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 CycloneOz:


I guess so. I've become so much of a fan of his, I guess it's rubbed off now! :)


JFV needs an official fan club. You could be the President!
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Quoting CycloneOz:


LOL...95% of the time that's a correct statement.
OZ, are you overestimating percentages again....lol j/k
Good morning
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Quoting DestinJeff:


i don't know ... they never have been spotted in the same room together!

Oz, you might as well embrace it ... you are the new JFV. that is too funny because it couldn't be further from the truth!


I guess so. I've become so much of a fan of his, I guess it's rubbed off now! :)
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Quoting WINDSMURF:

Hey,
My memory is a little rusty, but please don't tell me that this CycloneOz is the same JFV/weatherstudent/showerstudent dude. Please tell me is not him. I just retired last month and looking forward to a good season here on the blog without the weird comments


They are not the same, but I can see how you'd make that mistake! :)

Oz, I really enjoyed your Ike video.
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Quoting WINDSMURF:

Hey,
My memory is a little rusty, but please don't tell me that this CycloneOz is the same JFV/weatherstudent/showerstudent dude. Please tell me is not him. I just retired last month and looking forward to a good season here on the blog without the weird comments


oz no not oz he is our wunderground stunt man hes dreams are to one day intercept a cat 5 and live to tell about it
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting catastropheadjuster:

No CycloneOz is a good guy. He's really nice.
Sheri


LOL...95% of the time that's a correct statement.
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Quoting WINDSMURF:

Hey,
My memory is a little rusty, but please don't tell me that this CycloneOz is the same JFV/weatherstudent/showerstudent dude. Please tell me is not him. I just retired last month and looking forward to a good season here on the blog without the weird comments


What's your problem?
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I really don't think the amount of people have anything to do with it but the fact of amount of coastline and the fact that it borders basically 3 water bodies(GOM, CARR. sort of, and ATL.) does.
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Quoting WINDSMURF:

Hey,
My memory is a little rusty, but please don't tell me that this CycloneOz is the same JFV/weatherstudent/showerstudent dude. Please tell me is not him. I just retired last month and looking forward to a good season here on the blog without the weird comments

No CycloneOz is a good guy. He's really nice.
Sheri
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Quoting catastropheadjuster:


Pat I cant say Thank You enough you are awsome and i will give him a hug. You ought to here him say ur name and atmo and everyones name I have taught him. You all have such a special place in my heart. Where has press been i haven't seen him on here lately.
Sheri


Hes under the generic "portlight" handle now and has retired presslord to focus on the Portlight Mission full time.

I speak to him daily from here usually.
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RAAMB IO032010 - Tropical Cyclone PHET
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Quoting Patrap:


I can and will check on some rentals above Golden Meadow..for them,..and give the lil one a Hug for us.

Best to be ready for the Season sheri,..the big dogs are howling itsa gonna be Busy.


Pat I cant say Thank You enough you are awsome and i will give him a hug. You ought to here him say ur name and atmo and everyones name I have taught him. You all have such a special place in my heart. Where has press been i haven't seen him on here lately.
Sheri
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Quoting msgambler:
I have a feeling that if any other state had 1200 miles of coastline their percentage would be that high as well.


Also, you have to think Florida has more people than several states put together. That combined with the fact that we have so much coastline gets us alot of attention.
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


I'm ready...my shower curtain has a beach scene on it though...will that work?

Hey,
My memory is a little rusty, but please don't tell me that this CycloneOz is the same JFV/weatherstudent/showerstudent dude. Please tell me is not him. I just retired last month and looking forward to a good season here on the blog without the weird comments
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Florida may get cut and half by all the storms, may then allow the oil to escape out of the gulf.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628






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Have a good night Aussie
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Did you say he does GIS? lol that's what I do.


I'm sorry he works for GSI I think i spelled it wrong or i may have it right, he works out there on the rigs.
Sheri
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This is going to be a close call on whether Phet makes landfall in Oman. The water vapor loop shows the longwave trough over eastern Iran, which models were showing would recurve the storm east of Oman. You can see Phet slowing down, indicating the storm is feeling the trough, but it looks like there's a chance Phet misses the trough and doesn't get fully recurved until the next trough, currently over Isreal, rolls through and picks it up. If this pans out, as the latest JTWC forecast suggests, it could be a disaster for eastern Oman. Phet's track could be even farther west and inland than this current JTWC forecast, which would dump massive amounts of rain on areas that aren't used to it.





Also notice on the water vapor image here all the dry desert air (blue colors) barraging Phet's northwest quad. This is the biggest reason why I see no chance for this to become a Cat 5 before landfall. The desert is a killer for Arabian cyclones, which is why major ones like Phet are so rare in the Arabian Sea. The satellite presentation also looks no better than a low-end Cat 4 right now, and certainly not rapidly strengthening at the moment.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
sounds like someone is jealous that Florida gets more attention during hurricane season lol

I guess if you look at history you would see why.
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I have a feeling that if any other state had 1200 miles of coastline their percentage would be that high as well.
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258 lmao
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting catastropheadjuster:

Hurricanes can hit anywhere not just florida there are other states just as important as Florida.



237. CyclonicVoyage 4:00 PM GMT on June 02, 2010

Quoting TropicalWave:


wow, does that percentage only apply to the sunshine state? if so, that's tremendous.



