Colin arrives; extreme heat records fall for Ukraine and 5 U.S. cities

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:16 PM GMT on August 03, 2010

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Tropical Storm Colin has made its debut over the Atlantic, but does not appear to be a threat to any land areas over the next five days. Satellite imagery shows that Colin is intensifying, as both the intensity and areal extent of heavy thunderstorms has increased over the past few hours. A respectable low-level spiral band is developing to the north of the center, and upper-level outflow is beginning to appear on all sides of the storm. Colin is a very small storm, and its tropical storm force winds extend out just 30 miles from the center. Colin passed about 50 miles south of Buoy 41041 early this morning, and generated top sustained winds of 27 mph at the buoy. There is some dry air associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) to the northwest of Colin, but this dry air is not getting entrained into Colin at present. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots and sea surface temperatures are a very warm 28 - 29°C, so continued development is likely today. The main negative for development appears to be the storm's small size, which makes it vulnerable to modest increases in wind shear or dry air entrainment. The first flight of the Hurricane Hunters into Colin is scheduled for Wednesday morning.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Colin.

Forecast for Colin
The latest 6Z (2am EDT) models are fairly unified taking Colin to the west-northwest at 20 - 25 mph for the next three days. This would bring squalls from the storm's outer rainbands to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, such as Antigua and Barbuda, by Wednesday afternoon. The center of Colin should pass to the northeast of the islands, and the storm is small enough that the islands are unlikely to experience tropical storm force winds. As Colin makes its closest approach to the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday night, the storm will begin to encounter strong upper-level westerly winds associated with the counter-clockwise flow of air around an upper-level low pressure system centered between Bermuda and Puerto Rico. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that these winds will cause wind shear to rise to the moderate level, 10 - 20 knots, by Wednesday morning, and to the high level, 20 - 30 knots, by Thursday. There is considerable dry air associated with the upper level low that should cause problems for Colin, as well. The high wind shear and dry air should weaken Colin. NHC is giving Colin a 25% chance of attaining hurricane status this week.

A trough of low pressure is expected to move off the U.S. East Coast on Friday, and this trough will pull Colin to the northwest and cause it to slow down on Wednesday. By Friday, Colin will be moving at half of its current speed. It is unclear if the trough of low pressure will be strong enough to fully recurve Colin out to sea late this week. Some of the models predict Colin will not recurve out to sea, and that high pressure will build back in this weekend, forcing Colin towards the U.S. East Coast. A second trough of low pressure is predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast next Monday, so Colin will have a second opportunity to recurve out to sea then. It is possible that Colin could make landfall along the U.S. East Coast or in the Canadian Maritime provinces 7 - 10 days from now, though it is still too early to assess the risk of this happening, nor how strong Colin might be.

Ukraine ties its record for hottest temperature in history
On August 1, Ukraine tied its record for hottest temperature in its history when the mercury hit 41.3°C (106.3°F) at Lukhansk. The Ukraine also reached 41.3°C on July 20 and 21, 2007, at Voznesensk. Sixteen of 225 nations on Earth have set extreme highest temperature in history records this year, the most of any year. The year 2007 is in second place, with fifteen such records.

Five major U.S. cities record their warmest month in history during July
July 2010 was the warmest month in history for five U.S. cities:

Las Vegas, NV: 96.2°F (old record: 95.3°F, July 2005).
Atlantic City, NJ: 79.8°F (old record: 78.7°F, July 1983)
Washington, D.C.: 83.1°F (tied with July 1993)
Baltimore, MD: 81.5°F (tied with July 1995)
Trenton, NJ: 80.5°F (tied with July 1955)

Also, in June, Miami, FL recorded its warmest month in history: 85.6°F (old record: 85.4°F in June 1998.)

