93L still disorganized; extreme heat wave hits the Middle East and Africa

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:05 PM GMT on June 24, 2010

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The amount and intensity of heavy thunderstorm activity associated with the tropical wave (Invest 93L) located a few hundred miles south of Jamaica has increased over the past 24 hours, but the storm remains very disorganized and is not a threat to develop into a tropical depression today. The storm has not brought heavy rains to Haiti, fortunately, but heavy rains are expected today across Jamaica, where flash flood warnings have been posted. Satellite loops show a very disorganized system, with no low-level spiral bands and limited upper-level outflow. There are no signs of a surface circulation visible on satellite imagery. Pressures at the ground station nearest to the storm (Kingston) are beginning to fall, as are pressures at buoy 42057 a few hundred miles west of the storm, a sign that 93L is more organized than yesterday. Water vapor satellite loops show that moist air surrounds 93L, and there is less dry air to the storm's southwest than there was yesterday. There is an upper-level high pressure system a few hundred miles west of 93L, and the clockwise flow air around this high is bringing upper-level winds out of the northwest of about 10 knots over 93L, contributing to the 10 knots of wind shear observed in this morning's wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin's CIMSS group. Sea Surface Temperatures are plenty warm, a record 29 - 30°C. The Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) currently favors upward motion over the Caribbean, which will act to increase the chances of tropical storm formation this week. The main negative for 93L continues to be the lack of spin. Last night's pass of the ASCAT satellite showed little in the way of a wind shift associated with 93L, though the pass did not completely capture the storm. The University of Wisconsin 850 mb relative vorticity analysis is showing that spin at 850 mb (roughly 5,000 feet in altitude) has increased over the past two days. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 93L Friday afternoon. Today's flight was canceled, due to 93L's lack of development.


Figure 1. Morning visible satellite image of the central Caribbean disturbance 93L.

Track forecast for 93L
I expect that by tomorrow, 93L should be closer to being directly underneath the upper level high pressure system to its west, which would act to lower wind shear and provide more favorable upper-level outflow. NHC is giving 93L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday morning, which is a reasonable forecast. Given the storm's current lack of spin and relatively modest amount of heavy thunderstorms, the earliest I'd expect 93L to become a tropical depression would be Friday afternoon, with Friday night or Saturday morning more likely. Interaction with land will be a problem for 93L, as it will likely move over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or Western Cuba on Saturday. Expect 93L to bring flooding rains of 3 - 6 inches to Jamaica and eastern Cuba today through Friday. These rains will spread to the Cayman Islands, northern Honduras, and central Cuba Friday through Saturday, and western Cuba, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday and Sunday. The current run of the SHIPS model has 93L slowing down late this week to a forward speed of just 7 knots (8 mph) from its current speed of about 10 mph, in response to a weakening in the steering currents. A trough of low pressure is expected to swing down over the Eastern U.S. on Monday. If this trough is strong enough and 93L develops significantly, the storm could get pulled northwards and make landfall along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. This is the solution of the GFS, GFDL, and HWRF models. If 93L stays weak and/or the trough is not so strong, the storm would get pushed west-northwestwards across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and towards the Texas or Mexican coast south of Texas. This is the solution of the NOGAPS, ECMWF, and Canadian models. A likely landfall location is impossible to speculate on reliably at this point, and the storm could hit virtually anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico coast given the current uncertainty in its development. A key factor will be how far north the center of 93L eventually consolidates at.

Intensity forecast for 93L
The amount of wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico next week is highly uncertain. There is currently a band of high shear near 30 knots over the Gulf. The GFS model predicts that this band of high shear will lift northwards, keeping low wind shear over the Gulf next week. However, the ECMWF model keeps high shear entrenched over the Gulf of Mexico. I give 93L a 50% chance of eventually becoming Tropical Storm Alex, but the odds of it eventually becoming a hurricane have lessened to 10%. None of the computer models is calling for 93L to become a hurricane.

Elsewhere in the tropics
None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic over the next seven days.


Figure 2. Dust storm over Iraq on June 23, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

Extreme heat wave sets all-time high temperature records in Africa and Middle East
A withering heat wave of unprecedented intensity and areal covered has smashed all-time high temperatures in five nations in the Middle East and Africa over the past week. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Chad, Kuwait, and Niger all set new records for their hottest temperatures of all time, and two other Middle East nations came within a degree of their hottest temperatures ever. The heat was the most intense in Kuwait, which recorded its hottest temperature in history on June 15 in Abdaly, according to information I received from the Kuwait Met office. The mercury hit 52.6°C (126.7°F). Kuwait's previous all-time hottest temperature was 51.9°C (125.4°F), on July 27,2007, at Abdaly. Temperatures reached 51°C (123.8°F) in the capital of Kuwait City on June 15, 2010.

