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:
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?
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Quoting Ossqss:
Click this picture for more info on preparedness from the NHC

"Preventing the loss of life and minimizing the damage to property from hurricanes are responsibilities that are shared by all."

There is a bunch of info out there on preparing for a storm. Many blogs on this site, Patraps as an example, provide good info for everyone.

Here is an article I found interesting, and not just because of the name of the store they shopped at :)

How to make a hurricane preparedness kit for under $100



Piggly Wiggly??? That's too funny. I didn't know they still existed.
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Quoting Patrap:


I can check out some rentals,,but some outfits are housing the workers and I assume thats where he is staying now..?

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
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not a whole lot of dry air out there either
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7814
Quoting CycloneOz:
That wave coming off of Africa today looks like it has Sarasota down to Key West written all over it.

you wish,,,, oh... wait... you do wish. hehe
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Click this picture for more info on preparedness from the NHC

"Preventing the loss of life and minimizing the damage to property from hurricanes are responsibilities that are shared by all."

There is a bunch of info out there on preparing for a storm. Many blogs on this site, Patraps as an example, provide good info for everyone.

Here is an article I found interesting, and not just because of the name of the store they shopped at :)

How to make a hurricane preparedness kit for under $100

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
That wave coming off of Africa today looks like it has Sarasota down to Key West written all over it.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
225. MahFL
Bring it on !!!!
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Please don't start on each other again, geez, take a spoon full of cement and harden up, geez. its a weather blog
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18-10-5 from CSU, eeek.

75% chance of a Hurricane striking FL.
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Arguing blog is 2 doors down
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I have learned one thing quickly, no one is allowed to challenge you and your thoughts

I will be the better person and back off on this one


Dr. Masters should put that in the rules of the road so everyone doesn't have to figure that out on their own.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I have learned one thing quickly, no one is allowed to challenge you and your thoughts

I will be the better person and back off on this one



Easy on the lime..it aint noon yet.

How bout dem Saints ,eh ?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
Too early for CV season and every wave, even when we get to the heart of the season, does not translate into a tropical storm...From the NOAA Mariner's Guide:

Although there is still some debate on the issue, these easterly waves are thought to originate or become amplified as a result of meteorological conditions over the continent of Africa. Each hurricane season approximately 60 of these waves cross the tropical North Atlantic.

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Sure be nice if Texas doesn't deal with oil and a storm this year.
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Quoting Patrap:


U have much to learn padawan..


I have learned one thing quickly, no one is allowed to challenge you and your thoughts

I will be the better person and back off on this one
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7814
Quoting Hurricanes101:


and early July wasn't late July back in 2008 either. Climatology is a poor excuse when conditions are right


U have much to learn padawan..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
Quoting Patrap:
2 June aint early July..


pffttt...LOL

Get yer preps in order..or have yer parents do so.

Thats one way to rid oneself of nervous energy,..instead of Building calamity 2 June here.


and early July wasn't late July back in 2008 either. Climatology is a poor excuse when conditions are right
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7814
Hit the panic button, start contraflow on I-10
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2 June aint early July..


pffttt...LOL

Get yer preps in order..or have yer parents do so.

Thats one way to rid oneself of nervous energy,..instead of Building calamity 2 June here.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
Quoting Hurricanes101:


You dont have to have the MJO positive to get development, it certainly helps

In a season with generally favorable conditions, I can see us getting a few named storms even when the MJO is in a downward phase.


Well, don't expect a "real" downward phase at all this season. The MJO won't even be defined over the Pacific most of the time, and all the upward motion will be over the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic the majority of the time. Even this coming downward pulse won't be that strong, and the GFS indicates upward motion lingering the entire time. All the oranges (sinking air) won't want to leave the Pacific very easily as this La Nina comes on.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
209. unf97
Quoting Hurricanes101:


and if I remember right there were similar arguments on sites throughout the internet back when Bertha formed. Many felt it wouldn't just because it was early July; boy were they surprised lol


I remembered that time well!
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Quoting unf97:
I learned years ago that when it comes to weather, just about everything goes. So, while it is not likely for significant development in that region of the Far Eastern Atlantic based on climatology, it certainly isn't impossible for it to happen in June.


and if I remember right there were similar arguments on sites throughout the internet back when Bertha formed in 2008. Many felt it wouldn't develop just because it was early July; boy were they surprised lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7814
Quoting msgambler:
morning Levi


Good morning msgambler.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:


I agree, it needs some time, if it's like that tommorrow evening, i would be concerned, this early in the season, it would probably go out to sea!

