Hottest day on record in Texas Panhandle; fire threatens Los Alamos

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:54 PM GMT on June 27, 2011

Share this Blog
6
+

The hottest temperatures in recorded history scorched large portions of the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle, and southwestern Kansas on Sunday. Amarillo hit 111°, breaking its hottest day-ever record of 109° (set just two days previously, on June 24). Borger, Texas hit 113°, smashing the previous hottest day-ever record set on June 24, 2011 of 108°. Dalhart, Texas had its hottest day on record, 110°, beating the 108° on June 24, 2011. Dodge City, Kansas tied its all-time record with 110° (last seen on June 29, 1998). Dodge City has temperature records back to 1874. Yesterday saw the hottest temperatures of the month for Texas with 116.2° at Childress, Northfield, and Memphis (all in the panhandle region.) These readings are not far from the state record of 120° set at Monahas on June 28, 1994 and at Seymore on August 12, 1936.

A cold front moved through the region overnight, bringing northerly winds and cooler temperatures to the region. However, a new ridge of high pressure will gradually build in this week and temperatures are expected to reach near-record levels again by Thursday, with 102°F expected in Amarillo, which is their all-time record for the date. The record-breaking temperatures in Texas are being caused, in part, by the record drought. Under normal conditions, the sun's heat expends part of its energy evaporating water from the soil and from vegetation. This energy is stored as "latent heat" in the water evaporated, and is not available to heat the air up. However, when a severe drought dries up the soil and kills the vegetation, there is much more heat available to go directly into heating up the air, since there is little moisture to evaporate. The increased temperatures help to strengthen the high pressure system dominating the drought region, making it even more difficult for rain-bearing low pressure systems to bring drought-busting rains. This positive feedback effect is a key reason why we expect more intense droughts and heat waves in a warmer climate.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has many more details on the great Texas drought of 2011 in his latest post, updated Sunday night. He reports that Pecos, Texas has had no precipitation since September 23, 2010--one of the longest rain-free periods for a U.S. city in recorded history, outside of the desert regions of Arizona and California.


Figure 1. Latest weekly drought conditions for Texas, as compiled by the U.S. Drought Monitor. West Texas is experiencing its worst drought in recorded history.

Fire threatens Los Alamos, New Mexico
A major wildfire has burned to a spot one mile southwest of Los Alamos, New Mexico today, forcing the nuclear laboratory there to close and send home all 11,000 of its employees. The fire was fanned by winds that reached sustained speeds of 32 mph, gusting to 45 mph, along with temperatures in the upper 80s and humidities as low as 9%. Today, winds will be weaker, 10 - 20 mph, but are expected to to turn to the southwest, which would force the fire towards the laboratory. According to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, these will not be critical fire conditions, and critical fire conditions are not expected to return to the area until Thursday.


Figure 2. Noon satellite image of the tropical disturbance crossing Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Tropical disturbance approaching the Gulf of Mexico
Heavy thunderstorm activity is increasing over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and adjacent waters due to a tropical wave moving west-northwest towards the Gulf of Mexico. Wind shear is currently 20 - 30 knots, which is too high to permit significant development, but wind shear is forecast to fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, on Tuesday, as the wave emerges over the Gulf of Mexico. Several of our reliable computer models are predicting that a system that may approach tropical depression strength could form in the southern Gulf of Mexico in the Bay of Campeche Tuesday or Wednesday. NHC is giving the system a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday. Development will be hindered by a large region of dry air to the west, associated with the great 2011 Texas-Mexico drought. However, the topography surrounding the Bay of Campeche tends to boost counter-clockwise air flow, enabling systems there to spin up faster than any other portion of the Atlantic.

There is a strong ridge of high pressure over the Gulf, which should act to keep any storm that might form far to the south, with impacts limited to Mexico and perhaps extreme South Texas. Mexico could use the rain. A report from The Latin American Herald Tribune states that 40% of the nation is experiencing its worst drought in 70 years. There are portions of the state of Coahulia where no rain has fallen since last September (just like Pecos in Texas). Wild fires have so far burned 500,000 acres in northern regions near the U.S. border.

