Globe's 7th warmest July; remarkable heat in Asia; little change to 93L

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:34 PM GMT on August 16, 2011

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July 2011 was the globe's 7th warmest July on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated July the 3rd warmest on record. July 2011 global land temperatures were the 5th warmest on record, and ocean temperatures were the 11th warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 6th or 3rd warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). Arctic sea ice in July was the lowest on record, going back to 1979.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for July 2011. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Remarkable heat in Asia
For the second consecutive summer, some of the hottest temperatures in Earth's recorded history have scorched Asia. The six hottest (undisputed) temperatures ever measured in Asia have all occurred in during the past two summers:

1) 53.5°C (128.3°F) at Moenjodaro, Pakistan on May 26, 2010
2) 53.3°C (127.9°F) at Mitrabah, Kuwait on August 3, 2011
3) 53.1°C (127.6°F) at Sulaibiya, Kuwait on June 15, 2010
4) 53.0°C (127.4°F) at Tallil, Iraq on August 3, 2011
4) 53.0°C (127.4°F) at Dehloran, Iran on July 28, 2011
4) 53.0°C (127.4°F) at Sibi, Pakistan, on May 26, 2010


Asia's official all-time hottest temperature is 54°C measured at Tirat Zvi, Israel on June 21, 1942. However, as explained by our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, this record is under serious dispute. Weather records researchers Howard Rainford and Maximiliano Herrera discovered that the thermograph trace of the record had been mis-read as one degree higher than it actually was, and there were other irregularities with the data. Also, a temperature in excess of 54°C was measured in Mitribah, Kuwait in July 2010, but the temperature sensor was found to be faulty.

Last year, twenty nations set all-time heat records. So far this year, there have been six such records set:

Kuwait recorded its hottest temperature on record on August 3, 2011, when the mercury hit 53.3°C (127.0°F) at Mitrabah. The previous record was 53.1°C in Sulaibiya on June 15, 2010. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, who has been corresponding with representatives from the Kuwait Meteorological Center, the reading has been confirmed as authentic. The 53.3°C (127.0°F) at Mitrabah thus represents:

1) New official national record for Kuwait
2) Second highest (undisputed) temperature ever recorded in Asia
3) Highest temperature ever recorded in an Arabic country
4) Third hottest location in the planet together with Lake Havasu City, AZ (after Death Valley, CA and Moenjodaro, Pakistan)
5) A new world record for August

Iraq recorded its hottest temperature on record on August 3, 2011 in Tallil (Ali military airbase), when the mercury hit 53°C (127.4°F). The previous record was 52.3°C recorded at Diwanya FOB airbase a few days before.

Armenia recorded its hottest temperature on record on July 31 in Meghri, when the mercury hit 43.7°C (110.7°F). The previous record was 43.1°C in Meghri on July 17, 2005.

Iran recorded its hottest temperature in its history on July 28, 2011, when the mercury hit 53°C (127.4°F) at Dehloran. The previous previous record was set just one day earlier at Omidieh and Shoshtar, when the mercury hit 52.6°C (126.6°F).

Republic of the Congo set a new all-time extreme heat record on March 8, 2011, when the temperature hit 39.2°C (102.6°F) at M'Pouya. Congo's previous all-time hottest temperature was 39.0°C (102.2°F) at Impfondo on May 14, 2005.

Special mention:
Russia had its hottest temperature on record at a regular synoptic reporting station on July 30, 2011, when the mercury hit 44.3°C (111.7°F) at Divnoe in Russia's Kalmykia Republic. Three hotter temperatures have been recorded at automated stations: 45.4°C in 2010 at a hydrological station at Utta, plus readings of 45°C at El'ton and 44.5°C at Verhjnky Baskunkak in August 1940.

No nations have set an all-time coldest temperature record this year, or did so in 2010.

Weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera is the primary source of the weather records listed here; he maintains a comprehensive list of extreme temperature records for every nation in the world on his website.

Gert misses Bermuda
Tropical Storm Gert brushed by Bermuda yesterday, bringing one brief rain shower and top winds of just 21 mph to the Bermuda Airport. Gert is headed northeastwards out to sea over colder waters, and does not have long to live. Gert is the 7th consecutive named storm in the Atlantic that has not reached hurricane strength. This is the first time that has occurred since record keeping began in 1851. However, it is quite possible such an event occurred before we had satellites to identify weak tropical storms that stayed out to sea. The previous record was six consecutive tropical storms without a hurricane, set most recently in 2002. While ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic have been very warm, ranking as the 3rd warmest on record during July, the atmosphere has been more stable and drier than usual, making it difficult for this year's storms to attain hurricane strength.


Figure 2. True color MODIS image taken from NASA's Aqua satellite of Tropical Storm Gert at 17:40 UTC on Monday, August 14, 2011. At the time, Gert was near peak strength, as a 60 mph tropical storm. Image credit: NASA.

