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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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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Quoting RitaEvac:
Regardless, it's a monster wave


that is very true. There is no doubt its impressive and a monster twave.
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We dont look to the far Eastern in June,,specially June 2

We focus on the Caribbean and GOM in this time frame
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
Quoting eddye:
so wat does that mean aussie a busy season

It mean, yes you can watch it but it's a bit low for it to become anything, CV season doesn't start till july.
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Quoting Patrap:


Phet is NOT a Cat 5 ATM



That's true, however winds are up to 145 mph on the newest advisory, and it's predicted to make landfall with winds of at least 165 mph, given that the water temps are in the high 80s, it seems very possible that it will be a cat 5 on later today!

;-)
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LOL
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Regardless, it's a monster wave

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176. unf97
I have to admit though that for June 2, that tropical wave out there off the African coast looks rather vigorous., especially on IR imagery which StormW posted. I'm not anticipating development out there this early, but hey, crazier things have happened.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
174. eddye
so wat does that mean aussie a busy season
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Quoting splash3392:
Aussie your much more patient than I am!

He's lucky i'm in a good mood.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


It is, but it's not that I'm paying attention to, it's the fact that it has a large convective signature on it with the fanning effect that you would see a lot later in the season. That is concerning. This wave though should not do anything.

eddye.... did you read this????
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Quoting catastropheadjuster:


Good morning Pat and Storm. Pat my son is in Grand Isle working.
sheri


I saw u mention that yesterday..

They can use a lotta hands still..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
159. the benzene causes cancer
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I actually live on a barrier island in sarasota and personally hate oil companies!!!!wind,water and solar power is where its at,all I'm saying is that mothernature always prevail in time,crude is natural and comes from the earth,theirfor it will eventually become part of the earth again,its a manmade disaster and man should pay the price for messn w/mother nature....and i hope this is the begining of a revalutionary push away from oil and towards alternative energy,cause god knows we need it and I can't remember one instance any oil company did sh*t for me!!!,enough venting,back to wx:)
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Quoting Patrap:
Morn ms,,..grumble,coffee,..NOLA news..

Sigh..


Good morning Pat and Storm. Pat my son is in Grand Isle working.
sheri
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153. We live down on Fort Morgan Rd. I was out on the deck last night a little after midnight and could smell the oil....we are going to help clean up the beaches too
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Quoting Caribbeanislands101:
Massive Cat 5 storm in Oman
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/na201003.html

Ain't a Cat 5 yet.
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Aussie your much more patient than I am!
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Ain't it a bit low?
if it was further north I would be concerned.


I think Hurricane Ivan was super low as well
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Quoting Caribbeanislands101:
Massive Cat 5 storm in Oman
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/na201003.html


TC Phet is NOT a Cat 5 ATM









Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
161. unf97
Quoting AussieStorm:

Ain't it a bit low?
if it was further north I would be concerned.


Precisely. Tropical waves moving off the African coast this time of year are generally along and south of 10 degrees Latitude. They will start to move off a little more north generally starting in mid July onward.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Ain't it a bit low?
if it was further north I would be concerned.


It is, but it's not that I'm paying attention to, it's the fact that it has a large convective signature on it with the fanning effect that you would see a lot later in the season. That is concerning. This wave though should not do anything.
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Quoting Nolehead:
138. runningfromthestorms 3:16 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
104. I don't know where you live, but if you live down here where you can see the birds and the fish I don't know how you can take that attitude when you can actually see them and watch them as they face this...it breaks my heart... we just went through hazmat training for turtle nest rescue..hazmat...just blows my mind


over here in Baldwin County, Al and went through the hazwoper class last week...yes talk about some wild stuff...just waiting on the phone call so i can help out and clean up our wonderful beaches...have a feeling i will be busy by this weekend..

