2016-2017 Winter

Another winter has past. It is now spring again. We really had no winter with the exception of the Pacific Northwest where it got cold. Most of America was wondering where is winter. It felt like another spring. How did this winter stack up?

5 Kilometer Gridded Map Of Temperature Anomaly

Most of the US experienced warmer than normal winter. Some had record warmth winter, especially in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and New Mexico. Washington, Oregon, and Idaho had cooler than normal winter. The mean temperatures tell you a lot. Of course, the devils are in the details.

5 Kilometer Gridded Map Of Minimum Temperature Anomaly

The low temperatures were quite warm in areas where they had record warmth. The areas that were cooler than normal had cooler low temperatures. No surprise there.

5 Kilometer Gridded Map Of Maximum Temperature Anomaly

The high temperature anomaly is not as large as compared minimum temperature anomaly. Low and high temperature can have an impact on overall mean temperature. One can have a cool winter if the low temperatures are high, while high temperatures are low or vice versa.

5 Kilometer Gridded Map Of Rainfall Anomaly

It was very wet, especially in California, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Texas, Iowa, and Alabama. Plenty of rain despite La Nina. It was a weak la Nina.

Here is a Northern Hemisphere temperature anomaly map.

Most of the Northern Hemisphere was warm, especially over the Arctic, North America, Asia, and Europe.

Here is a Northern Hemisphere precipitation anomaly map.

The wettest area is over Northern California where they go the lion share of the precipitation.

Here is a Northern Hemisphere 500 millibar level anomaly map.

There was ridging over the Southern US, Alaska, and Europe. The ridging kept things warm under. There is troughing over Northwest Canada, Pacific Northwest, Siberia, and Arctic. That kept things cold for winter.

Here is a worldwide sea surface temperature anomaly map.

The La Nina was weak, while Northeast Pacific off the coast of Alaska was mostly cooler than normal. There is unusually warm water in the Bering Strait and Gulf of Mexico.

America
Temperature: 35.90°F
Low Temperature: 25.94°F
High Temperature: 45.86°F
Rainfall: 8.22

1895-2017 Winter Statistics
Winter Temperature Mean: 32.37°F
Winter Temperature Median: 32.49°F
Standard Deviation: 2.06

Winter Low Temperature Mean: 21.91°F
Winter Low Temperature Median: 21.95°F
Standard Deviation: 2.13

Winter High Temperature Mean: 42.84°F
Winter High Temperature Median: 43.08°F
Standard Deviation: 2.10

Winter Rainfall Mean: 6.76
Winter Rainfall Median: 6.69
Standard Deviation: 0.89

It was an abnormally warm and wet winter. The temperature and rainfall are 1 standard deviation. This is abnormal in terms of temperature and rainfall. Here are the top 10 warmest and wettest winters in America.

Top 10 Warmest Overall Winter
1.) 2015-2016 36.78°F
2.) 1999-2000 36.48°F
3.) 1991-1992 36.35°F
4.) 2011-2012 36.34°F
5.) 1998-1999 36.27°F
6.) 1997-1998/2016-2017 35.90°F
7.) 2001-2002 35.66°F
8.) 1994-1995 35.56°F
9.) 2005-2006 35.49°F
10.) 2004-2005 35.46°F

Top 10 Warmest Low Temperature Winter
1.) 1997-1998 26.74°F
2.) 2015-2016 26.65°F
3.) 1991-1992 26.39°F
4.) 2016-2017 25.94°F
5.) 1982-1983 25.88°F
6.) 2011-2012 25.63°F
7.) 1994-1995 25.56°F
8.) 1998-1999 25.49°F
9.) 1999-2000 25.46°F
10.) 2004-2005 25.42°F

Top 10 Warmest High Temperature Winter
1.) 1999-2000 47.50°F
2.) 1998-1999 47.07°F
3.) 2011-2012 47.06°F
4.) 2015-2016 46.92°F
5.) 2001-2002 46.59°F
6.) 1953-1954 46.51°F
7.) 1933-1934 46.43°F
8.) 2005-2006 46.37°F
9.) 1991-1992 46.32°F
10.) 1980-1981 46.05°F
11.) 1975-1976 45.88°F
12.) 2016-2017 45.86°F

Top 10 Wettest Winter
1.) 1997-1998 8.99
2.) 1931-1932 8.86
3.) 1936-1937 8.66
4.) 1982-1983 8.52
5. 1996-1997 8.49
6.) 1978-1979 8.44
7.) 1902-1903 8.23
8.) 2016-2017 8.22
9.) 1915-1916 8.19
10.) 1992-1993 8.17

The overall temperature ties with 1998. The past winter of 2015-2016 is the warmest on record. The low temperature is the fourth warmest on record. The high temperature does not make the top 10 warmest. It shows that low temperatures can be a huge factor. The lack of cold air kept the low temperature warm. However, the wet winter kept the high temperature in check.

Texas
Temperature: 52.97°F
Low Temperature: 40.87°F
High Temperature: 65.07°F
Rainfall: 6.12

1895-2017 Winter Statistics
Winter Temperature Mean: 47.36°F
Winter Temperature Median: 47.30°F
Standard Deviation: 2.37

Winter Low Temperature Mean: 34.95°F
Winter Low Temperature Median: 35.10°F
Standard Deviation: 2.30

Winter High Temperature Mean: 59.75°F
Winter High Temperature Median: 59.50°F
Standard Deviation: 2.85

Winter Rainfall Mean: 4.83
Winter Rainfall Median: 4.72
Standard Deviation: 1.82

Top 10 Warmest Overall Winter
1.) 2016-2017 52.97°F
2.) 1906-1907 52.57°F
3.) 1999-2000 52.10°F
4.) 1998-1999 51.70°F
5.) 1951-1952 51.53°F
6.) 1949-1950 51.13°F
7.) 1956-1957 50.90°F
8.) 1910-1911 50.80°F
9.) 2015-2016 50.77°F
10.) 1908-1909 50.67°F

Top 10 Warmest Low Temperature Winter
1.) 2016-2017 40.87°F
2.) 1906-1907 39.50°F
3.) 1956-1957 39.23°F
4.) 1949-1950 39.10°F
5.) 1991-1992 39.07°F
6.) 2004-2005 39.00°F
7.) 1931-1932 38.87°F
8.) 1937-1938 38.80°F
9.) 1910-1911 38.77°F
10.) 1994-1995 38.57°F

Top 10 Warmest High Temperature Winter
1.) 1999-2000 65.77°F
2.) 1906-1907 65.57°F
3.) 2008-2009 65.23°F
4.) 2016-2017 65.07°F
5.) 1998-1999 64.97°F
6.) 1951-1952 64.77°F
7.) 2005-2006 64.63°F
8.) 1970-1971 64.53°F
9.) 1908-1909 64.23°F
10.) 1975-1976 64.03°F

Top 10 Wettest Winter

Texas had the warmest winter on record. The previous warmest winter was 1906-1907. The reason for the warm winter is largely due to abnormally warm low temperature, which is the warmest on record. The high temperatures is fourth warmest on record. 2000 is the warmest in terms of high temperature. All temperatures are 2 standard deviation, which is definitely abnormally and are out liers. However, rainfall is within 1 standard deviation, which is average.

