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 IKE:
... I heard just now that there's a 5 1/2 pipe inside the riser pipe.
Yes there is, the drill pipe. I was contemplating earlier if it might be under pressure and come rocketing out of the well like a harpoon once the riser was cut. We don't know if the BOP has a grip on it, and it may still be sealed at the bottom with a cement plug.

Wouldn't that be an interesting development! It is 5,000 feet to the surface, but there are still 13,000 feet of drill pipe in that well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalWave:
thanks. are you seeing some long trackers this year?


Don't you mean long trekers?
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Quoting IKE:
TropicalWave is JFV? You're kidding? I never would have guess.



I heard just now that there's a 5 1/2 pipe inside the riser pipe.
LOL, I'm pretty sure he's JFV. It's kind obvious.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
TropicalWave,

I feel sorry for the guy in that pic you stole.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weather42009:


Hi JFV. You know you are terrible at keeping your identity hidden. First of all, as a new blogger, how did you get so informal with Weather456? Second question is, how do you know if bloggers are being funny? You must have some prior knowledge of why that joke was funny.
His avatar is a man that is not JFV, but you never know. You could be JFV.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
979. IKE
TropicalWave is JFV? You're kidding? I never would have guess.

Quoting JamesSA:
I wonder what was inside that riser pipe that would dull a diamond saw? I can't imagine anything from their junk shot being that hard.

Maybe they have a diamond well and don't know it yet. :-)


I heard just now that there's a 5 1/2 pipe inside the riser pipe.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
You can keep it away from Houston PLEASE


Those were the locations of BP headquarters. There isn't any hurricane heading that way, atleast, not predictable.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting DestinJeff:
I remember when TropicalAmanda was on here someone was able to find the avatar pic on the web using some service...can't remember exactly. But the pic being used was available on the free web.


If your looking for a way to search for images by image recognition, you're probably thinking of this:

http://www.tineye.com/

It's still a work in progress though. It will probably find stock images easily enough, but only a small fraction of the web's image content is likely searchable this way (so far).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
958. Keep it civilized on here mate.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
I wonder what was inside that riser pipe that would dull a diamond saw? I can't imagine anything from their junk shot being that hard.

Maybe they have a diamond well and don't know it yet. :-)
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Hmmmm.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting TropicalWave:
funny bloggers in here. 456, cit could really get uderway that soon?


Hi JFV. You know you are terrible at keeping your identity hidden. First of all, as a new blogger, how did you get so informal with Weather456? Second question is, how do you know if bloggers are being funny? You must have some prior knowledge of why that joke was funny.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm 13 and I'm a "kid", I don't find it offensive or rude, just a little funny about the weenie thing but it's a very serious matter.


Yeah, but not all 13 year olds are as mature.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting TropicalWave:
funny bloggers in here. 456, cit could really get uderway that soon?


yea
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
968. Ocoee
What is the seasons wildfire expectations in the US?
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967. IKE
Top hat is what their going with vs. top cap. Expert on MSNBC said top hat is not as good, that BP really wanted top cap....bad news.

Also...that if a storm came into the area during the hurricane season, they would have to pull the top hat off of the well and the oil would be flowing freely into the GOM.

He also said that this going on until Christmas is a possibility.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting CaneWarning:
958. Watch what you say, there are probably kids here.
I'm 13 and I'm a "kid", I don't find it offensive or rude, just a little funny about the weenie thing but it's a very serious matter.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
958. Watch what you say, there are probably kids here.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
just saying its a nice wave. thats all. i think its a nice looking wave. jmo
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AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Reflector Backup page
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting Katrina2NOLA2010:
945:

This is why we need CRIME PREVENTION instead of the "Crime response" we have now.

Bastards like this DESERVE Cruel and Unusual punishment.

I can think of some things I'd like to do to him. Starting with castration via Sulfuric Acid. Roast that weenie till it pops.

Then once that's done, on to the fingers and toes.

"SCREAM BASTARD. SCREAM FOR MERCY LIKE THAT GIRL DID! WHAT'S THAT? SHE DIDN'T GET MERCY DID SHE? NEITHER DO YOU!"

This is why hangings and firing squads were invented, but those were too humane for scum like this.

We need a real justice system instead of the crap we have now. The punishment should fit the crime.

He's a double murderer, ought make his death as painful and slow as possible.
Ok? LMAO.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting sarahjola:

yes it is!


ok??
Member Since: July 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 261
Quoting DestinJeff:



"456, sir, in your most expert analysis do you foresee this monster from teh cape verdes to do any damage to shower curtains in South Florida?"
LMAO!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Ossqss:
Folks all of your Atlantic Season Picks have been summarized and placed on my blog.

