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 twhcracker:


the last time they tried it in 200 feet of water it went on for nine months. watch rachel maddow show on msnbc, she is kickin butt this week.


Oh, I love Rachel Maddow. I bet she's really telling the truth about BP these days too.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Nolehead:
good morning everyone...well looks like orange and gulf shores should be getting it today...the smell is like a gigantic canister of lighter fluid that's the best way i can describe it...yesterday afternoon it was real strong and could be smelt all the way north to Foley....very sad...


its kinda like in that movie armageddon where they stood on the beach watching the tidal wave come in, isnt it. i feel just like that. the gulf is doomed.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


The scariest thing I heard was that this could go on until Christmas.


the last time they tried it in 200 feet of water it went on for nine months. watch rachel maddow show on msnbc, she is kickin butt this week.
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2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season: 76% Chance Major Storm to Hit U.S.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will be even more active than feared, leading U.S. forecasters said Wednesday as they predicted 10 hurricanes, five of them major, with a 76 percent likelihood that a major hurricane would hit the U.S. coastline.

The outlook from the Colorado State University team follows predictions by U.S. government scientists for an intense season that could disrupt efforts to contain a huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and also batter earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Increasing a previous estimate for a "very active'' season, the leading CSU storm research team founded by hurricane forecast pioneer William Gray said the six-month season beginning on June 1 would likely see 18 named tropical storms.

Of these, CSU saw 10 becoming hurricanes, with five becoming major Category 3 or higher hurricanes with winds above 110 miles per hour.

The CSU scientists increased their forecast from an April 7 prediction of 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

"The probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 76 percent compared with the last-century average of 52 percent,'' said forecaster Phil Klotzbach, who works with Gray.

The CSU team saw a 51 percent chance that a major hurricane would make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula, and a 51 percent chance that one would hit the Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas.

It put the chance of a major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean at 65 percent.

The expected extreme hurricane season this year is seen posing a threat to efforts to control and clean up oil spewing from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well owned by BP Plc, described by President Barack Obama's administration as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Experts warn that a storm surge in the Gulf of Mexico -- an abnormal rise in sea level created by a hurricane -- could whip the oil slick and chemicals used in trying to disperse it out of the Gulf and ashore on beaches, vegetation and even homes.




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Uhhhh....

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1677. hercj
Quoting JFLORIDA:



He objected to "One study has found that while the dominant signal remains that of the significant increases in the values of exposure at risk, once losses are normalised for exposure, there still remains an underlying rising trend"

That is hardly a Alarmist position in that report.


As a matter of fact in 2008 NOAA published:


Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA
Sept. 3, 2008; Last Revised May 5, 2010

Anthropogenic warming over the next century will likely cause hurricanes globally to be more intense (by a few percent on average) and have substantially higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes.


What he objected to is the insistence of the IPCC to include in that report was the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones were increasing due to man made global warming. He did at that time and does not now believe this to be the case. The science that you just sighted is one of the reasons, there are others not the least of which he is skeptical about the data that was used for others in the field to reach this conclusion. Let me say here I am an engineer not a scientist. I deal not in theory but in practical application. I am wary of any time the two political parties in this country draw battle lines over a theory. There will be, and has been an unbelievable amount of money spent to try and prove something only that we do not have the ability to prove. My own conclusions aside, my original point was that knowing people that know Jeff Masters I am not at all sure where he exactly stands here. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I however will try my best in the meantime to build aircraft that fly on coconut oil.
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Good morning everyone!
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1675. srada
Good Morning Everyone

Does anyone think the blob off of the Georgia coast could turn into anything?
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AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Reflector Backup page
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
1673. guygee
Quoting hercj:

You raise and interesting question. I am still quite frankly trying to figure that out myself. I do not know Dr. Masters but I know many people he does. I think he posts things sometimes here for discussion sake but his own professional opinions escape me at this time. I am sure at some point he will clarify them.
Unless you are suggesting that Dr. Masters' statements on this blog are incongruent with his professional opinions, I think there is little doubt where he stands. He has blogged about his professional opinion numerous times. Let's review just one such quote out of many similar ones:
The Climate Change Storm, Posted by: Jeff Masters, 9:14 PM GMT on April 06, 2007
Quoting Dr. Jeff Masters:

