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 StormW:
Greetings!
Good morning.. What do ya think storm is this thing going to survive until it cant find a better environment. Nice call on the west movement yesterday. How much longer will it continue to move west assuming it stays in a fairly weak state.
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Quoting flsurfer305:
stormw right AGIAN with the left shift.

Hey, is that you surfing at South beach?
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Quoting aquak9:
do I smell a zombie?

Does anyone else?
i don't know about a zombie but i do see a stalker

lol
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Quoting StormW:
Greetings!


Hello StormW! I look forward to reading your update.
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Quoting reedzone:
In 2008, Dolly was named without a circulation, these things can happen.
Are you sure about that? I seem to remember it having sustained tropical storm force winds well removed from the center, but they did not name it until it had a poorly defined center of circulation, which they found removed from the heaviest thunderstorms.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
NHC track shifted significantly SW at the 65W/20N quadrant. Look how much closer the ofcl track is to that intersect...

5am:


11am:


Assuming Colin remains viable, that is.


Almost there. Still going to ride the western edge, IMO. With Colin going W, I may be a little north with my Fcast.

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do I smell a zombie?

Does anyone else?
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stormw right AGIAN with the left shift.
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KOTG - HAARPcaster
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Quoting jasoncoolman2010xx:
HARD TO FIND WESTERLY WINDS IN THE LOW
CLOUD MOTIONS SOUTH OF THE CENTRAL CONVECTION...AND THERE IS SOME
QUESTION AS TO WHETHER COLIN STILL HAS A CLOSED CIRCULATION
LOOK LIKE A OPEN WAVE TO ME.


You got a cramp in your hand or something? No matter...**poof**
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Quoting Floodman:


LMAO...there's one in every crowd
one what

lol
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Quoting StormW:
Greetings!


Howdy.

Guess what, Colin is moving west.
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


i thought a storm would not have a name if it does not have a closed ciruclation


Once it's named it keeps that name until it weakens past TD status...
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Getting a buzz cut that's for sure. 30kts lies just N of Colin.

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
cloud seeding to stop storms from dev.

HARRP ANYONE

LOL


LMAO...there's one in every crowd
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Quoting cg2916:
I'm not writing it off yet. Now, I still think it's a good possibility that it could degenerate. But it's actually becoming better organized structurally, and it's about to hit really hot waters, which may help.
It is not becoming better organized. NHC says it now has a ragged appearance and convective banding has weakened. They even suggest it may become an open wave which is not indicative of a system gaining a better structure.
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according to the shear map there seems to be a upper level anticyclone developing back over TS Colin so all in all TS Colin is moving into some good conditions
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Here come the downcasters...later everyone!
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Quoting IKE:
Watch the convection just get shredded at about 51W....Link



Looks like decoupling.
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Mornin, Storm!
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Colinoscopy????
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Quoting cg2916:
I'm not writing it off yet. Now, I still think it's a good possibility that it could degenerate. But it's actually becoming better organized structurally, and it's about to hit really hot waters, which may help.


Rapid movement is expected to slow down soon too.
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I think odds are high that this thing opens back to a wave from it's fast speed and the shear environment it's headed for. Should be interesting to watch. If it stays a wave, does that mean it will go further west?
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11am EDT National Hurricane Center
Tropical Storm Colin Advisory #5
Graphics Update



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How come all the major global models give up on this storm around Aug. 9-10? The most agressive was the GEM going from 967 to 1005mb for the same time 0Z Aug. 11. The others like UKMET, Euro and GFS never did much anyway and the Euro put it in the GOM earlier.
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hi all.this i think will be a wave pretty soon
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Gonna make some breakfast and get ready for the day, have fun arguing all, keep it real ;)

Oh and my track for those who missed it earlier..
Photobucket
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385. IKE
Watch the convection just get shredded at about 51W....Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I'm not writing it off yet. Now, I still think it's a good possibility that it could degenerate. But it's actually becoming better organized structurally, and it's about to hit really hot waters, which may help.
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Quoting Jesus2005:
Does anyone know whether this throughy pattern will be in place, over the eastern conus for all of Aug?
You mean the trough? According to the models and as pointed out by Storm W, when the MJO returns, the troughs on the eastern seaboard will be no more and allow the high to nose back to the west.
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Colin may be back to a wave already....

