U.S. heat wave blamed for 22 deaths; Bret and Cindy no threat

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:07 PM GMT on July 21, 2011

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The dangerous U.S. heat wave of July 2011 will continue to bring another day of exceptionally humid heat to over 100 million Americans today, with 33 states plus the District of Columbia currently under heat advisories. The heat index--how hot the air feels when factoring in both the temperature and the humidity--exceeded 100° in twenty states in the Central and Eastern U.S. on Wednesday, peaking at 123° in Council Bluffs, Iowa. At least 22 deaths are being blamed on the heat in the Midwest. The extreme humidity that has accompanied this heat has made it a very dangerous one, since the body is much less able to cool itself when the humidity is high. The high humidities are due, in great part, to the record rains and flooding in the Midwest over the past few months that have saturated soils and left farmlands flooded. Accompanying the heat has been high levels of air pollution, which also contributes to mortality. Air pollution is expected exceed federal standards and reach code orange, "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups", in at least 22 states today, according to the latest forecasts from EPA.

The extreme heat peaked in Chicago yesterday, where the temperature hit 100° at Midway Airport and the Chicago Lakefront station. Rockford, Illinois hit 100°, the first time in 22 years that city had seen 100° temperatures. Detroit is expected to hit 100° for the first time in sixteen years today, and I think I'm going to skip the Ann Arbor Art Fair! New York City and the mid-Atlantic states are expected to be near 100° on Friday. The forecast high of 103° in Washington D.C. for Friday is just 3° below the hottest temperature ever recorded in the city, 106°. The heat will continue in the mid-Atlantic states through Sunday, then ease on Monday when a cold front is expected to pass through. Wunderground's climate change blogger Dr. Ricky Rood has some good insights on the current heat wave in his latest post. A few notable highlights from this week:

Omaha, Nebraska has been above 80° for a four-day period beginning on July 17. This is the 2nd longest such stretch on record, next to the 8-day period that ended July 25, 1934. Multi-day periods when the low temperatures do not cool off below 75° are associated with high heat wave death rates.

Amarillo, Texas recorded its 26th day of 100° temperatures yesterday, tying the city's record for most 100° days in a year, last set in 1953. Record keeping in the city goes back to 1892.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, recorded its highest dew point ever, 82°, on Tuesday. The heat index hit a remarkable 118° in the city, which tied July 11, 1966 for the highest heat index on record in the city. Minnesota's all-time highest dew point temperature of 86° was tied on Sunday, in Madison. The previous record was in St. James and Pipestone in July of 2005.

The latest National Weather Service storm summary has a list of cities where the heat index exceeded 100° yesterday.


Figure 1. On Wednesday, heat advisories for this dangerous heat wave covered portions of 33 states plus the District of Columbia, an area with 141 million people--about half the population of the U.S.

Tropical Storm Bret no threat
Tropical Storm Bret continues to struggle with high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots, and high shear is expected to affect the storm the remainder of the week. The combination of high wind shear and dry air nearby should act to destroy Bret by Sunday, and the storm is not a threat to any land areas.

Tropical Storm Cindy forms
Tropical Storm Cindy formed yesterday 600 miles to the east of Bermuda. Cindy's formation was 24 days ahead of the usual formation date for the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which is August 13. This year has the most early season activity since 2008, when Hurricane Dolly got named on July 20. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots, and is expected to remain moderate for several days. However, Cindy has moved over cool ocean waters of 25°C this morning, and this temperature is 1.5°C below the threshold of 26.5°C that tropical storms typically need in order to maintain their strength. With Cindy predicted to move over waters of just 21°C by Friday morning, the storm doesn't have long to live. Cindy is not a threat to any land areas.

