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 xcool:
Thats a nice wave hey scott!
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Is that wave far enough north to generate any type of spin. Seems a little south to me. Too close to the equator.
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1081. Makoto1
What... Did I just see... That's such a terrible way to lose history like that.
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1080. Patrap
I have a short temper ?

No..say it aint so.

LOL

Some confuse tolerance of idiocy with temper too easily me tinks.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
1079. pottery
Quoting Weather456:
What makes an early cape verde hurricane season

Easterly shear from the AEJ supports strong tropical waves and ridging promotes ventilation for tropical thunderstorms



Lower than normal sea level pressure promotes deepening




Warm SSTs promote higher rainfall and convection




Weak shearing in the vertical.





All are present in 2010.


Good post. Thanks.
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1078. xcool
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1077. IKE
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Guy will be sick to his stomach when he sees the replay


Yup. Jim Joyce will never live that down.

Nice going Jim.....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1076. Patrap
Baseball and weather.

U betcha.

MMmm,..uh,Pass the mustard...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
Quoting CaneWarning:


How much of that is actually tropical in nature and how much is ITCZ?



The ITCZ is a fully tropical feature. I think you meant to ask, how much convection is independent of the ITCZ.
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Wow...I dont even know what to say after that call. Mike and Mike in the morning is going to be great tomorrow on the way to work.
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JFV is the guys initials. he's from south florida and is a doomcaster, eastcaster, westcaster, northcaster, southcaster, but above all he is a south florida caster. Really, anything with -caster fits him except "fore". His grammar is atrocious and his compassion is nil. He's got Cyclone0z's craziness, Drak's abrasiveness, Patrap's short temper, and my bad humor (sorry Aussie! ;) ) all rolled into one. Hence he stays banned more often then not. He's got more handles than a bicycle built for quintuplets.
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Quoting IKE:


They won't do it, but Bud Selig should reverse that call.


agreed
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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
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Quoting Funkadelic:
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jim Joyce somebody hit him over the head!!!!!


Guy will be sick to his stomach when he sees the replay
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1068. IKE
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
The ump told Caberra to quit his whining but man wait until he sees the replay.


They won't do it, but Bud Selig should reverse that call.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1066. Patrap
Did the Saints win?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
The ump told Caberra to quit his whining but man wait until he sees the replay.
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1062. IKE
Quoting Hurricanes101:
ump just cost him a perfect game


It's one reason MLB sucks.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1060. Patrap
Quoting Hurricanes101:
guess no one listens

again another night of conversation wasted on that clown, which is exactly what he wants



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

One shouldnt perpetuate a myth.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
What makes an early cape verde hurricane season

Easterly shear from the AEJ supports strong tropical waves and ridging promotes ventilation for tropical thunderstorms



Lower than normal sea level pressure promotes deepening




Warm SSTs promote higher rainfall and convection




Weak shearing in the vertical.





All are present in 2010.

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ump just cost him a perfect game
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1057. xcool
MISS BE 19
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1056. IKE
He was out.....INSTANT REPLAY NEEDED IN MLB!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
He was out by a mile. A mile. A mile holy cow and I am an Indians fan.
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what a call...that ump made a tough call. Oh man.
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1053. IKE
R U kidding me? He looked out!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Yeah I live in Baltimore.Very historic city.It's only 40 miles from D.C.I do recommend a visit.


I've been there. How was the snow this past winter?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1 out left...
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1050. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


So this will be your main name from now on?


yep :D
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8526
Fog delays Melbourne flights

A HEAVY pall of fog enveloping the city has sparked a series of delays on domestic and international flights in Melbourne this morning.

Two international Qantas flights have been delayed and domestic passengers arriving in Melbourne should brace themselves for disruptions across the board.

A Melbourne International Airport spokeswoman said several flights were being diverted because of thick fog.

"We've had two international diversions and there have been a couple of delays on the outbound flights," she said.

The QF94 from LA to Melbourne had been diverted to Sydney; it was scheduled to arrive at 7.45am (AEST), but was pushed back to 9.40am.

