The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track global extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: In January Winter Disappeared for Many Across the U.S. and Europe
Dear Diary. The symptoms of climate change across the planet are now popping up more frequently and are becoming more severe. Yesterday I presented to my readers what New Zealand has been experiencing during their summer. That country is about to get much wetter due to Tropical Cyclone Gabriel. I’ll have more notes on that event in my news section on this post.
Some warm symptoms are welcome by some, especially during the winter. Residents of the Northeast and across Europe experienced a very mild January. Freedom fighters in Ukraine got a bit of a reprieve due to warmed than average weather. Many residents of Europe were bracing for very high natural gas bills due to the war and typical mid-winter frigid conditions, so the region’s population got a thankful break. Snow and cold weather are usually big nuisances across the Northeast where residents also got a big break in January.
Yet, fairly educated residents of the U.S. and Europe were given pause, knowing that stepping outside in comfortable conditions with no snow on the ground just isn’t normal…and was a foreboding symptom of things to come.
Here are more details as penned by Ian Livingston writing for the Washington Post:
Seven Northeastern states saw warmest January as U.S. and Europe baked
It was the sixth warmest January on record for the Lower 48 states and third warmest in Europe
February 10, 2023
Temperature difference from normal during January. (NOAA)
It may have been midwinter, but typical January weather was nowhere to be found in much of the northeastern United States last month. In seven states, including the entirety of New England, it was the warmest January on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday.
The warmth in the Northeast helped contribute to the sixth warmest January on record for the Lower 48 states. Five of the six warmest Januaries on record have occurred since 1990 in the contiguous United States, and four since 2012. Human-caused climate change is fueling rising temperatures worldwide, with winter months warming particularly fast.
A stormy weather pattern in California was another key player in the warm weather in the eastern United States as mild air drawn from the Pacific Ocean swept over most of the Lower 48. The onslaught of storms in California helped the Lower 48 notch its third-wettest January on record. Thirty-five states saw above average precipitation.
Record summary of selected long-period locations. (NCEI)
The mild, wet pattern helped fuel severe thunderstorms in the South and Southeast leading to the third most January tornadoes on record for the United States.
Like the Lower 48 states, Europe was also abnormally warm and registered its third warmest January on record.
Midwinter without the cold
January is typically the peak month for extreme cold in the northern hemisphere. This year, there was barely a chill to be found in the northeastern United States. Numerous locations, including the New York City area, set monthly records for warmth and also a lack of snow.
NOAA crunched the numbers and found that, overall, the contiguous states posted its sixth warmest January. The monthly average temperature of 35.2 degrees was 5.1 degrees above average.
All six New England states and New Jersey had their warmest January on record. Meanwhile, New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana registered their second-warmest January.
Overall, 27 states had one of their top five warmest Januaries while western states generally saw temperatures near to slightly below average as heavy precipitation limited sunshine.
Temperature ranks by state in January. (NCEI)
Typically, when the Lower 48 states are warm, Alaska is cold and vice versa. But this January did not follow that rule. Alaska closed the month almost 9 degrees above average — its 13th-warmest January on record.
A parade of storms
As January began, California was in the midst of a barrage of nine atmospheric rivers — or narrow plumes of Pacific Ocean moisture that unleash heavy rain and snow. Even with a drier back half of the month, the state posted its 13th-wettest January on record.
During the storm onslaught, at least 21 people died. There were also at least 1,400 high water rescues and 700 landslides, according to NOAA. Some mountainous areas picked up 20 feet of snow.
Above average January precipitation stretched from California through the intermountain West and into the Central Plains and Great Lakes. Much of the East was also wetter than normal, except for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Florida. The Pacific Northwest, the northern Plains and portions of the southern Plains saw below normal precipitation.
A number of locations from the central Plains to the Midwest, including areas of Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa had their wettest January on record.
Springlike warmth and an active storm track contributed to a historically active tornado month. Tornadoes occurred on 11 days during January, and a confirmed 123 twisters ranks as third-most for the month, behind only 2017 with 137 and 1999 with 212.
Eight people were killed by tornadoes on the 12th, including seven that died in one tornado in central Alabama.
Despite a drier than typical January, a significant winter storm dropped ice and snow on much of the southern Plains into the mid-South as the month ended. The worst of this wintry weather focused on Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Temperature anomalies across the globe and Europe in January. (Copernicus ECMWF)
January was the third warmest on record in Europe, according to Copernicus Climate Service of the European Union.
The month opened with some of Europe’s warmest winter weather on record. Central Europe was particularly warm and parts of the Alps were snowless. By late January, temperatures returned closer to normal levels.
While it was mild in Europe, parts of Asia were abnormally cold. Temperatures in Siberia dipped to minus-80 degrees during the first half of January, the coldest in recent decades. Later in the month, China set a national record for cold, with a low temperature of minus-63 degrees in Mohe City. Much of East Asia, including Japan, also experienced abnormally cold weather during the final week of January.
By Ian Livingston Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank. Twitter
Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports:
Here is some more new January 2023 climatology:
Here is more climate and weather news from Saturday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
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Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”