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January 12, 2011

NOAA: 2010 was wettest globally, tied for warmest

The climate stats for 2010 are coming in. Here are the highlights, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can read the full release here.


Smoke, heat in MoscowSurface Temperature: Combined land and water temperatures averaged 1.12 degrees F above the 20th Century average. Tied with 2005 as the warmest since records began in 1880.

Land temperatures averaged 1.8 degrees F above the 20th C. average, the warmest on record. Ocean surface temperatures averaged 0.88 degrees F. above the average, the third-warmest on record.

The year was also the 34th straight year with global temperatures above the 20th Century average.

Precipitation: Global average precipitation was the most on record, but patterns varied widely across the globe. The Pacific hurricane season was the least active since satellite observations began in the 1960s. The Atlantic season was the third-most-active for tropical storms; the second-most-active for hurricanes.

Storms: A negative Arctic Oscillation last winter sent arctic air south, producing record cold and heavy snows in parts of Eastern North America, Europe and Asia. In February, the AO Index was the largest negative reading since records began in 1950. An unusually strong jet stream twisted north into Russia, and then south into Pakistan, contributing to record summer heat in Russia, and severe flooding in Pakistan. The Russian heat wave was accompanied by forest fires that sent thick smoke in Moscow. (Photo)


Surface Temperatures: Surface temperatures in 2010 in the U.S. ranked as the 23rd-warmest onBlizzard Baltimore record, and the 14th straight year averaging above the 20th Century average. Since 1895, surface temperatures have increased at an average rate of 0.12 degrees F per decade.  Twelve states had a record-warm summer (June through August). New York, Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington broke summertime records.

Precipitation: The average precipitation in 2010 was 1.02 inches above the long-term average. Since 1895, precipitation rates have increased by an average of 0.18 inches per decade. Seasonal snowfall records were broken in Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Atlantic City. Wisconsin had its wettest summer on record.

Storms: The year ranked among the 10 busiest for tornadoes since 1950, with 1,302 recorded. Minnesota had the most for the first time, with 104 confirmed. Increased precipitation helped shrink drought areas to less than 8 percent of the Lower 48 states. Hawaii experienced near-record dryness for most of the year.

(PHOTOS: Top: Natalia Kolensnikova, AFP Getty. Bottom: Sn Photo by Jed Kirschbaum, Feb. 9, 2010)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:45 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: By the numbers


I'm not a meteorologist, but rising temperatures and increased rainfall seem to go hand-in-hand. More heat -> more evaporation -> more precipitation. Is that about it?

FR: Precisely.

Climate Change did for journalism what nasty priests did for religion.

Too bad NOAA's "warmest year on record" means nothing:

FR: Thanks. For balance: Climate Depot is funded by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which has received major funding from Exxon Mobil and conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. It is run by Marc Morano, a former spokesman for Okla. Sen. James Inhofe.

The Deniers Have Won.
Now we charge the news editors with treason for leading us to a Bush-like false war against a false enemy of climate change.
Climate Change did to journalism and science what abusive priests did to religion.
Drop the CO2 and restart environmentalism anew with courage, instead of fear.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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