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 Patrap:


Extreme heat buckles dozens of Kenner streets

It's a common sight across the metro area these days -- busted, broken concrete rising off the ground, as streets are buckling under the searing summer heat.



WOW unreal, thanks for sharing
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Wow streets are buckling? Looks like really bad frost heaves! Obviously, a lot of water in the soil down there....but that is still amazing.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
AL, 04, 2010080306, 137N, 462W, 35, 1006, TS
AL, 04, 2010080312, 140N, 485W, 35, 1006, TS



Colin is doing a number on the dry air out in front of it.
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Quoting leicaman:
Good morning all...where's Storm?

He will be back on later. Had to take his son to the Dr. this morning.
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I'll BBL

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69. IKE
Colin is racing WNW. Probably too fast.
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Quoting ho77yw00d:


GOOD MORNING man how things change.. I go to bed with everyone saying bye bye, RIP, and wake up to colin TROPICS ARE SO EXCITING (AS LONG AS IT DOESNT AFFECT ANYONE OF COARSE)


I dont think you need to put the disclaimer in there.. No-one (I sure hope) wants anyone to get hurt or property damage... but yeah there is a lot of things happening out there.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
AOI in the Caribbean that needs to be watched. Even if it doesn't develop (IIRC only the NOGAPS develops it) it adds to the heat buildup in the Caribbean and possibility of monsoonal development.



What I find funny, is how bad the ECMWF is messing up Colin. ECMWF 00z, doesn't even recognize Colin's existence.


Looking ahead of Colin, the ECMWF develops a tropical cyclone off a trough split (the same trough that will probably guide Colin out to sea) ECMWF 240 hours.


ECMWF has done a lousy job on Colin it did not get the track or intensity right, ECMWF is back to the pack of models no longer the front runner.
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5351
12Z

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Quoting Dakster:


They say you never forget your first...

Congrats...

Still glass here....Link Hoping for a nice set this weekend :)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
if TS Colin make it pass 50-52W south of 15N I am much inclined to think that he is going to be a caribbean tracker

I agree, Storm said last night this " my not recurve as fast as we think", I see it flying westward!
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63. IKE
My forecast highs for the next 7 days....97(heat index 111)...95(heat index 110)....95...96....96...97....98....

Quoting Kristina40:


I've only been here five years but it is oppressively hot. I'm used to really hot summers having moved here from St. Louis but it is getting ridiculous. My poor tomatoes can't even set blossoms it's been so hot.


Throw the humidity in and it's oppressive.
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The heat we had up here in NE killed my ferns and wilted the garden. Everything is much better thanks to the break we have had the last 10 days. We went from tropical rainforest to spring in NE. Now we just need some rain.
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Colin will be traversing some higher OHC (Ocean Heat Content) the next couple days.

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Quoting aquak9:
Im actually wondering if the disturbance in the Carrib bears watching...

I don't think bears care too much about the tropics...

G'morning everyone, Hollywood, Heat, Jeff et all. Ya'll behave.


GOOD MORNING man how things change.. I go to bed with everyone saying bye bye, RIP, and wake up to colin TROPICS ARE SO EXCITING (AS LONG AS IT DOESNT AFFECT ANYONE OF COARSE)
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streets are horrible in kenner and metairie
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AL, 04, 2010080306, 137N, 462W, 35, 1006, TS
AL, 04, 2010080312, 140N, 485W, 35, 1006, TS

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Quoting surfmom:
Dadaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Bada Bing - my FIRST - FIRST
Thanks Jeff!
- hopefully Colin will just be a wave maker for surf hungry Surfers


They say you never forget your first...

Congrats...
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Quoting WarEagle8:
That 14.0 N 48.5 W is the 5A position, and the NHC repeated the same position in the 8A update; however, that is from 5AM.

Thanks someone for the NAVY 8A (?) position of 14.0N and 48.5W.
5:00 AM EDT Tue Aug 3
Location: 14.0N 47.2W
Max sustained: 40 mph
Moving: WNW at 23 mph
Min pressure: 1006 mb This is the 8 am position per the Navy 14.0N and 48.5W.
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Extreme heat buckles dozens of Kenner streets

It's a common sight across the metro area these days -- busted, broken concrete rising off the ground, as streets are buckling under the searing summer heat.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting DestinJeff:
A lot of wishers will latch onto the potential for west toward CONUS.