Iraq had its hottest day in history on June 14, 2010, when the mercury hit 52.0°C (125.6°F) in Basra. Iraq's previous record was 51.7°C (125.1°F) set August 8, 1937, in Ash Shu'aybah.

It was also incredibly hot in Saudi Arabia, which had its hottest temperature ever on Tuesday (June 22): 52.0°C (125.6°F), measured in Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia. The previous record was 51.7°C (125.1°F), at Abqaiq, date unknown. The record heat was accompanied by a sandstorm, which caused eight power plants to go offline, resulting in blackouts to several Saudi cities.

In Africa, Chad had its hottest day in history on Tuesday (June 22), when the temperature reached 47.6°C (117.7°F) at Faya. The previous record was 47.4°C (117.3°F) at Faya on June 3 and June 9, 1961.

Niger tied its record for hottest day in history on Tuesday (June 22), when the temperature reached 47.1°C (116.8°F) at Bilma. That record stood for just one day, as Bilma broke the record again on Wednesday (June 23), when the mercury topped out at 48.2°C (118.8°F). The previous record was 47.1°C on May 24, 1998, also at Bilma.

Two other countries came within a degree of their all time hottest temperature on record during the heat wave. Bahrain had its hottest June temperature ever, 46.9°C, on June 20, missing the all-time record of 47.5°C (117.5°F), set July 14, 2000. Temperatures in Quatar reached 48.8°C (119.8°F) on June 20. Quatar's all-time record hottest temperature was 49.6°C (121.3°F) set on July 9, 2000.

According to Essa Ramadan, a Kuwaiti meteorologist from Civil Aviation, Matrabah, Kuwait smashed this record and had Asia's hottest temperature in history on June 15 this year, when the mercury hit 54.0°C (129.2°F). However, data from this station is notoriously bad, and each year bogus record highs have to be corrected, according to an email I received from weather record researcher Maximiliano Herrera. Asia's hottest temperature in history will very likely remain the 53.5°C (128.3°F) recorded at MohenjuDaro, Pakistan on May 26 this year.

Commentary
We've now had seven countries in Asia and Africa that have beaten their all-time hottest temperature record during the past two months. As I discussed in my blog about Pakistan's May 26 record, Southeast Asia also had its all-time hottest temperature in May, when the mercury hit 47°C (116.6°F) in Myinmu, Myanmar on May 12. All of these records are unofficial, and will need to be certified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). According to Chris Burt, author of Extreme Weather, setting five national heat records in one month is not unprecedented--in August 2003, six countries (the UK, France, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein) all broke their all-time heat records during that year's notorious summer heat wave. Fortunately, the residents of the countries affected by this week's heat wave are more adapted to extreme high temperatures, and we are not seeing the kind of death tolls experienced during the 2003 European heat wave (30,000 killed.) This week's heat wave in Africa and the Middle East is partially a consequence of the fact that Earth has now seen three straight months with its warmest temperatures on record, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. It will be interesting to see if the demise of El Niño in May will keep June from becoming the globe's fourth straight warmest month on record.


Figure 3. Approximate oil spill location on June 23, 2010, and estimated by NOAA using visible satellite imagery from NASA's MODIS instrument, and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from polar-orbiting satellites. Image credit: NOAA Satellite Services Division.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
East to southeast winds of 5 - 15 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Monday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting weak ocean currents should push the oil to the west and northwest onto portions of the Louisiana and Alabama coasts, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. I would expect Mississippi to have its most serious threat of oil yet early next week as these winds continue. The longer range outlook is uncertain, and will depend upon what 93L does.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
Map of oil spill location from the NOAA Satellite Services Division
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil 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
NOAA's interactive mapping tool to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
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

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
What does that mean,how do you read this??.Hurricane celia looks beautiful.Cat 4.That was in the earlier forecast.


OMG means Oh My God.

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


A little support from a couple of the GFS Ensemble members.


Wow. Well, whatever happen, Fl will get drenched as it swings by to the north and surges up moisture from the south.
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867 DestinJeff "I think we have spent so much time saying any threat from 93L is a "long way away" we have now lost sight of the fact that modeling (inaccurate as it may be) has landfall on CONUS 7 - 10 days, which is typically when you'd want to perk up and at least not discount too much what the models are saying."

meh The extreme limit of reliability is a 3day model. The extreme limit of usability is a 5day model.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I doubt that the naked swirl off of Nicaragua is controlling this. Looking for some kind of center reformation later tonight....



