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

Share this Blog
4
+

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

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: 925 - 875

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 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65Blog Index

912. KEEPEROFTHEGATE 6:16 PM GMT on August 03, 2010
Quoting CaribBoy:


Actually, this is Barbados in the Windards (southern islands)
918. wunderkidcayman 6:18 PM GMT on August 03, 2010
KEEPEROFTHEGATE that is Barbados in the south
not north

Action: Quote | Ignore User

KOTG
its north of south america
Action: Quote | Modify Comment
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Hi, hollywood.

When there's a swell, I can usually be found surfing at Blind Pass/Turners Beach out on Captiva.
We call it shell beach.

Ive surfed around captiva a bunch of times tons of shells sand dollars and all kinds of stuff washes in around blind pass
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ho77yw00d:


I would like to know this too


If all the levels are moving in unison with the storm, no it doesn't, hence Wilma strengthening moving @ 25mph.

In this case the lower winds are W and the upper winds are now WNW which is why your seeing the MLC up at 15N heading WNW and the LLC @ 14.2 heading W. A stronger storm can hold on to this mis-alignment but, there is a very good chance Colin will decouple.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
its north of south america


yes
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ho77yw00d:


I would like to know this too


The formation of tropical cyclones is the topic of extensive ongoing research and is still not fully understood. While six factors appear to be generally necessary, tropical cyclones may occasionally form without meeting all of the following conditions. In most situations, water temperatures of at least 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) are needed down to a depth of at least 50 metres (160 ft); waters of this temperature cause the overlying atmosphere to be unstable enough to sustain convection and thunderstorms. Another factor is rapid cooling with height, which allows the release of the heat of condensation that powers a tropical cyclone.High humidity is needed, especially in the lower-to-mid troposphere; when there is a great deal of moisture in the atmosphere, conditions are more favorable for disturbances to develop. Low amounts of wind shear are needed, as high shear is disruptive to the storm's circulation. Tropical cyclones generally need to form more than 555 kilometres (345 mi) or 5 degrees of latitude away from the equator, allowing the Coriolis effect to deflect winds blowing towards the low pressure center and creating a circulation. Lastly, a formative tropical cyclone needs a pre-existing system of disturbed weather, although without a circulation no cyclonic development will take place.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
KEEPEROFTHEGATE that is Barbados in the south
not north
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Colin is moving too fast to do much of anything, but play ...catch me.

Storm,

Looking at the steering layers, I'm not impressed at all that an open wave is going to turn anytime soon.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we seen these weak, small systems behave more like open waves, when they're moving unusually fast like this?
Which means what? Go with the flow.

I know you said in your excellent report that Colin will slow down some, but by then I think this thing will be a WAVE.

West to Alaska, I say. These forecasts are based upon unrealized intensity.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
916. SLU
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


You actually have that backwards, that is the MLC up by 15N.

But, still indicative of a weakening storm. The environment will not support a stacked storm right now.


When the 18z satellite classification comes out we will know.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ho77yw00d:


I would like to know this too
Yes if it moves too fast the shear on the north side becomes too much.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ho77yw00d:


Well I am in sw fl near sanibel/captiva


Hi, hollywood.

When there's a swell, I can usually be found surfing at Blind Pass/Turners Beach out on Captiva.
We call it shell beach.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'll be a wishcaster and give a blessing for Colin.

God bless and keep Colin, far away from us.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaribBoy:


Actually, this is Barbados in the Windards (southern islands)
its north of south america
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
LOL, I log off and see the US temp anomaly map and the sea ice extent map I posted are gone. Why??? Don't you want anyone to see the official info?

Go figure, we don't want to see that on here right! Gheeze

Here have fun with this from last week, while you can see it. Kinda puts perspective on things from a number crunching point of view. :)

http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/surfacetempreview.pdf
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Quoting stillwaiting:
colins llc is becoming exposed on high res vis loop,just north of 15N,if he doesn't get his act together it might end up going right thru the northern antillies and over PR.....



Just letting you know that based on satellite imagery the center is at about 14.2N 50W. It appears that the system might be decoupling and the MLC is outrunning the LLC. The MLC is what you might be seeing north of 15n
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ho77yw00d:


Well I am in sw fl near sanibel/captiva
I mailed them to you. Don't need lots of folk looking in the same spot...lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LloydBentsen:
Does forward motion of a storm create shear for itself? Say my hand out the window of a car is a storm. If I am just idling, my hand encounters no resistance, but as the car gains speed, I encounter more and more resistance. Does this work the same way for storms?

I noticed when we had Alex some weeks back, people were talking about a storm moving too slow. It needs to keep moving before the waters beneath it cool and lack the energy to fuel the storm.

Are both of these principles true? If so, does that mean that there is an optimal forward velocity for storm development?

(Holy canoley, I may have typed too much.)


I would like to know this too
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SLU:


Yeah ... The center at 14n 50w is actually the mid-level center. The spin there comprises of pretty much mid-level clouds. The low level center has in the last few hours started to outrun the mid-level center. A classical sign of a weakening tropical storm. If the low level center doesn't slow down soon then the system could be come completely decoupled resulting it degeneration.


You actually have that backwards, that is the MLC up by 15N.

But, still indicative of a weakening storm. The environment will not support a stacked storm right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Back later.

Tropical Tidbit for Tuesday, August 3rd, with Video
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
904. Vero1
000
AXNT20 KNHC 031804
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT TUE AUG 03 2010

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...

BASED ON 1200 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 1715 UTC.

