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 JenniferGirl:
I wonder who holds the record for most people ignored.
Hi JenniferGirl. I don't know who holds the record for the most ignored but I could bet who is the most on ignore. LOL
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8268
Quoting JenniferGirl:
I wonder who holds the record for most people ignored.
Ooooohhhhh I'm leaving that one alone....lol!
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Can someone answer my questions?
Is Colin done or will it regenerate?
What are the models doing with the Carribean disturbance?

TIA
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Quoting JenniferGirl:
I wonder who holds the record for most people ignored.


I'm only at I think 38
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Which was the fastest dieing tropical cyclone on record?
Member Since: June 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1819. xcool


update
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I wonder who holds the record for most people ignored.
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Quoting SeniorPoppy:
.
Oh yeah, and I see you tried to delete your little comment before I could see it, nice try.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Ill Join you also.

Since 2005 ive been on this blog. and honestly i cant stand the bickering and hate given off by these people.

Plays **Why cant we be friends.. Why cant we be friends.. Why cant we be friendssss"

If you have any problems, just flag and report. If the problem person persists with posting crap, ignore them. That's why i am up to 60 handles on my ignore list.
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Quoting JLPR2:


+1
Admins here are just too tolerant :\
Bunch of grumpy people here today.


People have gotten really angry when they got banned, and attacked Wunderground in any way they can. For example, created new accounts with new emails condemning this place.
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Quoting JLPR2:


1
Admins here are just too tolerant :\
Bunch of grumpy people here today.


Too tolerent? I don't think so. I got banned for 24 hours for posting a picture of a shower curtain! (And NO, I didn't create any new accounts and terrorize the blog...lol)
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


i am not sure if i am allowed to make the invitations or not so i am hesitant to post it here maybe one of them will see this and send you an email
Wunderground admins might thank you for posting it. As one of my former bosses said, "Sometimes you help yourself twice by sending a customer to your competition."
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1810. gator23
Quoting JLPR2:


+1
Admins here are just too tolerant :\
Bunch of grumpy people here today.

and they all tend to live in the same region.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Thanks for coming, don't let the door hit ya on ya way out.


Glad you were here -- now let's crack open another beer -- You came to pass -- and now we all look like an a--
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Ill Join you also.

Since 2005 ive been on this blog. and honestly i cant stand the bickering and hate given off by these people.

Plays **Why cant we be friends.. Why cant we be friends.. Why cant we be friendssss"


Oh come on Sammy...... you have stirred the pot at times as much as anybody! LOL

I believe your Halo is a bit crooked! LOL
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1807. txjac
Quoting DestinJeff:


me too, please.


Me three please
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Quoting SeniorPoppy:
Quuoting: TankHead93

Please hook me up man! I'm so ready to get away from this immature, bipolar blog!

Go ahead. We will not miss you. You'll be like Colin and Bonnie... POOF!!!
You know what? I'm not even gonna' waste my typing time on your ignorant and seemingly naive self. You want me to react negatively, but guess what?... I'm ignoring your butt!
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1805. gator23
Quoting sammywammybamy:
I really wished Storm W had his own site.

i got to RUN, Sammy, if you get a website thta is better then this one please leave me a WUMail
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Attention, Dr. Masters hater's-

I dare you to disagree that NHC is better than Dr. Masters. ;)
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1803. JLPR2
Quoting sammywammybamy:
I really wished Storm W had his own site.


+1
Admins here are just too tolerant :\
Bunch of grumpy people here today.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Thanks for coming, don't let the door hit ya on ya way out.



lol
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

LOL I know. Too bad summer vacation ends early in PR.
In Okaloosa County in NW Florida school starts Aug. 5th.
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Two questions for you folks.
Is Colin done or will it regenerate?
What are the models doing with the Carribean storm?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
would any one like too say a few words too the dead

Thanks for coming, don't let the door hit ya on ya way out.
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What is your thoughts on the feature of the norther coast of SA Drak?