Upper Texas Coast
Temperature: 61.73°F
Low Temperature: 52.73°F
High Temperature: 70.80°F
Rainfall: 12.25

1895-2017 Winter Statistics
Winter Temperature Mean: 54.06°F
Winter Temperature Median: 54.07°F
Standard Deviation: 2.72

Winter Low Temperature Mean: 44.22°F
Winter Low Temperature Median: 44.13°F
Standard Deviation: 2.80

Winter High Temperature Mean: 63.89°F
Winter High Temperature Median: 63.63°F
Standard Deviation: 2.86

Winter Rainfall Mean: 10.23
Winter Rainfall Median: 9.86
Standard Deviation: 3.51

Top 10 Warmest Overall Winter
1.) 2016-2017 61.73°F
2.) 1949-1950 59.57°F
3.) 1906-1907/1998-1999 58.87°F
4.) 1910-1911/1951-1952 58.77°F
5.) 1956-1957 58.73°F
6.) 1999-2000 58.63°F
7.) 1931-1932 58.30°F
8.) 1922-1923 58.07°F
9.) 2012-2013 58.00°F
10.) 1926-1927 57.93°F

Top 10 Warmest Low Temperature Winter
1.) 2016-2017 52.73°F
2.) 1949-1950 50.63°F
3.) 1931-1932 49.77°F
4.) 1956-1957 49.53°F
5.) 1910-1911 49.33°F
6.) 1998-1999 48.90°F
7.) 1951-1952 48.83°F
8.) 2011-2012 48.70°F
9.) 1922-1923 48.47°F
10.) 1971-1972 48.17°F

Top 10 Warmest High Temperature Winter
1.) 2016-2017 70.80°F
2.) 1906-1907 70.17°F
3.) 1999-2000 69.47°F
4.) 1998-1999 68.77°F
5.) 1951-1952 68.67°F
6.) 2008-2009 68.63°F
7.) 1949-1950 68.57°F
8.) 2007-2008 68.30°F
9.) 1910-1911 68.27°F
10.) 2012-2013 68.10°F

This was a very warm winter and literally abnormally warm. The overall temperature of 2016-2017 exceeds the previous warmest winter of 1949-1950 by 2.16°F! It exceeds by near 3 standard deviations! That is definitely an outlier! The low temperature is also the warmest and exceeds the previous warmest low temperature of 1949-1950. It also exceeds 3 standard deviations! However, the warmest high temperature is a close one. It is only by 0.63°F, which is not a lot. Still, it is 2 standard deviations, which in outlier territory. Winter 2016-2017 is an anomaly in terms of warm temperatures! It goes down in the record books! It was a wetter than usual winter, but within 1 standard deviation. It was due to the heavy rains of January.

Now, let’s look at the Last Frontier, Alaska.

Alaska Divisional Temperature Anomaly

Alaska Divisional Minimum Temperature Anomaly

Alaska Divisional Maximum Temperature Anomaly

Alaska Divisional Precipitation Anomaly

Temperature: 5.73°F
Low Temperature: -1.30°F
High Temperature: 12.80°F
Rainfall: 7.30

1925-2017 Winter Statistics
Winter Temperature Mean: 4.21°F
Winter Temperature Median: 4.57°F
Standard Deviation: 4.61

Winter Low Temperature Mean: -2.85°F
Winter Low Temperature Median: -2.90°F
Standard Deviation: 4.94

Winter High Temperature Mean: 11.26°F
Winter High Temperature Median: 11.67°F
Standard Deviation: 4.31

Winter Rainfall Mean: 8.13
Winter Rainfall Median: 7.91
Standard Deviation: 1.63

Alaska as a whole had a largely normal winter. The average temperature is within standard deviation. The precipitation is also within average as well. While the rest of the Lower 48 was warm, Alaska had a typically Alaskan winter. Even than Alaska can get cold and warm in the winter.

Top 10 Coolest Overall Winter
1.) 1924-1925 -7.20°F*
1.) 1964-1965 -5.03°F
2.) 1970-1971 -3.97°F
3.) 1955-1956 -3.10°F
4.) 1946-1947 -3.07°F
5.) 1942-1943 -2.77°F
6.) 1931-1932 -2.33°F
7.) 1933-1934 -2.23°F
8.) 1974-1975 -2.03°F
9.) 1975-1976 -1.83°F
10.) 1968-1969 -1.53°F

* December 1924 is missing.

Top 10 Warmest Overall Winter
1.) 2000-2001 14.97°F
2.) 2015-2016 14.30°F
3.) 2002-2003 13.43°F
4.) 1976-1977 12.80°F
5.) 2014-2015 11.60°F
6.) 1944-1945 11.30°F
7.) 1985-1986 11.27°F
8.) 1928-1929 11.23°F
9.) 1941-1942 11.03°F
10.) 1986-1987 10.80°F

Top 10 Coolest Low Temperature Winter
1.) 1924-1925 -15.25°F*
1.) 1964-1965 -12.50°F
2.) 1970-1971 -11.47°F
3.) 1955-1956 -10.80°F
4.) 1946-1947 -10.70°F
5.) 1931-1932 -10.60°F
6.) 1942-1943 -9.80°F
7.) 1933-1934 -9.63°F
8.) 1974-1975 -9.43°F
9.) 1975-1976 -9.30°F
10.) 1948-1949 -9.00°F

* December 1924 is missing.

Top 10 Warmest Low Temperature Winter
1.) 2000-2001 8.50°F
2.) 2015-2016 8.13°F
3.) 2002-2003 7.53°F
4.) 1976-1977 6.73°F
5.) 2014-2015 5.37°F
6.) 1985-1986 4.60°F
7.) 1944-1945 4.47°F
8.) 1941-1942 4.43°F
9.) 1928-1929 4.27°F
10.) 2013-2014 4.13°F

Top 10 Coolest High Temperature Winter
1.) 1924-1925 0.90°F*
1.) 1964-1965 2.50°F
2.) 1970-1971 3.53°F
3.) 1942-1943 4.27°F
4.) 1946-1947 4.57°F
5.) 1955-1956 4.60°F
6.) 1933-1934 5.20°F
7.) 1974-1975 5.30°F
8.) 1968-1969 5.33°F
9.) 1973-1974 5.63°F
10.) 1975-1976 5.67°F

* December 1924 is missing.

