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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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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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?


12Z ECMWF showed some weakening of the sub-tropical jet stream.
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1231. 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 ......

Not implying that development will necessarily take place though. Just a sign of things to come.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Honestly, the only major factor going against this wave is climatology.

As we saw in 2008 with Bertha, there's always one storm that will defy climatology...


2008 defied climatology time and time again. That was 1 crazy season, it seemed like every storm wanted to get a piece of the US.
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
Amazing how the GFS weakens the subtropical jet so drastically in such a short period of time. Any one in agreement with the GFS?
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Quoting TropicalWave:
456, do you think climatology is absolute, or not quite?


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.
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1227. Patrap
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
What did you say?


Did you see the picture he posted?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CaneWarning:


That does make one stop and go hmmmm doesn't it?
What did you say?
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Quoting TropicalWave:
456, do you think climatology is absolute, or not quite?


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

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Hey everybody.....How's it going? Long time, no blog! I gave up my old handle as I had to leave it and the weather station at the Extension Office. Looks like we're in for an interesting season so I may pop in from time to time.
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Quoting Weather456:


It can by developing a circulation independent of the ITCZ flow. The ITCZ is a rather confluent zone between SE and NE trades, while cyclonic circulation would be between NE trades and south-westerlies to the south. To develop a circulation, you need to be quite a distance from the equator and develop some way of lowering your pressure (generating intense convection).

Tropical waves can also be pulled north or amplified by the TUTT, and/or troughs in the upper westerlies that dig deep into the tropics.

Thanks!
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1217. Patrap
24 NAMED STORMS
15 HURRICANES
9 MAJOR HURRICANES



Whoooo,boy..

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Ooooo, look at the mess heading towards Houston tonight. Could make for a "bumpy night". Lets hope that a piece of energy DOESN'T get left behind in the GOM.
http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/southplains_loop.php
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Hmmmm...



That does make one stop and go hmmmm doesn't it?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
National Incident Commander Admiral Allen directs BP to pay for five additional barrier island projects in Louisiana



"... I have directed BP to pay for five additional barrier island projects in addition to the one I approved last week as part of our continuing commitment to do everything possible to protect our vital coastal communities from BP's leaking oil.
...

After committing to providing Governor Jindal our determination within 24 hours of our meeting with local officials and environmental experts to discuss these projects yesterday, I notified him this afternoon. I reiterated to him that this administration will hold BP responsible for providing full payment for any strategy that will protect our valuable coastal communities from the impacts of their catastrophe.

In addition, we are moving critical response assets across all the Gulf Coast states in preparation for potential near- and long-term oil impacts. In Alabama, the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress arrived in Mobile Bay today to protect Dauphin Island from the north and west. Tomorrow, we will commence a surge of boom to Alabama's Katrina Pass that will be positioned to create a funnel to collect oil that comes in with the tide. Additionally, we have deployed four coastal patrol boats to coordinate response in Alabama's coastal waters.

Four helicopters are being deployed to the Alabama, Mississippi and Florida coast to provide surveillance information to help skimmers position their efforts strategically to collect the most oil threatening the shore possible. The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa has a flight deck that will allow for these helicopters to refuel offshore, and the Coast Guard Cutter Elm is currently in the area off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., working around the clock to skim oil from the surface."


http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/2931/585863/
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1213. Patrap
Gulf Oil Spill 2010 Projected Trajectory
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Weather456, can a wave associated with the ITCZ separate from it, and if it can is it due to the intensity or something else?


It can by developing a circulation independent of the ITCZ flow. The ITCZ is a rather confluent zone between SE and NE trades, while cyclonic circulation would be between NE trades and south-westerlies to the south. To develop a circulation, you need to be quite a distance from the equator and develop some way of lowering your pressure (generating intense convection).

Tropical waves can also be pulled north or amplified by the TUTT, and/or troughs in the upper westerlies that dig deep into the tropics.

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Hmmmm...

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1206. Patrap
Atlantic Ocean View (Updated ~3 hours)


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Quoting leo305:
there are too many things going against this wave.. but if it develops I will be absolutely shocked, as it's rare for a system to form off Africa in June.


Honestly, the only major factor going against this wave is climatology.

As we saw in 2008 with Bertha, there's always one storm that will defy climatology...
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Yay, the steering layers/IR overlay at PSU's e-wall are back to being updated:
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Weather456, can a wave associated with the ITCZ separate from it, and if it can is it due to the intensity or something else?
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1201. Patrap
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eh.
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1198. leo305
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
if anyone want a cool link to a sat that show east atlantic and africa well here

Link


you can tell the dry air and saharran dust is just eating into the system
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Ascat shows some curvature.


Because of its proximity to the equator, turning is not as pronounce but is evident.

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are you guys still going on about JFV? This has been going on for days. If you feed the trolls they come back for more and more. The ignore button is a wonderful tool --
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Repost:

Spectacular views of tropical wave using Google Earth

You can often tell the stability of an airmass by using clouds. Stratocumulus are stable airmass's clouds and thus are often found in the Saharan Air Layer and Tradewind inversions.



Tropical wave convective cloud tops indicate unstable airmass at the edge of SAL.



Overview image




Outflow boundaries...this is the first time I ever seen an outflow boundary in such 3-d perspectives...



You can see the surface outflow boundary below mid-upper clouds...



Surreal



And last...dust blowing off Africa

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if anyone want a cool link to a sat that show east atlantic and africa well here

Link
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well...the blogspot was enjoyable...dnt know why i keep on here after so many years...
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Quoting Weather456:


The website has come a long way over the past 8 years been visiting it.


It's made amazing progress.

First time I stumbled upon this site in August 2004, WU had nowhere near the amount of products and features it has now.

Didn't discover the comments section under Dr.Master's blog until Chris in 2006. I Wish I could have been here in 2005 when all the classic bloggers such as lefty were around.

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Quoting stormhank:
Is meteostat only satellite images u can get from east atlantic // africa??


There is only geostationary satellite at 0E and many websites use images from this satellite like the NOAA's SSD, the one that updates every 6 hrs. You can images from EMUSAT, the NAVY and RAMSDIS (restricted though).


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1185. leo305
there are too many things going against this wave.. but if it develops I will be absolutely shocked, as it's rare for a system to form off Africa in June.
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1184. Patrap
Heres some pertinent Links for the coming months.

ALL THESE LINKS ARE YOURS,EXCEPT SSD

ATTEMPT NO LINKAGE TO THERE

Use them together,use them in peace

www.canefever.com 2010 Tropical Links Dujour'




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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.