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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Jeff, the picture worked.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting futuremet:
DestinJeff,

Please remove that picture of JFV. I am hesitant to press the hide or minus(-) button, because I do not want to jeopardize your status here.


I respectfully disagree that Jeff should take that action.

That picture was originally posted by he who shall not be named, and it has passed muster. No bans have ever been issued when it was used.

And to be honest, it makes me laugh out loud. It is comic genius!
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Quoting TropicalWave:


you should report him for that, futuremet. the doc did not create this blog with that mindset. as well as anyone else who posts pics of that character on here. on a lighter note, how are you? are you all pumped for the season, yet? lol.

That character? Are you pretending to not be JFV now? Im confused? Btw, is it against the rules to discuss bans? Because Im curious what got your last handle banned (and what will be your next one, Im sure it is already made?)
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From CNN: BP has freed the snared diamond wire cutting saw that was being used to cut off the damaged riser pipe.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
559. cg2916 3:08 PM EDT on June 02, 2010

Trust me, it is certainly heading West towards (name your location) under that ridge......

That's not a jog, it is headed West.......

I think it just made the turn to the West.....

It's going to turn towards the West any minute now....
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Quoting cg2916:


It is?


Yeah!

I stepped into it, and his timing was perfect!

Just scroll down a couple o'hundred posts. You'll see where he correctly forecasted what's happening with this storm right now...but then a few posts later, there's a post from Pakistani weather that it would likely continue to intensify.

If that doesn't justify the price of admission in here, nothing will.
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DestinJeff,

Please remove that picture of JFV. I am hesitant to press the hide or minus(-) button, because I do not want to jeopardize your status here.
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Quoting twhcracker:


yes but dont tell any of those people making fat jokes. I just lost 55 pounds and I am still huge. People at work think i did it for my husband but i wanted to make my horse happy.


LOL!!! Happy Horses! :)
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Quoting cg2916:


It is?


Yeah, look at it.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting jeffs713:

You forgot "Will this hit Florida?"


No, it's "any potential florida thretters?"
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Quoting CaneWarning:
That storm is certainly weakening. Levi was right...as usual.


It is?
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Quoting CycloneOz:


So theologically profound, I don't get it.

Are you blessed with some extra weight, too?


yes but dont tell any of those people making fat jokes. I just lost 55 pounds and I am still huge. People at work think i did it for my husband but i wanted to make my horse happy.
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Quoting jeffs713:

You forgot "Will this hit Florida?"


Dang it!
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Quoting DestinJeff:
I vow to try my best to not waste anymore cyber-space.

However, I live on the frickin coast of FL ... probably less than 3 days away from lovely view of beaches inhabitated by people in Tyvek suits, while also on the brink of the hurricane season "from hell".

If I happen to wobble, or jog, from time to time and waste valuable cyber space with good natured fun, please be assured that it is all purely defense mechanism.

Remember to watch my posts over at least a 3-hour time frame to determine trend


LOL!!! :D

You're on your A-game today, man! :D
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Quoting IKE:
They got the saw blade off. Now they will try from the other side w/a new blade.


they are so smart... they will probably go "hey! Instead of wasting a whole blade lets just use the other side of this one!"
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Quoting cg2916:
Hey guys, I have the top 10 comments for the season.

1. (Insert something with JFV in the sentence)
2. Hey guys, check this out...
3. This is so going to hit the oil spill
4. I think it's developing
5. OMG, IZ SEEIN A PINHOLE EYE!!!11!!!!11!111
6. Wow, look at this thing
7. Oh, it'll definitely be a Cat 5
8. It's strengthening!
9. (Something from the FTP site)
10. Looks like we're at (insert number here) storms for the year, we'll pass 2005 easily (yeah, right).

You forgot "Will this hit Florida?"
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That storm is certainly weakening. Levi was right...as usual.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting winter123:
NHC must have been realllll bored to declare 91L yesterday. Even I, a self-proclaimed blobcaster, knew it had no chance. Not even the slightest hint of it today.


Ditto
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Quoting twhcracker:


i could probably hold onto the goodyear blimp in a category five and it wouldnt go anywhere then!


So theologically profound, I don't get it.

Are you blessed with some extra weight, too?
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Quoting CycloneOz:


LOL! That was one of the cutest productions I've ever seen. LOL!!!

On my way to FB to link it up! :)

Thanks junky! That brought back some really good memories. Storm chasing isn't always about storms. We really had some "vacation" fun!


Key West is ALWAYS fun! Putting the production together was fun too! I thought you'd get a kick out of it. My first foray into video editing so hopefully it gets better from there.

I'm hoping some of this tropical moisture will give us a rain event, even if it's just a mini!
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CSU Team Increases 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast to 10

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is likely to produce 10 hurricanes, five of them major, the Colorado State University hurricane forecasting team said Wednesday, increasing a previous estimate for a "very active'' season.

The leading storm research team founded by hurricane forecast pioneer William Gray said there was a 76 percent probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coast, whether the U.S. East Coast or the Gulf Coast, compared with the last-century average of 52 percent.

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.

They also forecast that the six-month season beginning on June 1 would likely see 18 named tropical storms.

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

"We have increased our forecast from early April, due to a combination of a transition from El Nino to current neutral conditions and the continuation of unusually warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures,'' Gray said in a statement detailing expected weather and sea conditions that will favor hurricane formation. "We anticipate a well above-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall,'' he added.

The extreme hurricane season this year is seen posing a particular threat to ongoing efforts to contain and clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and also to around 1.5 million homeless survivors of Haiti's Jan. 12 earthquake who are camping out in the streets under tents and tarpaulins.





