Asia records its hottest temperature in history; Category 4 Phet threatens Oman

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:47 PM GMT on June 02, 2010

Share this Blog
4
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1384 - 1334

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

1383. ryang
SLU, how was the weather there Monday morning? I heard there was some heavy thunderstorms....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SLU:


Safe from all the hurricanes!


Not quite...Hazel 1954 did some damage here. Link

Except I wasn't born then. But we do get the remnants of hurricanes almost every year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1380. xcool



checked out the SAL hmmmm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

Wha???


Mars is near Regulus right now: you'll see it as a reddish "star" beside a bluish star.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Weather456 so that next wave thats set to come of africa,do you see it being a strong wave and making it to the carribean in one peace.I know it's to early to tell.Just want your opinion.


all three make it to the Caribbean convectively. Tropical waves more than often don't die, only the convection does.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1375. SLU
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
south western ontario in toronto Canada


Safe from all the hurricanes!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1374. Ossqss
From the .gov site relating to the International Astronomical Union (IAU)

http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question48.html

and another non.gov site:)

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0875452.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1373. Makoto1
Quoting Weather456:
In post 1348 notice that the two tropical waves further east are more northerly. This looks like a 2008/1998 cape verde season with the frequency of 2005 and 1995.


That's a scary thought... Really scary. And to think... It's only June 2.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
456, not sure why it quoted you on my last post, def not the one I clicked on. Sorry about that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1370. xcool
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
In post 1348 notice that the two tropical waves further east are more northerly. This looks like a 2008/1998 cape verde season with the frequency of 2005 and 1995.

They didnt quit on the process just using a different tool to make the cut which has already been successful once.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1367. xcool
First storm formed: June 8, 2005


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1366. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
KEEPEROFTHEGATE,are you still on??.Whats your forecast for hurricane season.
go to my blog for that info its there its all there
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53781
In post 1348 notice that the two tropical waves further east are more northerly. This looks like a 2008/1998 cape verde season with the frequency of 2005 and 1995.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:
CNN:

BP abandons saw ops.


It seems we keep moving in the direction of less palatable options.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1363. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting SLU:


oh ho .. where are u located?
south western ontario in toronto Canada
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53781
1361. Patrap
Quoting Weather456:


I'll have to respectfully disagree since I've been monitoring this area day and night. The surface trough NE of the Bahamas is the tail end of disintegrating frontal boundary (sometimes call a shear line)

There is no evidence to suggest energy from 91L moved into the SW Atlantic from Cuba. In fact vorticity remained near the Yucatan coast and the TPC analyzed a trough moving into the Yucatan peninsula.


I know skyepony's resume,so if she said it was there..Id be a tad wary to challenge her observations.

Just a tad word of caution on that...


We all see things some others dont sometimes..and thats a good thing.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1360. Dakster
Quoting DestinJeff:
Everyone, after careful analysis I am prepared to offer up my hurricane projections for 2010:




I base my projection on having shaken the Magic 8 Ball 4 times, then taking the average of those results. These projections are to the 95% Confidence Level.


ROFLMAO...

Funny thing is, you may just be correct.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1359. Grothar
Quoting Katrina2NOLA2010:
I might go scope out the planets if the clouds cooperate.

Supposed to be able to see saturn, venus, and mars all close together this month.

Pathetic that we name the planets after pagan gods...


We didn't name most of them, the names predate our present civilization. Besides, if they weren't named after pagan gods, they would all have the same name. It could be confusing.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26117
1358. SLU
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

i know
been seeing this since early march when our winter left and never came back
not that we really even had one in the first place


oh ho .. where are u located?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:


The convection mostly did, there was a little disturbance left in the atmosphere, going over Cuba this morning..91L was dead, these were just faint remnants. Like a seed of energy, that trough looked like opportunity ahead.


I'll have to respectfully disagree since I've been monitoring this area day and night. The surface trough NE of the Bahamas is the tail end of disintegrating frontal boundary (sometimes call a shear line)

There is no evidence to suggest energy from 91L moved into the SW Atlantic from Cuba. In fact vorticity remained near the Yucatan coast and the TPC analyzed a trough moving into the Yucatan peninsula.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So next weeks wave is going to be a good one huh? My june 13th pick for Alex to form is looking better and better haha. I actually hope I am wrong and we do not see anything, esspecially from Africa, that early in the easy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1354. Makoto1
Quoting Weather456:


A wave over Sudan would take much longer than June 9 to emerge. The wave is currently near 10E over Nigeria.



Hm, okay, thanks for noting that. I guess I'll need to learn how long these usually take to move. They're both pretty impressive though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1352. pottery
Quoting Katrina2NOLA2010:
I might go scope out the planets if the clouds cooperate.

Supposed to be able to see saturn, venus, and mars all close together this month.

Pathetic that we name the planets after pagan gods...

Wha???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I was pretty surprised to see that the disturbance that was 91L was actually ever classified as 91L.

Looked pretty poor. Maybe the high chances of a dangerous season warrants less conservation than previous year?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1350. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting SLU:


I've never felt this worried coming into a hurricane season before. I'm yet to find any reasonable arguments againts a big season this year.

i know
been seeing this since early march when our winter left and never came back
not that we really even had one in the first place
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53781
1349. Patrap
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Makoto1:


That next one is the one over southwestern Sudan, right?


A wave over Sudan would take much longer than June 9 to emerge. The wave is currently near 10E over Nigeria.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1346. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Weather456:


didn't the remnants of 91L dissipated?


The convection mostly did, there was a little disturbance left in the atmosphere, going over Cuba this morning..91L was dead, these were just faint remnants. Like a seed of energy, that trough looked like opportunity ahead.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


PS.

its "affect",..not effect


This is what 3 years of texting on my phone does to my typing :l but yeah, just imagine how big that blob will be at D-max
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1344. Patrap


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1343. xcool
Weather456:

Possible development ???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1341. SLU
Quoting Weather456:
The current wave is the strongest wave of the season and it will take 2nd place to the wave that will emerge next week




And it's got some real August-like amplitude too
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1340. Patrap
Quoting NOVArules:


Nah It's probably too south to effect the atlantic, so it may be a pacific storm.

Ps- I am JFV


PS.

its "affect",..not effect
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1339. xcool
JLPR2 .OK BYE HAVE GOOD tonight,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Okay back to tropics looks like we may get an invest.But who knows.NHC has been to conserative latly,and it is for that reason why I think we will miss a few storms out there.


Nah It's probably too south to effect the atlantic, so it may be a pacific storm.

Ps- I am JFV
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1336. JLPR2
Quoting xcool:
JLPR2 DNOT LEAVE


but... but.. I want to sleep. XD
I'll stay till late tomorrow if the TW holds together, but tonight, nope, had a long day. -.-
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1335. Makoto1
Quoting Weather456:
The current wave is the strongest wave of the season and it will take 2nd place to the wave that will emerge next week




That next one is the one over southwestern Sudan, right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1334. SLU
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
a lot of reputations are riding on this season if it fails to work out confidence will fall big time with the public this is a big year no matter how we look at it


I've never felt this worried coming into a hurricane season before. I'm yet to find any reasonable arguments againts a big season this year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1384 - 1334

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Top of Page

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.