000
WTNT44 KNHC 031438
TCDAT4
TROPICAL STORM COLIN DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042010
1100 AM EDT TUE AUG 03 2010

COLIN HAS A VERY RAGGED APPEARANCE THIS MORNING. THE CONVECTIVE
BANDING SEEN EARLIER HAS WEAKENED...LEAVING A SMALL CONVECTIVE MASS
NEAR THE CENTER AND A SECOND CONVECTIVE MASS TO THE NORTH.
SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES ARE 35 KT FROM TAFB AND 30 KT FROM
SAB...AND BASED ON THIS THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 35 KT. IT
SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IT IS HARD TO FIND WESTERLY WINDS IN THE LOW
CLOUD MOTIONS SOUTH OF THE CENTRAL CONVECTION...AND THERE IS SOME
QUESTION AS TO WHETHER COLIN STILL HAS A CLOSED CIRCULATION.

THE SYSTEM HAS TURNED A LITTLE TO THE LEFT DURING THE PAST SEVERAL
HOURS. THE INITIAL MOTION IS 280/21...AND THE SHORT-TERM MOTION
MAY BE EVEN FASTER. COLIN IS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE LOW/
MID-LEVEL BERMUDA HIGH...AND IN 48-72 HR SHOULD BE APPROACHING A
WEAKNESS OR BREAK IN THE HIGH CAUSED BY A MID/UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH
NEAR THE SOUTHEASTERN COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. THIS PATTERN
SHOULD INITIALLY STEER COLIN RAPIDLY TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST...
FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD
SPEED AFTER 48 HR. THE MODEL GUIDANCE GENERALLY AGREES WITH THIS
SCENARIO. HOWEVER...THERE IS A CONSIDERABLE SPREAD IN THE TRACKS
BY THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THE GFDL AND HWRF FORECAST AN
EAST OF NORTH MOTION ON THE RIGHT EDGE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE BY
120 HR...WHILE THE CANADIAN AND GFDN ARE ON THE LEFT EDGE WITH NO
NORTHWARD TURN BEFORE 120 HR. THE NEW FORECAST TRACK IS SHIFTED
60-90 N MI TO THE SOUTHWEST BASED ON THE INITIAL POSITION AND
MOTION. IT IS IN BEST AGREEMENT WITH THE ECMWF AND LIES TO THE
LEFT OF THE CONSENSUS MODELS AND THE CENTER OF THE GUIDANCE
ENVELOPE.

CURRENTLY...COLIN IS EXPERIENCING WESTERLY VERTICAL SHEAR LIKELY
CAUSED BY THE LOWER PART OF THE STORM OUTRUNNING THE UPPER PART.
THIS IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24-36 HR DUE TO THE RAPID
MOTION. AFTER THAT TIME...THE SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO ENCOUNTER
INCREASING UPPER-LEVEL WESTERLY WINDS CAUSED BY THE WESTERN
ATLANTIC TROUGH. THIS PATTERN DOES NOT APPEAR FAVORABLE FOR
SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING...AND THE ONLY INTENSITY GUIDANCE THAT
CURRENTLY CALLS FOR COLIN TO BECOME A HURRICANE IS CLIMATOLOGY/
PERSISTENCE. GIVEN THE CURRENT TRENDS AND THE FORECAST SHEAR...THE
INTENSITY FORECAST IS A LITTLE WEAKER THAN THE PREVIOUS FORECAST...
WITH AN INTENSITY OF 45 KT THROUGH MOST OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. AN
ALTERNATIVE SCENARIO IS THAT COLIN COULD DEGENERATE TO AN OPEN WAVE
DUE TO A COMBINATION OF ITS RAPID MOTION AND WESTERLY SHEAR.

