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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I tell ya. Seeing JFV constantly is becoming annoying, tiresome, and just plain whack.
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hurricane season is upon us.Quick poll,when do you all expect to get Alex.Me probally around mid-late june.If not I will eat crow.I want mines well done with bar-q suace.
Same timframe mid to late jone in the caribbean.
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does any east atlantic // west africa satellite images loop any more often than 6 hours?? Im using the meteostat 9? anyone with links? thanks
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hurricane season is upon us.Quick poll,when do you all expect to get Alex.Me probally around mid-late june.If not I will eat crow.I want mines well done with bar-q suace.


June 18th in the GOM
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Quoting ElConando:
I found this place in the summer of 06 by recommendation of a friend. Only read the wunderblog for a couple of months until I saw smart,accomplished, and great people posted here.


and who would they be? lol j/k

Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7683
1128. JLPR2
Quoting Weather456:
Weather undergound, August 2002, when i stop using fax and TV to track hurricanes and began using the internet








looks simple XD
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1126. pottery
Quoting ElConando:
I'm still in UTTER shock OMG...

Here, drink this!
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Quoting extreme236:
It would be very ironic if somehow stormtop and JFV were the same person.


thats an insult to stormtop :p, at least he provides comic relief to the blog haha
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Quoting extreme236:
It would be very ironic if somehow stormtop and JFV were the same person.


I've thought about that before myself.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
I found this place in the summer of 06 by recommendation of a friend. Only read the wunderblog for a couple of months until I saw smart,accomplished, and great people posted here.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3718
Weather undergound, August 2002, when i stop using fax and TV to track hurricanes and began using the internet






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1120. JLPR2
Quoting extreme236:
It would be very ironic if somehow stormtop and JFV were the same person.


That would leave me speechless XD
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My wife says that this time of the year, she feels like a widow, because I'm in the Man Cave on wunderground constantly,
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1118. Patrap
For the one who knows...

Oh it's healing bang bang bang
I can hear your canons call
You've been aiming at my land
Your hungry hammer's falling
And if you want me, I'm your country

I'm an angel bored like hell
And you're a devil meaning well
You steal my lines and you strike me down
Come raise your flag upon me
And if you want me, Im your country
If you win me Im forever, oh yeah

Cause you're the storm that I believe in
And all this peace has been deceiving
I like the sweet life and the silence
But it's the storm that I believe in

Come and conquer and drop your bombs
Cross my borders and kill the calm
Bear your fangs and burn my wings
I hear bullets singing

And if you want me, Im your country
If you win me Im forever, oh yeah

Cause you're the storm that I believe in
And all this peace has been deceiving
I need some wind to get me sailing
So it's the storm that I believe in

You fill my heart you keep me breathing
Cause you're the storm that I believe in
And if you want me I'm your country.
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It would be very ironic if somehow stormtop and JFV were the same person.
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hello anybody on?.Hey hurricane alex.Do you mind if I you ha for short.Or is that not good.
Just call me Alex i dont mind
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I'm still in UTTER shock OMG...
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3718
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.


The very first day I began tracking tropical cyclones in summer 2002. I already had the link from a friend. I joined in July 2005 after reading Jeff new blogs.
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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.


Went to the doctor a few months back and he diagnosed me with WeatherUnderground; I thought he meant I was under the weather. He said no, so I came home and googled it; and it directed me to this site
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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.


By mistake in 2004.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1111. JLPR2
Quoting pottery:

....even the corrected one...


haha!
Well at least a little less menacing :)
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I googled "weather blog" :)
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Quoting STORMTOP2:
GOOD EVENING BLOGGERS. I WILL BE GIVING MY HURRICANE SEASON OUTLOOK IN A LITLE WHILE.

-STORMTOP


Stormtop, please give us insight!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1107. JLPR2
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 saw it at the weather models page XD
Link
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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 discovered it by chance i typed in weather sites and there it was i clicked on it and i was hooked.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Oh, he is a parasite, stop blowing up his head.

Soon enough, once the season goes somewhere, I'll be hitting the iggy under any post by or about the affliction. Matters not whom the poster is, to me. Not why I, nor many others, come here.

(This, however, is how we got started on putting the iggy on myself...making a post of my own. Oh well.)

To make this not pointless:

I see the aerosol optical thickness measured at the Cape Verde station is tracking up with the satellite dust images. (0 is clear, 1.5+ is dust event)



Once the season heats up I think nobody will even mention him. He's just something to pass the time for now.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
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.

Quite honestly, I have no idea. I don't remember...
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1103. pottery
Quoting pottery:

Looks pretty menacing to me...

....even the corrected one...
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Quoting CaneWarning:
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Looks like we need an Invest to give some people something worthwhile to talk about.

It's not looking good for our beaches over here in the panhandle, sounds like oil will hit Pensacola in the next couple of days



It's a huge disaster and I'm afraid will only get worse if we get a storm in the gulf.


From day one of the explosion, that was in my thoughts. Any storm that goes directly over it or just to the West of it will bring massive amounts inland
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1101. JLPR2
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.


It can, but its harder to do so far south.
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1099. pottery
Quoting JLPR2:
It actually looks less menacing now ^^

Looks pretty menacing to me...
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Quoting PanhandleChuck:
Looks like we need an Invest to give some people something worthwhile to talk about.

It's not looking good for our beaches over here in the panhandle, sounds like oil will hit Pensacola in the next couple of days


It's a huge disaster and I'm afraid will only get worse if we get a storm in the gulf.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1095. Makoto1
That wave needs to climb a few degrees to do much or it'll just run into South America anyway. If it was July I'd feel better about its chances.
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Quoting xcool:
HEY alexh .SEXY WAVE HAHA
LOL
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1093. Patrap
Fascinating insight.


I smell dem shrimp beginning to burl..
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JIM JOYCE YOUR FIRED...
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Quoting CaneWarning:


His is our most infamous blogger. Everyone here is obsessed with him. You will see references to him constantly.

Oh, he is a parasite, stop blowing up his head.

Soon enough, once the season goes somewhere, I'll be hitting the iggy under any post by or about the affliction. Matters not whom the poster is, to me. Not why I, nor many others, come here.

(This, however, is how we got started on putting the iggy on myself...making a post of my own. Oh well.)

To make this not pointless:

I see the aerosol optical thickness measured at the Cape Verde station is tracking up with the satellite dust images. (0 is clear, 1.5+ is dust event)

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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.
Thats what i think as well but nice wave none the less.
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1089. JLPR2
It actually looks less menacing now ^^


Whoops wrong picture, fixed.
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1088. xcool
HEY alexh .SEXY WAVE HAHA
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1087. bappit
You betcha they did.
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Quoting Weather456:



The ITCZ is a fully tropical feature. I think you meant to ask, how much convection is independent of the ITCZ.


Yes, that's what I was trying to ask.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Patrap:
I have a short temper ?

No..say it aint so.

LOL

;) lol the ironic part? As I was typing you said:
Quoting Patrap:


I flag any comment with a, er, said bloggers hint in it.

One shouldnt perpetuate a myth.



LMAO
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Quoting xcool:
Thats a nice wave hey scott!
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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.

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