The weather forecast calls for a high 90°F temperature inland Belize Friday, and while that is not the most extreme temperature on record in Belize, a report issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), dubbed the WMO Provisional Statement on Status of the Climate in 2013, is saying that the year 2013 is the globe’s seventh hottest in more than a century.
During the first nine months of 2013, above average temperatures were present across most of the world’s land areas, perhaps most notably in Australia, “along with ocean waters to the south and south-east of Australia, as well as much of northern North America, the northeastern Pacific Ocean and part of the coastal north-east Atlantic, northeastern South America, northern Africa, and much of Eurasia,” the report said.
It added, though, that “Cooler-than-average temperatures were scattered across a concentrated region of North America, central South America and the eastern Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of Ecuador, a small region of northern Russia, and parts of northeastern Asia.”
Amandala was unable to get local data from the National Met Service to indicate where exactly Belize falls within this range.
The WMO said in its report that it reviewed preliminary data for the first nine months of 2013, which indicate that “this year will likely be among the 10 warmest years since global records began in 1850.”
It noted that January”September 2013 ties with 2003 as the seventh warmest such period on record, with a global land and ocean surface temperature above the 1961–1990 average and equal to the most recent 2001–2010 decadal average.
“This is also higher than both 2011 and 2012,” the report said, pointing to La Niña conditions having had a cooling influence over the global temperature during that period.
According to the WMO, though, neither La Niña nor El Niño conditions were present during the 2013 period to date; and the weather conditions have been neutral since April 2012, with September marking the 17th consecutive month – the longest stretch of neutral conditions since 1992–1994, when similar conditions prevailed for 26 consecutive months, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
The year 2010 still holds the record as the hottest complete year, closely followed by 2005 and 1998.
“Across the world’s land surfaces, the January”September global temperature was 0.80°C above the 1961″1990 average and close to the 2001″2010 average,” the WMO said.
Meanwhile, the report said global sea level reached a new record high during March 2013.
“Sea level has been rising at an average rate of 3.2 ±0.4 mm/yr with inter-annual variability since altimeter satellite measurements began in 1993. This is close to the observed rate of about 3 mm/yr of the most recent decade of 2001”2010 and double the observed 20th century trend of 1.6 mm/yr,” the report said.
According to the report, northeastern Brazil experienced severe drought conditions for the second consecutive year.
“This follows the decade of 2001”2010, when large parts of the Amazon Basin saw prolonged drought. This year’s drought is considered to be the worst in the past 50 years,” the WMO report said.
In relation to the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which closes in 9 days, the report notes that, “In the North Atlantic, with the season officially ending on 30 November, there have been a total of 12 named storms, similar to the 19812010 average of 12 storms, but below the recent active decade of 2001”2010, which saw an average of 15 storms per year.”
It said that this was the first season since 2002 that no hurricane formed during JuneAugust.
“Only two storms (Humberto and Ingrid) reached hurricane status (average is six), both in
September and both reaching Category 1 status on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS); no storms attained major intensity (minimum wind speed 178 km/h; average is three),” the report said.