If its still this impressive, then i would be concerned, It has not long come off land. Twaves tend to look impressive on land and just after they have come off. give it 24-36hr's.
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morning Levi
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Quoting catastropheadjuster:

yes they do he's wore out. He wants to move to LA and I am trying to find them a place. He said from Raceland down, but you know LA very well and if u would shoot me a email and give me some ideals i would greatly appreciate it, Imma mother hen, got keep my babies safe. Thanks Pat your great.

Sheri


I can check out some rentals,,but some outfits are housing the workers and I assume thats where he is staying now..?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
203. unf97
I learned years ago that when it comes to weather, just about everything goes. So, while it is not likely for significant development in that region of the Far Eastern Atlantic based on climatology, it certainly isn't impossible for it to happen in June.
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Quoting Ossqss:
Considering the upward pulse of the MJO is moving east and another not due in until the end of the month, what does that do to the chances for development in the Carib/GOM with all that sinking air over the next few weeks?


You dont have to have the MJO positive to get development, it certainly helps

In a season with generally favorable conditions, I can see us getting a few named storms even when the MJO is in a downward phase.
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7814
Good morning everyone.

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, June 2nd
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
Quoting Patrap:


I saw u mention that yesterday..

They can use a lotta hands still..


yes they do he's wore out. He wants to move to LA and I am trying to find them a place. He said from Raceland down, but you know LA very well and if u would shoot me a email and give me some ideals i would greatly appreciate it, Imma mother hen, got keep my babies safe. Thanks Pat your great.
I know i was off subject please don't banned me.
Sheri
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Pat, you better be worried this year, you got oil on the shore and a 2005 similar season on the way possibly. Katrina type storm west of NOLA, and the whole country will be in turmoil.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
wait wait

so shear is favorable
SSTs are favorable

it is not THAT far south, it is laying around 9 degrees north

yet it cant develop cuz it is June 2nd?

That is not a very good defense there lol

I would say about 5 degrees north.

Mid level conditions are not ideal.

SAL isn't really a problem.
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Quoting Patrap:


Lotsa waves look impressive when they exit as a rule..if one sees the wave sustain strong convection for 48 Hrs post exit from the coast,then it warrants a further look usually.

But SAL,..and other early season obstacles usually prevent the Far eastern Atlantic from spitting out a worry wart wave June 2.

But one can have a anomaly in a season with a record MDR, so hang for the long haul..its gonna be active soon Nuff,,once we get into July.


I agree, it needs some time, if it's like that tommorrow evening, i would be concerned, this early in the season, it would probably go out to sea!
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196. Relix
Quoting Patrap:
We dont look to the far Eastern in June,,specially June 2

We focus on the Caribbean and GOM in this time frame


Nothing is set in stone. Nature has it's own way of doing things!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
wait wait

so shear is favorable
SSTs are favorable

it is not THAT far south, it is laying around 7-8 degrees north

yet it cant develop cuz it is June 2nd?

That is not a very good defense there lol


I dont seek a counsel from a the masses friendo..

Im a rogue seer.

LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
Considering the upward pulse of the MJO is moving east and another not due in until the end of the month, what does that do to the chances for development in the Carib/GOM with all that sinking air over the next few weeks?
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Quoting StormW:


Very Impressive!! What are the chances of that becoming an invest ?
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Quoting StormW:


It's gonna gain latitude during the next 24.


yup it is, steering shows a movement to the WNW-NW in the near future
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7814
If for some reason the wave did develop..... it would be the "season of hell"
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Quoting TropicalWave:
agreed, pat, that's the law of the land, this time of the year, however,w e cannot ignore what's currently happening in the EATL.


Lotsa waves look impressive when they exit as a rule..if one sees the wave sustain strong convection for 48 Hrs post exit from the coast,then it warrants a further look usually.

But SAL,..and other early season obstacles usually prevent the Far eastern Atlantic from spitting out a worry wart wave June 2.

But one can have a anomaly in a season with a record MDR, so hang for the long haul..its gonna be active soon Nuff,,once we get into July.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128630
wait wait

so shear is favorable
SSTs are favorable

it is not THAT far south, it is laying around 7-8 degrees north

yet it cant develop cuz it is June 2nd?

That is not a very good defense there lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7814
The astounding work continues at 5,000 feet.
They positioned the multi-ton shear near the shear cut from yesterday, clamped on to the pipe, and have moved the riser pipe enough to free the blade of the diamond wire saw.

The saw is now again cutting the smooth cut needed.
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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.