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: 1334 - 1284

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

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:
1333. xcool
WAVE Bear watching
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:
CNN:

BP abandons saw ops.

Not surprised.......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1330. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
1329. Ossqss
Hey all, just bouncin back in for a minute. Lots happening on the ROV cam. Tell me something good! and not that Chaka Khan sang it :)

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets /bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html

Quoting CaneWarning:
Why do I feel like the normal posters are outnumbered by trolls tonight?


What's goin on?

nrtiwlnvragn, Thanks again for your help with the graphics and data for our contest. It is very much appreciated!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
An outbreak of grasshoppers is expected across much of the US this summer, including in the Northwest and Mideast. Link Link Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
The possible blob north of Hispaniola would be a result of the trough & the remnants of 91L. I mentioned the possibility this morning in my blog. Haven't really looked at much today. I discussed this when 91E formed, it's best chance was in the Western Atlantic. It's been rehashed a few times but wanna be trouble all along.


didn't the remnants of 91L dissipated?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1326. xcool
JLPR2 DNOT LEAVE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1325. xcool



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The current wave is the strongest wave of the season and it will take 2nd place to the wave that will emerge next week


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1322. guygee
Quoting Patrap:


The storm wont affect central Oman..fortunately..
Good news! Thanks for the update.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1320. JLPR2
Well I'm off to bed early tonight :D


see you guys tomorrow ^^
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Thanks for excepting my request cane warning.Seems like your one of the more eaiser bloggers to get along with.And thank you to tropical wave.People are really going to hate this eason when its over.


I try to be easy to get along with...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1318. centex
Been dry spring, very welcome.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1317. Patrap
Quoting guygee:
If they survive the flash-flooding. Nothing there to soak up the run-off.
"A vast gravel desert plain covers most of central Oman, with mountain ranges along the north (Al Hajar Mountains) and southeast coast, where the country's main cities are also located: the capital city Muscat, Sohar and Sur in the north, and Salalah in the south."

Used to live in Arizona and hike the Sonoran desert. In flash flood zones, there were many huge boulders carried down from the mountains.


The storm wont affect central Oman..fortunately.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
Quoting DestinJeff:


What ever will he do with his spare 47 seconds at the 10 til every hour?


He'll be updating the office staff there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1314. Skyepony (Mod)
The possible blob north of Hispaniola would be a result of the trough & the remnants of 91L. I mentioned the possibility this morning in my blog. Haven't really looked at much today. I discussed this when 91E formed, it's best chance was in the Western Atlantic. It's been rehashed a few times but wanna be trouble all along.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1313. guygee
Quoting Patrap:
Tropical Cyclone PHET
Seems shes weakening some as it comes close to A Landfall in Oman.
Welcome news..as Oman is a desert.
If they survive the flash-flooding. Nothing there to soak up the run-off.
"A vast gravel desert plain covers most of central Oman, with mountain ranges along the north (Al Hajar Mountains) and southeast coast, where the country's main cities are also located: the capital city Muscat, Sohar and Sur in the north, and Salalah in the south."

Used to live in Arizona and hike the Sonoran desert. In flash flood zones, there were many huge boulders carried down from the mountains.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1311. Grothar
Quoting jhans624:
Does anyone know what happened to Steve Lyons?
He is no longer the Hurricane Expert on the Weather Channel



Dr. Steve Lyons will be leaving TWC to head the NWS office in San Angelo, TX His replacement will be Dr. Richard Knabb of the NHC


from the news in April
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26137
1310. xcool



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow on Tampa news they are saying a resort in St. Pete has already lost $50,000 in revenue because of cancelations due to the oil spill. That's crazy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:


reminds me of the blown call at 1st in the 85 WS .. Cards v. Royals. Damn you, Dinkenger!

OMG I have never forgotten that! It lost the series for the Cards! I am originally from St Louis area...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1305. stormy3
Hey Stormtop, Just kicking back and waiting to see how this year plays out. Been scrolling through the 2005 archives and glad to see that you are here now like you were back then.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Keep your eye on the balls ... especially [this season.]