INTERESTS IN THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
SHOULD FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF COLIN.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 03/1500Z 14.2N 49.5W 35 KT
12HR VT 04/0000Z 15.0N 52.7W 40 KT
24HR VT 04/1200Z 16.5N 56.6W 45 KT
36HR VT 05/0000Z 18.3N 60.4W 45 KT
48HR VT 05/1200Z 20.2N 63.7W 45 KT
72HR VT 06/1200Z 23.0N 67.5W 45 KT
96HR VT 07/1200Z 26.5N 69.5W 45 KT
120HR VT 08/1200Z 29.0N 70.5W 50 KT

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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379. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
FROM 11 PM NHC DISS.

COLIN COULD DEGENERATE TO AN OPEN WAVE
DUE TO A COMBINATION OF ITS RAPID MOTION AND WESTERLY SHEAR.


I never read that one. Thanks for pointing that out. They flip-flopped, sort of, in 6 hours!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
One of my favorite bumper stickers. "Real musicians have a Day Job"

Do ya know how how to get a musician off of your front porch?






Pay him for the pizza!


Quoting Larry the Cable Guy, "now that's funny, I don't care who you are"
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FROM 11 PM NHC DISS.

COLIN COULD DEGENERATE TO AN OPEN WAVE
DUE TO A COMBINATION OF ITS RAPID MOTION AND WESTERLY SHEAR.
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376. IKE
And only 18 hours ago this was part of the discussion, from Stewart...

THE UPPER-LEVEL ENVIRONMENT IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR SOME
STRENGTHENING OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...ESPECIALLY IN 36
HOURS WHEN ALL OF THE MODELS ARE FORECASTING A SMALL ANTICYCLONE TO
DEVELOP OVER THE CYCLONE. BY 48-60 HOURS...THE GFS-BASED SHIPS
INTENSITY MODEL IS FORECASTING THE SHEAR TO INCREASE TO MORE THAN
30 KT...WHICH WOULD NORMALLY RESULT IN WEAKENING OF A TROPICAL
CYCLONE. HOWEVER...THESE HIGH SHEAR VALUES MAY BE AN ARTIFACT OF
THE THE GFS HAVING MUCH STRONGER UPPER-LEVEL WINDS AS COMPARED TO
THE OTHER GLOBAL MODELS...AND ALSO DUE TO 500 KM RADIUS THAT THE
SHIPS USES IN COMPUTING SHEAR VALUES. IF THE DEPRESSION REMAINS
UNDERNEATH THE UPPER-LEVEL ANTICYCLONE RATHER THAN OUTRUNNING IT
...THEN THE CYCLONE WILL END UP STRONGER THAN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
INDICATES.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 02/2100Z 13.0N 42.5W 30 KT
12HR VT 03/0600Z 13.8N 45.2W 35 KT
24HR VT 03/1800Z 15.2N 49.9W 40 KT
36HR VT 04/0600Z 16.8N 54.4W 45 KT
48HR VT 04/1800Z 18.5N 57.8W 55 KT
72HR VT 05/1800Z 22.5N 64.0W 55 KT
96HR VT 06/1800Z 26.0N 67.5W 50 KT
120HR VT 07/1800Z 29.0N 69.5W 50 KT

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting hcubed:


Refresh my memory. Exactly what significance was the 50/15 "rule" supposed to have?

My understanding of the "John Hope Rule" is "If it hasn't developed by the time it gets in the eastern Caribbean, it won't until it reaches the western Caribbean."

Since it's not (at this time) supposed to ENTER the Caribbean, how would that rule be relevent?
'

If it reaches 50W without being 15N, its chances of recurving diminish greatly.
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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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