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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Interplanetary mag. field isn't helping a lot for a big aurora show. It's south, but not by much.
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Quoting Zeec94:


Cheers mate. I have been watching that wave. I was waiting for it to become an Invest. This should be interesting.


Conditions will be more favorable for this wave than they were for Colin.
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Quoting Kristina40:
I've never had a chance to see the aurora. I've heard they are amazing to see although on the day that I can see them from Florida I'm figuring we have a problem lol...


I've been in Florida off and on since 1979, and have seen them a few times (though never in deep South Florida). The prettiest was the first of April in 2001--lots of reds--but the best overall were the 2003 Halloween auroras (from the biggest solar flare ever recorded). Awesome. (I've lived in Minnesota and Montana, too, but the best I ever saw was a full sky of sea-foam green in Wyoming in 1972. And I mean full sky; the aurora touched the horizon in every direction...)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14179
10N/38W might soon become the next invest
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2071. robj144
When was the last time a model EVER got the intensity forecast correct? Didn't most models a couple of days ago have Colin at the verge of hurricane strength or it being a hurricane right now?
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2070. Drakoen
Quoting StormW:


Drak, did you wake up the tropics? LOL!


I don't think I have to power to do that
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2069. Skyepony (Mod)
sammy~ some storms are easier to call for forecasters & models.. Also think that surface ridge to the ENE of Colin built in a little stronger & quicker than what was put in the models. That shoved Colin to a 35mph pace the models failed to anticipate.

Official forecast was 100.6nm off for the day.
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2068. Zeec94
Quoting KoritheMan:


Link

Model tracks are still showing data from the previous Invest 98L. That should be updated soon.

But the satellite is aimed at the eastern Caribbean.


Cheers mate. I have been watching that wave. I was waiting for it to become an Invest. This should be interesting.
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2067. Drakoen
We do have 92L...lol
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2065. will45
Navy has it as 92L
Member Since: July 18, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 994
Quoting Drakoen:
We have 98L


Or 92L, take your pick

AL 92 2010080400 BEST 0 135N 691W 25 1009 DB


AL 98 2010080400 BEST 0 135N 691W 25 1009 DB


08/04/2010 12:56AM 759 invest_DEACTIVATE_al982010.ren
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11510
Quoting Drakoen:
AL, 98, 2010080400, , BEST, 0, 135N, 691W, 25, 1009



they missed up i think

here you go 92L


AL, 92, 2010080400, , BEST, 0, 135N, 691W, 25, 1009, DB,
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5093 Comments: 115739
Quoting KoritheMan:


I noticed that. But shouldn't it be called "92L"? That's a rather hefty jump.


mhm. I wonder why...
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Quoting Tazmanian:
we now have 92L

this cant be good


AL, 92, 2010080400, , BEST, 0, 135N, 691W, 25, 1009, DB,


That's the east caribbean wave.
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Quoting Zeec94:


Really? Can I see your source?


Link

Model tracks are still showing data from the previous Invest 98L. That should be updated soon.

But the satellite is aimed at the eastern Caribbean.
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2058. Drakoen
AL, 98, 2010080400, , BEST, 0, 135N, 691W, 25, 1009
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we now have 92L

this cant be good


AL, 92, 2010080400, , BEST, 0, 135N, 691W, 25, 1009, DB,
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5093 Comments: 115739
2056. robj144
What's up with 98L? It's clearly southeast of Cuba, but on the main hurricane page, when you click on it, they have it just east of Mexico going west into Mexico? I take it that's a mixup from a previous invest. So where is 98L going?
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Quoting Drakoen:
We have 98L


I noticed that. But shouldn't it be called "92L"? That's a rather hefty jump.
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2054. help4u
Storm W a well known blogger at hurricane city said conditions are horrible for development all thru the Atlantic,do you see the same?
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Quoting Tazmanian:



YAY YAY YAY



i odere the pizza why KoritheMan gets the beer


Sounds awesome! :D
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2052. Drakoen
We have 98L
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2051. Zeec94
Quoting KoritheMan:
The Caribbean wave is now an invest.


Really? Can I see your source?
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Quoting KoritheMan:
The Caribbean wave is now an invest.



YAY YAY YAY



i odere the pizza why KoritheMan gets the beer
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5093 Comments: 115739
no we turn too are next big player
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5093 Comments: 115739
The Caribbean wave is now an invest.
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2046. Skyepony (Mod)
I was mistaken.. the BAMS had 98nm error today..

BAMD INCREASING 129.6 277.3 -1 -1 -1
BAMM INCREASING 102.8 206.7 -1 -1 -1
BAMS INCREASING 98 258 -1 -1 -1

I'll wait to board up:)
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Sky,

How Can the Models all fail misreable..


