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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This is interesting.

NOUS42 KNHC 211500
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1100 AM EDT THU 21 JULY 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 22/1100Z TO 23/1100Z JULY 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-051

I. 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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
I'm afraid that is not the topic of this blog.

But the extraordinary and record-breaking heat wave is--and one can't honestly speak of this heat wave without mentioning the subject I mentioned in one brief sentence. However, if you still feel offended or upset, please feel free to report and ignore rather than clutter the forum with responses, as the rules suggest. Thanks!
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Quoting ncstorm:


well I wont be going to the beach in the near future..


We're going on Saturday or Sunday...But trust me, I'm not going any further out than what I can't see.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Yeah, I read your comment about it in the other blog...People should know, when there is one shark attack, there are bound to be others.


well I wont be going to the beach in the near future..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14462
cloudtop IE stormkat is an excellent forecaster actually, he just states writes his opinions on here in the exact opposite from what they truly are! In that sense, he is never wrong!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23573
Quoting ncstorm:


Hey..we made national news this morning..

Link


Yeah, I read your comment about it in the other blog...People should know, when there is one shark attack, there are bound to be others.
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Cloud Burst things sure changed a lot in 24 hrs in your opinion?Oh well patand I want our po-boy StormCloud Top lol.and hey you sure are on responsive on the blog now.You state your opinion and run lol.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
Cloud Burst things sure changed a lot in 24 hrs in your opinion?Oh well patand I want our po-boy StormCloud Top lol.and hey you sure are on responsive on the blog now.You state your opinion and run lol.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
Good Afternoon,

12Z NAM:


2 AOIs... first one being the one we already know which is P07L and the second one in the NE GOM.
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What's the chance of having Emily before the end of July?
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Quoting Minnemike:
well, it's Moorhead, not Morehead... so there one cause for question ;)
something tells me if those were official numbers, we would have heard about that locally..
A great many PWS sites have a poor dewpoint/humidity observation quality and tend to record anomalously high. Maybe it's one of those?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The tropical wave in the central Atlantic is starting to take on a better appearance. Will need to watch it over the coming days as it moves into the extreme NE Caribbean and into the Bahamas region. If we are to see development, I believe it probably won't be until after it is north of the Caribbean.



I think there is a moderate/high probability of seeing Don before the month of July closes.


Hey..we made national news this morning..

Link
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14462
Quoting Neapolitan:

Do you have a source for that dewpoint? That would be incredible...
well, it's Moorhead, not Morehead... so there's one cause for question ;)
something tells me if those were official numbers, we would have heard about that locally..
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Quoting Neapolitan:

The killer heat waves have indeed been a part of life in the Midwest for decades. But as the climate changes[snip]
I'm afraid that is not the topic of this blog.

When using Dr. Masters' blog, please refrain from posting material not relevant to the discussion of tropical weather, or the topic of the blog entry itself.
...
During active periods of hurricane season, these rules will be strictly enforced. Violations will be met with a minimum 24 hour ban.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
The NOGAPS is illustrating that the system could begin to curve out to sea before the ridge builds back in and forces the system into the Eastern Seaboard. Definitely a possible solution if we see something to develop.
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The tropical wave in the central Atlantic is starting to take on a better appearance. Will need to watch it over the coming days as it moves into the extreme NE Caribbean and into the Bahamas region. If we are to see development, I believe it probably won't be until after it is north of the Caribbean.



I think there is a moderate/high probability of seeing Don before the month of July closes.
I think you just might be right!
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Quoting floodzonenc:


Wow! Interesting look at the end of next week...


Look like fran all over again..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14462
The tropical wave in the central Atlantic is starting to take on a better appearance. Will need to watch it over the coming days as it moves into the extreme NE Caribbean and into the Bahamas region. If we are to see development, I believe it probably won't be until after it is north of the Caribbean.



I think there is a moderate/high probability of seeing Don before the month of July closes.
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Speaking of Franklin, today six years ago Tropical Storm Franklin was born. :P
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Quoting floodzonenc:


Wow! Interesting look at the end of next week...


Sheesh, yeah. You have an intense looking Don poised to hit SC, and Emily as a CV storm at about 33W at the end of the run. Actually, "Emily" might be "Franklin" depending on how strong the wave before it actually was at its peak.
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CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.1 / 994.6mb/ 47.0kt
Satellite estimates
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Quoting aspectre:
63 PurpleDrank "COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS Z:zulu time You'd be surprised how often I've heard the term zulu time. Hardly ever"

Z :: zulu
Ya also hardly ever hear "GMT time", "UTC time", "EDT time", "PST time"... I wonder why?
Folks are always saying stuff like "SI System", "ATM machine", "DOS operating system" "GNU Not Unix"...