Commentary
None of the 303 major U.S. cities listed in the records section of Chris Burt's book Extreme Weather has set a coldest month in history record since 1994 (these 303 cites were selected to represent a broad spectrum of U.S. climate zones, are not all big cities, have a good range of elevations, and in most cases have data going back to the 1880s.) There were just three such records (1% of the 303 major U.S. cities) set in the past twenty years, 1991 - 2010. In contrast, 97 out of 303 major U.S. cities (32%) set records for their warmest month in history during the past twenty years. It is much harder to set a coldest month in history record than a coldest day in history record in a warming climate, since it requires cold for an extended period of time--not just a sudden extreme cold snap.

Are the pattern of U.S. temperature records due to the Urban Heat Island effect?
Is the huge disparity between extreme heat records and extreme cold records in the U.S. due to global warming, or the Urban Heat Island effect? The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect occurs when development of former natural areas into pavement and buildings allows more heat to be trapped in cities, particularly at night. During the day, the UHI effect often leads to a slight cooling, since it can increase the amount of turbulence, allowing cooler air to get mixed down to the surface. For example, Moreno-Garcia (1994) found that Barcelona, Spain was 0.2°C cooler for daily maxima and 2.9°C warmer for minima than a nearby rural station.

However, temperature records are typically taken in parks and airports removed from the main heat-trapping areas of cities, and are not as strongly affected as one might expect. There are several reasons for this. One is that when tall buildings are present, they tend to block the view to the sky, meaning that not as much heat can escape upwards. In addition, the presence of moist vegetation keeps the atmosphere moister in park-like areas (which include the grassy fields near airports where temperature measurements are taken). This extra moisture helps cool the atmosphere on a local scale of tens of meters, due to latent heat effects (the energy required to convert liquid water to water vapor). Peterson (2003) found that "Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures." The study used satellite-based night-light detection to identify urban areas. Recent research by Spronken-Smith and Oke (1998) concluded that there was a marked park cool island effect within the Urban Heat Island. They found that parks in typical cities in the U.S. have temperatures 1 - 2°C cooler than the surrounding city--and sometimes more than 5°C cooler. While the Urban Heat Island effect probably has contributed to some of the reduction in record low temperatures in the U.S. in the past decade, research by Parker (2004, 2006) and Peterson (2003) theorizes that Urban Heat Island effect is a factor ten or more less important than rising temperatures due to global warming.

Chris Burt wrote me yesterday about Las Vegas' all-time warmest month record set in July. He noted that none of the sites nearby Las Vegas' McCarran Airport (where the official obs are kept) came close to setting a warmest month in history record. McCarran Airport has set new warmest month in history records in 2003, 2005, and now 2010. These two facts make us suspect that in the case of Las Vegas, an urban heat island effect may be contributing to the spate of recent warmest month in history records there. The heat records for Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Trenton do not appear to have as much of a UHI influence, since record highs were set over such a large area of the mid-Atlantic in July.

Is the Urban Heat Island effect partially responsible for global warming?
Global warming is affecting the entire Earth, including rural areas far from cities, and the 70% of the world covered by ocean. Thus, the Urban Heat Island effect--if not corrected for--can cause only a small impact on the global temperature figures. Since the Urban Heat Island is corrected for, the impact on the observed global warming signal should be negligible. For instance, NASA uses satellite-derived night light observations to classify stations as rural and urban and corrects the urban stations so that they match the trends from the rural stations before gridding the data. Other techniques (such as correcting for population growth) have also been used. Despite these corrections, and the fact that the Urban Heat Island effect impacts only a relatively small portion of the globe, global warming skeptics have persistently used the Urban Heat Island effect to attack the validity of global warming. There are no published peer-reviewed scientific studies that support these attacks.

References
Parker, D.E., 2004, "Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", Nature 432, 290, doi:10.1038/432290a, 2004.

Parker, D.E., 2006, "A Demonstration that Large-Scale Warming is not Urban", J. Climate 19, pp2882-2986, 2006.

Peterson, T.C., "Assessment of urban versus rural in situ surface temperatures in the contiguous United States: No difference found", Journal of Climate, 16, 2941-2959, 2003.

Spronken-Smith, R. A., and T. R. Oke, 1998: "The thermal regime of urban parks in two cities with different summer climates. Int. J. Remote Sens., 19, 20852104.

