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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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.
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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
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531. IKE
Quoting Katrina2NOLA2010:
522:

Should hang that guy by the nuts in the middle of the Atacama desert.


Trouble with a capital T....

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530. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


You noticed that too, sir?


Yeah good buddy. Wonder what teh odds are he is from south Florida?
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Quoting CycloneOz:


And who shall we compare you to? ;)


Would you rather me have said rotund?
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Quoting DestinJeff:
3. TD at 5pm, 11 at the latest

2. Just because it doesn't impact the United States doesn't mean it isn't having a devasting effect on the poor people of [Counrty X]

1. What is the Hebert Box?
1a. What is the Herbert Box?
1b. It isn't Herbert it is Hebert.
1c. (ten minutes later) What is a Herbert Box? etc etc


I thought "The Carolinas" would end up in the top 10 somewhere. Maybe Top 20?
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526. IKE
Quoting DestinJeff:


KITT, scan the blog. There may be JFV inside:



LOL....teh chances that it is are?
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Quoting IKE:


Hmmm.


You noticed that too, sir?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CycloneOz:


It was my idea to follow along with these CVs in real-time using submarines and surface support.

But yeah, I'm alot like old Ernest Hemmingway when it comes to stuff like this.

When hurricanejunky, his mrs., and I traveled to see Anna die at Key West, I felt right at home! :)


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
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Quoting DestinJeff:
3. TD at 5pm, 11 at the latest

2. Just because it doesn't impact the United States doesn't mean it isn't having a devasting effect on the poor people of [Counrty X]

1. What is the Hebert Box?
1a. What is the Herbert Box?
1b. It isn't Herbert it is Hebert.
1c. (ten minutes later) What is a Herbert Box? etc etc


Nice list. You forgot one, though.

"{storm X} will be a Fish Storm."
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522. IKE
"Joran van der Sloot, former suspect in Natalee Holloway's death, is suspected of killing a woman in Peru, police said."....

per CNN.
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Quoting Levi32:
The week 2 NAEFS is very nasty...



That's just scary.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting xcool:
Yesterday, the remnants of Agatha "bursted" and this morning finds the remnants almost gone. While watching the remnants was a good idea and one that certainly should have been of concern, the bursting pattern is something that, unless it is sustained over a 24-hour period, is more a sign of the storm about to die rather than continue. Why?

When intense upward motion develops as we saw, it pulls in all the air around it. Unless there is some kind of link between the low and mid levels that can maintain itself when the "burst" relaxes, the compensating sinking in the wake of the burst, and the drier air that is pulled in as well as moist air, will destroy the system. There is a crucial time when the handoff must maintain some form of convection. One can see that happen when such bursts, in their down time, still have smaller convective cumulus towers popping up, usually with some form of banding. This "popcorn" type look on the satellite photo means that the system is already repairing itself in the wake of the large sinking that goes on.

As one studies the weather more and more, one can see these kind of situations going on with other features in a much grander sense. For instance, the El Nino last year was in response to the flip in the PDO and the low solar activity... the reduction of sunlight, though subtle, is greatest around the tropics in times of low solar activity; it's why El Ninos love to show up around the low spot in sunspot cycles, they are reactions until the Earth can adjust. In addition, the sudden cooling of the Pacific forced a reactive process, sort of the burst of warmth before the cold set in again.. and the burst of warmth we saw is now being beaten back, globally, a glorified monster Kelvin Flop if you will.

The constant back and forth in the atmosphere, be it in bursting patterns which can develop like yesterday with a jet going by to the north and putting the system in a ripe area for upward motion, or the swing in El Nino and La Nina, are all part of planet that unfortunately does not have GARDEN OF EDEN. This is not paradise down here, though some would have you believe it could be. But conflict and resolution, and then conflict again, is a product all through nature as the balance that nature reaches for can only be attained briefly, then the conflict starts anew. This is why the AGW argument, on balance, almost defies intuition, since it is the idea that man is so powerful against nature, that nature will lose to man. Never mind man is part of nature in the first place... it simply reveals the arrogant part.

Up and down, back and forth, for every season... as the song, and for those that know where it came from, the verse in scripture it came from.

Funny what a leftover tropical system can show you if you want to look


Don't you just love Bastardi (well at least I do).

It was just genius when I read his post several months ago about why Mount Pinatubo helped cause an El Nino to follow the event, and why El Ninos show up at low solar activity. A cooler equatorial belt slows the easterlies (trade winds) which tends to bring on El Nino conditions in the Pacific. Brilliant.
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518. xcool
Link


new ecwmf
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Quoting palmbaywhoo:
Oil Spill Sabotage? That's what E Cen Fla Thinks!


