Hurricane Otto's deluge continues; world extreme heat record of 136.4°F bogus?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:51 PM GMT on October 08, 2010

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The deluge continues over Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands from Hurricane Otto, which is bringing a fourth straight day of heavy rains. Otto is the eighth hurricane of this very active 2010 hurricane season; our tally now stands at 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. An average season has 10 - 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. Otto's rains have caused a fair degree of trouble in the islands. According to Wikipedia, Heavy downpours in the U.S. Virgin Islands caused flooding across several local roads. In Saint Croix, a roadway section leading into Enfield Green collapsed on the night of October 6, temporarily cutting the south-side neighborhood off to vehicle traffic until a makeshift roadway through Carlton Estate was created the next day. On the island's North Shore in La Vallee, landslides and localized flooding in low-lying areas created some issues. There were no reports of major damage, however, and the roads remained passable. Torrential floods across the British Virgin Islands toppled several cars and caused extensive damage to utility lines and drainage pipes; dozens of people (mostly in Road Town) were left without power and water. An estimated 100 homes were flooded in Saint Lucia, and a fishing village on the island's east coast was declared a disaster zone. Schools, businesses and government offices across all of the Virgin Islands and in Saint Kitts and Nevis were closed until further notice.

In Puerto Rico, heavy rainfalls fell across the municipality of Utuado on October 7. As a result, a road to a neighborhood was made inaccessible after being severely damaged by gushing waters when parts of the Arecibo River overflowed. That same day, a landslide dragged away a communication post along the road and made it impossible for larger vehicles--including ambulances--to access the site. Meanwhile, fourteen families in the municipality of Ponce were cut off from communication because of several landslides. A residence alongside a road suffered significant damage and its inhabitants were forced to evacuate. Furthermore, a district in Cayey was isolated after a bridge collapsed, while burst riverbanks caused flooding across streets, trapping dozens of families in their homes. Across the island, 40 roads were closed due to torrential rainfall, and 19 streets had at least one lane closed.



Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Otto.

Weather radar out of Puerto Rico shows that a large area of heavy rain will continue to affect the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today, and flash flood warnings are posted on these islands through tonight. Martinique radar shows considerably less activity over the Lesser Antilles.

Satellite imagery shows a well-organized storm with an expanding Central Dense Overcast (CDO) of high cirrus clouds covering the center. Infrared satellite imagery shows a region of intense thunderstorms with very cold cloud tops, with the suggestion of a warm spot--an eye--forming. Otto should continue to intensify until Saturday morning, when wind shear will quickly rise to a very high 30+ knots.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated rainfall from Otto over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands this week shows that rains in excess of eight inches (white colors) have fallen in many regions. The strange ray-like pattern to the east of the radar location (the white "+" symbol) is due to mountains blocking the radar beam.

Western Caribbean disturbance
An area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean, a few hundred miles east of the coast of Nicaragua, has only a small amount of intense thunderstorms, but is showing some spin. The disturbance is nearly stationary, and is under a moderate 15 - 20 knots of wind shear. Some dry air in the Western Caribbean is interfering with development. I expect the storm will begin to build some significant heavy thunderstorms over the weekend, bringing heavy rains to northeastern Honduras and Nicaragua. None of the models develop the disturbance into a tropical depression, but it does have some potential for slow development over the next few days, and NHC is giving the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. The ECMWF model has the disturbance drifting northward next week and crossing Central Cuba on Wednesday or Thursday. Most of the other models keep the storms confined to the Caribbean.

A challenge to the validity of the world extreme heat record of 136.4°F (58°C) at Al Aziza, Libya
One of the "sacred cows" of world weather extremes has been the widely reported "hottest temperature ever recorded on earth", a reading of 58°C (136.4°F) reported from Al Azizia, Libya on Sept. 13, 1922. In a remarkable piece of research, our featured Weather Extremes blogger Christopher C. Burt concludes: the temperature observations at Al Azizia prior to 1927 (when the site and instruments were changed) are obviously invalid. The shelter housing the thermometer was most likely over exposed and measuring heat radiating of off the black-tarred concrete of the terrace on which it was placed.

Has Mr. Burt slain one of meteorology's most sacred cows? You be the judge. Check out the full story at his blog.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting pilotguy1:


I take one aspirin a day. That's it.

LMAO!! Smart guy , me too!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
357. txjac
Hello gambler ...long time no see ..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
In the 1950's and 1960's, people went to Hurricane parties with party-goers to watch hurricanes rather than flee from danger. There were claims that in 1969, Hurricane Camille wrecked a hotel where a hurricane party was being held and killed 8 people. Some survivors who were at the hotel at the time claim there was never a hurricane party there and that the actual number of fatalities were not accurate. Nevertheless, a hollywood movie was created out of this story.

Hurricanes didn't start having boys' names until 1979.

Most hurricanes die at sea when they pass over areas of cooler water.