The surface temperature record and the urban heat island, realclimate.org post, 2004.

Next update
I have a series of meetings today that will probably keep me from making another post, and keep me from doing my weekly Internet radio show, Hurricane Haven. I'll be back Wednesday morning, at the latest, with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Niedjav:
xcool 5:30 AM GMT on August 04,2010
omg gw noooo


xcool what is gw...


Global warming, obviously.
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Quoting atmosweather:


The slight slowing of its forward speed this evening is helping the energy catch up with the LLC...unfortunately it's too late at this point because the TUTT is about to rip it apart again...we'll see how it fares if the low level circulation can survive and make it to the other side.


A big if, IMO.
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2672. Niedjav
xcool 5:30 AM GMT on August 04,2010
omg gw noooo


xcool what is gw...
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2671. xcool
KoritheMan .guess sooo
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Deep convection continues increasing with Colin:



Still extremely disorganized though, and I am not expecting regeneration anytime soon, due to strong upper-level shear associated with the nearby upper low.


The slight slowing of its forward speed this evening is helping the energy catch up with the LLC...unfortunately it's too late at this point because the TUTT is about to rip it apart again...we'll see how it fares if the low level circulation can survive and make it to the other side.
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Quoting xcool:
omg gw noooo


It's on topic though, so it doesn't really matter.
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2667. xcool
btwntx08 :0
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2666. xcool
omg gw noooo
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2665. Patrap
Heres a few from the News desk on the NOAA report.


About 415 results (0.10 seconds)
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2664. Patrap
Yup..dem NOAA folks and the Data are all a big Hoax.


pfffth,



NOAA: Global Warming "undeniable"

Global warning is "undeniable" says a new report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which looked at 10 climate indicators and concluded they "all tell the same story."

"People have spent thousands of years building society for one climate and now a new one is being created - one that's warmer and more extreme," the NOAA report states.

The 10 indicators included shrinking glaciers, melting spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere, declining sea-ice in the Arctic, sea-surface temperature, higher air temperature over land, air temperature over oceans, humidity and temperature in the troposphere, and ocean heat.

The NOAA report was released during a week when, faced with the specter of a filibuster, U.S. Senate leaders abandoned efforts to pass a comprehensive clean energy-climate bill.

Climate reform legislation did pass the U.S. House of Representatives last summer, against fierce opposition from Big Oil, the coal industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In the Senate, however, it faced opposition from Republicans and Democrats from coal and oiul producing states.

The NOAA report was compiled by investigators from 48 different countries. It noted that each of the preceding three decades was hotter than the decade before.

The 1980's was the hottest decade on record - prompting initial alarm about global warming - only to find temperatures increasing every year during the 1990's. The warming continued into the 21st Century.

Temperatures increased between 2000 and 2009, with the first half of 2010 the warmest on record.

"Glaciers and sea ice are melting, heavy rainfall is intensifying and heat waves are more common . . . There is now evidence that more than 90 percent of warming over the last 50 years has gone into our oceans," said Deke Arndt, manager of the NOAA Climate
Monitoring Branch and co-editor of the new report.

Extreme weather conditions have been part of the trend.

Pakistan has just experienced its most intense Monsoon rains on record. Last year, floods in Brazil left 376,000 people homeless. Record heat waves led to furious fires last year in Australia, and this year in central Russia.

In reaching their conclusion, scientists used data from weather satellites, weather balloons, weather stations, buoys and ships.