Thank God I live in SE Central FL.
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515. xcool
Yesterday, the remnants of Agatha "bursted" and this morning finds the remnants almost gone. While watching the remnants was a good idea and one that certainly should have been of concern, the bursting pattern is something that, unless it is sustained over a 24-hour period, is more a sign of the storm about to die rather than continue. Why?

When intense upward motion develops as we saw, it pulls in all the air around it. Unless there is some kind of link between the low and mid levels that can maintain itself when the "burst" relaxes, the compensating sinking in the wake of the burst, and the drier air that is pulled in as well as moist air, will destroy the system. There is a crucial time when the handoff must maintain some form of convection. One can see that happen when such bursts, in their down time, still have smaller convective cumulus towers popping up, usually with some form of banding. This "popcorn" type look on the satellite photo means that the system is already repairing itself in the wake of the large sinking that goes on.

As one studies the weather more and more, one can see these kind of situations going on with other features in a much grander sense. For instance, the El Nino last year was in response to the flip in the PDO and the low solar activity... the reduction of sunlight, though subtle, is greatest around the tropics in times of low solar activity; it's why El Ninos love to show up around the low spot in sunspot cycles, they are reactions until the Earth can adjust. In addition, the sudden cooling of the Pacific forced a reactive process, sort of the burst of warmth before the cold set in again.. and the burst of warmth we saw is now being beaten back, globally, a glorified monster Kelvin Flop if you will.

The constant back and forth in the atmosphere, be it in bursting patterns which can develop like yesterday with a jet going by to the north and putting the system in a ripe area for upward motion, or the swing in El Nino and La Nina, are all part of planet that unfortunately does not have GARDEN OF EDEN. This is not paradise down here, though some would have you believe it could be. But conflict and resolution, and then conflict again, is a product all through nature as the balance that nature reaches for can only be attained briefly, then the conflict starts anew. This is why the AGW argument, on balance, almost defies intuition, since it is the idea that man is so powerful against nature, that nature will lose to man. Never mind man is part of nature in the first place... it simply reveals the arrogant part.

Up and down, back and forth, for every season... as the song, and for those that know where it came from, the verse in scripture it came from.

Funny what a leftover tropical system can show you if you want to look
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Quoting TropicalWave:
levi, do your thoughts about teh season continue to be the same, since your forecast release in feb?


In general, yes, though I made some changes to the forecast numbers since then. I put out another hurricane outlook in the first half of May, which can be viewed here. This one goes into much more detail than the February one, which focused on analog years.
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This is pretty cool :)


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511. IKE
Quoting TropicalWave:
levi, do your thoughts about teh season continue to be the same, since your forecast release in feb?


Hmmm.
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Quoting Patrap:


Best look at what comes from oil..Like that puter, the keyboard, the paint, the Medical Plastics..your gonna need to replace it with what?

Easy to say..hard to get off a Global addiction.




But if we can reduce or eliminate our use of oil for fuel, we might be able to meet the demand for petroleum based products that can't easily be replaced (plastic IV bags, ziplocs, etc).
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The week 2 NAEFS is very nasty...

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T-storm has passed...sunshine to the north. :)

Welcome to summertime in Florida.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
We hit our first 90 of the year today.

Link




Nice, 5 above normal.

And the SSTs go up and up....



The gulf is starting to freak me out. This Texas heatwave coming on will only cause it to continue.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Because, sirmaelstrom and the twice-permabanned skepticall2 (as mrnicktou and skepticall), the circumstances which lead to the extreme temperature readings were not generalized. the 136.4 in Libya took place in a sandstorm that carried hot sand inside the screen around the thermometer. The Israeli reading was misrecorded, as shown on the instrument record. The Death Valley record has serious problems, and the temperature has never reached within 7 degrees of the Death Valley record in more than 90 years since.


Boy, you must read a lot of books! (He knows I am only joking) Good research.
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№ 494

Perhaps these problems were only noticed when records were set.

In my opinion, no raw data should ever been discarded, but should simply be evaluated for what it is. It's obvious that some records--such as older ones, and ones located in poorer countries--are subject to higher uncertainties.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
wow!

That was a bad "copy/paste". No wonder I try typing things out more often.


Lol, if you edit a post after posting it, any special characters will be replaced with a symbol representing an unknown character. It can be annoying.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


haha. #2 was a nod to our previous discussion. good catch! i think i was pretty diplomatic about the point, right?