Significant climate change is already occurring, will grow dramatically, and will cause serious disruptions to natural ecosystems and the lives of billions of people world-wide over the coming century. We need to better prepare for the inevitable changes--and attempt to lessen the magnitude of the these changes by reducing greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. That's the take-home message from today's latest report from the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Every six years, the IPCC releases a huge, influential study detailing the state of Earth's climate. Part 1 of the 2007 report, summarizing the science of climate change, was released in February. Today's summary, titled "Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability" addressed the likely impacts of climate change on Earth's ecosystems and people. Not all of the expected changes will be harmful--the IPCC emphasizes that "impacts of future climate change will be mixed across regions" for temperature rises of 1 to 3C above 1990 levels, with the big losers being the poor developing countries. However, if global warming exceeds 2 to 3C, the IPCC states it is very likely that all regions of the globe will suffer increased costs or declining benefits. I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen of the planet to take the 30 minutes needed to read the IPCC summary and familiarize themselves with what the world's top scientists say about the likely impacts of climate change. The scope and severity of the Earth-shaking changes that lie ahead present a breathtakingly formidable challenge for humanity.
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good morning everyone...well looks like orange and gulf shores should be getting it today...the smell is like a gigantic canister of lighter fluid that's the best way i can describe it...yesterday afternoon it was real strong and could be smelt all the way north to Foley....very sad...
Member Since: June 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1923
1670. beell
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
333 AM EDT THU JUN 3 2010

.SHORT TERM (TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY)...EARLY MORNING WATER VAPOR IMAGERY SHOWS PRIMARILY ZONAL FLOW ACROSS THE CONUS. MAIN DISTURBANCE IN THIS FLOW PATTERN IS A COMPACT UPPER TROUGH/LOW OVER EAST TEXAS...WHICH TRIGGERED THE SQUALL LINE CURRENTLY MOVING INTO THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS UPPER DISTURBANCE IS PROGGED TO SLIDE VERY SLOWLY EAST OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS KEEPING THE TRI-STATE AREA UNDER A MOIST AND DEEP SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW PATTERN. A
SERIES OF WEAK SHORTWAVES EJECTING FROM THE MAIN UPPER TROUGH WILL HELP TO ENHANCE LIFT AS WELL AS GENERATE A WEAK SFC TROUGH/LOW
ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. THESE FACTORS COMBINED WITH DIFLUENT FLOW ALOFT WILL LEAD TO A WET COUPLE OF DAYS ACROSS THE REGION.


The Northern Gulf rain event......Not good in terms of the Oil Slick however which will be pushed towards the shores of LA/MS/AL/Fl Panhandle over the next few days....


Looks like a pretty decent weathermaker and worthy of some attention today. A slow moving stacked low along the central gulf coast.

Even a slight relaxation of shear close to the coast. Guessing 20 knot winds from the SE veering to SW over the next 48 hrs over the leak site.

In addition to the offshore stuff, a surface boundary in LA along the I-10 corridor to go with the good southeasterly surface flow and modest mid-level winds should support some pretty strong t-storms along the boundary.
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by the way our tropical wave looks very good and ASCAT caught about half of it and it looks really good this thing will likely become invest 92L very soon



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Quoting hercj:

No sir I am referring to the validity of the IPCC report. Not Dr Landsea's own science and as far as politics is concerned he fought back. As I have stated I know him and this was not where he wanted to be but he was given no choice in the matter once he accepted that position on that panel. Go along with what he did not believe, or walk off. He walked off they tried to discredit him and he fought back using the only forum he could. The media.

I know Chris, as well. Great guy.

And, if I remember right, he does have an AGW opinion when it comes to CO2 - warming. But he correctly points out that the historical data does not support all of the works put forth showing TC trends in this or that, from named storms to majors, in the last 100 years. Somewhat like myself, he frequently points out things like the dearth of observations 80 years ago, the changing mission of the NHC, the changing policies of naming short-lived, non-threatening tropical storms, and the changing observation methods over the years.

When Trenberth went into a press conference expounding the increasing TC threat with AGW, BEFORE any conclusions to that effect had been hammered out by that group of the IPCC, Landsea could see that the conclusions were pre-determined.
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1665. JamesSA
That shear does a pretty decent job of pinching off the cut end. Had they not cut into that pipe earlier with the diamond saw, they would likely end up with a greatly reduced flow after making this cut. Too bad.
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Quoting IKE:


Incredibly difficult job. I'm not optimistic.


The scariest thing I heard was that this could go on until Christmas.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1533: That was about my AGW beliefs?

Dude, no post of mine in here has been about AGW in months. If that's all you see when I am discussing SST anomalies in the MDR...then, well, like I said, you seem to have a block or clogged filter.
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1660. IKE
Quoting P451:
The pressure coming out of that well is just insane. Not sure how some rovers are going to be able to place a lid on that kind of pressure. How would they have the force to counter that? Let alone get anything lined up.



