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 Levi32:
The precipitation for the last 30 days is already starting to look like the model forecasts.







Shoot...30 days ahead of the models!
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Quoting NRAamy:
That has to rank up there somewhere!

it ranks alright....



Don't you mean it's rank, alright?
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The precipitation for the last 30 days is already starting to look like the model forecasts.





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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Any new sat image of the wave in Eastern Atlantic?


Your question peeked my curiosity, too!

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo_atl.shtml

That wave is shrugging off the dry air attack to the north nicely!
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129088
That has to rank up there somewhere!

it ranks alright....

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Quoting Katrina2NOLA2010:
414 and 416:

Wouldn't make sense.

These records, imperfect as they are, give us a bench mark to say what is "normal" within long term climatology and weather fluctuations.

Just because they don't fit what you expect doesn't make them invalid.

For example, the all time record high for a particular city in Louisiana for the month of May was set in the year 1922, and thus far, "Global warming" has not threatened it. Several of the other record highs in the month of May occured between 1900 and 1930.

With the theory of Global Warming, we would expect that the record high for any particular location on any particular day couldn't possibly be more than 10 or 20 years old, but there we have it. To this day, many record highs are 80 to 100 years old. I'd say the vast majority of the record highs for any particular day for the local towns and cities I usually keep up with are 40 or more years old.


I was joking. But if you want to know more message me because I'm not getting off topic here.
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414 and 416:

Wouldn't make sense.

These records, imperfect as they are, give us a bench mark to say what is "normal" within long term climatology and weather fluctuations.

Just because they don't fit what you expect doesn't make them invalid.

For example, the all time record high for a particular city in Louisiana for the month of May was set in the year 1922, and thus far, "Global warming" has not threatened it. Several of the other record highs in the month of May occured between 1900 and 1930.

With the theory of Global Warming, we would expect that the record high for any particular location on any particular day couldn't possibly be more than 10 or 20 years old, but there we have it. To this day, many record highs are 80 to 100 years old. I'd say the vast majority of the record highs for any particular day for the local towns and cities I usually keep up with are 40 or more years old.
Any new sat image of the wave in Eastern Atlantic?
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Quoting IKE:
Bad thunderstorm knocked my electricity off for about 1 1/2 hours. Had 1-2 inches of rain.


I can see those red puddles on those red clay roads in my mind's eye.

Makes me homesick! :(
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422. IKE
Bad thunderstorm knocked my electricity off for about 1 1/2 hours. Had 1-2 inches of rain.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


careful ... that may lead to another often-seen back and forth here. i don't think i need to mention it outright.


Sorry, Jeff. I couldn't resist that one. I'll stop now.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26802
Quoting CycloneOz:


That one is definitely in the Top Twenty!

It does take a week for these waves to move into a "more sensitive" area for many of us here...(meaning the U.S. coastline, of course.)


How about "Hunker down and hope for the best and expect the worst" That has to rank up there somewhere!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26802
Quoting DestinJeff:


careful ... that may lead to another often-seen back and forth here. i don't think i need to mention it outright.


...but it would be so entertaining if you did! :)
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Quoting Levi32:


Except that the floater there is permanent unless there is a feature elsewhere in METEOSAT's range that deserves attention.


Ah, that clears that up!

The sat images of the wave had the look of having been taken by a floater.

With this added knowledge, now I'm even more dangerous! :)
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I think all the heat records above 130F need to be thrown out since they are all so questionable, and just accept recent records and ongoing new records.


That would make sense.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


I am almost inspired to write one of my "Top 10 Most Often Seen Comments on the Blog"


That one is definitely in the Top Twenty!

It does take a week for these waves to move into a "more sensitive" area for many of us here...(meaning the U.S. coastline, of course.)
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Quoting CycloneOz:
Has a floater been assigned to that wave?
Quoting Hurricanes101:


on rammbdis


Except that the floater there is permanent unless there is a feature elsewhere in METEOSAT's range that deserves attention.
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Quoting CycloneOz:
Has a floater been assigned to that wave?


on rammbdis
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Has a floater been assigned to that wave?
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409. myway
Quoting aspectre:
355 myway "Less than half of a 42 gal. barrel is refined into gas"

A misleading quibble depending on the specific use of "gas tank" rather than "fuel tank", and your overly narrow interpretation of "gas" into "gasoline".
Add natural gas (buses), propane (forklifts), petrol (which has a different formulation than gasoline), kerosene (aviation fuel), diesel, navy special, and bunker oil.
Then add how much is burned in power-plants and home-heating.

Crude oil contains many complex chemicals that are WAY too valuable to burn. Try synthesizing them from scratch rather than refining them out of crude.

We're savages who've stumbled out the forest and discovered a warehouse full of finished wood products. Then decide that burning furniture is easier than chopping wood. And so we do...
...until its gone, or at least until once cheap furniture becomes scarce enough that consumers are willing to pay once absurd prices for the product.


Comment was response to "gas tank" Presumed to be for a car.
Your point is well taken however.
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Quoting Levi32:


I dabble with paint.net.


Indeed, thank you. I will use this free software to generate higher quality images for videos.
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Quoting Levi32:


I don't expect anything from it outside of the Caribbean, but I am impressed seeing it come off this organized this morning for only June 2nd.


Oh yeah...it's gotta make it into the Caribbean for it to blow up.

All it has to do right now is take that WNW --> NW motion that it is expected to make.

If it does, AND it makes it into the Caribbean, AND it develops a low center, then we might have Alex.

