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: 784 - 734

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

Rotating Globe Movie
Updated every three hours.


These MPEG movies show weather systems over a rotating globe. They are created by combining data from 5 geostationary orbiting satellites (GOES-East, GOES-West, Meteosat at 0, Meteosat at 63E, and MTSAT), polar orbiting satellites and a topographic map of the Earth. Get more information about playing MPEG movies.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
782. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


Oh no...


Hmmm.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


grab your shower curtain!


Oh no...
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
780. xcool
ilove ie8
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
779. IKE
Quoting TropicalWave:
where can i read his full forecast?


Not sure.

What's your location?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
IE..

Internet Explorer,

web browser
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
777. xcool
oh shi big waveee i seeing hope
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
The screen is fine..if your Running IE on wunderground..your gonna have image sizing issues.


IE??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

IO032010 - Tropical Cyclone PHET



4km Remapped Color Enhanced Infrared Imagery

Current imagery and loops of 4km remapped and color enhanced infrared (IR) imagery is displayed in an earth fixed coordinate system. IR imagery (~11 um) from five geostationary satellites are remapped to a common 4km resolution Mercator projection in an identical manner as the CIRA Tropical Cyclone Image Archive described in (Mueller et al. (2006) . These images are then centered and displayed using the nearest 5 degree latitude/longitude earth coordinate based on the most recent location and past 12-h movement. The images are also color enhanced with the coldest temperatures/highest clouds displayed as colored shades
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
774. JLPR2
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It's the most aggressive wave I've seen emerge off of Africa so far this year, so it's nice to monitor it, but since it's associated with the ITCZ I don't expect much development if any.


Its nice to look at XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalWave:
hey guys, how can i post a pic for my avatar in here?


grab your shower curtain!
Member Since: July 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 261


AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Reflector Backup page
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting IKE:


You've got a 30-40% chance through Sunday...day and night. I'll do my best.


Yeah, but that hasn't done anything for me the last few days. I've got my fingers crossed though.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667

WP942010 - INVEST

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The CSU's June 2 forecast of 18 named storms is rather reasonable. It forms the center-line of NOAA's 9 storm ranged forecast last Thursday.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting JLPR2:


Me neither XD

I love ramsdis images! :D
It's the most aggressive wave I've seen emerge off of Africa so far this year, so it's nice to monitor it, but since it's associated with the ITCZ I don't expect much development if any.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
766. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


I would kill for 70 degrees right now! Can you send some of that my way please?


You've got a 30-40% chance through Sunday...day and night. I'll do my best.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Hmmmm.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
763. IKE
Quoting Patrap:


Nicer day here as well Ike,,rain cooled..

The 2in should keep the dust at bay..for yas.


Lots of thunder and lightning.

70% chance of more tomorrow and Friday.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting IKE:
Not that anyone should care, but I'm over 2 inches of rain today at my house.

Rain and a cool 70.0...right now.


I would kill for 70 degrees right now! Can you send some of that my way please?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting TropicalWave:


wow, does he blog in here? if my memory serves me correctly, he has an MA in met, so, needless to say, his feedback should not be ignored, let's see if it pans out.
I agree but he should name other locations, not just in the U.S.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
759. JLPR2
Quoting CaneWarning:


Do any of the models develop the system? I haven't seen any models runs at all.


Me neither XD

I love ramsdis images! :D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
758. IKE
Quoting TropicalWave:


wow, does he blog in here? if my memory serves me correctly, he has an MA in met, so, needless to say, his feedback should not be ignored, let's see if it pans out.


He use to blog here but I think the arguing and bs in here ran him off. He's smart on the tropics.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting CycloneOz:


Oh really? :D

I could show you a video from a "Trivial Pursuit" TV game show (host Wink Martindale) where I won a trip to Hawaii with a fraction of a second left on the clock. (no kidding)


You, sir, are the man!

We'll have to play sometime
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening all
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting IKE:
Not that anyone should care, but I'm over 2 inches of rain today at my house.

Rain and a cool 70.0...right now.


Nicer day here as well Ike,,rain cooled..

The 2in should keep the dust at bay..for yas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:
D-min over there, right?


Do any of the models develop the system? I haven't seen any models runs at all.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
now would be a good time to fix that
Yeah, I know KOG..planning on doing it ASAP.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
752. IKE
Not that anyone should care, but I'm over 2 inches of rain today at my house.

Rain and a cool 70.0...right now.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Lesson learned.. never read the yahoo comment sections when it comes to hurricanes. They're calling the 2008 and 2007 hurricane season a dud when they have no idea what actually happened.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24484
749. JLPR2
D-min over there, right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaRefugee:
I gotta get my generator fixed...need to replace an O ring that's gone. Not planning on evac-ing, except for a cat 4 or 5. Out of money since Gustav and Ike.....shoulda stayed put.
now would be a good time to fix that
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting kimoskee:
it's the graphics that are stretching. it was okay until the graphics came up.