Incredibly difficult job. I'm not optimistic.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
This can't end well.


Sigh...
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
Dr. Landsea doesn't "Believe" in a link between stronger hurricanes and global warming , for that reason probably he was chosen by the Bush administration over another scientist to speak to the press after Katrina.

He participated in that politicization.

He doesnt really say anything about Ocean Acidification and other warming related realities. Just that he doesnt believe hurricanes will strengthen as a result of warming.

He doenst seem to actually publish much on climate.


He was a co-author along with other leading hurricane researchers in a recently published paper,
Tropical cyclones and climate change.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10453
1656. hercj
Quoting JFLORIDA:




NO his climate research? - YOU IMPLIED HE WAS A CLIMATE WHICH HE IS NOT.

YOU ALSO IMPLY HE IS DISGRUNTLED WITH POLITICS WHICH HE HIMSELF DISPROVED.

No sir I am referring to the validity of the IPCC report. Not Dr Landsea's own science and as far as politics is concerned he fought back. As I have stated I know him and this was not where he wanted to be but he was given no choice in the matter once he accepted that position on that panel. Go along with what he did not believe, or walk off. He walked off they tried to discredit him and he fought back using the only forum he could. The media.
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Quoting mikatnight:
Good Morning...



Is that oil sheen? (j/k)
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Gooood morning guys weather down here is hot hot and dry and calm andwe need rain I thought we are in our rainy season but where is the rain
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This can't end well.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1649. hercj
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Dr. Landsea doesn't "believe" in a link between stronger hurricanes and global warming , for that reason probably he was chosen by the bush administration over another scientist to speak to the press after Katrina.

He doesnt really say anything about Ocean Acidification and other warming related realities. Just that he doesnt believe hurricanes will strengthen as a result of warming.



Sir, Dr Christopher J Landsea, one of the TOP Atmospheric Scientists in the world with unimpeachable credentials was asked to straight out LIE in that IPCC REPORT!!!!! This taints the science in THAT REPORT!!! He refused and walked off and has professionally suffered for it. If this is the direction that you want science to go leave me out of it.
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


No, thats vertical shear. We dont need that.


It is the same thing.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Morning, party people. Rain is coming down big time this a.m.

Not much time now to stick around, but back later to offer my analysis. Wait, I never really do that? Oh well, back later to look at other people's analysis.



LOL
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Can we ban the phrase "just like 2005"? Or..we can turn it into a drinking game...anytime someone posts a comparison to 2005 everyone does a shot!
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1642. hercj
Quoting hercj:


Dr Masters and I both know Dr. Christopher Landsea who walked off that commission for obvious reasons. The problem is it is being politically driven by self serving politicians and the science is taking a back seat.
Quoting guygee:
So Dr. Masters knows Landsea, how does that address my original question? Does Jeff Masters agree with Landsea? If so, his blogs here do not confirm this, rather the opposite, as Dr. Masters has linked to the IPCC reports in several of his blogs.

You raise and interesting question. I am still quite frankly trying to figure that out myself. I do not know Dr. Masters but I know many people he does. I think he posts things sometimes here for discussion sake but his own professional opinions escape me at this time. I am sure at some point he will clarify them.
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Good Morning...

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1640. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
good morn wunderground
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52096
1639. guygee
Quoting hercj:

Dr Masters and I both know Dr. Christopher Landsea who walked off that commission for obvious reasons. The problem is it is being politically driven by self serving politicians and the science is taking a back seat.
So Dr. Masters knows Landsea, how does that address my original question? Does Jeff Masters agree with Landsea? If so, his blogs here do not confirm this, rather the opposite, as Dr. Masters has linked to the IPCC reports in several of his blogs.
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1638. hercj
Quoting guygee:
So where do you draw the line between our host, Dr. Masters, who believes man-made global warming has a real scientific basis, and your "Global Warming Alarmists"? You should really clarify that, as Dr. Masters has suggested that people read the IPCC reports that do have long-term predictions


Dr Masters and I both know Dr. Christopher Landsea who walked off that commission for obvious reasons. The problem is it is being politically driven by self serving politicians and the science is taking a back seat.
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Either way it's 40 knots.
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


No, thats vertical shear. We dont need that.


I'm confused? I don't know much about the tropics, but I was told that was the most accurate shear map.
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Good morning! Wow, look at that tropical wave. We are in for a long season.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.