ANYTHING beyond 3 days is highly speculative. That being said both options are kind of wishcasting right now, IMO. Just so happens the fishcasters have more model support beyond 3 days and we all know the 3 to 5 day is VERY accurate, right? Average error @ 5 days from the NHC is 250-300 miles.
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if TS Colin make it pass 50-52W south of 15N I am much inclined to think that he is going to be a caribbean tracker
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:


Thanks but I am 6'6" tall... Not so little but I am relentless!! LOL

Im actually wondering if the disturbance in the Carrib bears watching...

Morning



Im wondering the same
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Quoting IKE:
6Z HWRF.


6Z GFDL.

This summer here...inland Florida panhandle..is the hottest summer I've ever seen.


I've only been here five years but it is oppressively hot. I'm used to really hot summers having moved here from St. Louis but it is getting ridiculous. My poor tomatoes can't even set blossoms it's been so hot.
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Finally! Thanks for the new blog.
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Good morning all...where's Storm?
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now you all know why i chose the name florida heat because it is hot here
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Quoting aquak9:
Im actually wondering if the disturbance in the Carrib bears watching...

I don't think bears care too much about the tropics...

G'morning everyone, Hollywood, Heat, Jeff et all. Ya'll behave.


Dont you have lettuce to pick.. LOL
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That 14.0 N 47.2W is the 5A position, and the NHC repeated the same position in the 8A update; however, that is from 5AM.

Thanks someone for the NAVY 8A (?) position of 14.0N and 48.5W.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Yeah, one of the local mets said this is 3rd warmest in history for the month of July in Orlando.

I was in Orlando for a golf tournament last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. By the third day, I was done due to the relentless heat.
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Quoting WarEagle8:
Does someone have the official 8AM position for TS Colin? I realize the next 'full' advisory will be @ 11A by the NHC. lol


14.0N 47.2W
OR ABOUT 820 NM E OF THE LESSER ANTILLES ROLLTIDE
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"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."

Thanks for the update, Dr. M.

The door is still open per the above statement. Let's hope he stays small.

Morning everyone.
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So far so good! Thanks, Dr. Masters!
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AOI in the Caribbean that needs to be watched. Even if it doesn't develop (IIRC only the NOGAPS develops it) it adds to the heat buildup in the Caribbean and possibility of monsoonal development.



What I find funny, is how bad the ECMWF is messing up Colin. ECMWF 00z, doesn't even recognize Colin's existence.


Looking ahead of Colin, the ECMWF develops a tropical cyclone off a trough split (the same trough that will probably guide Colin out to sea) ECMWF 240 hours.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24167
Does someone have the official 8AM position for TS Colin? I realize the next 'full' advisory will be @ 11A by the NHC. lol
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Im actually wondering if the disturbance in the Carrib bears watching...

I don't think bears care too much about the tropics...

G'morning everyone, Hollywood, Heat, Jeff et all. Ya'll behave.
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Well, thousands of posts about a storm that WILL NEVER, HAS NEVER, been predicted to hit any land, except a small chance of Bermuda, but I am sure they can handle 40-50 miles an hr wind, even in Florida we can handle that. Just a funny side note, in Vero Beach, if the storm hit Melbourne, we'd feel 15 mile an hour gusts if the storm hit with it's current conditions. Obviously, no one will have to worry about Colin, even if a direct hit to your yard; would not be anything more than a thunderstorm on a typical Florida afternoon, and nothing more.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


Yeah...because we just can't get enough non-stop "Which model is right?" and "JFV is a jerk!" talk... ;-)


I'm finding the 'Ignore user' link to be my friend.
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32. IKE
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This is the longest stretch of super hot temps here in Orlando since I can remember...
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Latest co-ordinates from the Navy site (still seems to be due west)04LCOLIN.35kts-1006mb-140N-485W
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Quoting IKE:
6Z HWRF.


6Z GFDL.

This summer here...inland Florida panhandle..is the hottest summer I've ever seen.


Both models keep it way out to sea. Maybe a problem for Bermuda.
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CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.6 /1004.0mb/ 37.0kt
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24167
The wave entering the caribbean appears to be in more favorable conditions.
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2203. stormpetrol 12:29 PM GMT on August 03, 2010
Good morning, TS Colin imo has been moving due west or a lil n of due west like a bat out of hell for the last 12 hours.
Action: Quote | Modify Comment
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Not to worry, the wishcasters will be back shortly; since I don't believe the majority of them actually read Dr. Masters' post before making their own predictions about where any storm is going, generally in their direction wherever they may be at the time.
Member Since: August 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 443

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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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