Jeff Masters

Los Conchas Fire Jun 26 (gilg72)
This fire just started today Jun 26. It is SW of Los Alamos and only a few miles away. I don't know the cause at this time. These photos as viewed from the Espanola NM area. Voluntary evacuations in all of Los Alamos County per last report.
Los Conchas Fire Jun 26
Dust devils the size of tornadoes (darnold)
Dozens of massive tornado-size dust devils pound Slaton, Texas one right after another. The drought stricken west Texas plains seems to have become a dust bowl as sustained high winds wreak havoc on the farms. Slaton is situated just south of Lubbock, Texas.
Dust devils the size of tornadoes

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: 1065 - 1015

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22Blog Index

1065. NOLALawyer
3:09 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
And, the season starts with a worthless wimper. Bleh.
Member Since: September 3, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 520
1063. Jax82
2:06 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
NEW BLOG
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
1062. Neapolitan
2:05 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
NEW BLOG ENTRY
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
1061. Patrap
2:02 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
95L Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240
1060. kwgirl
2:01 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting LPStormspotter:


I watched a Jim cantori show about the keys last week. Is it true what they say about there?
And that would be?
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
1059. CybrTeddy
1:58 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Recon still on. 1 hr 15 minutes or so before takeoff.

000
NOUS42 KNHC 271730
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0130 PM EDT MON 27 JUNE 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z JUNE 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-027

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 28/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 28/1515Z
D. 21.0N 94.0W
E. 28/1730Z TO 28/2200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 29/1200Z
B. AFXXX 0201A CYCLONE
C. 29/0930Z
D. 22.0N 96.0W
E. 29/1130Z TO 29/1600Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT.

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 12-HRLY
FIXES WHILE SYSTEM REMAINS A THREAT.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
JWP
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
1058. Levi32
1:52 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I see Levi didn't mention it in his video, he's probably looking for more model support & consistency as they're dropping it every other run.


That would be it lol. It doesn't look like that pronounced of a trough-split, either.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1057. Skyepony (Mod)
1:49 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
NOAA declared invest in the EPAC is look rather healthy this morning.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
1056. Some1Has2BtheRookie
1:48 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting P451:


Unfortunately not. Steering layers all move west into Mexico at all heights. CIMSS is screwed up this AM can't access the newest steering layer maps but as of yesterday they were all uniform with height.



I just wanted to check in this morning to see if a miracle was about to happen and Texas was going to get some tropical rains. No signs of a miracle yet. Perhaps I am on the wrong blog for that?

I want to thank each of you for all of the information you provide us that are less skilled. Thanks! .... Now, about those miracles?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
1055. CybrTeddy
1:47 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:
So this trough split in a few days, some models like the CMC have the system along Carolina and others like NOGAPS have it in the GOM. It is going to be interesting to watch.


I see Levi didn't mention it in his video, he's probably looking for more model support & consistency as they're dropping it every other run.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
1054. Skyepony (Mod)
1:47 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Wind Direction
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
1053. MrstormX
1:42 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
So this trough split in a few days, some models like the CMC have the system along Carolina and others like NOGAPS have it in the GOM. It is going to be interesting to watch.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1052. Levi32
1:39 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting P451:
Rotation evident on radar. Ending 1300z.





Looks like westerly winds may be developing. High-resolution visible is catching them as well.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1050. KeysieLife
1:36 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting LPStormspotter:

Lol party town kinda like New orleans..

Yes, especially during Fantasy Fest (end of Oct.)...Mardi Gras in the Keys for sure.
Member Since: September 10, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 409
1048. LPStormspotter
1:34 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting KeysieLife:


LOL what is it that "they" say? "Drinking town with a fishing problem?" - 100% true! =)

Lol party town kinda like New orleans..
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 385
1047. Buhdog
1:33 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
not sure there is rotation off the west coast of fl.....but rain sure looks to be on tap for southern counties. Link
Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
1046. WeatherfanPR
1:31 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
yep, interesting tropical wave in the central atlantic showing signs of circulation.
Member Since: August 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1583
1045. Levi32
1:30 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting Hurrykane:


Nice update, Levi!


Thanks Hurry.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1044. PolishHurrMaster
1:29 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Deja Vu?

June 28th, 2010.


June 28th, 2011.


Of course, Alex is much stronger and better organized than 95L is. Interesting though to have a system in the same exact spot 365 days later.