Pretty apparent you are interested! LOL
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1795. gator23
Quoting jasoncoolman2010xx:
are we going to get any cat 3 hiuuricane this year..i do not think so..right now. lets see what happern.

how old are you happy man?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
would any one like too say a few words too the dead


RIP!!
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
Quoting FloridaHeat:


yes it is actually filled with useful information and admin quickly take care of any problems


Let me know what the site is please. I get tired of the backstabbing and fighting that goes on in here. It's hard to learn when there's nothing but small minded people loading the blog down with trivialities.

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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


Post your own blog and link it there :)


im not sure how to do that
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would any one like too say a few words too the dead
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Quoting TankHead93:
Please hook me up man! I'm so ready to get away from this immature, bipolar blog!
And by blog I mean the general population of it's commentators... I love the posts that Jeff issues and the insight of many of the experts that comment on this blog.
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1788. gator23
Quoting SeniorPoppy:
Quuoting: TankHead93

Please hook me up man! I'm so ready to get away from this immature, bipolar blog!

Go ahead. We will not miss you. You'll be like Colin and Bonnie... POOF!!!

i will miss him
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Quoting JenniferGirl:


Your school starts on August 4? That's horrible.

LOL I know. Too bad summer vacation ends early in PR.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Must be. lol


Thanks friend! :D

Probably just the fact we hardly ever see anything worth watching on the north coast of SA......
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Aurora alert: The Sun is waking up
The Sun's surface erupted and blasted tons of plasma into space Sunday. That plasma is headed our way, and when it arrives, it could create a spectacular light show.
Provided by Harvard-Smithsonian Center, Cambridge

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory snapped this X-ray photo of the Sun early in the morning of Sunday, August 1. The dark arc near the top right edge of the image is a filament of plasma blasting off the surface - part of the coronal mass ejection. The bright region is an unassociated solar flare. When particles from the eruption reach Earth on the evening of August 3/4, they may trigger a brilliant auroral display known as the northern lights. NASA [View Larger Image]August 3, 2010
Sky viewers might get to enjoy some spectacular northern lights, or aurorae. After a long slumber, the Sun is waking up. Early Sunday morning, the Sun's surface erupted and blasted tons of plasma, ionized atoms, into interplanetary space. That plasma is headed our way, and when it arrives, it could create a spectacular light show.

"This eruption is directed right at us, and it is expected to get here early in the day on August 4," said Leon Golub from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."

The eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, was caught on camera by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) — a spacecraft that launched in February. SDO provides better-than-high definition quality views of the Sun at a variety of wavelengths.

"We got a beautiful view of this eruption," said Golub. "And there might be more beautiful views to come, if it triggers aurorae."

When a coronal mass ejection reaches Earth, it interacts with our planet's magnetic field, potentially creating a geomagnetic storm. Solar particles stream down the field lines toward Earth's poles. Those particles collide with atoms of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere that then glow like miniature neon signs.

Aurorae normally are visible only at high latitudes. However, during a geomagnetic storm, aurorae can light up the sky at lower latitudes. Skywatchers in the northern United States and other countries should look toward the north on the evening of August 3/4 for rippling "curtains" of green and red light.

The Sun goes through a regular activity cycle about 11 years on average. The last solar maximum occurred 2001. Its latest minimum was particularly weak and long lasting. This eruption is one of the first signs that the Sun is waking up and heading toward another maximum.
AstronomyNews
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.
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Link
Quoting FloridaHeat:


yes it is actually filled with useful information and admin quickly take care of any problems
m Is it OK to have a sense of humor on that blog?
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Quoting Drakoen:
Radar imagery of the eastern Caribbean disturbance

There's a nice comma shape on radar.
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5627
now whats move on too the next name storm
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1778. hydrus
Quoting Drakoen:


Must be. lol
The Caribbean disturbance has some powerful thunderstorms forming around it....Link
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Quoting FloridaHeat:
i just joined this blog a few days ago and now i understand why several people emailed me and recommended another weather blog i do not understand why everyone has to be so mean and hateful to each other but tonight i am seeing the nasty side of the blog


Where is this other blog..... I may leave too! LOL
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1776. Drakoen
.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29887
Some people are really sad that Colin is gone. Let's all hope this season is a bust. I would love nothing more. Conditions only have been marginally conducive in the Atlantic so far as a whole.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497

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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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