Yes but, they do them for all coastal regions. Follow link below and select your state / county.

Link
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Fla.does have the Highest wunderground Impact cheerleading section..

Hands down,..or up depending on yer view..

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Quoting catastropheadjuster:

Hurricanes can hit anywhere not just florida there are other states just as important as Florida.


Delaware is way more important!
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It looks like Florida is in for it this year if those numbers are right.
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I'm out, Goodnight, Play nicely, remember, the admins will be here soon
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Does anybody have a link to the CSU update?
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Quoting TropicalWave:


wow, does that percentage only apply to the sunshine state? if so, that's tremendous.

Hurricanes can hit anywhere not just florida there are other states just as important as Florida.
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Dude, we'd be set! I'm totally prepared for the season from a homeowner's perspective, I just need to put the finishing touches on my gear. Should be done within the next week or so.


LOL...you may just have a week or so!
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Another great "primer" paragraph from the Mariner's Guide on what normal cyclogenisis should look like; for those ready to jump on every blob that forms out there in the next two months.......... :)

During an idealized case of tropical cyclogenesis, the following events would occur on the order of days with different factors occurring simultaneously or near-simultaneously throughout the developing phase of a tropical cyclone. Initially, heat and therefore energy for the storm are gathered by the disturbance through contact with warm ocean waters. Thunderstorm activity begins to develop and define the vertical structure above the tropical disturbance. Soon the Coriolis Force begins to act on the system, aiding in the
development of a cyclonic circulation with winds near the ocean surface now spiraling into the disturbance’s developing low pressure area. The warm ocean waters and their sufficient mixed layer depth will continue to add moisture and heat to the air that rises in the updrafts of convection near the disturbance. As the moisture condenses into drops, more heat is released into the atmosphere, adding energy to power the storm. Thunderstorms begin to take on a curved banding structure as they organize around the low-level center of the system. As these thunderstorms grow higher into the troposphere, relatively light winds at those high levels will allow the vertically stacked warm core of the storm to remain intact and continue to strengthen.

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At least Phet seems to be coming ashore in a sparsely populated area. That is an area that seldom sees RAIN, let alone a cat 4/5 cyclone. That should be interesting!
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Most of the parameters are double the seasonal average for Palm Beach County.
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Quoting Ossqss:




What did I get wrong? :)
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Wouldn't it be nice to just hang out in your neighborhood for one of these?


Dude, we'd be set! I'm totally prepared for the season from a homeowner's perspective, I just need to put the finishing touches on my gear. Should be done within the next week or so.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Just sayin'...(and remember I'm not a met)

but 850 mb currents, SSTs, windshear environment...all point to a west coast FL event.

Intensity? LOL...


Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting TropicalWave:


wow, does that percentage only apply to the sunshine state? if so, that's tremendous.


State Name Florida
Probability of Hurricane Impact 75.1% (51.0%)
Probability of Major Hurricane Impact 36.8% (21.0%)

Climatology in parenthesis
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Quoting catastropheadjuster:

yeah he works for GIS and when he works out in the gulf PHI flies him to the rig. But he's permanently wanting to move down there, be closer to work and all. He's staying somewhere in Galliano in a company bunk house off of I think US 1 and Hwy 5235 or something like that someone told him he don't want to move to Golden Meadows. It would be him,wife and Caleb. You wouldn't believe how much he has growed
So what's your official opinion of this Hurricane Season, we need to worry? I am very worried with a storm and all this oil.

Sheri


I can and will check on some rentals above Golden Meadow..for them,..and give the lil one a Hug for us.

Best to be ready for the Season sheri,..the big dogs are howling itsa gonna be Busy.
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LOL...this was Mrs. CycloneOz's first prediction for this year (from yesterday)

Alex (TS) TAMPA
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Quoting catastropheadjuster:

yeah he works for GIS and when he works out in the gulf PHI flies him to the rig. But he's permanently wanting to move down there, be closer to work and all. He's staying somewhere in Galliano in a company bunk house off of I think US 1 and Hwy 5235 or something like that someone told him he don't want to move to Golden Meadows. It would be him,wife and Caleb. You wouldn't believe how much he has growed
So what's your official opinion of this Hurricane Season, we need to worry? I am very worried with a storm and all this oil.

Sheri


Did you say he does GIS? lol that's what I do.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting CycloneOz:
That wave coming off of Africa today looks like it has Sarasota down to Key West written all over it.

With all due respect, I believe that it is way to early to make that kind of prediction. What are you looking at that makes you say that?
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Quoting TropicalWave:


wow, does that percentage only apply to the sunshine state? if so, that's tremendous.


Yes but, they do them for all coastal regions. Follow link below and select your state / county.

Link
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


I'm ready...my shower curtain has a beach scene on it though...will that work?


Wouldn't it be nice to just hang out in your neighborhood for one of these?
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Quoting AussieStorm:

you wish,,,, oh... wait... you do wish. hehe


Just sayin'...(and remember I'm not a met)

but 850 mb currents, SSTs, windshear environment...all point to a west coast FL event.

Intensity? LOL...
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Quoting CycloneOz:
That wave coming off of Africa today looks like it has Sarasota down to Key West written all over it.


I'm ready...my shower curtain has a beach scene on it though...will that work?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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