Top 10 Warmest High Temperature Winter
1.) 2000-2001 21.43°F
2.) 2015-2016 20.47°F
3.) 2002-2003 19.30°F
4.) 1976-1977 18.87°F
5.) 1928-1929 18.23°F
6.) 1944-1945 18.17°F
7.) 1985-1986 17.97°F
8.) 2014-2015 17.80°F
9.) 1941-1942 17.63°F
10.) 1986-1987 17.57°F

Top 10 Wettest Winter
1.) 1928-1929 11.89
2.) 1934-1935 11.55
3.) 1943-1944 11.26
4.) 1927-1928 10.88
5.) 1931-1932 10.78
6.) 1984-1985 10.65
7.) 2000-2001 10.61
8.) 1991-1992 10.38
9.) 1989-1990 10.26
10.) 1930-1931 10.22

Top 10 Driest Winter
1.) 1924-1925 3.12*
1.) 1968-1969 4.13
2.) 1929-1930 5.47
3.) 1949-1950 5.52
4.) 1977-1978 5.78
5.) 1973-1974 5.84
6.) 1933-1934 5.87
7.) 2009-2010 5.87
8.) 1981-1982 5.93
9.) 1972-1973 6.07
10.) 1935-1936 6.17

* December 1924 is missing.

The coldest winter since 1925 occurred in 1964-1965, while the warmest is 2000-2001. The wettest winter is 1928-1929, while driest is 1968-1969. Some of Alaska’s warmest winters occurred when the Lower 48 was cold. It shows if it is cold in the Lower 48, it is more likely to be warmer in Alaska. The cold air has to go somewhere. It is largely due to upper level ridging over Alaska, called the East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). It is largely affected by “The Blob”, which I created a data called the Northeast Pacific Warm Pool (NEPWP). The warmer the NEPWP is, the more negative EPO is.

Data came from Divisional Data Select, National Temperature and Precipitation Maps, and NOAA/NCEI Climate Division data: Mapping and Analysis Web Tool

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Spring 2016 Report

Flower01

It is deja vu! Spring 2016 was wet like Spring 2015 despite El Nino fading. To make matters worse, there was severe flooding in April and May, which dumped up to 24 inches of rain in both events! That is something you see with tropical cyclones or core rain events with warm core low pressure systems. They are often from tropical cyclones.

For Texas, it has been mostly wet. For others, where’s the rain?

2016_SpringPrecipitationDivisionalRanks

2016_SpringTemperatureDivisionalRanks

America 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 53.68°F
Total Rainfall: 9.03

America Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 51.10°F
Median: 50.87°F
Standard Deviation: 1.39
Lowest: 56.18°F (2012)
Highest: 47.37°F (1917)

America Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 7.95
Median: 7.95
Standard Deviation: 0.98
Lowest: 5.58 (1925)
Highest: 10.40 (1991)

It was a warm spring, but not a record breaking spring for America. It is nowhere like 2012. The average temperature is 1 standard deviation from the mean in terms of temperature. That is unusual, but not extraordinarily warm. If it was 2 standard deviation or greater that would be abnormal. It was abnormally warm for spring time in America.

It was much wetter as a whole. In fact, the Spring 2016 rainfall total is exceeds by 1 standard deviation. It was a wet spring for most of America.

Texas 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 66.27°F
Total Rainfall: 11.90

Texas Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 64.76°F
Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.76
Lowest: 69.67°F (2012)
Highest: 59.93°F (1931)

Texas Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 7.37
Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.34
Lowest: 2.53 (2011)
Highest: 16.48 (2015)

It was warmer than normal for spring in Texas. It is 1 standard deviation from the mean.

It is wet, but not like 2015, which was wetter. Actually, it is the eighth wettest spring on record as it ties with 1914. It was indeed a wet spring for Texas, like last spring. Having two wet springs back to back is a rarity. Here is the top 10 wettest spring in Texas since 1895.

Top 10 Wettest Spring In Texas
1.) 2015 16.48
2.) 1957 14.75
3.) 1905 12.59
4.) 1941 12.43
5.) 1900 12.36
6.) 2007 12.16
7,) 1922 11.97
8.) 1914/2016 11.90
9.) 1997 10.85
10.) 1929 10.79

Many of the wettest springs occurred when El Nino is developing (1914, 1957, 1997, and 2015), persistent (1905 and 1941) or dying (1900 and 2007). 1922 was La Nina, while 1929 was Neutral. It shows that El Nino does have an impact on spring rainfall,whether is strengthening or dying. Interesting to note hurricanes made hurricanes made landfall in 1900, 1929, 1941, 1957, and 2007. Two were major hurricanes, Galveston Hurricane and Audrey in 1957.

Upper Texas Coast 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 71.07°F
Total Rainfall: 20.77

Upper Texas Coast Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 68.54°F
Median: 68.42°F
Standard Deviation: 1.69
Lowest: 72.83°F (2012)
Highest: 63.37°F (1931)

Upper Texas Coast Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 10.58
Median: 10.02
Standard Deviation: 4.53
Lowest: 2.43 (2011)
Highest: 24.75 (2015)

It has been a warm spring. It is nearly 2 standard deviations from the mean. It was abnormally warm spring. It is the eighth warmest spring for Upper Texas Coast. Here is the top 10 warmest spring in Texas since 1895.

Top 10 Warmest Spring In Upper Texas Coast
1.) 2012 72.83°F
2.) 2011 72.03°F
3.) 2006 72.00°F
4.) 2000 71.57°F
5.) 1967 71.43°F
6.) 1963 71.40°F
7.) 1908 71.37°F
8.) 2016 71.07°F
9.) 1991 71.00°F
10.) 1925 70.97°F

Spring 2012 was warm everywhere, especially up north. 2011 was very warm as well. Who could forget Summer 2011? It was Hell for sure, which was made worse by the drought. The warmth is due to abnormally warm low temperatures. All that heavy rain makes the air more humid. Humidity keepers temperatures from going too cold or hot. It is the seventh warmest low temperature for spring. Here is a divisional ranking map of low and high temperatures.

2016_SpringMinTemperatureDivisionalRanks

2016_SpringMaxTemperatureDivisionalRanks

It was very west for Upper Texas Coast. It exceeds 2 standard deviations, which makes a near outlier. In fact, it is the third wettest spring on record! Yes, third wettest. There have been two back to back wet springs in the Upper Texas Coast. Here is the top 10 wettest spring in Upper Texas Coast since 1895.