...SPECIAL FEATURE...
THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM COLIN AT 03/1500 UTC IS NEAR
14.2N 49.5W...MOVING WESTWARD 21 KT.
THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM
PRESSURE IS 1006 MB. THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS ARE
35 KT WITH GUSTS TO 45 KT. PLEASE READ THE LATEST FORECAST/
ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCMAT4/WTNT24 KNHC AND THE
PUBLIC ADVISORY MIATCPAT4/WTNT34 KNHC FOR MORE DETAILS. STRONG
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE WITHIN A 30 NM RADIUS OF 15N51W.
STRONG SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FROM SIX HOURS AGO WERE FROM
15N TO 17N BETWEEN 49W AND 51W. THE CLOUD TOP TEMPERATURES IN
THIS AREA HAVE WARMED AND THE PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN WEAKENING
DURING THE LAST FEW HOURS. RESIDENTS IN THE NORTHERN LEEWARD
ISLANDS AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
COLIN. THE CENTER OF COLIN SHOULD PASS TO THE NORTHEAST AND
NORTH OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS LATE WEDNESDAY AND EARLY THURSDAY.
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES...
55 KM FROM THE CENTER.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


first of northern islands showing up on image


Actually, this is Barbados in the Windards (southern islands)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CosmicEvents:
Sure. You want the maps for NEFL....or some other part of Florida?


Well I am in sw fl near sanibel/captiva
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It definitely looks like Colin is moving westerly. Am I right?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:


Depends on your usage of the term "Big Government"; to some--especially on the Right--Big Government encompasses pretty much every person and entity from Congress down to the local meter maid...at least so long as those people and entities don't agree with the contrarian position. So, define "Big Government" to me, and I'll answer for you. (OTOH, Big Oil is easy: anyone who makes their living off the fossil fuel status quo.)

I'll define Big Government as those who hope to use the power of the government to make others do as they want.

You define big oil to include those who work on the floor of the rigs, the roustabouts, those who work on the supply boats?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


first of northern islands showing up on image
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
Caribbean blob looking a little better, no?


That's prolly the first thing we agree on!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jeff9641:


Yeah that's because Colin is such a shallow storm. This may just be a wave that crosses FL and nothing more. I wonder though if conditions will be more favorable once he enters the Bahamas. It does look like he will not go north as the models earlier depicted.




he could curve north if he's strong enough,but thats looking less likely thru 72hrs anyway...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ho77yw00d:


can you post that again? plz
Sure. You want the maps for NEFL....or some other part of Florida?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BDAwx:
Colin slightly reminds me of Irene 2005 and Chris 2006.


I don't see Irene being a comparison, maybe Chris.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
FYI, the center is not @ 15N, that is the MLC

AL, 04, 2010080312, , BEST, 0, 140N, 485W, 35, 1006, TS, 34, NEQ,


Those coords are old
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Caribbean blob looking a little better, no?

http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/GOES17152010215mXxCEl.jpg
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
FYI, the center is not @ 15N, that is the MLC

AL, 04, 2010080312, , BEST, 0, 140N, 485W, 35, 1006, TS, 34, NEQ,




FYI learn how to analyize a sat or get some glasses you'll see it,it'll be more apparent in a few hours
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
884. SLU
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


StormW's latest update has Colin at 14.1N, 50W. Yet, I also see what some of you are saying with what looks like a center along 15N. I see a "tubmleweed" motion in the messy clouds, which I thought was the center of Colin. But, there is also this center at 15N. Hmmm....


Yeah ... The center at 14n 50w is actually the mid-level center. The spin there comprises of pretty much mid-level clouds. The low level center has in the last few hours started to outrun the mid-level center. A classical sign of a weakening tropical storm. If the low level center doesn't slow down soon then the system could be come completely decoupled resulting in degeneration.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
TS Colin need to slow down like between now and the next 6 hours looking on the sterring maps it should be doing that very very soon like at the speed it going it should start slowing down inthe next 2-31/2 hours
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Does forward motion of a storm create shear for itself? Say my hand out the window of a car is a storm. If I am just idling, my hand encounters no resistance, but as the car gains speed, I encounter more and more resistance. Does this work the same way for storms?

I noticed when we had Alex some weeks back, people were talking about a storm moving too slow. It needs to keep moving before the waters beneath it cool and lack the energy to fuel the storm.

Are both of these principles true? If so, does that mean that there is an optimal forward velocity for storm development?

(Holy canoley, I may have typed too much.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hunkerdown:
to make your posts make sense, "w/" means with not will.



what are you a skool teachar???,lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SWFLgazer:


Are those climatologists funded by Big Government?


Depends on your usage of the term "Big Government"; to some--especially on the Right--Big Government encompasses pretty much every person and entity from Congress down to the local meter maid...at least so long as those people and entities don't agree with the contrarian position. So, define "Big Government" to me, and I'll answer for you. (OTOH, Big Oil is easy: anyone who makes their living off the fossil fuel status quo.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
FYI, the center is not @ 15N, that is the MLC

AL, 04, 2010080312, , BEST, 0, 140N, 485W, 35, 1006, TS, 34, NEQ,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SWFLgazer:


As does research underwritten by Big Government.




I'll second that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hunkerdown:
to make your posts make sense, "w/" means with not will.
Since when was it a requirement that a post on this blog make sense? There goes the neighborhood. Over 2/3 of us GONE, and I'm at the top of the list.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
875. xcool
yep he doom
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 925 - 875

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 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65Blog 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.