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
I'm expecting it to be an active season to cane warning.Hey! want to be friends?.Also I heard that some bloggers on here are proffesinals.What I mean by that is that they have thier own weather bisnuss and thier own website.Is that true?


Sure we can be friends...

I think there are several professionals on the blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1300. Patrap
Quoting pottery:
Thanks for the several confirmations on the Climo thing.
My point of course is, that we ought not to put too much faith in Climo this year, simply because the historical data is not really relevant to the conditions now. We are in an "extreme" position with many of the parameters. Climo cannot deal with that.


Climo is the Big Mutha in the grand scheme..always.

For example..come Fall,,one dosent expect a Blizzard as a rule..but as time goes by,it happens in December and Feb.

Same in the tropics..one dosent get a CV cat 5 in June,..nor July.usually,.but come Aug and September,well..the Planet has a rhythm and reason for when and what it does.


Climo is a Guide to what we can expect from the past we have documented.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128284
1299. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting SLU:


Yep .. We could be in trouble. Quotes like "... a hell of a year" and "A season from Hades" are certainly not out of place this year.
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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Does anyone know what happened to Steve Lyons?
He is no longer the Hurricane Expert on the Weather Channel
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Thanks for the several confirmations on the Climo thing.
My point of course is, that we ought not to put too much faith in Climo this year, simply because the historical data is not really relevant to the conditions now. We are in an "extreme" position with many of the parameters. Climo cannot deal with that.

You are dead on with this...this year could be one of those 'extreme years' so climo means nothing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Why do I feel like the normal posters are outnumbered by trolls tonight?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:


I think 456's explanation implies averages derived from historical data.

And consider the quality of that historical data off of Africa near the equator before recent times...

Could be more common than we think. The data quality combined with long climate cycle regimes strongly support Haboobs' statement concerning a 10 year average.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1292. centex
Quoting WatchingThisOne:


Nah, I think I'll add you to *my* list. Sheesh. Poof.
asking to be added to quack list?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BP to switch from diamond saw back to robotic arm
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 2, 2010 9:46 p.m. EDT

Nope, they can't get a break, can they?

You betcha!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Recent blog entry from another of WU featured bloggers, LRandyB
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


From the 12Z Euro, our tropical wave appears more interesting than I thought. It develops an "L" along the axis as it heads wnw over the tropical atlantic. Enters the Caribbean Sea next week with alot of vorticity. Similar to the GFS's solution.

It remains an open wave though. If you believe the long-range GFS, you get an Arlene/Barry/Alberto type system out of it. I don't pay attention to the GFS past 1 week.



The rest of the wave affects the Antilles.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
GFS 18z showing something interesting in 30 hours near the Bahamas.

GFS 18z 30 hours


NAM 18z also shows this at 30 hours.

NAM 18z 30 hours


Another 90L? I hope not, that system was a pest.


look at today's tropical update...its the western part of the trough north of PR.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


Anything you average will never be absolute.
Like drilling in deep waters, on average, works out as planned...outlier, aka anomaly, always possible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1285. pottery
Thanks for the several confirmations on the Climo thing.
My point of course is, that we ought not to put too much faith in Climo this year, simply because the historical data is not really relevant to the conditions now. We are in an "extreme" position with many of the parameters. Climo cannot deal with that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting centex:
So some of you guys post on blog and don't care what blog is about today? Amazing how many either ignores or post how bad blog post is. They are smarter or just plain leach blogger user types, wow you guys are real smart? Some frequent bloggers are right wing heretics and ignore all science evidence and only quote quack science. Whatever education they have is wasted. He is nice to you guys/gals to give you place to post your chat crap. Hope your getting your fix. I know you hate me but truth hurts. Those posting tropical incite or blog appropriate stuff, keep going I’m just trying to raise the bar on this blog. More people need to call the crap out; else they will continue to post anti science on science sight. I can provide list of right wing quacks on WG mail if asked. Maybe you can even add to my list.


Nah, I think I'll add you to *my* list. Sheesh. Poof.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1334 - 1284

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.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
76 °F
Mostly Cloudy