Top 10 Wettest Spring In Upper Texas Coast
1.) 2015 24.75
2.) 1997 22.18
3.) 2016 20.77
4.) 1900 19.54
5.) 1957 19.32
6.) 1929 19.06
7.) 1914 18.54
8.) 1944 18.33
9.) 1993 18.32
10.) 1905 17.60

Many of the wettest springs for Upper Texas Coast occurred when El Nino is developing (1914, 1957, 1997, and 2015), persistent (1905) or dying (1900). 1944 had a developing La Nina from Neutral. 1929 was Neutral. April and May 1929 had heavy rain that led to massive flooding in the Houston area. The 1929 flood is considered an epic flood on par with December 1935 and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. It shows that El Nino does have an impact on spring rainfall,whether is strengthening or dying. Interesting to note hurricanes made hurricanes made landfall on Upper Texas Coast in 1900, 1929, and 1957. Two were major hurricanes, Galveston Hurricane and Audrey in 1957.

Could this be a harbinger of things to come? America has not seen a Category 3 or stronger hurricane since Wilma in 2005. Now, if we lowered Category 3 by 1 mph from 111 mph to 110 mph, than Ike would be a major hurricane. Even than, America has not seen a major hurricane make landfall since 2008, which is a long stretch. Keep in mind, hurricane re-analysis is happening, so this long stretch of no Category 3 or stronger hurricanes we are seeing may not be the longest.

2014 Weather In Review

2014 has passed into memory lane as we are now in 2015. I cannot belive it is already 2015 as we are midway into the 2010s. 2010 felt like yesterday. 15 years ago, we were talking about the new millenium and Y2K bug. The Y2K bug did not result in anything serious. Anyways, 2014 was a rather interesting weather year.

2014 America
Annual Temperature: 52.55°F
Annual Rainfall: 30.76

1895-2014 Average
Temperature
Mean: 52.14°F
Median: 51.94°F
Standard Deviation: 0.92
Coolest: 50.06°F (1917)
Warmest: 55.28°F (2012)

Rainfall
Mean: 29.96
Median: 30.15
Standard Deviation: 2.16
Driest: 24.91 (1910)
Wettest: 34.96 (1973)

The 2014 temperature was within annual mean and median. Same goes with annual rainfall total. However, some areas had cooler years, while others had warmer years. Same applies with annual rainfall total.

2014TemperatureDivisionalMap

Many Western states had record warmth, especially in Arizona and California. Many areas had cooler than normal temeperatures, especially in the Midwest. However, there are no record cool years for 2014. It is a clash of cold and hot.

2014RainfallDivisionalMap

Many areas had wetter than normal, while other areas had drier than normal years. None of them are record setting.

2014 Texas
Annual Temperature: 64.91°F
Annual Rainfall: 23.88

1895-2014 Average
Temperature
Mean: 64.75°F
Median: 64.76°F
Standard Deviation: 1.04
Coolest: 62.33°F (1895)
Warmest: 67.78°F (2012)

Rainfall
Mean: 27.02
Median: 26.83
Standard Deviation: 5.10
Driest: 14.06 (1917)
Wettest: 40.22 (1941)

Texas had a normal year temperature wise. In terms of rainfall, it has been dry, but within the standard deviation. Not a good thing as Texas is still in a drought that started in late 2008. However, things are getting better as 2014 is no 2011.

2014 Upper Texas Coast
Annual Temperature: 68.58°F
Annual Rainfall: 41.32

1895-2014 Average
Temperature
Mean: 68.77°F
Median: 68.74°F
Standard Deviation: 1.03
Coolest: 66.53°F (1895)
Warmest: 71.55°F (2012)

Rainfall
Mean: 45.26
Median: 44.48
Standard Deviation: 10.11
Driest: 20.71 (1917)
Wettest: 70.17 (1900)

Looking at the temperature and rainfall for 2014, it is below average. That is largely due to the cooler than normal Winter of 2013-2014 and Spring 2014. Rainfall is below average, but within the norms. 2014 is slightly wetter than 2013. The less rainfall is from the dry Winter, which was quite dry.

So, what made this year warm or cold? Here is a upper level map of the Northern Hemisphere.

2014_500mbGeopotentialHeightAnomaly_NH

There is upper level ridging over Alaska, Eastern Russia, Scandinavia, Western US, and North Central Atlantic. The ridging over the Arctic region causes cold air to go down south. The ridging keeps the Arctic region warmer than normal, while areas outside the Arctic region cooler. There is upper level troughing over the Great Lakes, North Central Pacific, Central Siberia, and Northeast Atlantic. The troughing helps bring down cold air as they are polar vortex that broke off over the Arctic.

I made a prediction for 2014 in the annual weather report for 2013 and said this:

What will 2014 hold in the weather world? I think it could be an interesting one. Perhaps we could see more freezes and snow in the winter. Than tornado outbreaks in the spring. By the time hurricane seasons starts, I think we could see the first major (Category 3 or above) hurricane to make landfall, which would be the first since Wilma in 2005. Until than, time will only tell.

I got one right, last winter was quite cold. The rest I got wrong as tornado activity was low and there was no major (Category 3 or above) hurricane that made landfall on America. However, we did have two major hurricanes in the Atlantic. So, what do I think 2015 will be like?

I think 2015 will see more cold blasts and wintry weather. Cold winters can happen back to back like in the late 1970s or early 1900s. I think tornado season will be average at most. As for hurricane season, I have a bad feeling, somewhere on America will be hit be a major hurricane. America has not been hit by a major hurricane in 10 years! That is the longest streak and I think our luck will run out. Also, the last time we had a year end in 5, it did not bode well. 2005 was a hyperactive season and the year that saw Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma make landfall on America. In fact, hurricane seasons that have years that end in 5 have been bad with the exception of 1905 and 1925.

Fall 2014

2014FallDivisionalMap

The meteorological Fall from September to November has passed into memory lane again. Wow, time flies fast. It is already the start of the meteorological Winter, which is from December to February. It is also Christmas season, which seems to come faster every year before you even realize it. Ho! Ho! Ho! This Fall was a sharp contrast between warm and cold. Not only Fall was interesting weather wise, it was interesting from the medical aspect as Ebola (I got an Ebola blog, so check it out) came to America in Dallas and New York.

America 2014 Fall
Mean Temperature: 54.13°F
Total Rainfall: 7.12

America Fall Temperature (1895-2014)
Mean: 53.66°F
Median: 53.64°F
Standard Deviation: 1.11
Lowest: 50.89°F (1976)
Highest: 56.58°F (1963)

America Fall Rainfall (1895-2014)
Mean: 6.91
Median: 6.92
Standard Deviation: 1.11
Lowest: 4.21 (1939)
Highest: 9.72 (1985)

Temperature for Fall was within average despite a cold November. There are reasons why this Fall is not as cool as one would expect. First, October 2014 was very warm. How warm was October 2014 was for America?

