Asia records its hottest temperature in history; Category 4 Phet threatens Oman

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:47 PM GMT on June 02, 2010

Share this Blog
4
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 884 - 834

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

884. weathersp
10:57 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting Weather456:
You can see the surface outflow boundary below mid-upper clouds...



Surreal




Wheres the KML/KMZ file for that?
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
883. twhcracker
10:56 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting JamesSA:
BP is waiting for a new saw blade they ordered from Harbor Freight Tools. Should arrive in a week or two or three.


we are not supposed to make jokes at bp's expense. i was scolded for it. sigh. but that is pretty funny jamesSA
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 1448
881. Cavin Rawlins
10:56 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
You can see the surface outflow boundary below mid-upper clouds...



Surreal


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
880. Patrap
10:55 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
I agree.It is also to far south to catch the earths rotation.By any chance dose anyone know how to post an avatar.I tried to find out how to do it and it sounded like confusing.I tried to google it but that was an epic fail.


Click yer avatar and follow the prompt.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127367
879. sebastianflorida
10:55 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
God bless everyone this season.Especially Haiti.Those people have been through so much right now,I hope they leave this hurricane season without a scratch just like last season.But reality is pointing to the worst case right now.I hope they can put people in shelters before the hurricane season gets really active.Anyone else agree.
If anyone doesn't agree, that would be evil! Why ask if anyone agrees.
Member Since: August 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 679
878. msgambler
10:54 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
I wonder if I can ask a question. Is there any reason this wave can't just continue until it gets into a favorable area? Does it have to form or die right now? Isn't there a possibility of this to drift or move westerly/wnwesterly until in an area for development?
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
876. CaneWarning
10:53 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting JamesSA:
BP is waiting for a new saw blade they ordered from Harbor Freight Tools. Should arrive in a week or two or three.


That makes me feel really confident in BP. Not. I unfortunately had to stop at a BP this weekend on my way to St. Augustine. I got $5 worth of gas so I could make it to another station. I hate that I did that, but it was either that or run out of fuel.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
875. kmanislander
10:52 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting JamesSA:
BP is waiting for a new saw blade they ordered from Harbor Freight Tools. Should arrive in a week or two or three.


Surely they have a spare ?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15687
874. JamesSA
10:51 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
BP is waiting for a new saw blade they ordered from Harbor Freight Tools. Should arrive in a week or two or three.
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
873. Cavin Rawlins
10:50 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


Kinda makes you wonder how many "impressive" moments we're going to have with this one, huh?


Agree....there have a wealth of analysis so far in 2010.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
872. cg2916
10:48 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Guys, this wave is too far south for it to develop this time of year.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
871. CaneWarning
10:47 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting TropicalWave:


yup, thanks for the help.


No problem good ole buddy sir.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
869. kmanislander
10:46 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


Who's that in your avatar?


If Tropical Wave is JFV that is not him in the avatar photo
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15687
867. CycloneOz
10:45 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting Weather456:
Outflow boundaries...this is the first time I ever seen an outflow boundary in such 3-d perspectives...


Kinda makes you wonder how many "impressive" moments we're going to have with this one, huh?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3616
865. wunderkidcayman
10:43 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
hey guys I see we have a pre invest 92L coming very soon if that wave continues and also weather down here is interesting getting cloudy and pressure has dropped and is dropping now at 1009.6 ans no invest as they declassified it
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
864. AstroHurricane001
10:43 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Some heavy rains are occurring over Hispanola, especially around the Port-au-Prince area. This could contain the moisture associated with the second burst of convection from ex-Agatha.



The Atlantic visible looks rather strange, as it appears that a bank of low thin cloud is streaming off an area that is off the coast of eastern Nova Scotia, off southern Nova Scotia and off Maine.

Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
863. Cavin Rawlins
10:43 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
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...

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
862. HurricaneSwirl
10:43 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting RTLSNK:
Just had a cute little storm come through Macon, Ga., K8, 39,000 footer, high winds, freq lightning, heavy rain, 1" hail, still have power, looks like more to the NW of us.


I remember you, did you get anything from this? We didn't get a drop and we're in Macon as well, though the rumbles have been going on for a while. We had a hailstorm on Sunday though. It's been like this forever... And it doesn't look like these storms are stopping soon by the look of our hazardous weather outlook.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
861. CaneWarning
10:42 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
God bless everyone this season.Especially Haiti.Those people have been through so much right now,I hope they leave this hurricane season without a scratch just like last season.But reality is pointing to the worst case right now.I hope they can put people in shelters before the hurricane season gets really active.Anyone else agree.


