atmoaggie's WunderBlog

MDR SSTs for analogue years

By: atmoaggie, 5:34 PM GMT on May 03, 2010

Just for the heck of it, I wanted to look at analogue years of SST in the MDR and compare to this year's apparently alarming amount of warmth.

Warning: Great big caveats exist for years before 1979, the launch of our first satellite capable of measuring surface temperatures, globally.

The following plots are the April mean skin temperature from the NCEP reanalysis.
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/db_search/DBSearch.pl?Variable=Skin+Temperature&Dataset=CDC+De rived+NCEP+Reanalysis+Products+Surface+Flux

1958:


1966:


1978:


1998:


2005 (though not really an analogue, IMO):


And, 2010:

Let's plot 1958 again, here, for easy comparison to 2010:


(tried to keep the color contours on a consistent color scale as best I could, still not perfect)

Really? Is the MDR not astoundingly warmer than other years?
Well, the April 15 SST should be similar to the reanalysis skin temperature:


...and is.

What does it all mean, Batman? Ummm, well, seems that the MDR looks like April in the MDR, mostly. And is similar, but not much warmer (if not slightly cooler in some areas) than other years following an El Nino.

Clearly, some of the early years were warm, but were they really that warm? 1958 couldn't really have been as warm as the plot suggests, could it? Looks like the current MDR SST is really only much warmer than the 1958 values in the northeast corner of the MDR, an area where storms that cross shouldn't make it to any landmass...as in no storm in the NE corner of the MDR will miss a recurve before North America.

It is warmer, overall, than most years. 1958 looks like the best comparative year. It sure would be a lesser of the evils to have a hurricane season like 1958:

Here's hoping...


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

atmoaggie's WunderBlog

About atmoaggie