In 1967, a hurricane in Texas caused more than 140 twisters.

The worst hurricane damage is often caused by a storm surge. A storm surge is like a giant wall of water pushed onshore by hurricane winds.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo completely destroyed several forests in South Carolina.

In 1971, Hurricane Ginger lasted for over three weeks.

In 1970, a hurricane in Pakistan killed more than 300,000 people.

When a hurricane is especially devastating, its name is permanently retired and another name replaces it.

In 1944, the US Navy's Pacific fleet was crushed by Typhoon Cobra, which sank three destroyers and damaged many ships.

Bangladesh was a country that was created from a hurricane. In 1970, this region of Pakistan was struck by a cyclone and 500,000 people died. The people felt their government did not do enough to help after the disaster so in 1971, they voted to be independent of Pakistan and Bangladesh was born.

Hurricanes do not occur in the South Atlantic Ocean, where the waters are too cold for them to form.

Plants have developed different ways of protecting themselves from powerful winds. Palm trees trow mainly in tropical parts of the world where hurricanes sometimes occur. Their flexible trunks bend and spring back in high winds but rarely break.

Taping your windows in preparation for a hurricane is a waste of time and money. Tape does not strengthening the glass. Flying debris will smash a taped window as if the tape weren't there.

Hurricane Fox was the first storm to be named in an official weather bureau advisory.

Two hurricanes were named Alice in 1954. One in June and one in December.

The first hurricane with a male's name was Hurricane Bob which hit near New Orleans in July 1979.

The first hurricane to hit the American Colonies happened on August 25, 1635.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msgambler:
Pottery, KoTG, SSIGG, SwCI, Hope all are well. Just stopped by to say hello.
Hello. Blog is kinda weird and slow tonight. Otto is the center of attraction right now with 98L trying to gather herself together.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting pilotguy1:


That is one of the most weird posts I have ever seen. You need to change your meds.

Don't worry I don't hold malice, never did and hopefully never will, I know what a major hurricane can do, barely made it through Ivan in 2004, actually Ivan is a major cause of my anxiety disorder to this day so I know what it is like, I think you innocently took my comment out of context, read again real carefully and you will understand where I'm coming from, if you don't well then I don't know what to say other than I wouldn't want to know you were piloting a plane I was on because obviously if you didn't understand what I wrote you're lacking serious judgement, other than that, we're blog friends!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
351. msgambler
1:20 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Pottery, KoTG, SSIGG, SwCI, Hope all are well. Just stopped by to say hello.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
350. snotly
1:17 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Cool image of Igor's wake.


http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/images/hurricane_eyesinthesky3.jpg
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 686
348. MiamiHurricanes09
1:15 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


That 75 mph or knots?

972 is respectably deep.
75kt.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
347. stormwatcherCI
1:14 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pottery:

Clear sky above.
A shower earlier this afternoon.
Looks like most of it will pass North....

Tomorrow>>>>>>>>>
Thanks and good night.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
346. CybrTeddy
1:13 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

It's the strongest cyclone I've seen that's been at one point subtropical.


There has been stronger, Gustav in 2002 was a Category 2 for example. Started off sub-tropical.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24550
343. pottery
1:11 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Just a quick question before you go. Is the wave to the east of you bringing any rain down on you now ?

Clear sky above.
A shower earlier this afternoon.
Looks like most of it will pass North....

Tomorrow>>>>>>>>>
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
342. stormpetrol
1:09 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


That is one of the most weird posts I have ever seen. You need to change your meds.

You're not in touch with reality Captain, even Pilots these days are allowed antidepressants and yes , I'm on lexapro and clonazepam so what you got to say about that , I for one can admit that I suffer from anxiety disorder plus a very serious physical medical condition, What can you admit to Captain?!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
341. help4u
1:09 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
No longer global warming now called global weather disruption!!
Member Since: September 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1301
340. stormwatcherCI
1:07 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pottery:

OK, thanks.

Anyway, I am going to sleep.
It was one of THOSE days....
Days like today should be Perma- Banned.

Stay safe all.
Just a quick question before you go. Is the wave to the east of you bringing any rain down on you now ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
339. MiamiHurricanes09
1:07 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Otto intensifies some more. Pressure down an additional 4mb while winds have increased another 5mph to 85mph.

AL, 17, 2010100900, , BEST, 0, 272N, 617W, 75, 972, HU
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
337. pottery
1:06 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Otto. My bad...I should of specified. Kinda hard toggling back & forth between two systems!!

OK, thanks.

Anyway, I am going to sleep.
It was one of THOSE days....
Days like today should be Perma- Banned.

Stay safe all.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
335. Neapolitan
1:03 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting PELLSPROG:
Is all that dry air over the US normal ? I don't recall ever seeing it so persistant . It's been in place for what a week or so ?