This time next week could be interesting on the blog!
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406. skep
"Funny" oilspill related tidbit:

Goldman Sachs sold $250 million of BP stock before spill

The brokerage firm that's faced the most scrutiny from regulators in the past year over the shorting of mortgage related securities seems to have had good timing when it came to something else: the stock of British oil giant BP.

According to regulatory filings, RawStory.com has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman's sales were the largest of any firm during that time.


Source: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0602/month-oil-spill-goldman-sachs-sold-250-million-bp-stock/
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405. kingy
check out the bp oil cam. looks like the riser has been cut thru and it is really going for it on the spewcam
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355 myway "Less than half of a 42 gal. barrel is refined into gas"

A misleading quibble depending on the specific use of "gas tank" rather than "fuel tank", and your overly narrow interpretation of "gas" into "gasoline".
Add natural gas (buses), propane (forklifts), petrol (which has a different formulation than gasoline), kerosene (aviation fuel), diesel, navy special, and bunker oil.
Then add how much is burned in power-plants and home-heating.

Crude oil contains many complex chemicals that are WAY too valuable to burn. Try synthesizing them from scratch rather than refining them out of crude.

We're savages who've stumbled out the forest and discovered a warehouse full of finished wood products. Then have decided that burning furniture is easier than chopping wood. And so we do...
...until it's gone, or at least until once cheap furniture becomes scarce enough that consumers are willing to pay once absurd prices for the product.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


But it is still a very healthy looking wave. And it doesn't have that far to go before the dry air becomes less of a problem.

One of its lungs may be collapsing a bit, but this wave still has some legs for the marathon it's about to run.


I don't expect anything from it outside of the Caribbean, but I am impressed seeing it come off this organized this morning for only June 2nd.
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Quoting futuremet:


Levi, what software do you use to generate these graphics?


I dabble with paint.net.
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Quoting caneswatch:
Can anyone tell me how 91L is doing? Haven't heard anything all day.


It died in just one hour yesterday.
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Quoting caneswatch:
Can anyone tell me how 91L is doing? Haven't heard anything all day.


It is dead.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting lavinia:
Oz, I really enjoyed your Ike video. :)


Well, let's do one better for you this year with the portable live web cam so you and everyone else can actually be real-time with us out in those hurricane eye-walls.
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Quoting caneswatch:
Can anyone tell me how 91L is doing? Haven't heard anything all day.


Its dead
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Can anyone tell me how 91L is doing? Haven't heard anything all day.
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Quoting Levi32:
Dry air to the north is already getting entrained into the convection and accelerating downdrafts, producing a surface outflow boundary as sinking air hits the ocean and spreads outward. When you see these, it is dry air at work causing thunderstorms to collapse.



Levi, what software do you use to generate these graphics?
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Quoting Levi32:
Dry air to the north is already getting entrained into the convection and accelerating downdrafts, producing a surface outflow boundary as sinking air hits the ocean and spreads outward. When you see these, it is dry air at work causing thunderstorms to collapse.



But it is still a very healthy looking wave. And it doesn't have that far to go before the dry air becomes less of a problem.

One of its lungs may be collapsing a bit, but this wave still has some legs for the marathon it's about to run.
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In the voice of Walter Cronkite

Day 42...
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Good afternoon everyone. I'm one of those not new 'new' bloggers. First of all I'd like to make it clear that I am not He Who Must Not Be Named. I've been lurking on this blog for the past couple of years, reading and learning. I live in ON, Canda and my only hurricane experience was with Hazel. I was a small child at the time, but it's not a time that I will ever forget! Just dated myself, didn't I. LOL

Oz, I really enjoyed your Ike video. :)
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Dry air to the north is already getting entrained into the convection and accelerating downdrafts, producing a surface outflow boundary as sinking air hits the ocean and spreads outward. When you see these, it is dry air at work causing thunderstorms to collapse.

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Quoting atmoaggie:

GROTHAR!

(Hey, check out a painful truth in my blog...I think you would enjoy.)



Yes, atmo, very painful!!! LOL AHHHHHHH. If you only knew the things I knew......

Did you do those yourself? There is no end to your talent.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26802
Quoting aspectre:
101 AussieStorm "Question: How many people on this blog right now have put there hand in their skyrocket(pocket) and are paid members?"
109 Minnemike "...I don't know if that phrase carries well in the States..."

Skyrockets in flight

man, the music during live performances were so dang awesome back in those days... you know, with the lip syncing. why did Milli Vanilli have to ruin that such a fine musical institution...
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Quoting NRAamy:
Mrs. Oz has an awesome name!

:)


I would agree wholeheartedly.

"Amy" is one of the better names. Its meaning holds true when it comes to the two of you.

That's why I was feeling alot of pressure and responsibility for her life as that Yazoo tornado bore down on our location.

Had anything happened to her, the list of people who would've not only blamed me, but hated me is so long that I would've been outcast like the Biblical Cain.
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385. CaneWarning 10:18 AM PDT on June 02, 2010
Is Mrs. Oz also a purple hippo?


that would rock!!!!!

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Be careful how you answer that one, especially if Mrs. Oz is a lurker!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Is Mrs. Oz also a purple hippo?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Hurricanes101:


StormW was noting that the area should move WNW to NW


Yep...WNW to NW...jumping up in latitude.

Push is towards the Caribbean. Favorable conditions should it get in there...

Further NW until it gets west of Cuba...and then it's pushed ENE.

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

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