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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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'




Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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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Any latest images of the wave in Eastern Atlantic?
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Not falling for that again...
LOL.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
Is that wave far enough north to generate any type of spin. Seems a little south to me. Too close to the equator.


Ascat shows some curvature.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


I've spent much less time on this blog than I have in a while.

Hopefully people will realize how foolish the whole subject actually is and eventually move on to a different subject that requires more intellect.


Just wait until the season heats up. People talk just as much about other off topic subjects. Look at all the baseball talk tonight. It's just as pointless to the subject matter.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting atmoaggie:
Seems like he should iggy himself...


Not falling for that again...
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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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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

haha that was fast.
I wonder what the BP wiki page must say?
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1171. Patrap
Quoting ElConando:


Woah long way back. Back in the early days of AOL. Remember the days when only one comp in a house of 3 comps could be online. Had some fun "knocking ofline" wars with friends and siblings...

Was there any other blog on Wunderground you went on before Dr. Masters?


There werent any blogs here in 98.nor anywhere else as the term wasnt invented then.

I used the site like 99% of the world did then and does now..for the info.

The blogs on a busy day here only use 2-3% of the servers capacity.
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Quoting Weather456:


I am just upset as you.


I've spent much less time on this blog than I have in a while.

Hopefully people will realize how foolish the whole subject actually is and eventually move on to a different subject that requires more intellect.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Hey...about umpire Jim Joyce that blew the call...his Wikipedia page...

"This page is currently protected from editing due to vandalism.".....Link


I'm sure uncylopedia won't be as nice.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

haha that was fast.


someone actually did vandalize it, they but his death date as today

I think that is a bit harsh really
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7505
1166. xcool




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Quoting atmoaggie:
Seems like he should iggy himself...
Oh no, not again, lol.
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Quoting Patrap:
Found the wu during Georges in Sept 98..

A friend sent it via WEBtv


Woah long way back. Back in the early days of AOL. Remember the days when only one comp in a house of 3 comps could be online. Had some fun "knocking ofline" wars with friends and siblings...

Was there any other blog on Wunderground you went on before Dr. Masters?
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3712
Quoting IKE:
Hey...about umpire Jim Joyce that blew the call...his Wikipedia page...

"This page is currently protected from editing due to vandalism.".....Link

haha that was fast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL.
Seems like he should iggy himself...
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Is meteostat only satellite images u can get from east atlantic // africa??
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting Weather456:
I tell ya. Seeing JFV constantly is becoming annoying, tiresome, and just plain whack.


I agree, it is out of control.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Pretty retro.

Thanks for posting that.


The website has come a long way over the past 8 years been visiting it.
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1154. IKE
Hey...about umpire Jim Joyce that blew the call...his Wikipedia page...

"This page is currently protected from editing due to vandalism.".....Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
This whole JFV nonsense has gotten so out of hand that I've actually started to ignore anyone who has mentioned those three terrible letter in their sentence...


LOL.
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1152. pottery
I am seriously considering putting on 'ignore'. everyone who even mentions JFV. (but then who would be left)
It has lost it's charm, frankly.
Time to drop the thing.
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1151. Makoto1
Quoting Weather456:
I tell ya. Seeing JFV constantly is becoming annoying, tiresome, and just plain whack.


I'm with you there, I can't wait until we have something everyone's tracking so we'll have less of this.
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1150. leo305
Does anyone have a loop of that wave off africa?
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1148. Patrap
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
This whole JFV nonsense has gotten so out of hand that I've actually started to ignore anyone who has mentioned those three terrible letter in their sentence...




Dats a good remedy.

Others should do the same.

With a dynamic IP at his disposal..he's gonna pop up.

Like a wack a mole
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
This whole JFV nonsense has gotten so out of hand that I've actually started to ignore anyone who has mentioned those three terrible letter in their sentence...




I am just upset as you.
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Quoting Weather456:
Weather undergound, August 2002, when i stop using fax and TV to track hurricanes and began using the internet








Pretty retro.

Thanks for posting that.
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Quoting Weather456:
I tell ya. Seeing JFV constantly is becoming annoying, tiresome, and just plain whack.
Amen!
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1144. JLPR2
Quoting Weather456:
I tell ya. Seeing JFV constantly is becoming annoying, tiresome, and just plain whack.


yep, agreed -.-

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1143. xcool
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Question.How did some of you discover wunderground.I discoverd it by going to some articals on the internet.They said this was a good sight to go to.

I found it from an embeded Wunderground widget displaying the forcast on a website. The place I used to take soaring leassons liked Wunderground.
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This whole JFV nonsense has gotten so out of hand that I've actually started to ignore anyone who has mentioned those three terrible letter in their sentence...


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Quoting extreme236:
It would be very ironic if somehow stormtop and JFV were the same person.

That would be a somewhat scary, bipolar person. Would be a terrific actor, though...

Man, typing and eating ribs is not easy.

Aww, dang. Made a mess.
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wow didnt see that at first, the whole team went after the ump after the game.
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1136. Patrap
Found the wu during Georges in Sept 98..

A friend sent it via WEBtv
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I tell ya. Seeing JFV constantly is becoming annoying, tiresome, and just plain whack.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.