The omega blocking pattern--which has been the dominant pattern in the US for the past two weeks--has finally broken up. They're more normal in late winter and spring, but they can happen at any time. They're known for parking themselves for a week or two, then slowly moving out of the way so things can return to normal. I was roundly thrashed this morning for saying this, but warmth and humidity are both creeping back into the southeast. It's not going to be August conditions--after all, it is October--but the cool, dry air caused by the eastern lobe of the omega block will shortly be history.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13743
332. pottery
1:01 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Still looking good. Nothing that exactly says rapid strengthening just yet...but he's holding his own out there between some large pockets of shear both east & especially northwest of him.

Otto or 98?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
328. pottery
12:59 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


Of course being the first time that this ever happened on this blog I know everyone here was shocked. For this I apologize with all humility.

LOL
Good One....
heheheheh
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
327. stormwatcherCI
12:58 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


Don't buy this at all.
I do not know him personally although Cayman is a very small island but anyone who went through Ivan here could never want to actually see that again. I know I don't for sure but I still come on here and "watch the tropics".
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
326. DontAnnoyMe
12:57 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


I find this a strange urge to have. As I find war correspondents who thrill at combat a sickness.


Well, when a hurricane approaches me, I get excited, and not in a good way. I fear it. The cravers, OTOH - whatever floats your boat.
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690
325. stormwatcherCI
12:55 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


Of course being the first time that this ever happened on this blog I know everyone here was shocked. For this I apologize with all humility.
I understand where both of you are coming from and no apologies necessary. I think we all tend to have a little of the rubberneck disease inside of us whether we care to admit it or not. Grew up the daughter of a Dade County Firefighter and used to go watch him put out fires, deal with plane crashes etc. and it was hard to see but still wanted to go see what was going on.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
324. pottery
12:55 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Lower Level Convergence (21:00Z)

Conditions are looking more favorable, including upper-level as well. Shear also appear to be letting up somewhat, as noted in the shear map (post 306). 98L might struggle to get out of the gate initially, but once it really gets some good convection firing, it might have a nice run later this wknd.


Aaakkk!
A Weather Post..
What IS this blog coming to?

Since this 98L is the only game in town (Otto having gone to the fishes LOL) there will be a lot of interest in it.
Will certainly be interesting to see if it can get some organization, and put Climatology back in vogue...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
321. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:52 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting PELLSPROG:
Is all that dry air over the US normal ? I don't recall ever seeing it so persistant . It's been in place for what a week or so ?
dry air lifts up and out towards the ne on the rtn flow as it builds in over gom and the high slips off and out over eastern seaboard and as otto pulls away will cause this to commence
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55653
320. stormwatcherCI
12:52 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting cat5hurricane:
Lower Level Convergence (21:00Z)

Conditions are looking more favorable, including upper-level as well. Shear also appear to be letting up somewhat, as noted in the shear map (post 306). 98L might struggle to get out of the gate initially, but once it really gets some good convection firing, it might have a nice run later this wknd.

What has me worried is that this is the general area Paloma developed in and iirc conditions were initially less than ideal for development.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
317. stormwatcherCI
12:51 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


I find this a strange urge to have. As I find war correspondents who thrill at combat a sickness.
He didn't say HE had the urge but was referring to people in a general way.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
315. stormwatcherCI
12:49 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


For all you people that are completely brain dead he was commenting on my opinion which which was just as legitimate as his comments. This is what is wrong here now. As soon as you find something strange about what your notion of what the blog main opinion should be you go on the offensive about anyone who differs. Free speech on honest differences should be allowed without "poofs" and other juvenile reactions.
Actually, he made a statement that you replied to in an insulting way.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
314. pottery
12:48 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


Sorry, I view you as one of the "grown ups" here, and you certainly are not brain dead.

It's OK..
I did not take it personally at all.
Just trying to diffuse an Impending Situation.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
312. pottery
12:43 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


For all you people that are completely brain dead he was commenting on my opinion which which was just as legitimate as his comments. This is what is wrong here now. As soon as you find something strange about what your notion of what the blog main opinion should be you go on the offensive about anyone who differs. Free speech on honest differences should be allowed without "poofs" and other juvenile reactions.

BAH!!
I dont know 'bout the rest.
But I am certainly Brain Dead right now....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
309. pottery
12:40 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting stormwatcherCI:


Shear seems to be weakening some though. Earlier today there was 30 kts. to the west and now it is down to 20 kts.

True.
And theoretically it could hang around in that general area, gain more moisture, and become a TS.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24796
308. DontAnnoyMe
12:38 AM GMT on October 09, 2010
Quoting pilotguy1:


Let me try to explain. What does Anderson Cooper have to do with a weather blog? Second I find it very odd that he thinks we have some underlying thrill from watching death and destruction. I reject that premise unless you run a news outlet.


What he said was, "the potential of such a system approaching sets in motion excitement , fear and actually a high for some craving the experience of major hurricane". I don't think news outlets are alone in this.
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690

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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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