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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Good morning, everyone. I see the blog mossik is at it again. I learned that word as a kid growing up. It just seems to fit. No quote box and reading is messed up. Another hot day here.
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Quoting Levi32:


Rainfall would be great. However, it should still be watched for potential development in close, as the Caribbean islands are never a 100% stop on these systems. We have seen more than our fair share that transverse just about every island in the chain and still develop. That said, overall chances don't look all that great for now.


Agreed that we still have to watch it, but even it closes off and becomes a depression or weak tropical storm, that doesn't change the sensible weather that the system produces. It doesn't know that it's a depression or storm. It will still produce beneficial rains and some gusty conditions within the squalls.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


It doesn't look like it will get in the Bahamas, looks like according to the majority of the models it will die over Hispaniola.
What do you mean "die?" You can lose a circulation, but a plume of moisture never just disappears.
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Quoting Levi32:


Rainfall would be great. However, it should still be watched for potential development in close, as the Caribbean islands are never a 100% stop on these systems. We have seen more than our fair share that transverse just about every island in the chain and still develop. That said, overall chances don't look all that great for now.


true and if we can recall tropical storm fay developed right before the greater Antilles and maintained its intensity and even intensified
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Morning everybody...

I see our wave has been raised to 20%. I that a TUTT I see to its NW??
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Quoting aspectre:
Where's the dry air that folks have been saying would stop 90L from developing?
Looking at the photos, everything somewhat nearby in front of or immediately to the side of its direction of travel has at least partial cloud cover with only short breaks of clear air.


Dark areas represent dry air, moving along with the wave..

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1169. 7544
Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, July 22nd, with Video


thanks levi32 great info time to kkep close watch on these buggers
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
Quoting aspectre:
Dumb question but where the heck is the dry air that folks have been saying would stop 90L from developing?
Looking at the photos, everything nearby in front of its direction of travel has at least partial cloud cover with only short breaks of clear air.

Dry air......

Click for loop
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Yea Cloud Storm Top Lenny.Fizziling away like Pat and I's po-boys lol.So according to you unless its homebrew Your home town of No.Well Cloud Top see you at Pat O's after the games this year.
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 709
1165. Levi32
Quoting Chucktown:


I agree 100%, way too much land interaction with the islands. This will be nothing more than a gusty/showery setup for those in its path. Isn't that what we want, minimal impact, helpful rainfall? Why are some on here upset that there will be no development as it approaches populated areas?


Rainfall would be great. However, it should still be watched for potential development in close, as the Caribbean islands are never a 100% stop on these systems. We have seen more than our fair share that transverse just about every island in the chain and still develop. That said, overall chances don't look all that great for now.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
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1163. Grothar
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Where's the dry air that folks have been saying would stop 90L from developing?
Looking at the photos, everything somewhat nearby in front of or immediately to the side of its direction of travel has at least partial cloud cover with only short breaks of clear air.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
IMO 90L probably wont develop.


I agree 100%, way too much land interaction with the islands. This will be nothing more than a gusty/showery setup for those in its path. Isn't that what we want, minimal impact, helpful rainfall? Why are some on here upset that there will be no development as it approaches populated areas?
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90l's biggest problem oraginizing looks like itll be interaction with land,it needs to choose to go north or south of pr,hispainola and cuba,south bound tc has the best chance of development and making it into the gom
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1158. ncstorm


HPC Low Pressures Map..shows the tropical wave over S Fl in 7 days
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
1156. ncstorm
Accuweather..

The strong tropical wave that rolled off of the African coast to start the week will face difficulties developing into the weekend due to the prevailing high pressure to the north.

Even so, the wave may produce a pulse of showers and thunderstorms over the Antilles this weekend. The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico could be affected by localized downpours Saturday. Later in the weekend, the activity could affect Hispaniola.

"There may be a better chance of tropical development over the southwestern Caribbean into the Eastern Pacific, west of Panama, during the first part of next week," Kottlowski said.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Dora is packing a punch off the coast of southwestern Mexico. Dora will impact coastal/resort communities in the region with high winds and heavy surf. Rogue waves may propagate outward hundreds of miles from the center of this powerful hurricane.