It's nice being a veteran. You can fumble the ball sometime and not get benched! :)
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Pakistan Meteorological Department
--------------------------------------

Very Severe Tropical Cyclone “PHET” in Arabian Sea

Severe Tropical Cyclone “PHET” in Arabian Sea has intensified into a Very
Severe Tropical Cyclone (with maximum sustained wind 64-119 Knots near the centre).
It has moved northwestwards along Oman coastal areas during the last 6 hours and now
lies at 17.5°N – 60.8°E (about 920 Km southwest of Karachi). It is expected to start
recurving towards Sindh coastal areas on Thursday morning.
Very Severe Tropical Storm “PHET” is likely to intensify further during the next
24 hours.


And that right there is why I hang out here.

We're more up-to-date here than world weather offices.

And the reason we're more up-to-date is because Levi, 456, Storm, the Doc and some others are all over it taking names.
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I'm guessing a S-Thunderstorm Warning will come out of this. Very gusty winds and heavy rain. Guess its not like people would drive any safer. :(
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497. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
wow!

That was a bad "copy/paste". No wonder I try typing things out more often.
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495. IKE
They got the saw blade off. Now they will try from the other side w/a new blade.
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493. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Pakistan Meteorological Department
--------------------------------------

Very Severe Tropical Cyclone %u201CPHET%u201D in Arabian Sea

Severe Tropical Cyclone %u201CPHET%u201D in Arabian Sea has intensified into a Very
Severe Tropical Cyclone (with maximum sustained wind 64-119 Knots near the centre).
It has moved northwestwards along Oman coastal areas during the last 6 hours and now
lies at 17.5N %u2013 60.8E (about 920 Km southwest of Karachi). It is expected to start
recurving towards Sindh coastal areas on Thursday morning.

Very Severe Tropical Storm %u201CPHET%u201D is likely to intensify further during the next
24 hours. It may hit land areas South of Karachi on Friday. Storm surge near landfall
could be 6 to 8 meters high. Under the influence of this system fairly wide spread rainfall
with scattered heavy to very heavy falls accompanied by strong gusty winds are likely in
Sindh and Balochistan coastal areas during the next 3 to 4 days.

Heavy rains may cause urban/flash flooding in southern Balochistan and Sindh
including Karachi.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre of Pakistan Meteorological Department warned
that the fishermen of Sindh and Balochistan who are in the open sea should return to the
coast immediately. All fishermen are advised not to venture in open sea till Saturday.
Irrigation authorities in Sindh and Balochistan are requested to reduce inflow in irrigation
system.
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Quoting Levi32:


Oh no, 456 is our budding met genius. I just dabble as best I can lol. I need a met school....Alaska doesn't have one.


I believe that if the two of you attended the same school, at the same time, in the same class, that you would give 456 a run for the money to be valedictorian.

You're both excellent.
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Quoting Patrap:
463. palmbaywhoo



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Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Melbourne town hall crowd: How do we know the Gulf oil spill wasn't sabotage? Here's how


Judging by audience comments at a town-hall meeting Tuesday at Melbourne City hall, a disturbing number of Brevardians have embraced the conspiracy theory that the the gulf oil spill was an act of sabotage.


Jeeesum..

Wow.

why am I not surprised?


If folks watch nuff Glenn and RUSH that's what happens I believe.


I wondered how long it would take before the crazy people started with their conspiracy theories.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting DestinJeff:
3. TD at 5pm, 11 at the latest

2. Just because it doesn't impact the United States doesn't mean it isn't having a devasting effect on the poor people of [Counrty X]

1. What is the Hebert Box?
1a. What is the Herbert Box?
1b. It isn't Herbert it is Hebert.
1c. (ten minutes later) What is a Herbert Box? etc etc


Hahaha! I knew my comment might engage #2, but ya know...I think with my fingers sometimes. :)
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Nice! I'm playing straight man to a budding met genius now... :)


Oh no, 456 is our budding met genius. I just dabble as best I can lol. I need a met school....Alaska doesn't have one.
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Definitely small hail with this one.
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Time now for an impropmtu "Top 10 Most Common Comments/Words on the Blog, 2010"

and...

"The Hurricane is headed for my bathroom!!!!"
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Quoting Patrap:


Its a way of thinking and I dont thinks its a regional thing,more of a lacking to understand and accept reality

I guess. I mean don't get me wrong... we all know the real truth behind the OKC bombing and some of those school shootings years ago, but this is a stretch.
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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.