America October 2014
Mean Temperature: 56.89°F

Top 10 Warmest October In America (1895-2014)
1.) 1963 59.36°F
2.) 1947 58.80°F
3.) 1950 57.47°F
4.) 2014 56.89°F
5.) 2007 56.68°F
6.) 1931 56.57°F
7.) 2003 56.55°F
8.) 1934 56.52°F
9.) 1938 56.41°F
10.) 1900 56.35°F

Pretty warm, that it was the fourth warmest on record since 1895. Let’s see November temeprature statistics.

Top 20 Coolest November In America (1895-2014)
1.) 1911 37.27°F
2.) 2000 38.03°F
3.) 1951 38.08°F
4.) 1947 38.10°F
5.) 1955 38.23°F
6.) 1896 38.32°F
7.) 1898 38.39°F
8.) 1929 38.41°F
9.) 1976 38.48°F
10.) 1959 38.66°F
11.) 1972 38.93°F
12.) 1940 39.00°F
13.) 1895 39.16°F
14.) 1993 39.22°F
15.) 1919 39.31°F
16.) 2014 39.33°F
17.) 1991 39.43°F
18.) 1935 39.49°F
19.) 1985 39.51°F
20.) 1996 39.63°F

November 2014 was quite cold. In fact it is in the top 10 coldest winter on record, 16th to be exact. Now, that is cold. November 2000 was colder than November 2014, which occurred in a weak La Nina. Interesting see that some of the coldest Novembers occur in El Nino like 1911, 1972, 1976, and 1991.

Let’s look at Texas. Fall was quite turbulent for Texas as Ebola virus paid a visit to Dallas. Three people came down with Ebola and one of them died.

Texas 2014 Fall
Mean Temperature: 65.80°F
Total Rainfall: 8.09

Texas Fall Temperature (1895-2014)
Mean: 65.61°F
Median: 65.63°F
Standard Deviation: 1.55
Lowest: 60.00°F (1976)
Highest: 69.87°F (1931)

Texas Fall Rainfall (1895-2014)
Mean: 7.32
Median: 7.26
Standard Deviation: 2.47
Lowest: 2.95 (1917)
Highest: 13.37 (1919)

Like America, even though November was cold, Fall 2014 was within the mean. The reason has to do with October. Here is the top 10 warmest October for Texas.

1.) 1947 71.80°F
2.) 1931 70.80°F
3.) 1934 70.70°F
4.) 1963 70.30°F
5.) 1950 69.80°F
6.) 2014 69.80°F
7.) 2004 69.70°F
8.) 1956/1962 69.40°F
9.) 1926 69.20°F
10.) 1941 69.10°F

October 2014 is the 6th warmest October on record for Texas. It is even warmer than October 2004, which was very warm for Southeast Texas. At least the Fall rainfall is above average as it is welcomed to put an end to the drought that has plagued Texas. Let’s look at November temperture for Texas.

Top 20 Coolest November In Texas (1895-2014)
1.) 1976 47.80°F
2.) 1929 48.00°F
3,) 1972 48.80°F
4.) 1959 49.10°F
5.) 1895 50.00°F
6.) 1898 50.50°F
7.) 1911 50.70°F
8.) 1932/1991 50.90°F
9.) 1907/1957/1993 51.00°F
10.) 2000 51.10°F
11.) 1979 51.20°F
12.) 1936/1961 51.30°F
13.) 1918/2014 51.40°F
14.) 1920/1947 51.60°F
15.) 1951/1992 51.80°F
16.) 1939 51.90°F
17.) 1980 52.10°F
18.) 1956 52.20°F
19.) 1923/1937 52.40°F
20.) 1926/1940/1997 52.50°F

November was cold for Texas as for most of the US east of the Rocky Mountains. Texas experienced its 13th coolest November on record as it ties with 1918. November 2000 was quite cold for Texas as it was very rainy and wet. Of course nothing compares to 1976, which was very cold. Many of these cold Novembers gave way to cold winters for Texas like in 1898, 1911, 1972, 1976, and 2000. Could this be a harbinger to come? Now, let’s look at Upper Texas Coast.

Upper Texas Coast 2014 Fall
Mean Temperature: 70.13°F
Total Rainfall: 12.52

Upper Texas Coast Fall Temperature (1895-2014)
Mean: 70.22°F
Median: 70.25°F
Standard Deviation: 1.58
Lowest: 64.27°F (1976)
Highest: 74.23°F (1931)

Upper Texas Coast Fall Rainfall (1895-2014)
Mean: 12.35
Median: 11.58
Standard Deviation: 4.90
Lowest: 3.12 (1924)
Highest: 27.47 (1998)

Again, despite a cold November, Fall 2014 had temperatures within the mean. There was a stark contrast between hot October and cold November. Here is the top 10 warmest October for Upper Texas Coast.

Top 10 Warmest October In Upper Texas Coast (1895-2014)
1.) 2004 76.80°F
2.) 1931/1941 75.40°F
3.) 1919/1947 75.10°F
4.) 1926/1962 74.20°F
5.) 1934 73.90°F
6.) 1963 73.80°F
7.) 1933 73.40°F
8.) 1956/1984/1998 73.30°F
9.) 1935 73.20°F
10.) 1928 73.10°F
11.) 2014 73.00°F
12.) 1950 72.90°F
13.) 1973 72.80°F
14.) 1954 72.70°F
15.) 1897/1938 72.60°F
16.) 1960/2007 72.50°F
17.) 1899/1927/1971/2006 72.40°F
18.) 1951/1991 72.30°F
19.) 1900 72.20°F
20.) 1946/2000/2013 72.10°F

It is the 11th warmest October on record. It is nowhere near the warmest October, which is 2004 and it was really warm. Interesting to note that following October 2004, it was a stormy and wet November and snow December with snow falling on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Many areas saw 1 to 3 inches with amounts as high as 13 inches! That is on level with the February 14-15, 1895. The Christmas Even 2004 snow event is easily 1 in 100,000 event for December or 1 in 1,000 event between December to March. White Christmas have never been recorded in Southeast Texas. I suspect White Christmas have happened on the Upper Texas Coast in the past, likely in the mid 19th century when there have been some big cold blasts. So, how did November compare to past November?