Special thanks to nrtiwlnvragn for crunching the data and providing some nice graphic representations of the sample.

Looks to me that we are as accurate again this year as the pro's.

Go figure :)

Thanks for your participation.

Atlantic Season Contest - Updated
i will give it a read thanks
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


wtf is that avatar? lol!

yes it is!
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Quoting Weather456:
There are growing chances of getting our first cape verde hurricane just about 5-7 weeks from now during the next passage of the MJO and continued (rather strange) favorable conditions in the MDR. I do not think it will beat Bertha's record but could be one of the earliest cape verde storms in recent years. I do not expect anyone to ask me where its going, lol.
Where and when it develops is the key. If it develops close to the coast of Africa it will probably curve out to sea (In July) if it develops further west it can hit anywhere from the CONUS to the Caribbean (In July). We'll see soon enough.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting DestinJeff:



"456, sir, in your most expert analysis do you foresee this monster from teh cape verdes to do any damage to shower curtains in South Florida?"


I was waiting for that, lol. Expected to make landfall near St James's, City of Westminster, London and near the One Westlake Park in the Energy Corridor area of Houston, Texas.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting StormJunkie:
Evening CRS, good to see ya. Yeah, I saw they cut it once already. Guess they just have to see how much damage is done to the pipe in the process and if they can still fit something on top of it.

There is no excuse for not having a contingency plan for how to deal with a broken pipe and failed blow out preventer at 5000 feet. Someone in BP likely saw an extremely low risk of this situation and high cost in developing an effective contingency plan. Goes to show that cost cutting often costs more than spending the money in the first place.


I think the plan is called relief well.
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Quoting DestinJeff:



"456, sir, in your most expert analysis do you foresee this monster from teh cape verdes to do any damage to shower curtains in South Florida?"


HA HA HA HA
Member Since: July 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 261
Quoting stormhank:
whats everyones thoughts on wave in eastern atlantic?? looks impressive for june 2nd!! thats what worries me wave this impressive now could mean trouble 6 weeks from now
6 weeks isn't a good estimate, when the waves begin to seperate from the ITCZ is when we have to watch them, and that could be anytime from a week from now to 8 weeks from now.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Folks, all of your Atlantic Season Picks have been summarized and placed on my blog.

Special thanks to nrtiwlnvragn for crunching the data and providing some nice graphic representations of the sample.

Looks to me like we are as accurate again this year as the pro's.

Go figure :)

Thanks for your participation.

Atlantic Season Contest - Updated
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting DestinJeff:



"456, sir, in your most expert analysis do you foresee this monster from teh cape verdes to do any damage to shower curtains in South Florida?"


ROFLMAO
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting sarahjola:
nice wave comming off africa


wtf is that avatar? lol!
Member Since: July 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 261
Quoting Weather456:
There are growing chances of getting our first cape verde hurricane just about 5-7 weeks from now during the next passage of the MJO and continued (rather strange) favorable conditions in the MDR. I do not think it will beat Bertha's record but could be one of the earliest cape verde storms in recent years. I do not expect anyone to ask me where its going, lol.


YOU may not "expect it" but they will :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Where is it gonna go ..?

BP needs the lead time
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
941. IKE
Quoting largeeyes:
IKE, what is that that NOGAP has off the NC coast?


From the Raleigh,NC weather office...

"THE 12Z NAM SHOWS AN UPPER WAVE POSSIBLY EJECTING ENE FROM
TX TOWARD THE SOUTHEAST STATES AND PORTIONS OF THE CAROLINAS LATE
FRIDAY AFT/EVE INTO FRI NIGHT. THE GFS...HOWEVER...IS LESS
PROGRESSIVE AND FURTHER SOUTH WITH THIS FEATURE...KEEPING IT NEAR
THE GULF COAST AND SLOWLY MOVING IT EAST INTO THE FL PANHANDLE BY
SUN."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
nice wave comming off africa
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There are growing chances of getting our first cape verde hurricane just about 5-7 weeks from now during the next passage of the MJO and continued (rather strange) favorable conditions in the MDR. I do not think it will beat Bertha's record but could be one of the earliest cape verde storms in recent years. I do not expect anyone to ask me where its going, lol.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Talk about dry air...This is from Le Raizet, Guadeloupe, Leeward Islands
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Quoting Patrap:


..Spock raise eyebrow slightly


I heard that, LoL :)


Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
IKE, what is that that NOGAP has off the NC coast?
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whats everyones thoughts on wave in eastern atlantic?? looks impressive for june 2nd!! thats what worries me wave this impressive now could mean trouble 6 weeks from now
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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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