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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10% on P07L
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And there it is.
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ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT THU JUL 21 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM CINDY...LOCATED ABOUT 1095 MILES NORTH-NORTHWEST OF THE
AZORES. ADVISORIES ARE ALSO BEING ISSUED ON TROPICAL STORM
BRET...LOCATED ABOUT 295 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF CAPE HATTERAS
NORTH CAROLINA.

1. A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 750 MILES EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS
IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY. SOME
SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE
OF DAYS AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AT 15 TO 20 MPH.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

PUBLIC ADVISORIES ON CINDY ARE ISSUED UNDER WMO HEADER WTNT33 KNHC
AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCPAT3. FORECAST/ADVISORIES ON CINDY ARE
ISSUED UNDER WMO HEADER WTNT23 KNHC AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER
MIATCMAT3.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN

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1. A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 750 MILES EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS
IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY. SOME
SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE
OF DAYS AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AT 15 TO 20 MPH.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
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Link

Interesting minimum surface pressure.
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Everyone's waiting with "Baited" breath.
By the way what did you "Bait" yours with today!!
LOL
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Im assuming everyones on the NHC site pressing F5 over and over...
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Shuttle Atlantis plasma trail photographed from the cupola window of ISS:


STS-135 Shuttle Mission Imagery

ISS028-E-018214 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.
Link


That's a unique and amazing image. Never saw that before (and won't again, I imagine).

Speaking of the shuttle, here's audio of this morning's double sonic boom from Naples as the machine entered U.S. airspace for the last time ever.

Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
I just made a great deal on "yellow circle at 2".
This is another one for the retirement fund.
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212. unf97
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Nah, I think the southern part of the wave will enter the Caribbean and not develop. The one that we need to watch is the northern part, which should head into the Bahamas region. From there, if it does develop, it could do a couple of things:

1.) Come in behind the trough and move over Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

2.) Get caught up in the trough and go out to sea.

3.) Get caught up in the trough for a while, then get forced westward due to the building ridge (NOGAPS solution).

Development still isn't a guarantee, but we have to watch the wave closely, because those SST's are a big problem.



Look at the warm SSTs in and around the Bahamas. If the upper atmospheric conditions are conducive for development by the time the tropical wave nears this region next week, it could be really ripe for significant cyclogenesis for sure!
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Taking their time on this 2pm update...
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:



Link


I never thought the NHC had any sense of humor but that just made me laugh XD.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Shuttle Atlantis plasma trail photographed from the cupola window of ISS:


STS-135 Shuttle Mission Imagery

ISS028-E-018214 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.
Link



really cool pic
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think Dora has peaked at 155 mph. Looking at satellite loops, the ring of convection in the eyewall of Dora has warmed a bit, and the eye looks to be becoming a little more ragged and unclear.



Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think Dora has peaked at 155 mph. Looking at satellite loops, the ring of convection in the eyewall of Dora has warmed a bit, and the eye looks to be becoming a little more ragged and unclear.



Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think Dora has peaked at 155 mph. Looking at satellite loops, the ring of convection in the eyewall of Dora has warmed a bit, and the eye looks to be becoming a little more ragged and unclear.





yes,it looks that way. nice storm, ramped up pretty quickly, and now it's going to sleep with the fish unless the reliable are incorrect and it pays cabo a visit ans washes their streets.
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NHC won't upgrade Dora. 155 mph is just their last conservative effort to try to avoid upgrading a storm to category 5. They did this last year with Igor and with the Pacific's Jimena in 2009.
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Quoting largeeyes:
I saw the dora explores comment here, but not on NHC website. I'm beginning to think it was another fake.



Link
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Shuttle Atlantis plasma trail photographed from the cupola window of ISS:



What a great shot.
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ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
3. ADDITIONAL DAY OUTLOOK: POSSIBLE LOW
LEVEL INVEST AT 24/1800Z NEAR 21.0N 69.0W.

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Shuttle Atlantis plasma trail photographed from the cupola window of ISS:


STS-135 Shuttle Mission Imagery

ISS028-E-018214 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.
Link

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I don't think the NHC will put a yellow circle on our tropical wave until tomorrow morning. We will see, I wouldn't be totally surprised if they did it today.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
12N/52W yellow circle at 2pm est.?


Highly unlikely IMO.
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Tropical Storm Cindy is becoming extra-tropical, but it has strengthening some over the past few hours. Have had a distinct eye-feature for several hours now.