An African wave worth watching
An African wave near 12N 50W, 700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is moving west to west-northwest at about 15 mph, and is generating a limited amount of heavy thunderstorms due to the presence of a large amount of dust and dry air from the Sahara. This wave will spread heavy rain showers and strong gusty winds to the northern Lesser Antilles beginning on Saturday. The wave has a modest degree of spin to it, and is under low wind shear, 5 - 10 knots. Once it finds a moister environment near the Bahama Islands early next week, it could develop. Of the latest 00Z and 06Z runs of the four reliable models for predicting formation of a tropical depression, only the NOGAPS model shows development of the wave. The NOGAPS predicts the wave could attain tropical depression status on Wednesday, just off the coast of South Carolina. The other models generally depict too much wind shear over the Bahamas for the wave to develop. The eventual track of the wave once it reaches the Bahamas early next week is uncertain; there will be a trough of low pressure located off the U.S. East Coast that will be capable of turning the wave to the north, along the East Coast. However, it is also quite possible that the wave would be too weak and to far south to feel the influence of this trough, and instead would enter the Gulf of Mexico.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Dora.

Hurricane Dora in the Eastern Pacific close to Category 5
Hurricane Dora in the Eastern Pacific put on an impressive burst of intensification over the past 24 hours, and is now a very impressive Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, just 1 mph short of Category 5 status. Dora is expected to move parallel to the coast of Mexico, and should not cause any major trouble in that country. Dora is the second major hurricane in the East Pacific this year; Hurricane Adrian topped out as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds in early June.

Think cold. Way cold!
Those of us sweltering in today's heat would do well to consider that on this date in 1983, Vostok, Antarctica shivered at -128°F--the coldest temperature ever measured on Earth. The low tonight in Vostok is expected to be a relatively balmy -80°F.

Jeff Masters

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We have to remember, even though there is only one model forecasting development, IIRC, every model has shown it at one point or another.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting ncstorm:
18z NOGAPS..180 hours out-Bahamas, NC/SC

Link



Ouch! How strong a storm is that showing?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
The reality here is that our central Atlantic wave will have the dry air to deal with until it reaches the islands, at which point that issue will be handed off in exchange for a less favorable upper-level environment as the big ridge over the eastern U.S. shears it an promotes sinking air along ~25N. However, the GFS actually shows a pretty favorable environment off of the SE US next week as the nose of that 200mb high sticks out over the western Atlantic on the western side of the TUTT. This is a great pattern for ventilation of this area when the TUTT is off to the east. The high is not deep-layered off of the SE US either, as the GFS has a weak trailing trough at 500mb along the SE US coastline directly beneath the 200mb ridge at 144 hours, supported by some other models as well. The deep-layered high pressure structure doesn't show up until you get over towards Arkansas. The reason this matters is because a deep-layer high promotes a lot of subsidence and destroys thunderstorm activity. However, a 200mb high is just what we want (for development), because it promotes divergence aloft and supports convection.

The message here is that our tropical wave won't have a great chance to suddenly develop anytime soon, but gradual development may be possible as it passes nearby the Caribbean islands, and if it curves up towards the SE US coast, it may have a better chance closer to the coast. Notice that the models are no longer as excited about recurving it out to sea either, as the pattern I've been talking about is unveiling itself as one that promotes a more westward track.

GFS 144-hour 200mb:



GFS 144-hour 500mb:



Back after work.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


I noticed that about the models this year too. Can't remember them doing that before. But then maybe I just can't remember? Lol. A distinct possibility. ;)


Yeah, I dont remember them doing that eithier.
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18z NOGAPS..180 hours out-Bahamas, NC/SC

Link

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


True.

Frontal systems are very hard for models to decipher. With that said, frontal systems rarely become anything more than an inconvience to shipping.

Deep tropics systems are easier to pick out and can be far more dangerous.


But often, at least one model develops the storm in advance. Chantal and Cristobal for example where both shown in advance by the GFS (basing this off my limited memory from 3-4 seasons ago) this time - absolutely none of the models indicated even a closed low and the time of both of the cyclones births. Henceforth, the NHC was caught by surprise with Cindy and especially Bret which is why the other day, the NHC dropped the ball so to speak.
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Quoting ncstorm:


well..the models havent been consistent on any tropical system that has develop in the atlantic so far this season except the NAM and that says a lot..my current thinking that these models are better in the long range than the short range right now..they see a storm 200 hours out and then once its gets in the 72/84 hour time frame, it drops it..