I hope they have shelters to put them in.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
860. CycloneOz
10:42 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting TropicalWave:
my pic appeared.


"Your pic" of who?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3616
859. CycloneOz
10:42 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting TropicalWave:
i acnt open your nogaps link, ike?


Who's that in your avatar?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3616
858. CaneWarning
10:41 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting TropicalWave:
i acnt open your nogaps link, ike?


Wow, you got the avatar to work.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
855. errantlythought
10:41 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting CaneWarning:
It looks like NOGAPS also shows the African wave.


Yeah but it does some rather weird things with it. One of the waves, I swear somehow loops back to africa in a few of the later frames.
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
853. JLPR2
10:39 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


And even that is temporary! Like it's upcoming shift out of the ITCZ, the dry air will soon be off to it's east.


ah, forgot to add the connected to the ITCZ fact XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
852. Levi32
10:39 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
On the 18z water vapor image you can see the upper longwave trough now moving into Pakistan that is trying to pick up Cyclone Phet and bring him northeast. Also evident is the big ridge over Saudi Arabia to the northwest of Phet, and upper convergence on its eastern flank over the Arabian Desert is resulting in a huge area of very black, dry air on the satellite image. This dry air is being punched into Phet's circulation from the north by the flow around the Arabian ridge, and has caused major structural collapse of Phet's core over the last 8 hours. This is also cutting off the polar outflow channel, and outflow on Phet's north side is getting sheared to the northeast and is not well-defined.

I still don't see how Phet could possibly have been forecasted to become a Cat 5 this morning. It was clear then and is clear now that the trend will be for weakening as Phet approaches Oman. This is very good news for the people of Oman, but Phet's track could be even farther west than the JTWC has it if the ridge catches the storm and the trough to the northeast doesn't fully recurve Phet. Phet would then have to wait for the next trough currently over Israel, and this could result in excessive rainfall over portions of the Arabian Peninsula.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
851. CybrTeddy
10:38 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
Quoting IKE:
NOGAPS moves it off of the Carolina coast...Link


Also says a pretty potent storm in the BOC in 82 hours.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23494
It looks like NOGAPS also shows the African wave.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting JLPR2:
The wave has some 850mb vorticity, along with convergence, divergence and favorable shear, the only things against it are dry air to its north and climatology


And even that is temporary! Like it's upcoming shift out of the ITCZ, the dry air will soon be off to it's east.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3616
Quoting IKE:


18Z NOGAPS has it too...good thing it's inland.


Wow...look at the wave in the model. WNW --> NW right away in the coming hours!

Is it too soon to issue a SE FL Alert?
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3616
846. IKE
NOGAPS moves it off of the Carolina coast...Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
845. JLPR2
The wave has some 850mb vorticity, along with convergence, divergence and favorable shear, the only things against it are dry air to its north and climatology
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
844. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


Wow... Not good.


18Z NOGAPS has it too...good thing it's inland.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Actually, if it stays onshore then maybe it's not bad either. I'm not sure.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
I got some "Drama"-mine if ya need Ike..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127367
Quoting IKE:
***Drama***

18Z GFS...low moves along the gulf-coast...Link


Wow... Not good.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Hurricanes101:


cant develop 456, remember its only June lol


Yeah...lol...this one has some legs, however.

I've been quick on the trigger with 90L and 91L, having Atticus Finch get his gun to put down 'dem dogs.

But this wave is no dog. It's already a monster!

Now, will it settle down and go away?...(as you say, it is June after all!) That's the safe bet on it for sure.

I'm not convinced, however. It's way way way too organized. It looks more like an August killer right now than a June bust.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3616
839. IKE
***Drama***

18Z GFS...low moves along the gulf-coast...Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:
I am still amazed that "TropicalWave" was even available as a handle ... nevermind its owner.

Speaking of the tw in the east atl, that thing is pretty to look at. I remember the climatology back and forth from years past, so yeah climatology doesn't favor development but present conditions may be moreso in favor than that of climatology.



Well as I said earlier, how many people over numerous weather sites said that Bertha couldn't form in 2008 because climatology said it couldn't develop that early in July?

What ended up happening? If it happened in 2008, why can't it happen now?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
837. JLPR2
Quoting weather42009:


456 never said anything about it developing. Geeze pick up a book and learn to locate a wave . It was not directed at you.


Then why do you quote me? LOL!
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8483
Quoting Weather456:
Because of its proximity to the equator, turning is not as pronounce but is evident.

needs to be 555 miles from equator to form
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting JLPR2:


As I said, its pretty to look at XD


456 never said anything about it developing. Geeze pick up a book and learn to locate a wave . It was not directed at you.

Viewing: 884 - 834

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Top of Page

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.