You need a new browser.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
IE...pbbbbt....firefox is da bomb
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The screen is fine..if your Running IE on wunderground..your gonna have image sizing issues.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
it's the graphics that are stretching. it was okay until the graphics came up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I gotta get my generator fixed...need to replace an O ring that's gone. Not planning on evac-ing, except for a cat 4 or 5. Out of money since Gustav and Ike.....shoulda stayed put.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GainesvilleGator:
Bob's (Weatherguy03) Hurricane Season forecast is as follows:

22 named storms
10 hurricanes
6 intense hurricanes

He said the three areas to be concerned for are:

1. South Florida
2. Northern Gulf Coast
3. North Carolina Coast.

Bob is usually very close to "dead on" with his predictions. I wasn't expecting numbers this high so we have a lot to be concerned about this season.
Does he know about other locations otside of the United States? The Caribbean is also going to have a pretty bad season, imo.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
State weather expert: 'Hang on for the ride' this hurricane season


By Sheila Grissett, The Times -Picayune
June 02, 2010, 2:19PM


State climatologist Barry Keim said he was stunned last week by the NOAA forecast that as many as 14 to 23 named storms could develop during the storm season that opened Tuesday, with as many as 14 of those becoming hurricanes -- three of them major.

In the last half-century, 10 tropical systems morph into storms with winds of at least 39 mph during an average year, with two of those growing into major storms identified by winds of at least 111 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"NOAA's numbers took my breath away," Keim told participants at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner during a Wednesday news briefing Entergy organized to talk about its preparations for the new six-month storm season.

Although Keim said he certainly expected higher-than normal numbers because of all the ominous climactic factors lining up to encourage storm formation in this Gulf-Atlantic season, he said he wasn't prepared for the big numbers the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rolled out.

And if the season does produces on the higher numbers in NOAA's latest forecast, it would put the 2010 on track to be a record-producing year.

"This could potentially be the second busiest storm season behind 2005," he said , the year that produced 28 storms -- including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The year 1933 currently holds that second-place spot with 21 storms, and Keim said residents of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast can only hope not to overturn that grim, old record.

"Hopefully, all the numbers will be proven wrong, but I say, hang on for the ride," he told the leadership group that included Jefferson Parish President Steve Theriot, who is now overseeing his first hurricane season as the parish's top executive.

Theriot urged residents and businesses not to assume that last year's hurricane plans are still good, but to take them out and go over them with a fine-tooth comb.

"We can't take for granted our plans,", he said. "Rethink them. Go over them. Educate yourselves, and be better prepared in the event of the unthinkable."

Theriot said parish government is better prepared than ever and has come up with a plan attempting to be self sufficient for five days under the worse circumstances.

Ditto for Entergy, where officials said they have "battle plans" underpinned with the latest technology ready to go.

Company storm incident commander Randy Helmick said the key to Entergy's preparations is envisioning and training for back-to-back storms. And in the years 2005 and 2008, he said Entergy drills were eerily on target, with hurricanes Katrina and Rita, then Gustav and Ike, respectively.

"Our employees didn't have that deer-in-the-headlights look because they had drilled for just such (situations)," he said. "It's all about planning and preparation."

The Entergy news conference precedes a special hurricane preparation session exclusively for businesses that will occur at 1:30 in the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., the public is invited to attend the Hurricane Preparedness Expo where participants will exhibit generators, shutters and other storm-protection devices. Local and state government representatives, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, will also be on hand to discuss a range of issues dealing with levees and flood protection.

Home improvement businesses will demonstrate the physical preparation of homes and businesses to help better withstand storm conditions; local hospitals and nutritionists will provide tips on post-storm threats to health and safety.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bob's (Weatherguy03) Hurricane Season forecast is as follows:

22 named storms
10 hurricanes
6 intense hurricanes

He said the three areas to be concerned for are:

1. South Florida
2. Northern Gulf Coast
3. North Carolina Coast.

Bob is usually very close to "dead on" with his predictions. I wasn't expecting numbers this high so we have a lot to be concerned about this season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
STORMTOP???? is it really you??!!

:)


ONLY caps LOCK knows.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3779
738. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Oman Meteorological Department
===================================

Date: 02/06/2010
Time: 18:00 LST.

The Weather System over Arabian Sea
Warning no. 2

Latest Satellite images and numerical weather prediction charts indicate the tropical cyclone PHET over Arabian Sea has intensified and moved farther towards Omani coasts. Its center at 18:00 PM LST near latitude 18.5N 59.5E. "PHET" is around 220 km away from Masirah Island with the nearest mass of the convective clouds around 100 km away.

Maximum sustained wind speed around the centre are estimated to be around 90 knotd. PHET is expected to continue its movement into a Northwesterly direction towards Sharqiya coast in the next 24 hours with 10 km/h associated with heavy thunder shower accompany with strong winds.

Muscat Governate and Aldhakhlia region might be affected by the convective cloud.
People in the affected areas are to take precautions on the low lands from flowing Wadies because of the heavy rain and Fishermen are also advised to be precautious as seas are expected to be rough along the Sultanate's coastal areas especially the coastal areas of the Arabian Sea as wave heights may reach up to 8 metres.

---
an old advisory about 7-8 hours ago.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
STORMTOP???? is it really you??!!

:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Phet not looking as good as it did this morning on satellite but none the less could result in a potentially fatal cyclone. My prayers out to those people in Oman.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Floodman:


You're not that lucky, dude...LOL


Oh really? :D

I could show you a video from a "Trivial Pursuit" TV game show (host Wink Martindale) where I won a trip to Hawaii with a fraction of a second left on the clock. (no kidding)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Any body remember lendeli? That time he got me LOL

Golfer POOF begone
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 784 - 734

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
44 °F
Overcast