Crap in crap out...out over the water there are no obs it is all dervived data. No upper air obs not many surface obs so the data gets smoothed over which is why they need a solid low to intialize on.
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I've never had a chance to see the aurora. I've heard they are amazing to see although on the day that I can see them from Florida I'm figuring we have a problem lol...
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2041. code1
I get so tickled here at times...There are those of us "who know", and those of us "who don't". There are also those of us who are here only for the "hits" or "boredom". There are also those "young folks" who really are interested in weather, and "those" who only troll for lack of anything better in their lives. Portlight, is NOT one who most of us will take hits on lying down (who have been here far longer than most posting on this blog now) is far and above your comprehension of what they have accomplished, and what they continue to do when disaster strikes. For those of you who have issue? Go back and read the archives before opening your mouthes. It's a lesson I, and many others have learned here on blogs over the past 5 years. You think not? Take the time to read back. You do NOT impress with your diatribes.
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Quoting Levi32:
Although Colin is lifeless right now I'll still puddle around on the track.

Another interesting tidbit are the ECMWF ensemble members from last night at 0z (12z not in yet) showing a consensus well south and west of the operational run:



And the 12z ensemble mean from this morning appears to show Colin just off of the coast of North Carolina in 5 days, also west of the operational:



Not asking a question or anything, just asking your opinion.

Do you think what I said is true in post number 2005, and we could have had 7 named storms by now?
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Thanks, Neapolitan #2033~!!
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Thanks,

Wait.. Why did the models Shift right..

I thought weaker... West


Initial storm speed (28kt) may have something to do with it. Also that map is somewhat distorted since at 28kt the 7 day xtrap ends up at 458N 1414W
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11510
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Watch the skies for aurora up north tonight



Thanks. Will do if the thunderstorms ever clear out. Heh.

Does anyone know what year it was (1989?) when we had truly amazing Northern Lights one November 8th? The entire dome of the sky was involved. Looked like someone had dumped a couple cans of paint atop the Earth and it had all dripped down. It lasted some time, too. Truly awesome in the real sense of the word.
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Quoting Patrap:
Floodman and his wife did outstanding work for the portlight Haiti Relief Effort as well as others who actually spent Time in Haiti distributing the goods sent ,by Air,Schooner,and other modes to that devastated region.

From Water purification units to Crutches to Shelters,..
A relatively small Non Profit is making a difference in Lives far removed from here.

And with the kind support of the wunderground,and Dr. Masters, The christopher reeve foundation,,and a base of over 2500 donors,,.We look forward to many years of growth and continued work to make the mission work everyday.




I know for a fact that Mr. & Mrs. Flood have a passion for Portlight unlike anything I have ever seen...we all want to get involved but usually that's a check, or donation...and that's fine...as long as we have all the folks at Portlight on the wall to see it through...thankless but rewarding...you can hear it in Mrs. Floods voice when she talks about Portlight and you know it tugs at you, wakes you up a bit and I just dig that about the Floods. If everyone else at Portlight is like that...well then they gotta hug comin' from Conch
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Quoting WindynEYW:
Aurora's projected visibility


To add to that, here's a page that will let you see when maximum activity will occur for any given area: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/aurora_predict/worldmap6.html

And don't forget this, which tells you where activity is in real time: http://www.space.com/spacewatch/aurora_cam.html

Note that tomorrow night should have even better viewing.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14179
2031. msphar
One of the issues I struggle with is the capacity for Cape Verde to generate productive waves. Some knowledable people have said that 10% - 15% of these African waves develop into cyclonic events. So the frequency of CV waves is significant.
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2030. Skyepony (Mod)
Models really failed to forecast Colin's track today. Winner is CMC with 71nm error. followed by the HWRF with 85, GFS ensamble average 90. All the rest are over 100.
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2029. Levi32
Although Colin is lifeless right now I'll still puddle around on the track.

Another interesting tidbit are the ECMWF ensemble members from last night at 0z (12z not in yet) showing a consensus well south and west of the operational run:



And the 12z ensemble mean from this morning appears to show Colin just off of the coast of North Carolina in 5 days, also west of the operational:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26731
Quoting: sammywammybamy

Thanks,

Wait.. Why did the models Shift right..

I thought weaker... West

It might mean that the trough is fairly strong in both the mid and upper levels. Just a guess.
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2027. breald
Quoting fatlady99:


Yes, Breald, they really are!


Thanks!!
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 38 Comments: 5303
Quoting StormW:
REMNANT LOW COLIN UPDATE AUGUST 03, 2010 ISSUED 8:25 P.M.


excellent update StormW, I been looking at the mid level low ex-colin at around 15N/52.5W , wouldn't surprise me to this become the dominant low, it sure has a decent circulation.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Unrelated, but beautiful dogs in your profile picture.


Yes, Breald, they really are!
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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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