2010 remains on pace to be the warmest year on record globally.
That's the headline form NOAA's State of The Climate report for September 2010.
According to NOAA, global surface temperatures (land and ocean) are running +1.17°F above the 20th Century average. That puts 2010 slightly ahead of 1998 and 2005 as the warmest year on record globally.
17 countries have broken all time high temperature records this year. The records have come in both hemispheres, with new all time records in Finland (99°F), Russia (101.2°F), Pakistan (128.3°F) and Columbia (108°F).
The data continues the pronounced trend of warming observed since the 1980s, and refutes ideas by climate skeptics who claim the earth has been "cooling" since 1998.
The 10 warmest years on record globally have all occurred since 1998. The decade of 2000 through 2009 was the warmest on record in the past 131 years of data according to NOAA.
The dot graph below shows the temperatures relative to average for September. Alaska, Western Greenland and the Middle East were much warmer than average last month. You can see some cooling relative to the strengthening La Nina in the tropical Pacific.
Some have argued that the earth is heading for a cooler phase. The warmth of 2010 continues the unmistakable warming trend that has been in progress for the past 30 to 50 years.
Stormy pattern brewing next week?
It looks like our streak of dry weather may come to an end next week.
A potentially wet pattern is emerging for late October in the Upper Midwest. Medium range models like the GFS are cranking out two distinct storm systems. The fist could bring widespread rainfall next Monday and Tuesday.
The models are all over the place for Halloween weekend, but some model runs bring much colder temperatures, and hint at a strong pre-Halloween storm system that could bring wind, rain, and possibly even snow to parts of Minnesota by Halloween weekend. It's too early to tell how much rain (or potentially snow) could fall in parts of Minnesota, but the weather maps are looking a little scary as we head toward Halloween.
Enjoy another dry and relatively mild week, and get ready for a change to a much cooler and wetter pattern next week.
There's a treat in the southeast sky after sunset this week. Bright Jupiter and the waxing Hunter's moon will dazzle sky watchers. The two heavenly bodies will draw closest Tuesday evening, with just 6 degrees of separation. (No word yet on whether Kevin Bacon will also appear.)
Clear to partly cloudy skies and a dry crisp October air mass should make for excellent viewing conditions this week. For best viewing, look southeast after sunset, and then watch Jupiter and the Moon cross the southern sky all night long.
Jupiter and the waxing Hunter's Moon will approach Tuesday evening.
(Click for bigger image. Image courtesy University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center)
Jupiter was in "opposition" to the sun in late September. It was also closer to Earth than anytime since 1963, making it as bright as many of us have seen in our lifetimes.
The Hunter's Moon will be full on Friday at 8:37pm.
The two objects will put on a dazzling display all week long. Bring the kids out and check it out this week.