Asia records its hottest temperature in history; Category 4 Phet threatens Oman

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:47 PM GMT on June 02, 2010

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A hellish heat wave hit Pakistan last week, sending the mercury to an astonishing 53.5°C (128.3°F) at the town of MohenjuDaro on Wednesday May 26, reported the Pakistani Meteorological Department. While this temperature reading must be reviewed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for authenticity, not only is the 128.3°F reading the hottest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan, it is the hottest reliably measured temperature ever recorded on the continent of Asia. This information comes to me courtesy of Chris Burt, the author of Extreme Weather, who is probably the world's foremost expert on extreme weather records. In a collaborative effort with weather record researchers Maximiliano Herrera and Howard Rainford, Mr. Burt has painstakingly researched the extreme weather records for every country on Earth. They list the previous reliable record high for Asia as the 52.7°C (127°F) temperature measured on June 12, 1919, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Temperatures exceed 120°F in this region of Pakistan nearly every year, in the late May/early June time frame before the monsoon arrives. Last week's heat wave killed at least 18 Pakistanis, and temperatures in excess of 50°C (122°F) were recorded at nine Pakistani cities on May 26, including 53°C (127.4°F) at Sibi.

All-time hottest temperature for Southeast Asia this month
Record heat also hit Southeast Asia in May. According to the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar (Burma) had its hottest temperature in its recorded history on May 12, when the mercury hit 47°C (116.6°F) in Myinmu. Myanmar's previous hottest temperature was 45.8°C (114.4°F) at Minbu, Magwe division on May 9, 1998. According to Mr. Burt, the 47°C (116.6°F) measured on May 12 this year is the hottest temperature measured in Southeast Asia in recorded history.

Bogus extreme temperature records
I'm pleased to say that Chris Burt will be joining wunderground.com as a featured blogger later this year to discuss his work. He's working on a great new website that features weather records for each country of the world, complete with footnotes on disputed records. For example, many record books list Israel as the site of Asia's all-time maximum temperature. Mr. Burt comments: "54°C (129.2°F) has widely been quoted as the highest temperature ever recorded in Israel (and Asia) but there exist serious issues with this record. The temperature was recorded on a thermograph at Tirat Zvi on 21 June 1942. Examination of a copy of this trace (see Bio-Climatic Atlas of Israel by Dr. D. Ashbel, Central Press, Jerusalem, 1950, p.125, Figure 1) actually shows a maximum temperature of 53°C (127.4°F). No explanation is known for this 1°C discrepancy. In comparison with surrounding stations, it is likely that the actual temperature recorded at Tirat Zvi on this data was probably no higher than 52°C (125.6°F), which would be a record high temperature for Israel. Temperatures have reached or exceeded 50°C (122°F) in Israel only during this one episode in 1942.


Figure 1. Temperature trace from Bio-Climatic Atlas of Israel by Dr. D. Ashbel, Central Press, Jerusalem, 1950, p.125 for Tirat Zvi, Israel, the week of June 21, 1942.


Figure 2. Zoom of temperature trace from Bio-Climatic Atlas of Israel by Dr. D. Ashbel, Central Press, Jerusalem, 1950, p.125, for Tirat Zvi, Israel, the week of June 21, 1942. The temperature clearly only reached 53°C, if one reads the graph properly. Thus the 54°C temperature labeled on the graph is not correct.

Mr. Burt comments in his Extreme Weather book that every temperature record for the planet in excess of 129°F can be disputed. All of these records, except for the 134°F recorded at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, California, were made by French colonial era instruments which were found to be irregular as far as the exposure of the screens used to house the temperature instruments. In some cases, the temperature instrument was housed closer to the ground than it should have been. Mr. Burt will have an in-depth analysis of the evidence later this summer when he begins blogging for us.


Figure 3. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phet on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

Tropical Cyclone Phet the 2nd strongest Arabian Sea storm on record
The record heat over southern Asia in May has helped heat up the Arabian Sea to 2°C above normal. The exceptionally warm SSTs have helped fuel a rare major hurricane in the Arabian Sea today, as Tropical Cyclone Phet underwent an impressive bout of rapid intensification this morning to become a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds. Phet is a Thai word pronounced as Pet, meaning "Diamond". Intense hurricanes are rare in the Arabian Sea, due to the basin's small size, the interference of the summer monsoon, and the frequent presence of dry air and dust from the Arabian Peninsula. Phet is now the second strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea, behind Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman. Third place is held by the 2001 India Cyclone 01A and Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ARB 01 (02A), which were Category 3 storms with 125 mph winds.

Phet is over some of the warmest ocean waters on the planet, 30 - 31°C (86 - 88°F), and warm waters in excess of 26.5°C (80°F) extend to a depth of at least 50 meters (165 feet), resulting in a Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential high enough to allow Phet to attain Category 5 status. Phet is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) is forecasting Phet to become a Category 5 storm later today. The storm is moving slowly north-northwest towards Oman, and could ingest dry air from the Arabian Peninsula on Thursday, resulting in weakening. It now appears likely that Phet will make landfall in Oman before recurving to the northeast and hitting Pakistan. The region of Oman likely to get hit is sparsely populated, so wind and storm surge damage will not be the main concerns. Phet will spread heavy rains over the heavily populated northern regions of Oman, which will likely cause extreme flooding. Phet has the potential to be worse for Oman than Tropical Cyclone Gonu, which did $4.2 billion in damage and killed 50 people in June 2007.