Top 20 Coolest November In Upper Texas Coast (1895-2014)
1.) 1976 52.80°F
2.) 1929/1972 55.20°F
3.) 1959 55.30°F
4.) 1932 55.40°F
5.) 1911 56.10°F
6.) 1898 56.30°F
7.) 1907 56.50°F
8.) 1895/1936 56.60°F
9.) 1979 56.90°F
10.) 1939/1980 57.00°F
11.) 1991 57.10°F
12.) 1993 57.20°F
13.) 1920/1923 57.30°F
14.) 1941/1992/2014 57.40°F
15.) 1937/1943 57.50°F
16.) 1918/1970 57.60°F
17.) 1926 57.80°F
18.) 1951 58.10°F
19.) 1917 58.30°F
20.) 1912/1947/1997 58.40°F

It was a cold November for Upper Texas Coast as it is in top 20. It ranks 14th coldest November on record. There were cold Novembers back to back from 1991 to 1993. November 1976 is truly an outlier as it was very cold. In fact, there was freezing rain and sleet on November 28-29, 1976. Like most of America, Winter 1976-1977 was a very cold winter for Upper Texas Coast.

Interesting to note that the coldest Fall for America, Texas, and Upper Texas Coast is 1976. The Winter of 1976-1977 was very cold and one of the coldest on record. This past Fall does not come anywhere near 1976. Fall 1976 is truly rare. So, what could Winter 2014-2015 will be like? I will issue a forecast soon.

Fall1976_NothernHemisphere_SurfaceTemperatureAnomaly

Northeast Pacific Warm Pool

NEPWP

I first noticed an area of warm water in the Northeast Pacific in the cold Winter of 2013-2014. I call it the Northeast Pacific Warm Pool (NEPWP) and created an anomaly data from NOAA ERSST v3. The NEPWP Region is between 35°N and 50°N and 165°W and 135°W. It goes back to 1870 and anomaly is based on 1981-2010 average. Here is the Northeast Pacific Warm Pool data I created from 1870 to 2014. Keep in mind, any data before 1950 should be taken with a grain of salt as they are not directly measured.

Here is what the 500 millibar (18,000 feet) Geopotential Height anomaly looked like this past winter winter.

20132014Winter_500mbGeopotentialHeight_Anomaly_NH

Notice a great deal of ridging over Alaska, Gulf of Alaska, and Siberia. The ridging over Alaska is the negative phase of East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). It is the Pacific equivalent to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). So, how does NEPWP and EPO correlate. Here is data for meteorological winter (December to February), spring (March to May), summer (June to August), and fall (September to November). The data is from 1948 to 2014 up to Summer. The EPO link is daily, but I converted it to monthly.

DJF NEPWP EPO
r = -0.45
p < 0.05

MAM NEPWP EPO
r = -0.47
p < 0.05

JJA NEPWP EPO
r = -0.37
p < 0.05

SON NEPWP EPO
r = -0.40
p < 0.05

NEPWP and EPO are strongly correlated. Cooler NEPWP is more favorable for positive EPO, while warmer NEPWP is more favorable for negative EPO. Warmer water allows ridging to develop over Alaska and Northwestern Canada. NEPWP could give us an idea about EPO even before 1948. A warm NEPWP have negative EPO, while cool NEPWP have positive EPO. Of course, correlation does not mean caustation, but it is a factor.

The ridging allows cold air to come down to the Lower 48, which lead to an Arctic blast and cold winters. As the Lower 48 froze, Alaska, Northern Canada, and Western US are warm due to the ridging. The previous two winters were quite warm compared to this past winter. Here is a surface temperature anomaly map of Winter 2013-2014.

20132014Winter_SurfaceTemperature_Anomaly_NH

Notice that the Eastern two-thirds of North America is quite cold. The polar regions are unusually warm as it is with the Western US. The ridging made those areas warm and caused the jet stream to pull in cold air that is normally in the polar regions. The ridging also plays a role in precipitation as a map shows which areas are drier and wetter than normal.

20132014Winter_PrepRate_Anomaly_NH

The Western US is very dry. No surprise they are in a drought, especially in California, which is really dire. The ridging shunts the low pressure systems away from California and Western US. Interesting to note that Alaska is not dry despite the ridging, but the Bering Sea and western point of Aleutian Islands are dry. Interesting fact, the Aleutian Islands are the westernmost and easternmost point in America as it crosses the 180 degree longitude. Some of the Aleutian Islands are west of 180 degrees longitude in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Wonder what the geopotential height anomaly is like at 18,000 feet (500 millibar level) during a moderate and strong warm NEPWP. I define moderate warm NEPWP is 0.5 to 0.899 or 5.0 to 8.99 above 1981 to 2010 mean, while strong warm NEPWP as 0.9 or 9.0 and above 1981 to 2010 mean. Here is a map of what it looks like. All anomaly maps from here are for winter from December to February and since 1950.

DJF_ModerateToStrongWarmNEPac_500mbGeopotentialHeight_Anomaly_NH

Notice ridging over Alaska, the warm water allows ridging to form, which is a negative EPO. There is troughing over Northern Canada and Greenland, which is a positive NAO. Interesting to note there is ridging over the Southeast US. How is winter temperature like during a moderate and strong warm phase of NEPWP?

DJF_ModerateToStrongWarmNEPac_SurfaceTemperature_Anomaly_NH

Interesting to note that Canada and Northern US is very cold when there is a moderate and strong NEPWP. The Southern US is warm, which is rather interesting. Overall, Southern US is warmer and Northern US and Canada is cooler during the winter with a moderate and strong NEPWP in place. The troughing over Canada and Greeland keeps Canada and Northern US colder, which bottles up cold air. A positive NAO gives the Southern US a warmer than normal winter. Opposite when NAO is negative, which is colder than normal.

Wonder what a warm NEPWP does to rainfall? Here is a precipitation rate map.

DJF_ModerateToStrongWarmNEPac_PrepRate_Anomaly_NH

The Western US and Canada is very dry. That is no surprise as California is in a severe drought at the time of this article. Parts of the Southeast, Midwest, to East Coast is wetter than normal. Overall, a warm NEPWP does not have much impact on precipitation in the winter.

Regardless, there have been big freezes and major winter events when there is a moderate and strong warm NEPWP. Late January to early February 1949 had a huge Arctic blast. January 1962 had a huge Arctic blast which is considered one of the big freezes in history as it set temperature and surface pressure records. Winter of 1978-1979 is one of the coldest winters on record for America since 1895. It occurred when America saw back to back cold winters in the late 1970s. December 1989 had a huge freeze that is on the level of 1886, 1895, 1899, and 1983. A year after the December 1989 freeze, another huge freeze hit in December 1990, which hit the Western US. An epic White Christmas came in 2004 for Texas.