I noticed that about the models this year too. Can't remember them doing that before. But then maybe I just can't remember? Lol. A distinct possibility. ;)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
618. wpb
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Only the 12z and 00z are run to 180 hours.

The NOGAPS is not a model you want to hang your hat on.

true
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Quoting mcluvincane:


according to those models we should of never had bret or Cindy


True.

Frontal systems are very hard for models to decipher. With that said, frontal systems rarely become anything more than an inconvience to shipping.

Deep tropics systems are easier to pick out and can be far more dangerous.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Only the 12z and 00z are run to 180 hours.

The NOGAPS is not a model you want to hang your hat on.



well..the models havent been consistent on any tropical system that has develop in the atlantic so far this season except the NAM and that says a lot..my current thinking that these models are better in the long range than the short range right now..they see a storm 200 hours out and then once its gets in the 72/84 hour time frame, it drops it..
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:



According to the 18z GFS and pretty much every other model, July will finish off with little fanfare.


according to those models we should of never had bret or Cindy
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Quoting ncstorm:


It has 4 more frames to run but I will be interesting to see which state the NOGAPS is gunning for


Only the 12z and 00z are run to 180 hours.

The NOGAPS is not a model you want to hang your hat on.

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:



According to the 18z GFS and pretty much every other model, July will finish off with little fanfare.


we got another whole week of July..I wouldnt say we finish yet..
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Wow...

Now:


48hours:


It's just icky hot out there!

Coastal Marine Forecast
Posted: Jul 21, 2011 4:13 PM CDT


July Sabine Pass Tides

Friday's Forecast

Winds: S 5-10 Knots

Seas: 1-2 Feet

State: Mostly Smooth

Current Water Temperature: 88 Degrees
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Ridge building back at the end of the loop, in that scenario Don would be going straight into Georgia/South Carolina. Most aggressive run I've seen yet.


It has 4 more frames to run but I will be interesting to see which state the NOGAPS is gunning for
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Bret should be a TD at 11.


Looking at the tropical wave, here is my summary based on my observations periodically throughout the day. It is beginning to lift out of the ITCZ and is starting to be able to sustain its own convection, this is critical. A large broad upper level anti-cyclone is stationed over it, causing low shear values below 5kts over the system. However, the system will be approaching a band of 20 knot shear limiting any development. Another problem is that the moisture field is marginal at best to keep the dry air from completely killing it but it will still limit any development for the next 48 hours. Finally the uncertain timing of the trough will not only decide its track but whether it survives or not. This wave will not survive a passage over Haiti, which is why the models are killing it off because most of it take it over the islands with no development. The ECMWF ensembles and NOGAPS show something different - the vort max being affected by the trough enough to be drawn north from the islands and allowing for development to take place which is also very possible. I want to see the CMC and GFS get onboard with at least a low pressure area developing and missing the islands for I say development might actually happen. TBH though if the models and conditions stay the way they are right now - this thing has a 20% at best of development into ever a tropical cyclone. If it does, it probably won't be very strong either.
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Quoting ncstorm:
according to the 18Z NOGAPS 120 hours out, the Bahamas will be seeing some action..




According to the 18z GFS and pretty much every other model, July will finish off with little fanfare.
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Quoting ncstorm:
according to the 18Z NOGAPS 120 hours out, the Bahamas will be seeing some action..

Link



Ridge building back at the end of the loop, in that scenario Don would be going straight into Georgia/South Carolina. Most aggressive run I've seen yet.
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according to the 18Z NOGAPS 120 hours out, the Bahamas will be seeing some action and then right into SC..

Link

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@JimCantore
Jim Cantore
Too Hot! RT @SeverePlains How hot does your child's slide get when its 101?!?

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Quoting Chucktown:


But Katrina didn't get going until it got into the Gulf. Perfect atmospheric conditions coupled with extremely warm waters aided in its rapid development.