There is also a slight chance of a slow-brewing, weak tropical system coming out of a zone of showers and thunderstorms next week in the vicinity of the Carolina coast. A front will stall in this area. However, it again seems wind shear would prevent explosive development.

We would like to remind folks that it is still very early in the tropical season, and the traditional favored time for multiple, powerful hurricanes in the Atlantic lies ahead in August and September.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Quoting 7544:
ngps has it going over fla and looks what behind it .Link


System to NE of PR in 144hrs.
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1153. Levi32
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Friday, July 22nd, with Video
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
We should see some moderate organization of this system while moving over the Bahamas. Whether or not it will make it to a depression before interaction with Fl is iffy.


It doesn't look like it will get in the Bahamas, looks like according to the majority of the models it will die over Hispaniola.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24576
Almost here..

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It looks like 90L is paving the way for CV season.
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1148. 7544
ngps has it going over fla and looks what behind it .Link
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
Quoting tatoprweather:


Any early thougths about pre 91L near 30W.?


This isn't much help:

AN ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 14N26W 11N27W 7N27W. WIDELY SCATTERED TO SCATTERED MODERATE RAINSHOWERS AND ISOLATED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ARE FROM 10N TO 13N BETWEEN 24W AND 31W.

AN ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 18N52W 13N54W 9N54W. WIDELY SCATTERED TO SCATTERED MODERATE RAINSHOWERS AND ISOLATED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ARE FROM 11N TO 20N BETWEEN 50W AND 60W.

Shear Map Below


850 Vorticity
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We should see some moderate organization of this system while moving over the Bahamas. Whether or not it will make it to a depression before interaction with Fl is iffy.
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Quoting tatoprweather:


Any early thougths about pre 91L near 30W.?

IMO, this is the Twave that needs to be watched. 90L wont amount to much unless it fires up soon.
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LinkLoop



no floater on 90L yet
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Quoting jasonweatherman2011:
invest 90L NEED TO BE WATCH IF IT HITS VERY WARM WATER TEMP AROUND 88F WATCH OUT!!


Any early thougths about pre 91L near 30W.?
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IMO 90L probably wont develop.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24576
1140. 7544
morning we have 90l now some models take it south of fla but should end up further north as the bam could be right . imo its moving preety fast tho soit does not have a lot of time unless it slows down

looks like we also may get 91l soon these two would have to be watch jason will be very busy soon tracking have a good day
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
1112 ncstorm "...except for floyd when they thought that was going to be category 4...we put duct tape in the form of a X on our windows to keep them from shattering."

Could nail a horseshoe above your doorway. Works just as well at preventing windows from shattering.
Duct tape won't prevent a blow out... and will hold only a small fraction of the pieces caused by a strike, unless ya totally cut off your view of the outside world.
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NCEP/ETA Model Forecasts



Link
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Quoting jasonweatherman2011:
invest 90L NEED TO BE WATCH IF IT HITS VERY WARM WATER TEMP AROUND 88F WATCH OUT!!

Friday 22nd July

Sunday 24th July.
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Good morning, simplifying matters:


TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT FRI JUL 22 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 805 MILES NORTHWEST OF THE AZORES. ADVISORIES ARE ALSO BEING ISSUED ON TROPICAL DEPRESSION BRET...LOCATED ABOUT 320 MILES NORTH-NORTHWEST OF BERMUDA.

1. A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 425 MILES EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING SCATTERED SHOWERS AND A FEW THUNDERSTORMS.

SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH.

THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...BRIEF PERIODS OF LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY WINDS COULD SPREAD ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE LESSER ANTILLES THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

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

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN



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mmmmm what's this the ECMWF picking up for next weekend???
Saturday July 30.

Sunday July 31.
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Climo is always a good guide. While not out of the question, the chances of it making FL in July are on the low side.

I should clarify to FL east coast. NFL gulf coast is a risk in July.


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Quoting DestinJeff:
post 1041 is jacking up the view I think. Can't get to the minus button to hide it.

All fine here Mate!
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1125. WxLogic
Good Morning...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038

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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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