Caribbean disturbance 93L
A large but disorganized tropical wave, (Invest 93L), is moving westwards at 15 - 20 mph over the eastern Caribbean Sea, a few hundred miles south of Puerto Rico. This wave has a modest amount of heavy thunderstorms and no signs of a surface circulation, though there is some large scale rotation apparent on satellite imagery. Dry air surrounds 93L, and is interfering with development. However, the disturbance is steadily moistening its environment and is under low wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, so it could begin to organize at any time. There is a hurricane hunter mission scheduled for this afternoon into 93L, but this mission will probably be cancelled given 93L's current lack of development.

93L will bring heavy rain showers to southern Haiti on Wednesday, and to Jamaica on Wednesday night. By Thursday, 93L's forward motion will slow to 10 - 15 mph, bringing heavy rains to Northern Honduras on Thursday and Friday, and Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Saturday. Some development of 93L is is likely beginning on Wednesday and Thursday in the Western Caribbean, as the latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear remaining in the low range and the atmosphere steadily moistening as 93L enters the Western Caribbean. However, a path too far south near the coast of Honduras may interfere with development, as predicted by the NOGAPS and GFS models, which dissipate 93L over northern Honduras. The best chances for development will probably occur early next week if 93L crosses the Yucatan Peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico, assuming the system survives the crossing intact and is not too far south, as predicted by the ECMWF and UKMET models. These models are currently predicting that the steering pattern early next week over the Gulf of Mexico will be similar to what we saw with Tropical Storm Arlene earlier this year, favoring a track towards Northeast Mexico. The HWRF model is predicting a more northerly track for 93L across Jamaica and the western tip of Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico, but this model develops 93L too quickly, unrealistically making it a hurricane by Thursday. The HWRF model thus predicts a deeper storm that would be steered farther to the north due to upper level winds with less of a straight east-to-west motion than a much weaker (and more realistic) 93L would go. Although it is risky to predict what might happen more than five days in advance, the odds of 93L making a U.S. landfall currently appear low, 20% or less. NHC gave 93L a 20% chance of development by Thursday morning in their 8am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook. These odds should probably be bumped up to 30% later today.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Invest 93L, taken at 7:45am EDT August 16, 2011. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa is moving westward near 15 - 20 mph, and is expected to arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands by Saturday. Both the GFS and UKMET models develop this wave into a tropical depression by Friday or Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting stormpetrol:
NHC doesn't seemed impressed with 93L, I was expecting at least 30%
They will be impressed in about 24/36 hours.
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someone (Levi...Grothar...anyone...) correct me if I'm wrong...Doesn't the GFS seem to be consistent in developing something long range....disregarding track, location, etc....but ...Isn't that sorta significant?
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120, 93L is ''Harvey'', 9XL undergoing cyclogenesis.
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Quoting Jamaicanewby:
forgive my ignorance trying, to keep up what is ECMWF


European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
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Quoting MississippiWx:


A -0.03in drop from one update to the next isn't too slow, especially when the possible surface feature has pulled away from that buoy's location.
That's what I was thinking. One reading isn't enough though. Let's see if it continues to fall.
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NHC doesn't seemed impressed with 93L, I was expecting at least 30%
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Very slowly, but yes.


A -0.03in drop from one update to the next isn't too slow, especially when the possible surface feature has pulled away from that buoy's location.
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Quoting Levi32:
12z ECMWF 96 hours:



hey Levi,

can you post the ensemble members after the 12Z run has completed..just to see the possibilities..
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forgive my ignorance trying, to keep up what is ECMWF
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12z ECMWF 96 hours:

Not as aggressive with 93L.

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Quoting Grothar:
How many days is 240 hours?



Read the date at the bottom LOL
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Quoting Grothar:
How many days is 240 hours?



In Greenwich time or Eastern?
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Nice storms over Central Africa

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Quoting Levi32:


I know...didn't expect the navy site to stop updating it, so I didn't even look at the date lol.


Lazy Navy.

Here, this illustrates your point very well:

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12z ECMWF has a very strong TW just east of the islands by 96 hours.

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12z ECMWF still likes 93L.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


That loop is almost a month old...lol.


I know...didn't expect the navy site to stop updating it, so I didn't even look at the date lol.
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Enough of the 100 MPH SUSTAIND WINDS on my home already! sheesh
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Quoting wayfaringstranger:


Levi - always enjoyed your blogs.

My experience with "the 4 weather models" is that usually one or two are too aggressive and the others are too conservative.

I just about have to wait till we are within a 5 to 7 day range window to determine what is going to happen....


your thoughts?



I suppose you could say that the CMC and GFS are overly aggressive while the ECMWF and UKMET are capable of being too conservative.
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seems as if all a sudden the euro is calling for gradual intensification with 93
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Quoting Levi32:
Ocean heat content in the Gulf of Mexico continues to increase.



That loop is almost a month old...lol.
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Pressure starting to fall at this buoy:

5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.03 in ( Falling )


Very slowly, but yes.
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Ms. weather not being nick picky but Pass Christian is part of the ms coast.The Ms.coast had a major hit 10 years after Camille it was Fredrick.Then 6 years later thier was elena.Fredrick was almost a teeter between a 4 and a 3.Went 3 wks without power after Fredrick.I live 20 miles east of Pass Christian.Elena was a major with 120mph wind made land fall in biloxi as a cat 3,15 miles from Pass Christian.It was 20 years from elena to katrina.
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Pressure starting to fall at this buoy:

5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.03 in ( Falling )


Correlates exactly with the area that looks to be developing a surface reflection...was waiting on that to happen.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:
ok...bouncin out for a bit...tooooo much to do and not enuf time to do it in...ttfn
Next time do the ahoohoohoo!
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Edit* Nevermind the images are old.
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So I guess the GFS has a sick sense of humor?