Actually Katrina left a nice mark in Hallandale Beach and Aventura as a moderate Cat 1 before she blew up in the GOM. I believe a couple people died there before she did a number in NOLA.
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Wow...

Now:


48hours:
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Good evening all! Well its hotter here in Dayton Ohio where I'm visiting than in my home town Sarasota, Florida! I see the Tropics are starting to heat up! unfortunately no sign of any systems bringing drought relief to Florida, bummer!
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Quoting wpb:
Friday, Jul 22, 2011
NOAA-43: Scheduled for deployment into Hurricane Dora. Takeoff at 1600 UTC from San Diego, CA and landing in San Diego, CA.
Comments: NOAA-43 will be performing the East Pacific Decay Experiment.

What's a decay experiment?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Speaking of which....

2011:



2005:

wait wai!!! u teling me that loop current is worse than 2005??
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596. wpb
Friday, Jul 22, 2011
NOAA-43: Scheduled for deployment into Hurricane Dora. Takeoff at 1600 UTC from San Diego, CA and landing in San Diego, CA.
Comments: NOAA-43 will be performing the East Pacific Decay Experiment.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Speaking of which....

2011:



2005:



UGH! need more pepcid ac, rolaids, tums, something! Lets hope everything stays out of that this year.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
593. unf97
Quoting nymore:
There is a Sticky Fingers right by the airport in jax


Yep at the RiverCity Marketplace adjacent to I-95 at the Airport Rd/Duval Rd exit.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Speaking of which....

2011:



2005:


holy my goodness its the same
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Ivan



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There is a Sticky Fingers right by the airport in jax
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588. beell
TUTT westerlies and attendant shear ahead of the wave.

click to open in new window
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DORA is annular! PROOF:
Other Pacific storms that showed annular features include 1998's Hurricane Darby, 1998's Hurricane Howard, 1999's Hurricane Beatriz, and 1999's Hurricane Dora.[1] 2011's Hurricane Adrian and 2011's Hurricane Dora, which is currently ongoing, have developed annular features during their lifetime as well.
Source: Wikipedia
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Quoting bigwes6844:
and also it hit that damn loop current too. dont forget bout that


Speaking of which....

2011:



2005:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting Chucktown:


But Katrina didn't get going until it got into the Gulf. Perfect atmospheric conditions coupled with extremely warm waters aided in its rapid development.


both wrong itwas a depression in the wave train which brought it to the bahamas after it had weakend a bit then it got BIG
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Quoting Chucktown:


But Katrina didn't get going until it got into the Gulf. Perfect atmospheric conditions coupled with extremely warm waters aided in its rapid development.
and also it hit that damn loop current too. dont forget bout that
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583. unf97
Quoting aquak9:
emcf- if ya got enough daylight time- heck, keep heading east and go for a nice walk on the beach. The Landing's gonna be hot like crazy, too- asphalt jungle there.

There's a Sticky Fingers at the end of Atlantic Blvd, awesome good barbeque, and you can walk right on out to the beach and wander peacefully.


Hi Aquak9! BTW, I love Sticky Fingers!! Awesome food. I have frequented and ate at that one location at Atlantic Beach often.
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582. wpb
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/HFP2011/HFP_2011.pdf


recon will be very active this season lots to do........
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Quoting aquak9:
emcf- if ya got enough daylight time- heck, keep heading east and go for a nice walk on the beach. The Landing's gonna be hot like crazy, too- asphalt jungle there.

There's a Sticky Fingers at the end of Atlantic Blvd, awesome good barbeque, and you can walk right on out to the beach and wander peacefully.


Hit "the corner". Ragtime, Sundog, etc..
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Blog quiet again, hmm........
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emcf- if ya got enough daylight time- heck, keep heading east and go for a nice walk on the beach. The Landing's gonna be hot like crazy, too- asphalt jungle there.

There's a Sticky Fingers at the end of Atlantic Blvd, awesome good barbeque, and you can walk right on out to the beach and wander peacefully.
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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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