It is opposite when the NEPWP is in a cool phase. I define moderate cool NEPWP is -0.5 to -0.899 or -5.0 to -8.99 below 1981 to 2010 mean, while strong cool NEPWP as -0.9 or -9.0 and below 1981 to 2010 mean. There is troughing over Alaska, Siberia, and Southeastern US. There is ridging over Northern Canada and Greenland. Troughing over Alaska is a positive EPO, while ridging over Northern Canada and Greenland is a negative NAO.

DJF_ModerateToStrongCoolNEPac_500mbGeopotentialHeight_Anomaly_NH

So, how is temperature affected by cool phase of NEPWP? Here is a temperature anomaly map.

DJF_ModerateToStrongCoolNEPac_SurfaceTemperature_Anomaly_NH

It is not as warm during cool NEPWP. As mentioned, since there is ridging over Northeastern Canada and Greenland, it shunts the cooler air down south. The ridging over Northeastern Canada and Greenland is a negative NAO. As a result of ridging, Northeast Canada and Greenland is warmer than normal. It is cold over Alaska, Northern Asia, and Siberia due the trough locking up cold air. Does cool NEPWP have the opposite affect on precipitation from warm NEPWP?

DJF_ModerateToStrongCoolNEPac_PrepRate_Anomaly_NH

Western US and Canada are wet, which is opposite from warm NEPWP. Southeast Texas, Southeast, and Northeast have wetter than normal winter. The Northeast is not affected by cool or warm NEPWP. It has more of an affect west of the Mississippi River. Cool and warm NEPWP have impact on rainfall on different areas. It could dry in one area and wet in the other area.

Even when the NEPWP is in a moderate to strong cool phase, freezes and major winter events have happened. Late January to early February 1951 had a huge freeze that covered North America and is one of the greatest freezes between 1949 to 1962. Houston had the longest below 32°F for 5 days in the 1951 freeze!

It shows that NEPWP is not the only factor when it comes to winter weather. There is El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), NAO, AO, and EPO. NEPWP is certainly a factor and it influences EPO.

Spring 2014 Report

Spring2014Ranks

Spring has passed as we approach summer as the days get longer. So, did winter choose to remain despite the fact the calendar says spring? Some areas were still cold and ice still prevailed in the Great Lakes. It was warm in the Western US as they are still languishing in a drought.

America
Temperature: 51.13°F
Rainfall: 8.01

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 51.06°F
Spring Temperature Median: 50.82°F
Standard Deviation: 1.36

Spring Rainfall Mean: 7.93
Spring Rainfall Median: 7.91
Standard Deviation: 0.97

America as a whole had a largely normal spring because of the stark contrast in temperature and rainfall. Some regions were cooler, while others were warmer. In terms of rain, some regions got more, while others got less. So that cancels each other out. This surface temperature anomaly map shows the eastern half of the US was cooler, while western half of the US was warmer. Most of the cold air was over Canada and Upper Midwest. Most of Arctic, Asia, and Europe had warmer than normal spring.

2014SpringSurfaceTemperatureAnomaly

One wonders why was the Eastern US cooler than the Western US this past spring. Look at a 500 millibar level geopotential height to look for anomalies. A positive anomaly is persistent ridging, while negative anomaly is persistent troughing. Here is a map of the 500 millibar level geopotential height anomaly map.

2014Spring500mbGeopotentialAnomaly

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is in a positive phase, as there is persistent troughing over Greenland and Northeastern Canada. A positive NAO usually means warmer than normal winter when NAO is positive. However, there is persistent ridging over Alaska. That area is called Nort Pacific Oscillation (NPO) or East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). When there is ridging over Alaska, the NPO/EPO is negative, while troughing over Alaska means positive NPO/EPO. The NPO/EPO is similar to NAO, but over the North Pacific Ocean. A negative NPO/EPO gives America a cooler than normal winter. It can have much influence than NAO, like this past winter, which was a cold one. Another cold winter where the NAO was positive, but NPO/EPO was negative is the winter of 1983-1984. That winter was really cold, especially December 1983.

Now, let’s look at the great state of Texas’s spring.

Texas
Temperature: 64.13°F
Rainfall: 6.12

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 64.75°F
Spring Temperature Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.77

Spring Rainfall Mean: 7.26
Spring Rainfall Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.16

Like America, Texas had a normal spring in terms of temperature and rainfall. The temperature is below average, but within average. Texas saw normal March rainfall as it got beneficial rains to put a dent on the drought. However, Texas needs more rain to end this drought, which will hopefully be case with El Nino. So, how did Houston area fared in Spring.

Upper Texas Coast
Temperature: 66.93°F
Rainfall: 11.12

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 68.50°F
Spring Temperature Median: 68.39°F
Standard Deviation: 1.68

Spring Rainfall Mean: 10.38
Spring Rainfall Median: 9.91
Standard Deviation: 4.28

It is not your imagination that Spring 2014 was cool in Southeast Texas. It was cooler than normal despite the fact that Texas and America had normal spring. The Upper Texas Coast cracked the top 20 coolest spring on record. It is even cooler than Spring 2013. Winter prevailed in Spring 2014 for Upper Texas Coast. This is despite the fact it is within the mean, but close enough to be outside the mean to be considered abnormal. Here is the top 20 coolest spring in the Upper Texas Coast.

Top 20 Coldest Spring
1.) 1931 63.37°F
2.) 1915 64.87°F
3.) 1926 65.53°F
4.) 1913 65.63°F
5.) 1983 65.67°F
6.) 1914/1969 65.87°F
7.) 1952 65.90°F
8.) 1924/1960 66.07°F
9.) 1941 66.40°F
10.) 1947 66.53°F
11.) 1970/1993 66.57°F
12.) 1912 66.60°F
13.) 1919 66.63°F
14.) 1917 66.67°F
15.) 1932 66.77°F
16.) 1942 66.83°F
17.) 1937 66.90°F
18.) 2014 66.93°F
19.) 1928/1962 67.03°F
20.) 1930 67.07°F

Spring 2014 is the 18th coolest spring on record since 1895! Spring 2013 is 22 coolest spring on record and ties with Spring 1901 as the average was 67.13°F. Interesting to note following a cool spring, a major hurricane has made landfall on the Upper Texas Coast in these years. Here are the correlation values between Spring Temperatures (March to May) and tropical landfall on the Upper Texas Coast.

Tropical Storm
r = 0.03
p = 0.71

Hurricane
r = 0.11
p = 0.22

Major Hurricane
r = -0.21
p = 0.02

All Landfall
r = 0.00
p = 0.99

There is a significant negative correlation between cool springs and major hurricanes making landfall on the Upper Texas Coast. Cooler the spring, the more likely a major hurricane is likely to make landfall. It is significant because the p-value below 0.05. Anything above 0.05 is not significant. Four of the top 20 coolest spring had a major hurricane make landfall during the hurricane season from June to November.