Impact on Pakistan
Phet is on track to make landfall in Pakistan or Iran after hitting Oman. Phet will be much weakened by passage over Oman, and may only be a tropical storm after crossing the Gulf of Oman and arriving at the Iran/Pakistan coast. Still, Phet's rains could easily cause destructive floods in Iran and Pakistan.

The strongest tropical cyclone on record to hit Pakistan was Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ARB 01 (02A), which hit near Karachi on May 20, 1999, as a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds. According to Wikipedia, 02A killed 700 people did $6 million in damage (1999 USD). I've also found references to a December 15, 1965 cyclone that killed 10,000 near Karachi, Pakistan.

Oil spill update
Moderate onshore winds of 10 - 20 knots out of the southeast to southwest are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico over most of the next week, resulting increased threats of oil to Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. These persistent southwesterly winds will likely bring oil as far east as Fort Walton Beach, Florida, by Monday.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back Thursday with more on Phet and an analysis of the new Colorado State University hurricane forecast issued by Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray issued today.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting centex:
So some of you guys post on blog and don't care what blog is about today? Amazing how many either ignores or post how bad blog post is. They are smarter or just plain leach blogger user types, wow you guys are real smart? Some frequent bloggers are right wing heretics and ignore all science evidence and only quote quack science. Whatever education they have is wasted. He is nice to you guys/gals to give you place to post your chat crap. Hope your getting your fix. I know you hate me but truth hurts. Those posting tropical incite or blog appropriate stuff, keep going I’m just trying to raise the bar on this blog. More people need to call the crap out; else they will continue to post anti science on science sight. I can provide list of right wing quacks on WG mail if asked. Maybe you can even add to my list.


Nah, I think I'll add you to *my* list. Sheesh. Poof.
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1280. stormy3
Welcome back STORMTOP, would hardly be hurricane season without you
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Alright canewarning.When is the last time a storm formed near africa this early in the season.Also what are some of you expecting to take place this season.


The only one I personally remember is Bertha. I'm expecting an active season. I just really hope the storms miss us this year somehow.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667


From the 12Z Euro, our tropical wave appears more interesting than I thought. It develops an "L" along the axis as it heads wnw over the tropical atlantic. Enters the Caribbean Sea next week with alot of vorticity. Similar to the GFS's solution.

It remains an open wave though. If you believe the long-range GFS, you get an Arlene/Barry/Alberto type system out of it. I don't pay attention to the GFS past 1 week.



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1276. Patrap
RAAMB Tropical Cyclone PHET
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127526
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
if anyone want a cool link to a sat that show east atlantic and africa well here

Link


Very cool indeed ...
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1273. Patrap
Tropical Cyclone PHET

Seems shes weakening some as it comes close to A Landfall in Oman.

Welcome news..as Oman is a desert.








Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127526
Quoting SLU:



My, my. The season when that tropical depression formed off West Africa in June was in the year 2000. My very 1st year monitoring the tropics online and going through your wikipedia link on the 2000 hurricane season summary, I remember those storms so well that it feels like just yesterday. Time flies by so quickly...


Indeed it does.
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1271. leo305
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
GFS 18z showing something interesting in 30 hours near the Bahamas.

GFS 18z 30 hours


NAM 18z also shows this at 30 hours.

NAM 18z 30 hours


Another 90L? I hope not, that system was a pest.


so does CMC and GFS..

I saw it a couple of hours ago.. I'm sure it will be a subtropical system if anything
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Quoting Weather456:


Anything you average will never be absolute.

I do not disagree with that. Just interesting reading how the 10 year averages are actually doing better. You do eliminate some of those extremes in a 10 year average and is more representive of the current pattern.
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Quoting pottery:

I was under the impression that 'climatology' was based to a large degree on historical data??


Climo is an averaged of a range of historical data. You record a high of 33C in July this year and a high of 26C in July of a next year, all these are averaged but if you dissect the average data you see a range and at the bottom and top of this range are extremes.
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1267. SLU
Quoting KoritheMan:


If it was absolute, Bertha would not never have developed, nor would this thing:




My, my. The season when that tropical depression formed off West Africa in June was in the year 2000. My very 1st year monitoring the tropics online and going through your wikipedia link on the 2000 hurricane season summary, I remember those storms so well that it feels like just yesterday. Time flies by so quickly...
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GFS 18z showing something interesting in 30 hours near the Bahamas.

GFS 18z 30 hours


NAM 18z also shows this at 30 hours.

NAM 18z 30 hours


Another 90L? I hope not, that system was a pest.
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1265. Patrap
NOAA MJO Monitoring and Forecast
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Quoting pottery:

I was under the impression that 'climatology' was based to a large degree on historical data??

