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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72 hrs. NHC has the wave in the Caribbean. I see nothing north of Puerto Rico or in the area south of the Bahamas.
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324. beell
Quoting bappit:

I don't see the comment in any of the discussions.


HURRICANE DORA DISCUSSION NUMBER 11
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP042011
800 PM PDT WED JUL 20 2011

...DORA HAS TIME FOR SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING AS IT WILL REMAIN
OVER 28-29 DEGREE CELSIUS SSTS AND IN A LOW SHEAR ENVIRONMENT FOR
ANOTHER 24 HOURS. THE NHC INTENSITY FORECAST IS NEAR THE UPPER END
OF THE GUIDANCE AND CALLS FOR PEAK INTENSITY OF 125 KT. WEAKENING
SHOULD BEGIN BETWEEN 24 AND 36 HOURS AS THE HURRICANE MOVES OVER
DECREASING SSTS. A MUCH FASTER RATE OF WEAKENING IS EXPECTED AFTER
TWO DAYS AS DORA EXPLORES THE COLDER WATERS OF THE EASTERN
PACIFIC...
Link
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Quoting alfabob:
This isn't your average large monsoonal-wave with multiple vorticity imbedded in it, it has managed to maintain a single region of low level convergence for at least 24 hours now. I would estimate another 24 hours until there is a llc associated with it. Be back later (also ULAC starting to form overhead).
How is this wave monsoonal?

Its not a part of the monsoon trough either

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
12z ecmwf now says gom and texas
Stormchaser 2007 said 12z ecmwf doesn't develope it.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:



Paid site.


How much?
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Quoting MrstormX:
Wait isn't the 12z EMCWF not even out yet? Someone give me a link.



Paid site.
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Quoting prcane4you:

Who cares about Cindy?


People who care about meteorological processes more then watching TCs make landfall.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
My prediction is that Cindy will be:
60 to 65 mph TS, with pressure of 995 or 996...
Who cares about Cindy?
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Wait isn't the 12z EMCWF not even out yet? Someone give me a link.
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12z ecmwf now says gom and texas
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Quoting DestinJeff:


Cashews most likely.


cashews with don on the brain
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the CMC is now developing a storm that will form off NC and head south as the GFS was doing in yesterday's run..LOL..these models have low self esteem, they keep second guessing themselves..





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Quoting DestinJeff:
295...

steering layer varies, depending on strength of the system. so it is very dynamic, always changing.

in a general sense, however, weaker system have a more westward tendancy and stronger systems have a more northern tendency. however, many more factors come into play so basing anything off the explanation I just provided will be foolish at best.
Thanks. I think this is the steering for a weaker system which is why I was questioning how it could go north of the islands. I really don't see it developing that much before it reaches the islands especially since it is not really that far off. Vorticity seems elongated more than it was earlier too.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Normally, if the Euro doesn't develop something, it ends up being right. However, the EURO has been suspect at best this season, especially in the long term. It may be right on this one, though. It's nowhere near close to developing at this time.


Agree on it being, "suspect" this year. GFS has been more reliable, although none of the models have been great.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


And it will be Brownsville tomm
LOLOLOLOL, i always heard nogaps had a northeast bias.....LOLOLOLOL
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DGEX has a TS in the GOM:

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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


The only one that develops is NOGAPS right?


Seem's like it.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
The 12z ECMWF does not develop PO7L.


Normally, if the Euro doesn't develop something, it ends up being right. However, the EURO has been suspect at best this season, especially in the long term. It may be right on this one, though. It's nowhere near close to developing at this time.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
The 12z ECMWF does not develop PO7L.


The only one that develops is NOGAPS right?
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Quoting DestinJeff:


it's pre-Don. Quite nice, really. Not so humid as the late-afternoon hours.

Not to be confused with pre- ... oh, nevermind.


And has a nice early light. :|
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The bursting that can occur with a sheared storm can be quite dramatic, too, when viewed in time lapse. Wish I had an example to link to.
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The 12z ECMWF does not develop PO7L.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


it's pre-Don. Quite nice, really. Not so humid as the late-afternoon hours.

Not to be confused with pre- ... oh, nevermind.


hahaha i know what we mean but if a random came on theyd thinkwe are nuts
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Oh wow Cybrted lol
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if don does form that will be three systems for july that seemed far fetched a few weeks ago
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Can someone explain to me please. As far as I know this is the steering for the twave in the C. Atlantic. If so, how would it go north of the islands ?
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
looked at the 06 12 nogaps model,in the 1200 run it pused the storm further south it seemed to me from the nc/sc border down to near charleston, if the high reformed sooner or stronger, i think it might push it further south.


And it will be Brownsville tomm
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12z NOGAPS

Link
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
PO7L, if it had a better enviorment...would be a VERY interesting system to follow.

Instead, conditions are marginal at best.

FULL



FULL


You have to think in the long term frame of mind, nothing is going to form in the open sea with the conditions as they are. We already know that conditions closer to the CONUS are more conductive for development, which is why the long term is more important then the short term.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:



Geeeezzzzzzzzzzzzz i hate wind shear,it tears the tops of of some of the most beautiful things in the world

I like the low level swirls myself.
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If Don does form within the next ten days, it'll be the fifteenth season to have four or more tropical storms prior to August 1st.

Some pretty active seasons have matched this feat: 1886, 1887, 1908, 1909, 1916, 1933, 1936, 1959, 1966, 1995, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2008.

1997 is the only real anomaly amongst the group. 1908 had 10 storms overall, but that wasn't bad going for the period it was in.
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Quoting floodzonenc:
From Morehead City NWS long-range forecast discussion...

PRECIP CHANCES DWINDLE TO SLGT CHANCE FOR WED AS RIDGE
BEGINS TO BUILD BACK INTO E NC.

Wouldn't this steer an approaching TC into the SE US?
looked at the 06 12 nogaps model,in the 1200 run it pused the storm further south it seemed to me from the nc/sc border down to near charleston, if the high reformed sooner or stronger, i think it might push it further south.
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PO7L, if it had a better enviorment...would be a VERY interesting system to follow.

Instead, conditions are marginal at best.

FULL



FULL
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The T#s for Bret actually went up.
21/1745 UTC 33.7N 70.2W T2.0/2.0 BRET -- Atlantic

Was at T1.5/1.5
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
12z NOGAPS virtually the same as the 06z, except stronger.
Link


interesting for us SCers
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Quoting weatherh98:
Do we get ahead of ourselves???? 10% on a wave and its already called don


I learned my lesson with "Cindy". I was calling the CATL wave "Cindy" because I didn't expect anything to form before this wave. Then came Cindy over the open atlantic. No more naming systems before they form for me.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



Link

I don't see the comment in any of the discussions.
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Quoting jasonweatherman2011:
nice tropical wave at 27 west to.


Watch that one close Jason give it a 3 or 4 days though, models cant be wrong right?
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My prediction is that Cindy will be:
60 to 65 mph TS, with pressure of 995 or 996...
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Quoting Patrap:


Hey can I get the link to that model?
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Do we get ahead of ourselves???? 10% on a wave and its already called don
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Of note on the CATL wave, OPC seems pretty on-board with the NOGAPS solution at least through 96 hours. The guys at the BWS have charted the Wave directly into the Bahamas, interesting thing is that the ridging in this forecast looks different then the ridging noted in the OPC forecast. I am inclined to believe the BWS however, because they are the authority on the Bermuda High and tend to do better with forecasting T-Waves then the OPC.

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NOAA gave the CATL wave a 10% chance. I actually agree with that. This also says to me that they believe that it will develop a lot sooner than most are thinking.
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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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