Major Hurricane
1915-Galveston Hurricane of 1915 (Category 3)
1932-Freeport Hurricane (Category 4)
1941-Hurricane #2 (Category 3, Based on Reanalysis)
1983-Alicia (Category 3)

Hurricanes
1947-Hurricane 3 (Category 1)

Interesting to note that San Antonio Spurs won the NBA Championship, a hurricane made landfall. Here are the championship years for Spurs and hurricanes that made landfall.

1999-Bret
2003-Claudette
2005-Rita
2007-Humberto
2014-?

Two are Category 3 or above, while the other two are Category 1. In Humberto’s case, had it stayed over the Gulf of Mexico longer, it easily would have been a Category 3 or above hurricane. Thankfully that never happened as it made landfall east of Galveston on September 13, 2007 at 2:00 AM. Eerily, exactly one year later on that day and time, a much larger hurricane, Hurricane Ike, made landfall on the eastern part of Galveston Island.

However, none of them had an El Nino developing that year. Most were either Neutral (2003) or going into La Nina (1999, 2005, and 2007). El Nino is forecasted to develop for this year and that reduces storm formation from westerly wind shear. However, during El Nino years, storms form closer to land and increase their chance for landfall. My spring forecast for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season used years that saw El Nino developing early. Looking at it this 2014 analog GIS heat map, many of them end up in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico.

2014AnalogHurricaneHeatMap

Notice the highest risk for storms to hit are the Central Gulf Coast region, which is Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Southeast Texas is also in a high risk area for landfall during an analog season where El Nino is developing. It proves that even a less active season is just as dangerous as an active season.

2013 Weather In Review

The unlucky 13 of 2013 has passed into memory lane. Now, we are in 2014. We will not see another year with the number 13 until 2113, which is 99 years from now. I doubt I will be around that time. Anyways, 2013 was a rather interesting weather year as you can see in the top 10 2013 weather events I compiled. Let’s see how 2013 fared in rainfall and temperature by region.

2013 America
Annual Temperature: 52.40°F
Annual Rainfall: 31.16

1895-2013 Average
Temperature
Mean: 52.19°F
Median: 51.99°F
Standard Deviation: 0.91

Rainfall
Mean: 29.18
Median: 29.31
Standard Deviation: 2.16

2013 in America is rather interesting. In terms of temperature, it was within annual mean and median. However, when it comes to rainfall, it is close to being abnormally wet, but within the standard deviation. 2013 is a far cry from 2012, which was a very warm year. Here are two maps that show the difference in in temperature and rainfall by state. Dry in the West and wet in the Midwest and East. Here is a map by state.

2013RainTemperature

Even though, America was wetter than normal, the drought persists and is getting worse, especially in the Western US. It is most severe in California, where the drought is likely the worst since 1500s. The culprit is a cool Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which is the same reason why Texas is dry. A cool PDO causes the jet stream to go further north, carrying storm systems that produce rain further north, which is amplified with La Nina.

There is also a persistent ridge at 18,000 feet or 5,600 meters over the Pacific, Western Canada, and Alaska. I generated this maps and it clearly shows that. The ridging diverts storms northwards around the ridge and the storm goes southwards towards the Upper Midwest. The ridging is what deprives the Western US their rain.

2013_500mb_GeopotentialAnomaly_NorthernHemisphere

The same ridging is also causing Alaska and Western Canada to be warmer than normal. The ridging allows the air to warm, while diverting cold air to the south. Ridging over the North Pacific and Alaska is sign of a negative East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). EPO is North Pacific equivalent to North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). A negative NAO causes ridging over Northeast Canada and Greenland, and causes cold air to go down south. Negative NAO is a strong factor in cold winters like 2009-2010.

2013_Surface_TemperatureAnomaly_NorthernHemisphere

On the topic of the effect of PDO and EPO on Texas, let’s go straight to Texas.

2013 Texas
Annual Temperature: 65.10°F
Annual Rainfall: 27.39

1895-2013 Average
Temperature
Mean: 65.11°F
Median: 65.08°F
Standard Deviation: 0.98

Rainfall
Mean: 27.93
Median: 27.43
Standard Deviation: 5.29

The 2013 temperature average and rainfall total is within the standard deviation. It is not often that happens as Texas is prone to either extreme cool or hot and dry or wet years. In fact, 2013 was a normal year in terms of temperature and rainfall.

Granted, Texas is still in a drought, but in a better shape than in 2011. However, I am a bit concerned the drought could return if we do not see more rain. On the topic of Texas, let’s head to the Upper Texas Coast.

2013 Upper Texas Coast
Annual Temperature: 69.33°F
Annual Rainfall: 44.52

1895-2013 Average
Temperature
Mean: 69.46°F
Median: 69.43°F
Standard Deviation: 0.95

Rainfall
Mean: 47.64
Median: 46.34
Standard Deviation: 10.42

Like America and Texas, Upper Texas Coast had normal temperatures despite a heat wave in late June, where Houston saw 107°F. The reason for the slightly cooler year is that Spring 2013 is one of the coolest on record. Rainfall was within standard deviation despite dry months in 2013. Some months would be dry, while other times it would be wet. If it was not for the heavy rains of April, May, and October, 2013 would have been a dry year for the Upper Texas Coast.

Even though Upper Texas Coast had near normal rainfall total and heavy rain events have happened, I am concerned about drought as we are still in a cool PDO phase, which I mentioned previously in regards to California’s drought problem. The past five years has not seen an abnormally wet year. The last time that happened was in 2007. Here is a divisional map.

2013DivisionalRainTemperature

It shows the climate divisions in the Upper Midwest had record breaking wet years, especially in the Michigan, Dakotas, and Montana. In fact, North Dakota and Michigan had their wettest year on record. Large area of California and parts of Idaho had their driest year on record. The drought in California is worse than in 1977. Many areas saw record wet and dry years in 2013 as you can see in the divisional map.

In terms of temperature, most areas were slightly cooler than normal. There are pockets of warmth, but if you want really warm years, go West. Many areas in California were warm, but not record breaking warmth. No area shattered records in temperature in 2013.

What will 2014 hold in the weather world? I think it could be an interesting one. Perhaps we could see more freezes and snow in the winter. Than tornado outbreaks in the spring. By the time hurricane seasons starts, I think we could see the first major (Category 3 or above) hurricane to make landfall, which would be the first since Wilma in 2005. Until than, time will only tell.