Yes you are saying the same thing. He is just saying that large range of historical data includes all of the extremes. that is at least how I read it and how I know climo.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Actually the latest climo studies are proving that climo is more effective if you just use a 10 year average versus a 100 year average.


Anything you average will never be absolute.
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Where is reed today? I'd be interested to see his take on the African wave.
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1260. Patrap
Quoting DestinJeff:


not even 12 in yet, huh, pat?


Its interesting

..but like 456 says,..persistence is what we look for in the Tropics.

A once over on a Viz still dosent mean squat.

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1259. pottery
Quoting Weather456:


It is a useful forecasting tool but its not absolute. Climo is an average and averages are derived from a range of which has both ends of extremes.

I was under the impression that 'climatology' was based to a large degree on historical data??
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The wave has a higher amplitude east of Trinidad on June 10 with the other strong wave over Africa that I mentioned earlier this week in the Eastern Atlantic. The wave looks like it will climb with latitude as it heads west.
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Quoting Weather456:


It is a useful forecasting tool but its not absolute. Climo is an average and averages are derived from a range of which has both ends of extremes.

Actually the latest climo studies are proving that climo is more effective if you just use a 10 year average versus a 100 year average.
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hello is there anyone on the blog to communicate with.I feel so left out at the momment.


There are a ton of us here. Just jump in the conversation.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
From the 8:05 Discussion:

TROPICAL WAVE IS OVER THE FAR EASTERN TROPICAL ATLANTIC ALONG
17W FROM 2N TO 10N MOVING WEST AT 12 KT. THIS WAVE IS EMBEDDED
IN THE ITCZ SURROUNDED BY CONVECTION FROM 3N TO 10N BETWEEN 17W
TO 28W.
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Quoting Weather456:
We forgot the most important rule with tropical waves - Persistence.
True. Especially that the NHC really doesn't look in the ITCZ for development.
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1250. SLU
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Wow! Like Mike said earlier, if were seeing stuff like this in early June then were in trouble.


Yep .. We could be in trouble. Quotes like "... a hell of a year" and "A season from Hades" are certainly not out of place this year.
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1249. Patrap
Quoting Weather456:
We forgot the most important rule with tropical waves - Persistence.



In the tropics,,esp the African Wave train..until its something for 48 over water,..its not anything.

As a rule.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127526
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Amazing how the GFS weakens the subtropical jet so drastically in such a short period of time. Any one in agreement with the GFS?
No im in agreement with the ecmwf by weakening it slowly this solution by the gfs weakens the subtropical jet way too fast in my opinion but lets see what happens.
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1247. leo305
Quoting SLU:


Well based on the lastest ASCAT pass, this system might be better "organised" than we think. This curvature looks rather impressive and it has some wind too. If the convection reforms overnight I won't be surprised if it gets labelled 92L in the next day or so.

So much for June 2nd. I suppose if the conditions are right, development may occur whether it's June 2nd, September 2nd or January 2nd ......


I agree.. there is definately a strong spin there..
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1246. Patrap
Armando Galarraga Perfect Game LOST By Controversial Umpire Call (VIDEO)
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Quoting Weather456:


The jet does not really weaken or disappear, it breaks at irregular intervals during the passage of troughs or building of ridges. Do you remember by June outlook?

".... the pattern expected with lingering shear near the subtropical jet giving way to periods of low and high shear over the Gulf of Mexico, while low shear remains over the Caribbean Basin."



Ok.
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We forgot the most important rule with tropical waves - Persistence.
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NOAA forecasted an ACE of 155% - 270% this year in 2005 the total ACE was 248.1%. Not good, if we have 18 storms most of them will likely be very intense, why? Because in 2005 the ACE was 248% and they had 27 storms.
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1240. Patrap


2010 Hurricane Preparation
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Amazing how the GFS weakens the subtropical jet so drastically in such a short period of time. Any one in agreement with the GFS?


The jet does not really weaken or disappear, it breaks at irregular intervals during the passage of troughs or building of ridges. Do you remember by June outlook?

".... the pattern expected with lingering shear near the subtropical jet giving way to periods of low and high shear over the Gulf of Mexico, while low shear remains over the Caribbean Basin."



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Quoting leo305:


Well at the moment, shear is really dropping across the atlantic


indeed...the year will be a low shear year...but dust will play a heavy role in Capestorms...our main concerns will be the Caribbean and GOM this year with just a few good ones out of africa...
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Quoting SLU:


Well based on the lastest ASCAT pass, this system might be better "organised" than we think. This curvature looks rather impressive and it has some wind too. If the convection reforms overnight I won't be surprised if it gets labelled 92L in the next day or so.

So much for June 2nd. I suppose if the conditions are right, development may occur whether it's June 2nd, September 2nd or January 2nd ......


Wow! Like Mike said earlier, if were seeing stuff like this in early June then were in trouble.
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We could have 92L in the next 48 hours if this starts to organize a bit more.
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1235. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127526
1234. leo305
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Amazing how the GFS weakens the subtropical jet so drastically in such a short period of time. Any one in agreement with the GFS?


Well at the moment, shear is really dropping across the atlantic
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.