I'm looking south of Jamaica later tonight..
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
FYI the TVCN is the model that the NHC would most likely use.



TVCN is a consensus run built from the GFS, ECMWF, NGP, and HWRF models.
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It is likely that the area near Nicaragua will remain the low pressure until dissipation. Then we shall see if another can develop inside it.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3784
Quoting watchingnva:


on the case if the 2 waves energy combines...the center will probably relocate well east after the naked swirl comes inland and dissipates...guess we will see tonight after swirly comes on in and gives those folks some pretty, fast moving clouds to look at...lol


Yeah. We'll have to keep an eye out for hot towers.
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Brownsville again. They've not deviated much from there either. Are they right? I dunno.


A little support from a couple of the GFS Ensemble members.


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FYI the TVCN is the model that the NHC would most likely use.

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993. IKE
ECMWF starts the low from south of Hispaniola.
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Quoting TerraNova:


Judging from 850 vort the two waves look like they might be merging. With the spike in convergence resulting in <-60° tops south of Haiti, concerning center relocation, your guess is as good as mine. There look to be multiple midlevel vortices.


on the case if the 2 waves energy combines...the center will probably relocate well east after the naked swirl comes inland and dissipates...guess we will see tonight after swirly comes on in and gives those folks some pretty, fast moving clouds to look at...lol
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
ECMWF brings 93L into DSTX in a week:



Yep and two days ago it was hitting nola, then Pan handle, then nothing and now back to where it is now. I'm gonna give it a few days and see what all the models agree upon.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


About time.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3784
Quoting Ameister12:

It is a category 4.


All we need is the conservative NHC to confirm this. ;)

-Snowlover123
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Hurricane Celia just scored a 6.0...

24/1800 UTC 12.5N 114.2W T6.0/6.0 CELIA



Impressive.
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Quoting IKE:
ECMWF is an outlier...for now.


But not alone. A couple of those unreliable types agree. :)
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
Quoting Hurricanes101:
EP, 04, 2010062418, , BEST, 0, 126N, 1142W, 115, 948, HU

close to CAT 4 intensity

It is a category 4.
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Quoting Ameister12:
Good afternoon.

I don't know if anyone knew this, but Celia is a Category 4.

EP, 04, 2010062418, , BEST, 0, 126N, 1142W, 115, 948, HU


OMG...
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Quoting AllStar17:


Cat. 4 at 5:00 pm?


Possibly. Reminds me of Rita of '05 with that Eye.

-Snowlover123
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
ECMWF 12Z Loop


Brownsville again. They've not deviated much from there either. Are they right? I dunno.
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 10 Comments: 3665
Good afternoon.

I don't know if anyone knew this, but Celia is a Category 4.

EP, 04, 2010062418, , BEST, 0, 126N, 1142W, 115, 948, HU
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
So thats what a well-defined circulation looks like...

Its been awhile



Beautiful.
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977. IKE
Quoting DestinJeff:
Ike, et al. nevermind ... I see my error.


It was close to the same track.
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So thats what a well-defined circulation looks like...

Its been awhile

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Quoting watchingnva:


my thinking here....

guess we will see...

man its hot out...my old ac unit is straining to keep up...101.2 out with index fluctuating between 108-111...miserable...



Judging from 850 vort the two waves look like they might be merging. With the spike in convergence resulting in <-60° tops south of Haiti, concerning center relocation, your guess is as good as mine. There look to be multiple midlevel vortices.
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974. IKE
ECMWF is an outlier...for now.
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Quoting Crawls:
OK kids, better behave or I'm going to tell Dad, when he gets home. LOL


Mommed again.
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EP, 05, 2010062418, , BEST, 0, 128N, 990W, 70, 980, HU

Darby also intensifies
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ECMWF brings 93L into DSTX in a week:

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241500Z JUN 10
FM NMFC
TO WEATHER
TO FNM
BT
UNCLAS
MSGID/NMFC/OVLY2/0087/JUN
OVLY/TCFA/241430Z4/JUN/1OF1/TCFA AL9310/METOC
LINE/2//G/163000N0/0793600W5/174200N4/0834800W3
LINE/2//G/180000N9/0790600W2/145400N4/0801200W1
LINE/2//G/145400N4/0801200W1/160600N3/0842400W8
LINE/2//G/160600N3/0842400W8/191200N3/0831800W0
LINE/2//G/191200N3/0831800W0/180000N9/0790600W2
TEXT/20//G/135400N3/0814200W5/TCFA AL9310
TEXT/20//G/125400N2/0814200W5/VALID UNTIL 251500Z
TEXT/20//G/115400N1/0814200W5/WINDS: 15-20 KTS
TEXT/20//G/105400N0/0814200W5/MVG: WNW AT 10 KNOTS
ENDAT
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Hurricane Celia just scored a 6.0...