LOL! OMG, FYI I know.

ok see you at 1300 Z

(1pm zulu time)
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Quoting emcf30:
The wave starting to look better


Current surface winds



Indeed
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The wave starting to look better


Current surface winds

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Quoting wolftribe2009:


The GFS is also showing something off the Carolinas in 144 hours

Link

I still think the GFS and NOGAPS are too late with developing the storm. The current look of the wave seems to insist that it will be a lot sooner.


I'm with you on that. If I am seeing this correctly, Looks like very little shear for the next 48 hrs
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000
NOUS42 KNHC 211500
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1100 AM EDT THU 21 JULY 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 22/1100Z TO 23/1100Z JULY 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-051

I. 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.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. HURRICANE DORA
FLIGHT ONE -- NOAA 43
A. 22/2000Z
B. NOAA3 0104E DORA
C. 22/1600Z
D. 19.8N 1110.0W
E. 22/1930Z TO 22/2230Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: FIX HURRICANE DORA
NEAR 21.5N 113.0W AT 24/0000Z.
JWP


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Quoting PcolaDan:


Payback for sending all that cold down to us in Florida last winter. LOL ;>)
yeah and we all know what they say abouts paybacks
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63 PurpleDrank "COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS Z:zulu time You'd be surprised how often I've heard the term 'zulu time'. Hardly ever"

Z :: zulu
Ya also hardly ever hear "GMT time", "UTC time", "EDT time", "PST time"... I wonder why? Folks are always saying stuff like "SI System", "ATM machine", "DOS operating system", "GNU Not Unix"...
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting PurpleDrank:


predicting the future is a funny business, eh?

have you ever seen a model of a massive coronal ejection slamming into Earth's magnetic field?

its pretty scarey


:)

NatGeo -- What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Weather warning for
City of Toronto continued

Extreme temperatures and humidex values expected today.

Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Thursday 21 July 2011
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 29.66 inches
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 4

Temperature: 94.8°F
Dewpoint: 75.6°F
Humidity: 54 %
Wind: W 22 mph
Humidex: 116


Payback for sending all that cold down to us in Florida last winter. LOL ;>)
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Quoting NCCANE:
nogaps 0600 run. shows development in the central atl and a storm approaching N and S carolina


The GFS is also showing something off the Carolinas in 144 hours

Link

I still think the GFS and NOGAPS are too late with developing the storm. The current look of the wave seems to insist that it will be a lot sooner.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
I do think that Don will come before August.
I think we will have dawn tomorrow as well...
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Weather warning for
City of Toronto continued

Extreme temperatures and humidex values expected today.

Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Thursday 21 July 2011
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 29.66 inches
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 15 miles
Air Quality Health Index: 4

Temperature: 94.8°F
Dewpoint: 75.6°F
Humidity: 54 %
Wind: W 22 mph
Humidex: 116
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PurpleDrank:


predicting the future is a funny business, eh?

have you ever seen a model of a massive coronal ejection slamming into Earth's magnetic field?

its pretty scarey


I would believe it would be scary. Computer Models love to show "storms" and than they just disappear on the model. A good example of this is "Bret" because the GFS was showing him forming as a "Low" than the low disappeared. A few days later we had Bret.

The same can be said of the wave in the CATL. The models showed the system dropping off but than reappearing. I say that you should trust your gut and know if the storm will develop or not. If you are not going to listen to the "unreliable" computer models than why have them in the first place?

This is what i do. I look at ALL the models and see what they ALL say. Than see which one I believe. I have honestly been thinking the ECMWf is right.
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nogaps 0600 run. shows development in the central atl and a storm approaching N and S carolina
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44 PurpleDrank "heat waves seem to occur a lot on this planet. hey, so do freezes. I'm starting to make the connections here."

Yep. And after being here for awhile, you'll even be able to tell the usual from the unusual almost as well as native Earthlings.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting PurpleDrank:
COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS

Z:zulu time


you'd be surprised how often I've heard the term zulu time.

hardly ever


That would be because you have never done anything useful, like serve your country.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Yep Cindy starting to become Extratropical clearly now on satellite.


Based on satellite derived cyclone phase state, barely holding on to warm core status




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Quoting PurpleDrank:
COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS

Z:zulu time


you'd be surprised how often I've heard the term zulu time.

hardly ever
friend best not start with me the outcome will not be in you're favour
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.