The NOAA National Climatic Data Center Global Analysis for November 2013 is hot off the presses

November 2013 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map via NOAA
November 2013 Selected Climate
Anomalies and Events Map via NOAA

Click here to read the analysis. Here’s an excerpt:

Global Highlights

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2013 was record highest for the 134-year period of record, at 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 1.43°C (2.57°F) above the 20th century average of 5.9°C (42.6°F), the second highest for November on record, behind 2010. For the global oceans, the November average sea surface temperature was 0.54°C (0.97°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F), tying with 2009 as the third highest for November.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the September–November period was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F), the second warmest such period on record, behind only 2005.
  • The September–November worldwide land surface temperature was 1.08°C (1.94°F) above the 20th century average, the third warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the same period was 0.52°C (0.94°F) above the 20th century average, tying with 2009 and 2012 as the fourth warmest September–November on record.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the year-to-date (January–November) was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.2°F), tying with 2002 as the fourth warmest such period on record.
  • St. Vrain River channel much affected by the September flooding #COflood

    New Saint Vrain River channel after the September 2013 floods -- photo via the Longmont Times-Call
    New Saint Vrain River channel after the September 2013 floods — photo via the Longmont Times-Call

    From the Longmont Times-Call:

    Dear Johnnie: I was just wondering, since the flood destroyed Longmont’s Greenway and knowing how rapid it ran, does anyone know if the depth of the St. Vrain River has gone deeper?

    I know it jumped out of its banks. However, for this time of the year the river seems much higher than the normal. It’s usually only a stream…

    Dear Angela: I spoke with Bob Kimbrough, the associate director of the USGS Colorado Water Science Center in Lakewood. He said that there have been no measurements of the riverbed, but “we’ve had dramatic changes in the channel.”

    But that doesn’t mean the river is necessarily deeper overall.

    It’s a mix of some reaches filled in and some reaches scoured,” he said.

    Parts of the river — not necessarily in Longmont — have been scoured down to the rock. But, Kimbrough said, “that sediment has to be deposited somewhere.” Those parts of the river become more shallow.

    My observation is that the river channel has become wider, an observation that Kimbrough said makes sense.

    “Anywhere the river has scoured the banks … that’s not going to fill back in.”

    Angela, you are not the first person to ask about changes in the river since the September flood. Some have asked about how long the river would run high. Kimbrough said that the latest measurement of Boulder Creek at 75th Street shows that it is running below the median of the past 26 years. He said that the rivers and streams — the St. Vrain included — ran high through November, but he could not let me know about the St. Vrain as it is now. Those river gauges that were not destroyed in the flood were frozen by this month’s deep freeze.

    More Saint Vrain River coverage here.

    NISP: Fort Morgan is planning (and budgeting) for new supplies from the project

    Northern Integrated Supply Project preferred alternative
    Northern Integrated Supply Project preferred alternative

    From the Fort Morgan Times (Jenni Grubbs):

    Fort Morgan’s stake in NISP is 9 percent, with the city having invested around $1 million so far. And much more would need to flow from city coffers toward the project before it is all built, according to Nation.

    The city has budgeted $90,000 for that purpose for 2014, and planned water rate increases are likely this year and in 2015 to start preparing for needing to contribute even larger amounts toward the project in coming years, he said.

    “That’s just kind of where we’re at,” Nation said. “We need to be prepared for when we’re ready for construction.”

    Right now, the plan calls for preliminary construction activities to start in 2018 and 2019, he said.

    And while the costs to the city may seem astronomical, Nation quickly puts the numbers in perspective:

    • Each unit of C-BT water that the city buys right now costs $18,500, a number that keeps rising.

    • One C-BT unit is 7/10 of an acre foot of water, and each acre foot is going for $26,000 currently.

    • But because of the city’s participation in NISP, the city will have water for about $12,500 per acre foot.

    “We’re investing in something that will give us water at $12,500 an acre foot versus $26,000 an acre foot,” Nation said…

    Getting the project built is a complicated process, and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, aka Northern Water, is working its way through that process, according to Nation.

    During the environmental review process, the engineers for Northern Water have been gathering up data for technical reports, which they soon will pass on to the Army Corps of Engineers for the project’s updated draft environmental impact statement.

    The Corps is the lead federal agency for the Northern Integrated Supply Project’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, which aims “to help public officials make decisions based on understanding of environmental consequences, and take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment,” according to a press release from Northern Water.

    The process of putting together the environmental impact statement helps the Corps make a final decision ultimately on whether to issue a permit to build NISP.

    The environmental impact statement process for NISP started in August 2004, which led to an initial draft being released for public comment in April 2008, according to Northern Water.

    In February 2009, the Corps had announced they would move forward with a supplemental draft environmental impact statement “to include additional studies primarily centered around hydrologic and flow modeling,” the press release stated.

    Also helping with the environmental impact statement process are the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Larimer County, according to Northern Water…

    With all of the technical reports due to the Corps by Dec. 23, Nation said work on the supplemental draft environmental impact statement could begin “right after the first of the year.”

    Once the Corps has all the updated technical data, both from the project’s supporters and objectors, a draft report is put together and then made public. Then there would be public hearings and comment periods.

    “We should be getting the draft environmental impact statement taken care of yet this coming calendar year, possibly by summer 2014,” Nation said.

    The final environmental impact statement would then be completed in spring 2015 with a final permit decision “due in fall 2016,” according to Northern Water.

    But just getting further into the environmental impact statement process shows progress, Nation said.

    More Northern Integrated Supply Project coverage here and here.