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Quoting Levi32:


Dvorak rating is 6.0, 115 knots. This storm is not a Cat 5 in any universe.



Yeah, the ADT always says the system is stronger than it actually is.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Man, you know that the "extra" weight I wear is as good as gold if you stand in hurricane winds.

Poor Jim Edds, all 130 pounds of him, almost got sucked into Charley. But I've reviewed his footage when all hell was breaking out around him, and there's nothing I saw that my suit and extra weight around the middle could not handle! :)


i could probably hold onto the goodyear blimp in a category five and it wouldnt go anywhere then!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey guys, I have the top 10 comments for the season.

1. (Insert something with JFV in the sentence)

2. Hey guys, check this out...

3. This is so going to hit the oil spill

4. I think it's developing

5. OMG, IZ SEEIN A PINHOLE EYE!!!11!!!!11!111

6. Wow, look at this thing

7. Oh, it'll definitely be a Cat 5

8. It's strengthening!

9. (Something from the FTP site)

10. Looks like we're at (insert number here) storms for the year, we'll pass 2005 easily (yeah, right).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Trolls desperately seek the attention they crave by harassing the forum members and moderators.

The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction and not to respond to trolling messages.



Read more: http://www.techvibes.com/forum/8590-troll-alert-hdansen#ixzz0piy4YQgQ
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NHC must have been realllll bored to declare 91L yesterday. Even I, a self-proclaimed blobcaster, knew it had no chance. Not even the slightest hint of it today.
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Quoting Levi32:


Dvorak rating is 6.0, 115 knots. This storm is not a Cat 5 in any universe.



His name might lend a clue. :P
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Quoting DestinJeff:
I vow to try my best to not waste anymore cyber-space.

However, I live on the frickin coast of FL ... probably less than 3 days away from lovely view of beaches inhabitated by people in Tyvek suits, while also on the brink of the hurricane season "from hell".

If I happen to wobble, or jog, from time to time and waste valuable cyber space with good natured fun, please be assured that it is all purely defense mechanism.


I don't think there is any harm in it, especially while the season is slow. Everyone will get down to business when there is something to track.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Would you rather me have said rotund?


Man, you know that the "extra" weight I wear is as good as gold if you stand in hurricane winds.

Poor Jim Edds, all 130 pounds of him, almost got sucked into Charley. But I've reviewed his footage when all hell was breaking out around him, and there's nothing I saw that my suit and extra weight around the middle could not handle! :)
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TPIO10 PGTW 021823

A. TROPICAL CYCLONE 03A (PHET)

B. 02/1730Z

C. 18.4N

D. 59.5E

E. FIVE/MET7

F. T6.0/6.5/D2.0/24HRS STT: W0.5/06HRS

G. IR/EIR

H. REMARKS: 46A/PBO EMBD CNTR/ANMTN. EMBEDDED CENTER WHT WITH
BANDING YIELDS 6.0. MET 6.5. PT 5.5. DBO DT.

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS: NONE


DARLOW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:


Brace yourselves everyone... I am going to send up a decoy, try to flush this out. Things may get a little fishy. Save yourselves and I'll see you on the other side.




Hahaha! :D
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Yeah, it was fun. If you guys want a good chuckle, here's the trip in 2 parts:

Chasing Ana Part 1

Chasing Ana Part 2


LOL! That was one of the cutest productions I've ever seen. LOL!!!

On my way to FB to link it up! :)

Thanks junky! That brought back some really good memories. Storm chasing isn't always about storms. We really had some "vacation" fun!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Katrina2NOLA2010:
vMax = 136 knots.

That is category 5 right now, w/ 910mb pressure.


Quoting Katrina2NOLA2010:
vMax = 136 knots.

That is category 5 right now, w/ 910mb pressure.




Dvorak rating is 6.0, 115 knots. This storm is not a Cat 5 in any universe.

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547. xcool
my june update on my blog...
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting IKE:
Bad thunderstorm knocked my electricity off for about 1 1/2 hours. Had 1-2 inches of rain.
were about to get a nice soaking here its all good we need a drink
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544. xcool
Last night's i find out more about ecwmf models..
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
543. xcool
Bastardi lmao...
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting TropicalWave:
thanks, levi, but, sadly for me, the letters appear in a very unreadble format; therefore, i cannot read it like that, strangely enough. is anyone else on here dealing with this same issue, when they log into levi's blog?


What kind of letters are you seeing? It looks fine to me.
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No more JFV talk, honestly. You guys are overly-obsessed. If he's watching he's loving it with all his heart, it was his mission in life to be the most infamous blogger on this site. It's old now, all these comments about it are wasted space....
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Quoting TropicalWave:
thanks, levi, but, sadly for me, the letters appear in a very unreadble format; therefore, i cannot read it like that, strangely enough. is anyone else on here dealing with this same issue, when they log into levi's blog?


A handful of people have had that problem. That is why I put a PDF copy of the outlook at the bottom for those who have trouble viewing it on my blog.
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Quoting TropicalWave:
thanks, levi, but, sadly for me, the letters appear in a very unreadble format; therefore, i cannot read it like that, strangely enough. is anyone else on here dealing with this same issue, when they log into levi's blog?


No sir, good buddy.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
538. IKE
536...lol.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting stillwaiting:
looking like the 2nd half june should be pretty wet along fl's west coast,it looks like a good tropical influx of moisture for the central and eastern mexico is ahead


I was just thinking to myself that Tampa needed a good rain.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
534. IKE
Quoting xcool:
Link


new ecwmf


Nothing in the Atlantic.

Southerly flow in the GOM through a majority of the 10 day period=OIL.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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About

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