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Colin could regenerate later on when it gets past the tutt but not to optimistic right now
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The evolution of the mid to upper ridge over the W GOM is going to have a bigger role in 92L's future than the subtropical ridge and the NE CONUS trough...the synoptic pattern by Friday and Saturday looks to endanger the CONUS if 92L can develop before it gets pulled into MX/C AM by the low level flow.
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Deep convection continues increasing with Colin:



Still extremely disorganized though, and I am not expecting regeneration anytime soon, due to strong upper-level shear associated with the nearby upper low.
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2657. JRRP
Quoting jasoncoolman2010xx:
Atlantic Floater 2 invest 92L IS UP ON NHC PAGE

O o
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2655. smuldy
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Still waiting on a retort from Kerry.
I'll step in and argue that other than my grandmother I am the only person that matters in the world to me. (sarcasm intended)
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Well i see we have 92L this one could be trouble if it develops as there are very favorable conditions in the caribbean at this time.
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2653. xcool
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Good evening guys


Good evening!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


So I was right. lol


Yep you were indeed :)
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2650. flsky
Has anyone heard that the Pres declared a disaster in Texas b/c of Alex? Just got an email about it.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Please ignore caneswatch.
He can't tolerate any opinion that is optimistic and doesn't call for doom and gloom. He tells others how to think and who they should ignore.


I'm trying to remain just as optimistic as you are for a quiet season. But I think where his frustration comes from, is not necessarily your optimistic outlook for the season, but it's because you have yet to provide any scientific reasoning as to why you think the season is a bust.

And bearing that in mind, I can certainly understand why he took issue with your comments. Perhaps he was overly harsh, I will admit. But the general point still stands, I think.

But please, don't think I have anything against you.
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Good evening guys
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2646. JRRP
Quoting TORMENTOSO83:
I DONT UNDERSTAND, PR IS SUPPOUSLY IN THE MIDDLE OF HURRICANE'S PATH AND WE DONT SEE A HURRICANE SINCE GEORGES BACK IN 1998, WHY?

thanks God
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Quoting btwntx08:
good evening from colorado


Good evening.
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Quoting Patrap:


I been fine.

How's u been?


Been well. I'm glad Bonnie was a no go for the oil spill.
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2642. xcool
no model support for 92L da
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2641. xcool
KoritheMan .:(
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Look up Hurricane IKE


He kept asking for a Fish storm for his namesake... he was off just a tad.


Oh. Harsh. :/
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Quoting atmosweather:


Warm air advection aloft usually does the trick.


So I was right. lol
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Quoting TexasHurricane:



hmmmmm, that sounds familiar. Let me guess, Mexico? :)


I haven't analyzed the synoptic scale pattern as well as I'd like to, but I did manage to analyze it a little bit. Right now I'd say southwest Texas is at greatest risk, but this will largely depend upon the depth of the system, and also the strength of the Atlantic subtropical ridge in three days or so.
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2635. Patrap
Quoting KoritheMan:


Gonna be doing that quite soon. Rather tired tonight.

Good evening by the way, Pat. How have you been?


I been fine.

How's u been?
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Quoting Patrap:
Go to bed.
Itsa Blog.

Not an adventure.



Gonna be doing that quite soon. Rather tired tonight.

Good evening by the way, Pat. How have you been?
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Quoting xcool:
HURRICANE SEASON not really slow jmo


You want a slow season? Here's one for you:

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Quoting SouthFMY:
What causes an upper level low to diminish and die out?


Warm air advection aloft usually does the trick.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


...Should I ask? :/


Look up Hurricane IKE


He kept asking for a Fish storm for his namesake... he was off just a tad.
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Decent upper level ridging in the W-ern Caribbean this week according to the 00z GFS.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Invest 92L in the eastern Caribbean could eventually enter the western Gulf, and potentially impact Mexico or Texas.



hmmmmm, that sounds familiar. Let me guess, Mexico? :)
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Solar Tsunami to Strike Earth

Earth is bracing for a cosmic tsunami Tuesday night as tons of plasma from a massive solar flare head directly toward the planet.

The Sun's surface erupted early Sunday morning, shooting a wall of ionized atoms directly at Earth, scientists say. It is expected to create a geomagnetic storm and a spectacular light show -- and it could pose a threat to satellites in orbit, as well.

"This eruption is directed right at us and is expected to get here early in the day on Aug. 4," said Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."........
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2626. Patrap
Go to bed.
Itsa Blog.

Not an adventure.

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2625. xcool
HURRICANE SEASON not really slow jmo
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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.

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