 3 times the greenhouse gas of CO2. You see, that’s the point where it will be way too late to say “I told you so”. That’s the point where global temps won’t be going up 2-3 degrees on average as with CO2, they will be going up like 15-20. Deny it all you want, and we may just end up seeing hell on Earth.

  22. @- Frosty says:
    “You see, there is this stuff in large reserves in the ocean called methane hydrate that when melted releases methane gas into the atmosphere. The oceans in some areas only need to warm up a few degrees for that to happen. Then we’ll be experiencing what is called an avalanche effect, where temps will rapidly rise regardless of any attempt to reverse them because methane is 3 times the greenhouse gas of CO2. …That’s the point where global temps won’t be going up 2-3 degrees on average as with CO2, they will be going up like 15-20. ”

    You grossly overstate the case and could justifiably be accused of alarmism and unrealistic predictions of catastrophe.
    There are large reserves of methane in the oceans and on land in permafrost areas. But these are not as unstable, or subject to rapid release as you imply.
    The similarity is with the major ice-caps. there is a lot of water there sequestered in ice, certainly enough to raise sea levels by several yards, but that isn’t going to happen in a sudden avalanche.

    There are examples in the paleoclimate where methane release did affect the climate, the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum is the best known. But that took the best part of a THOUSAND years to raise methane and CO2 levels (from methane breakdown) to climate changing effect.

    While a continued, decade on decade warming globally as seen in Roy Spencer’s satellite data would cause methane release, the timescale of such processes causing climate change of the apocalyptic nature you envisage is very long. Far longer than the lifetime of anyone reading this post.
    Even any great grandchildren we may have as our descendants after we die will only be seeing the initial aspects of the calamity you predict so it is clearly of no present concern.

  23. Frosty says:
    June 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm
    “Then we’ll be experiencing what is called an avalanche effect, where temps will rapidly rise regardless of any attempt to reverse them because methane is 3 times the greenhouse gas of CO2. ”

    Frosty, how should this avalanche effect work, even assuming that Methane is not decomposed quickly, and that it significantly influences temperature – atmospheric temperature, that is. You know, Methane Clathrates are under water. So even if atmospheric temperature rose quickly, it would take a long time for the water temperature to rise further. LWIR cannot heat water; it doesn’t penetrate water, it can only lead to increased evaporation. How would, after some clathrate dissolution, which surely happens somewhere on the planet all the time, a quick feedback kick in? It’s more likely that giant flamethrowing lizards come out of the ocean to devastate our cities IMHO.

  24. ****
    Frosty says:
    June 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Oooo, methane hydrates, blah, blah, blah….
    ****

    Oooo, we’re all so scared of those evil methane hydrates…

  25. Frosty – “The whole thing about global warming is that you only need to be wrong once to wipe out 3/4 or more of the life on the planet.”

    I thought Al Gore, Hansen, and IPCC/U.N. were for Population Control, so what is the big fuss? ;)

    Frosty – “You see, there is this stuff in large reserves in the ocean called methane hydrate that when melted releases methane gas into the atmosphere. The oceans in some areas only need to warm up a few degrees for that to happen.

    The Greenie’s and No-drillers should be dancing in the streets; since we will soon have plenty of bio fuel to replace that bad ‘nasty’ oil and bad ‘evil’ coal. ;)

    Frosty – “Then we’ll be experiencing what is called an avalanche effect, where temps will rapidly rise regardless of any attempt to reverse them because methane is 3 times the greenhouse gas of CO2.”

    Any chance you are a Climatologist running out of AGW funding? ;)

    Frosty – “That’s the point where global temps won’t be going up 2-3 degrees on average as with CO2, they will be going up like 15-20.”

    With such detailed analysis, solid mathematics, and factual science; you should apply for a position at NASA manufacturing data with Hansen or at Penn State U. pontificating with Mann. ;)

    /sarc

  26. DirkH says:
    June 9, 2012 at 2:02 am:
    It’s more likely that giant flamethrowing lizards come out of the ocean to devastate our cities IMHO.

    Great. Now, he’ll *never* go to sleep…

  27. Frosty,
    Sorry to hear you are so worried. In actual fact those methane hydrates tend to be down deep, under pressure, and at that depth the water is very cold. It is an area below the thermocline, and the temperature does not change in the manner it does above the thermocline. In fact it likely would take a very long time to even raise the temperature a tenth of a degree. Lastly, if the sea does rise, the pressures down there will increase, and the hydrates will be even less likely to turn to gas.

    Back in the early 1970’s there was a big worry about oil running out, due to the prices of gas doubling. It was largely due to politics, however the politics occurred in part because the USA had gone from exporting oil in the 1950’s to importing oil. People spoke with great authority about how soon “peak oil” would be passed (by 1980,) and about the complete disaster that would occur by 2000.

    I was as worried by these experts as you now seem to be by methane hydrates. After all, even the National Geographic produced glossy articles with graphs. The only good that came out of my worry was I was able to avoid the bother of getting a real job. Why get a real job, and look forward to a pension, if she s— was going to hit the fan before I was old? I laughed at my friends who worked real jobs, and had a blast.

    Now here it is 2012, and my friends are collecting pensions. I’m working my butt off. Oh well…. I can take a joke.

    My advice to you is, “Don’t quit your day job.” Also, “Don’t worry; be happy.”

  28. Frosty, if you like cooler climates, come to the Northwest. We continue to experience the cooler wetter temps typical of the current- and after-effects of La Ninas and what appears to be a flipped PDO (going on 5 years now). We are breaking low temp records that go way back (as in 100+ years). This also means, of course that much of the Mid- and Southwest is hot and dry.

    But bring money. All the watermellon regulations we are under have pretty much kept our industrial side in the closet. We can’t even shoot a wolf we can actually see chasing our own livestock, let alone manufacture anything up in these parts (let me put that another way, we can’t do those things and advertise that we did those thing).

    But let’s also clear up what drives freeze warnings and drought conditions. It’s that big pond out West of us and that monstrous size jet stream above us, not the teeny, tiny bit of anthropogenic CO2 we breath out of our lungs and blow out our tailpipes.

    So I guess maybe I have changed my mind. With your current understanding of what drives temperature trends, you probably aren’t at the head of the class in “git er done” industriousness so you had better stay in a state that will take care of you. Out here, we expect people to take care of themselves.

  29. Frosty – “The whole thing about global warming is that you only need to be wrong once to wipe out 3/4 or more of the life on the planet.”
    ================================================================
    That must be why “The Team” and their enablers are so open and honest with the raw data and their methods. There’s so much at $take!

  30. Frosty – “You see, there is this stuff in large reserves in the ocean called methane hydrate that when melted releases methane gas into the atmosphere.”
    =========================================================
    If methane is the real danger then we don’t need to ban CO2, we need to ban beans.

  31. Has not been warm at all in the Pacific Northwest.

    Aren’t averages so useful? /sarc

  32. “he U.S. lower-48 surface temperature anomaly from my population density-adjusted (PDAT) dataset was 1.26 deg. C above the 1973-2012 average for May 2012, …”

    Excuse me. Whatever happened to Weather is not Climate? You know the AGW Alarmcists response to record setting cold winters.

  33. Steve Sadlow

    As long as the AMO and AO are mostly positive [ AMO since 1994/1995] , the Atlantic coast and Eastern US will be warmer than the rest of Northern Hemisphere. No one has an accurate handle on when these are likely to go predominantly negative but the recent trend indicates AMO is slowly heading negative [as it did already for a few months late 2011 and early 2012]

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