Flight QF123 from Auckland was rerouted to Adelaide and was now due to arrive in Melbourne at 10.25am.

Domestic arrivals from Hobart, Canberra, Sydney, Albury, Mildura, Adelaide, Brisbane, Wagga, Mt Gambier and Burnie have been delayed.

Senior forecaster Dean Stewart said varying levels of fog were being reported around Victoria.

"Melbourne airport has been in fog since just before (6am), the visibility being reported as low as about 100m," Mr Stewart said.

He said the fog should begin to lift at around 11am, however light winds forecasted for this evening could cause similar conditions to reoccur.
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1046. JLPR2
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


D-Max will make it "explode"


yeah, probably, I would love to see that, but my bed is telling me I should go to sleep early XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8526
1045. IKE
What a catch! I didn't think he had a prayer!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what a catch to save the perfect game holy cow what a freaking catch.
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guess no one listens

again another night of conversation wasted on that clown, which is exactly what he wants

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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Wow alot of young people on the blog just like me.It's also good to have your elders becuase they can teach you alot.Who's jfv.When I go down the pages and read them I always see his name.


His is our most infamous blogger. Everyone here is obsessed with him. You will see references to him constantly.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting JLPR2:


Got some little problems with the old one, like little bugs that dont allow me to post images to my blog, I cant modify my pictures profile, at least they fixed the double blog, but the other account is there XD I just cant bring myself to delete my 400something wunderphotos -.-


So this will be your main name from now on?
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1040. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting CaneWarning:


He's not really safe if most of us already know who he is.


no not most only some

let it go from here
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
1039. Patrap


by Doug Mouton / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on June 2, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Updated today at 6:13 PM

GULF SHORES, Ala. -- The mayor of Gulf Shores, Alabama said Wednesday he expects oil on his beaches soon.

Rust colored oil is now on Dauphin Island, near the mouth of Mobile Bay.

Along the Gulf Coast, beach reservations are quickly turning into cancellations, and a hard reality is setting in.

"It is going to be a rough summer regardless of how much oil we get on the shore," Mayor Robert Craft said Wednesday, "because the perception of the world is, we're a hazardous waste dump."

There were many people enjoying the beaches of Gulf Shores Wednesday. Mayor Craft said many of them came for Memorial Day weekend and are finishing out their stays. He expects the financial hit to set in this weekend.

"It is the Saturday check-in group that has fallen away almost completely," Craft said.

There were some families on the beach that buck that trend.

"We came in today," Patsy Metz of Morgan City said Wednesday. "We've had these rooms booked for quite awhile and we had thoughts of canceling and then we said no, we're going as a family. We're going to keep our rooms and support the Gulf Coast."

Metz is in Gulf Shores with her daughters and their families. Tourism leaders say that's their typical market in Gulf Shores.

"We have a lot of families who have come down to our beach generation after generation, and they are loyal to us," said Kim Chapman, the public relations director for Gulf Shores / Orange Beach Tourism.

4.6 million visitors spent $2.3 billion in Baldwin County in 2009, but much of that money is earned over the summer months, which could be lean this year.

But that generational support is why leaders in Gulf Shores believe, when the BP oil spill mess is all over, they can recover. But Craft said they need help now.

Gulf Shores has roughly 16,000 rental units ran by 48 management companies. Most are family owned operations, as are many business around Gulf Shores. The mayor said those businesses need immediate financial help from BP to make it through this difficult summer, because he believes oil is eventually coming to his beaches.

"I think we will have oil on our beaches," Craft said, "probably this week, based on the fact that we have tarballs and oil on the beach at Dauphin Island and that will make its way this way."

Craft said he has a beach cleanup plan ready, but with oil continuing to spew out of the broken wellhead in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, he doesn't know how many times he'll need to use it.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
he shouldn't of asked i told him he was safe
Are you saying "Don't ask Don't tell"
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

your not jfv we know that
we also know you have been around since 2006
we also know you had your own blog and still can but you don't
we also know you are permanently banned from the docs blog
we also know should i go on


?????
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
he shouldn't of asked i told him he was safe


He's not really safe if most of us already know who he is.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667

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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.