Interesting.I've got a 365 day GFS forecast:it shows a 999mb low in BOC
Member Since: May 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 351
1041. hydrus
1:26 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
The wave in the Central Atlantic has good rotation..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
1040. CybrTeddy
1:26 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:


So if it does develop, should we be expecting monsoonal development like Alex, or something entirely different?


It will probably be a 45-50 mph TS at max.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
1039. Levi32
1:26 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:
Big pressure drop in Mexico, specifically the Yucatan which is the closest one I can find to 95L.



Looks like a diurnal cycle to me. I'd follow the buoy northwest of 95L's center.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1038. MrstormX
1:24 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:


TD2 stayed weak because of the cool water up-welled by Hurricane Alex. This isn't going to be the case.


So if it does develop, should we be expecting monsoonal development like Alex, or something entirely different?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1037. CybrTeddy
1:23 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting MrstormX:
95L could stay weak like TD2 of last year.


TD2 stayed weak because of the cool water up-welled by Hurricane Alex. This isn't going to be the case.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
1035. MrstormX
1:22 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
95L could stay weak like TD2 of last year.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1034. CybrTeddy
1:20 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Deja Vu?

June 28th, 2010.


June 28th, 2011.


Of course, Alex is much stronger and better organized than 95L is. Interesting though to have a system in the same exact spot 365 days later.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
1032. Levi32
1:16 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Tuesday, June 28th, with Video
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
1031. muddertracker
1:15 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Ugh.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 2348
1030. muddertracker
1:14 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Is there any chance at all 95l strengthens and moves more north-west? Signed..desparately seeking precipitation in Texas
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 2348
1029. hydrus
1:13 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting hurricanejunky:
Looks like some very interesting activity along the stalled frontal boundary in south FL. Definitely loving the rain. Any thoughts on tropical development? How about the blob above Hispaniola? 95L taking a similar route to many of last year's storms (Alex, Hermine, etc.)...
There is a little twist off the Florida west coast. And there appears to be a small outflow channel if you look closely..Interesting..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
1028. MrstormX
1:13 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Anybody see the 6z GFS Texas storm?

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1027. KeysieLife
1:12 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting LPStormspotter:


I watched a Jim cantori show about the keys last week. Is it true what they say about there?


LOL what is it that "they" say? "Drinking town with a fishing problem?" - 100% true! =)
Member Since: September 10, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 409
1026. MrstormX
1:08 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Big pressure drop in Mexico, specifically the Yucatan which is the closest one I can find to 95L.

Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
1025. islander101010
1:06 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
low amplitude wave at 40w has alittle shape to it definitely becoming alittle more active
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4567
1024. CybrTeddy
1:06 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Getting there with its circulation, you should see it get tighter and tighter.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
1023. hurricanejunky
1:02 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Looks like some very interesting activity along the stalled frontal boundary in south FL. Definitely loving the rain. Any thoughts on tropical development? How about the blob above Hispaniola? 95L taking a similar route to many of last year's storms (Alex, Hermine, etc.)...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2898
1022. LPStormspotter
1:01 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Quoting kwgirl:
Good Morning everyone. Well the Keys have finally gotten some rain this morning. Currently it is heavier in the middle and upper keys, per the radar. Key West has not gotten a downpour yet, but there is hope. LOL I won't be happy until the streets are flooded and the ground soaked. But every little bit helps. I LOVE rainy days. :)


I watched a Jim cantori show about the keys last week. Is it true what they say about there?
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 385
1021. Jax82
12:58 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
SST

TCHP
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
1020. Tropicsweatherpr
12:58 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Pat, SSD now has a floater for 95L.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14246
1019. PakaSurvivor
12:54 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
Wow, the ignor button works!
Member Since: September 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 235
1017. Tazmanian
12:52 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
YAY YAY YAY he is gone
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115074
1016. Patrap
12:51 PM GMT on June 28, 2011
tropical_ge_4km_visir2_floater

FlAniS tips: Left-click to zoom in. Hold Ctrl and Left-click to zoom out. Hold Alt and Left-click to zoom all the way out.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128240

Viewing: 1065 - 1015

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22Blog 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.

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
60 °F
Scattered Clouds