The World Meterological Organisation


reports their preliminary results for 2011.  It should be regarded as shocking that although we were in a very strong La Niña state which usually results in .10 to .15C cooler temperatures than preceeding years, 2011 was warmer than most recent moderate to strong La Niña years. It seems obvious to me that we will now have an even hotter El Niño period. 

“The 10-year average for the period 2002-11, at 0.46°C above the long-term average, equals 2001-10 as the warmest 10-year period on record.”


Artic Sea ice

Arctic sea ice extent was again well below normal in 2011. “Sea ice volume was even further below average and was estimated at a new record low of 4200 cubic kilometres, surpassing the record of 4580 cubic kilometres set in 2010.”


Droughts and floods

There was severe drought in the North American southwest, record-breaking inTexas, with the highest ever recorded temperature for any American state.   “The January-October period was the wettest on record for several north-eastern states and for the north-east region as a whole, with precipitation totals widely 30-50% above normal.”

Hurricane Irene in August and Tropical Storm Lee in September brought extreme flooding.   “Parts of the Mississippi River experienced the worst floods since 1933, and there was also major flooding in theMissouri Riverand several Canadian rivers.” 

As if this wasn’t enough, “it was also one of the most active tornado seasons on record, with numerous major outbreaks, particularly in April and May. A tornado caused 157 deaths inJoplin,Missouriin May, the deadliest single tornado in theUnited Statessince 1947. 2011 (to date) has had the third-greatest number of tornadoes since 1950, after 2004 and 2008, and the fourth-greatest number of deaths (537) on record. There were also a number of major snowstorms, including the most significant October snowstorm on record in the north-eastern states.”


These were Global events

“For the second year in succession,Pakistanexperienced severe flooding in 2011. The floods were more localised than in 2010, being largely confined to the southern part of the country. It was the wettest monsoon season on record for theprovinceofSindh(247% above normal).”