24/1800 UTC 12.5N 114.2W T6.0/6.0 CELIA



That's a DVORAK estimate right? WHat would that equate to in mph?

-Snowlover123
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Intense convection like what we're seeing in the Caribbean right now, if consistent enough, can lower pressures and certainly be the spark for development. I find this area more promising that 93L, which is still struggling to gain even the most minimal amount of heavy thunderstorm activity.
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ALERT ATCF MIL 93X XXX 100624120000
2010062412
16.5 280.4
17.7 276.2
100
16.5 280.4
241500
1006241430
1
WTNT21 KNGU 241500
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT 241430Z JUN 10//
RMKS/1. FORMATION OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN 100NM
EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 16.5N 79.6W TO 17.7N 83.8W WITHIN THE
NEXT 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED
TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME.
2. A LOW PRESSURE CENTER LOCATED NEAR 16.5N 79.6W IS CURRENTLY MOVING
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT APPROXIMATELY 10 KTS. AT 24/1200Z INFRARED
SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATED AN AREA OF CONVECTION THAT HAS PERSISTED
FOR THE PAST 12 HOURS. THIS SYSTEM IS CURRENTLY MOVING INTO AN AREA OF
RELATIVELY LOWER WIND SHEAR, UPPER LEVEL ANTI-CYCLONIC OUTFLOW AND IS
TRACKING TOWARDS WARMER SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF 83 TO 86 DEGREES
FAHRENHEIT, HELPING TO ENHANCE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS TROPICAL FEATURE.
3. THIS ALERT WILL BE REISSUED, UPGRADED TO A WARNING OR ALLOWED TO EXPIRE
BY 251500Z JUN 2010.//
9310062018 120N 643W 15
9310062100 127N 654W 20
9310062106 134N 665W 20
9310062112 140N 676W 20
9310062118 145N 688W 25
9310062200 149N 700W 25
9310062206 151N 715W 25
9310062212 153N 729W 25
9310062218 154N 740W 25
9310062300 156N 752W 25
9310062306 157N 763W 25
9310062312 159N 768W 25
9310062318 161N 777W 25
9310062400 162N 782W 25
9310062406 163N 788W 25
9310062412 165N 796W 25

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Quoting MississippiWx:


Looks like an annular hurricane...Beautiful.


I was thinking that last night, Celia could be a rare bread
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Hurricane Celia just scored a 6.0...

24/1800 UTC 12.5N 114.2W T6.0/6.0 CELIA



Cat. 4 at 5:00 pm?
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Quoting TerraNova:


There are two tropical waves in the Caribbean keeping pressures low between them. There isn't a well defined low pressure center.



Exactly, TN. Best vorticity is in the 5,000 ft range or higher, in addition to the whole area being very broad and elongated.
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EP, 04, 2010062418, , BEST, 0, 126N, 1142W, 115, 948, HU

close to CAT 4 intensity
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Hurricane Celia just scored a 6.0...

24/1800 UTC 12.5N 114.2W T6.0/6.0 CELIA



Looks like an annular hurricane...Beautiful.
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This unstorm is giving me a headache.
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93L is beginning to tap the bath-like waters.
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Quoting gtownTX:


The best thing to do is review your preparations for the storm season as a whole. Insurance up to date? Family emergency plans in place? 93L can be educational in more than one way.


no plans - broke! thats why I'm so panicky I guess
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my thinking here....

guess we will see...

man its hot out...my old ac unit is straining to keep up...101.2 out with index fluctuating between 108-111...miserable...

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ECMWF 12Z Loop
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Hurricane Celia just scored a 6.0...

24/1800 UTC 12.5N 114.2W T6.0/6.0 CELIA

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I doubt that the naked swirl off of Nicaragua is controlling this. Looking for some kind of center reformation later tonight....



It may not be causing that strong convection to the east, but the naked spin is very dominant compared to anything else. The mid-level vorts and the naked spin are really duking it out right now. The surface spin is almost stalled out and that's not helping the mid-level vort gain any ground. What will help the mid-level vort is the strong convection associated with it. We still have a long process to deal with...
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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