Tropical Storm Bret is probably dead...It has tried and tried to get its act together despite being in an unfavorable environment, but it just isn't working. We may have had a totally different situation had conditions been favorable...probably the first hurricane of the season.

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the pouch is entering a climatology favorable area last wk in july john hope always mentioned that.
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4317
I saw the dora explores comment here, but not on NHC website. I'm beginning to think it was another fake.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
12N/52W yellow circle at 2pm est.?
i watching just alittle ne of there the yellow part of the ir seems to be moving wnw now 2pm yellow for 48 hrs
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4317
Quoting kshipre1:
thanks! how much stock do you put in the NOGAPS solution? Is that one of the more reliable models?


It's not the most unreliable model, but its not the most reliable one either.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Nah, I think the southern part of the wave will enter the Caribbean and not develop. The one that we need to watch is the northern part, which should head into the Bahamas region. From there, if it does develop, it could do a couple of things:

1.) Come in behind the trough and move over Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

2.) Get caught up in the trough and go out to sea.

3.) Get caught up in the trough for a while, then get forced westward due to the building ridge (NOGAPS solution).

Development still isn't a guarantee, but we have to watch the wave closely.


Good analysis...
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thanks! how much stock do you put in the NOGAPS solution? Is that one of the more reliable models?
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12N/52W yellow circle at 2pm est.?
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Quoting kshipre1:
so does this mean if the southern part of the two systems continues west underneath the strong ridge, that Florida could potentially get something out of it?

I know it is way too early to ask even though the system has not formed yet


Nah, I think the southern part of the wave will enter the Caribbean and not develop. The one that we need to watch is the northern part, which should head into the Bahamas region. From there, if it does develop, it could do a couple of things:

1.) Come in behind the trough and move over Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

2.) Get caught up in the trough and go out to sea.

3.) Get caught up in the trough for a while, then get forced westward due to the building ridge (NOGAPS solution).

Development still isn't a guarantee, but we have to watch the wave closely, because those SST's are a big problem.

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Quoting nymore:
Minnemike- Paul Douglas mentioned it in the trib it was from an AWOS station but here is a link from the NWS that seems to discredit it Link
you mean my FB friends dropped the ball on this one??! :P
stopped following Paul's column some time ago, but good to know he's still putting interesting tidbits out there :)
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so does this mean if the southern part of the two systems continues west underneath the strong ridge, that Florida could potentially get something out of it?

I know it is way too early to ask even though the system has not formed yet
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Quoting blsealevel:
Well I'm going to tell you Happy Birthday now incase we missout later due to evac.

Thank you!! :)

Quoting overwash12:South Carolina?

Yes

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:Wow, I think you've been on Wunderground longer than any other member I've seen on here.

Hah! Thanks - been obsessed with weather since I was a kid, but that kinda makes me feel old LOL!
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Quoting carolinabelle:
NOGAPS Link

Wow, if this is correct (which I know it's pretty far off and LOTS can happen), could have a pretty big storm (Don?) on our doorstep the day before my birthday! Not exactly how I planned to celebrate...


Wow, I think you've been on Wunderground longer than any other member I've seen on here.
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Quoting carolinabelle:
NOGAPS Link

Wow, if this is correct (which I know it's pretty far off and LOTS can happen), could have a pretty big storm (Don?) on our doorstep the day before my birthday! Not exactly how I planned to celebrate...
South Carolina?
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Tropical wave in the Atlantic has blocked for the moment, SAL flow from Africa.
SAL had been a significant TW inhibitor up to last week... CV season taking shape...

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Quoting carolinabelle:
NOGAPS Link

Wow, if this is correct (which I know it's pretty far off and LOTS can happen), could have a pretty big storm (Don?) on our doorstep the day before my birthday! Not exactly how I planned to celebrate...


Well I'm going to tell you Happy Birthday now incase we missout later due to evac.
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Quoting cloudburst2011:
carolinabelle i sure would not cancel anything yet lol ..you are going to very disappointed if you do...


No worries, just keeping a close eye ;)
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Appears the wave has split in two like Levi was saying, and the northern half looks to be the one to develop if anything forms.
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NOGAPS Link

Wow, if this is correct (which I know it's pretty far off and LOTS can happen), could have a pretty big storm (Don?) on our doorstep the day before my birthday! Not exactly how I planned to celebrate...
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Quoting jasonweatherman2011:
i do not like this tropical wave at all!

i likez itz lotz
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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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