August 29th, huh?

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Quoting Grothar:
How many days is 240 hours?

Too D$%# soon!!
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518. wpb
recon flight on for 1700z today?
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Quoting Grothar:
How many days is 240 hours?



Quarter past DOOM according to that map!!! Yikes!
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Pressure starting to fall at this buoy:

5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.03 in ( Falling )
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Quoting Levi32:


That's because they still offer images every 15 minutes, but not as an animation. I wrote a script to create animations from frame databases that can be easily shared on blogs like this one.


Levi - always enjoyed your blogs.

My experience with "the 4 weather models" is that usually one or two are too aggressive and the others are too conservative.

I just about have to wait till we are within a 5 to 7 day range window to determine what is going to happen....


your thoughts?

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Quoting NASA101:


Levi:

Where do you get these fine loops from? Looks like it's from the Navy site but recently their animated loops have increased to 3 hours....yours seems much more shorter..!?


That's because they still offer images every 15 minutes, but not as an animation. I wrote a script to create animations from frame databases that can be easily shared on blogs like this one.
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What a tropical wave! Feels worse than Emily. lol
No rain as of yet here in Humacao (eastern Puerto Rico) but impressive winds for a TW. Guesstimation... 40mph gusts
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Quoting Levi32:


Levi:

Where do you get these fine loops from? Looks like it's from the Navy site but recently their animated loops have increased to 3 hours....yours seems much more shorter..!?
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.
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93L has a moderate chance of becoming Harvey in the next 2 days, strong inflow and good convergence.

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Quoting Grothar:
How many days is 240 hours?



10 days.
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How many days is 240 hours?

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507. HCW
Latest 93L model runs from the NHC :) Have a great day




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ok...bouncin out for a bit...tooooo much to do and not enuf time to do it in...ttfn
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.
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504. JLPR2
Not bad at all for a TW, very similar to what Emily brought (in terms of winds) to PR.

Speed / Dir 27.0 mph from ENE Wind Gust 38.0 mph
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Quoting Levi32:


Well I'm sure the NHC knows that with ECMWF lending its support, this system may mean business. The ECMWF has been so conservative all year that any development shown on it should be taken seriously.


I keep seeing signs that more activity is starting at the surface with 93L. The problem is that it's running away from the closest buoys. It would be nice to know what the pressure is doing in a couple of hours.
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Quoting FLdewey:


I've been through my fair share of hurricanes including losing my roof while I was home during Andrew. I have spent more time living off of generators eating Cheetos than most. I have also lived under a boil water order for weeks on end. when my supply ran out, rather than drinking tub water I drove 4 hours and made a supply purchase. Speaking form myself I'm not in Siberia. Even if I take a major hit I'm near 3 major city centers.

Lord almighty - worst case scenario you drive a whopping 100 miles to a less devastated area and get help or supplies. I am all about preparedness, but as usual this blog takes something as simple as stocking hurricane supplies to the udder extreme.

Speaking of Siberia... I wonder if they sell Soviet Cheetos?
Good afternoon all. FLdewey, I understand that not everyone is "out to sea" as we Islanders are but, when you have 150 miles of two lane road that is vulnerable because of 49 bridges, then you have to plan for the long haul of not having anyone to rescue you. I am sure that not everyone on a Caribbean Island evacuate. When Andrew hit South Florida, it brought down the communication lines to the Keys. Relatives heard on CNN that the Keys were wiped out. It took a tugboat sailing from Panama four days to arrive in Key West. They said they were asked to check it out to see if we needed help. Thank God we didn't.
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Quoting Levi32:


Well defined area of low level turning.
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Quoting Levi32:


stop that! that is part of the train that they want to hit the east coast! :P
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Quoting Levi32:


That's a very pronounced spin over Africa...
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498. jpsb
Quoting SAINTHURRIFAN:
Agree canehunter the 1900 galveston storm from what I sawon the history channel was a sad deal.All those little kids lost in that orphanage.


I doubt we will ever see a hurricane as destructive as the 1900 Galveston storm. That storm changed the history of Texas, Houston in 1900 was a back water town, Galveston was the largest city in Texas and growing by leaps and bounds. The 1900 hurricane changed all that, the Storm not only killed 6,000 - 9,000 people it killed Galveston future and created the city Houston. The Houston ship channel was built so that Texas could have a port city that could not be destroyed by hurricanes. Galveston tried to stay the premier city in Texas, it rebuilt itself, it built a 16 foot sea wall, it raised the island elevation by 10 feet all to no avail. Few were willing to risk the terrible destruction of another 1900 storm and Houston became and still is the number 1 port city of Texas. Galveston is pretty much just a tourist city now.
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12z ECMWF has started.
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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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