I was watching Fox News or CNN, they said 1 in 7 people that help with the clean up will get cancer. If i was to help and get cancer, I would sue BP and the others for a road-train full of molah
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
Nice shout-out to Dr. Master's blog on XKCD today...
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Shear seems to be 5-15knots over it.

SAL is to the north of it.
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Massive Cat 5 storm in Oman
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/na201003.html
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138. runningfromthestorms 3:16 PM GMT on June 02, 2010
104. I don't know where you live, but if you live down here where you can see the birds and the fish I don't know how you can take that attitude when you can actually see them and watch them as they face this...it breaks my heart... we just went through hazmat training for turtle nest rescue..hazmat...just blows my mind


over here in Baldwin County, Al and went through the hazwoper class last week...yes talk about some wild stuff...just waiting on the phone call so i can help out and clean up our wonderful beaches...have a feeling i will be busy by this weekend..
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Impressive wave off Africa. Kind of convection you'd see in August/September. It's June 2nd.

Ain't it a bit low?
if it was further north I would be concerned.
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151. MTWX
Quoting msgambler:
Well, I'll be great as soon as I get back from the eye doctor....LOL How you been?


Working to much... worrying about all my friends who's livelihoods depend on the gulf... and trying to get on here as often as possible to keep updated on everything
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Quoting kingy:


eddy, please shut it mate before you get a lifetime ban.

I've told him to pull his head in but he hasn't taken any notice, next silly comment he's meeting the rest of the people on my ignore list, once he's on there there is no coming back.

Now in Sydney , Australia
56.7°F
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i woke up this morning and the clouds are amazing. miles in every direction alto cumulus clouds. i had to look it up not sure of the difference between alto cumulus and alto cumulus mackerel. i have never seen then entire sky covered in them before.

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146. eddye
kingy why u say that
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That wave is south of 10N...anything south of 10N has a very difficult time developing. Coriolis isn't strong enough.
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Quoting StormW:


And so, sir, the action begins. It is early, but the SST and shear would promote some development, right, if it can only get out of the ITZ?
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Morn ms,,..grumble,coffee,..NOLA news..

Sigh..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Bertha in 2008 on July 3rd

No storm has ever formed that far east in the month of June


Thanks a Million!!
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Impressive wave off Africa. Kind of convection you'd see in August/September. It's June 2nd.
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Quoting StormW:
Good morning!

Mornin'
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My goodness! It sounds like a warzone outside. Must have been 6 Helos fly over my house in the last 5 minutes. Which would be fine if they would gain a little altitude first.
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104. I don't know where you live, but if you live down here where you can see the birds and the fish I don't know how you can take that attitude when you can actually see them and watch them as they face this...it breaks my heart... we just went through hazmat training for turtle nest rescue..hazmat...just blows my mind
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137. kingy
Quoting eddye:
guys lets talk about the african wave i bet it will live longer then 91 L


eddy, please shut it mate before you get a lifetime ban.
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Quoting Caribbeanislands101:
What's the earliest Cape Verde Storm on record?
Does anyone know if there's ever been a Cape Verde Storm in June?


Bertha in 2008 on July 3rd

No storm has ever formed that far east in the month of June
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Quoting stillwaiting:
it'll be bad but,mother nature w/always prevail,no matter what humans do,her force is to strong and alot of oil w/wash up and kill wildlife and it is a man made disaster,however thru time,mixing and settling,as long as we do cap it in time,it will mix and dilute,what is the approx volume of water in the gom comparied to how much oil has leaked????,thier w/be clean up their w/be dead wildlife and economic impacts but w/will get thru this and the GOM w/clean herself in time....


omg! thats what rush limbaugh said! you arent him are you?? oh that would be so cool to have him on here. I have so very many things I would love to be able to tell him! I have loved him ever since he said the national organization for women was founded just so women would have a reason to wear ugly hats. and also i would like to know where he gets his drugs and if they give him urine tests and if so, how does he beat them. he is a real inspiration to all of us!
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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.