Texas heat wave smashes more records; 93L more organized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:26 PM GMT on August 17, 2011

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Texas' Texas-sized drought and heat wave is setting new records, as August temperatures regularly topping 100° continue to impact most of the state. The high temperature hit 102° at the Houston Intercontinental Airport yesterday, a record for the date, and the 16th consecutive day of 100°+ heat. The 16-day streak is a new record. The previous record was 14 straight days, ending on July 19, 1980.

The low temperature yesterday morning at Dallas/Fort Worth International was 86°--the all-time highest minimum temperature recorded there. This is the 4th time this summer Dallas has had an 86° minimum temperature, with the other dates being July 26, August 3, and August 4. Prior to this year, the hottest minimum temperature ever recorded in Dallas was 85° on September 1, 1939 (which they also matched this summer on July 25, August 7, and again this morning.) Thus Dallas has matched or exceeded their all-time hottest minimum temperature from previous years seven times this year. It's extremely rare for a station with a long observation history spanning more than fifty years to break an all-time record seven times in one year; if anyone can find an example of this in the past, I'd love to hear about it. The National Climatic Data Center records page is a good place to look. Dallas has had 40 days with a minimum temperature of 80° or higher this year, breaking the previous record of 39 days, set in 1998. Dallas had a streak of 40 straight days with a maximum temperature above 100° which ended August 10, good for 2nd place all-time, next to a 42-day streak in 1980.


Figure 1. The amount of rain needed to break the Texas drought is in excess of 15 inches (purple colors) over most of the state. This year's drought is officially Texas' worst one-year drought on record. Image credit: NOAA/NWS.

According to the National Climatic Data Center, twelve other major airports set or tied their all-time high minimum temperature two or more times this summer: San Angelo, TX (four times); Lake Charles, LA (three times); Bristol, TN; Indianapolis, IN; Trenton, NJ; Newark, NJ; West Palm Beach, FL; Shreveport, LA; Beckley, WV; Texarkana, AR; Lake Charles, LA; Lubbock, TX; plus, Fort Worth Meacham Field. This year's total of fourteen airports that broke their all-time high minimum temperature multiple times this summer is similar to last year's total of ten sites. Most notable last year was West Palm Beach, Florida, which tied it's all-time high minimum temperature of 83° five times in 2010.

Fifteen major airports have tied or broken their all-time highest temperature multiple times this summer: Tyler, TX (three times); Tallahassee, FL (three times); Fort Smith, AR; Harrison, AR; Tulsa, OK; McAlester, OK; Longview, TX; and Oklahoma City, OK, Ypsilanti, MI; Altoona, PA; Dubois, PA; Salisbury, MD; Raton, NM; Amarillo, TX; and Dalhart, TX. For comparison, only three stations broke their all-time maximum temperature record multiple times in 2010: Wilmington, DE; Norfolk, VA; and Richmond, VA.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 93L.

Caribbean disturbance 93L
A westward-moving tropical wave in the Central Caribbean a few hundred miles south of Hispaniola, Invest 93L, has increased in organization overnight, building up a modest amount of heavy thunderstorms. Low-level spiral bands have begun to form on all sides of the storm this morning. There are currently no signs of a surface circulation, though there is plenty of large-scale rotation apparent on satellite imagery. Dry air surrounds 93L and has infiltrated the center of the disturbance, giving 93L a doughnut-like appearance. However, the disturbance is steadily moistening its environment and is under low wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, so this dry air should gradually mix out today and allow 93L to continue to organize. There is a hurricane hunter mission scheduled for this afternoon at 2pm EDT to see if a tropical depression is forming.

93L will bring heavy rain showers to southern Haiti this afternoon and to Jamaica tonight. By Thursday, 93L's forward motion will slow to 10 - 15 mph, and the storm will bring heavy rains to Northern Honduras and Northeast Nicaragua. These rains will spread to Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Saturday. The latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear remaining in the low range and the atmosphere steadily moistening as 93L enters the Western Caribbean on Thursday. All of the models agree that the ridge of high pressure steering 93L to the west will remain strong, forcing the storm into a landfall Friday in Northeast Nicaragua or Northeast Honduras. It is possible that 93L will have time to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane before then, though landfall as a tropical storm would be more likely, given the dry air that 93L needs to overcome. Regardless of development, the storm will bring very heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches or more to Nicaragua and Honduras. These rains are likely to cause dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. NHC gave 93L a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday morning in their 8am outlook; I'd put these odds at 50% now, given the continued increase in organization seen on satellite images.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of the tropical wave 500 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave near 14°N 34°W, about 500 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, is moving westward near 15 - 20 mph. This wave has little heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it due to dry air, but an impressive amount of large-scale spin is obvious in visible satellite loops. This wave is expected to arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands by Saturday. Three of our four reliable models for predicting tropical storm genesis predict that this wave could develop into a tropical depression sometime Friday through Sunday. A west-northwest track through the Northeast Caribbean bringing the storm near Puerto Rico by Sunday or Monday is favored by most of the models.

Jeff Masters

Tanker Drop (anm8ed)
This fire destroyed 15 homes and burned about 30 acres. Was nothuge, but was in a populated area.
Tanker Drop
Jet Ski dock (BEENE)
Business is slow here this summer.
Jet Ski dock
The Marina (BEENE)
Lake Houston is dangerously low as well. They will be draining 12inches of water to ease the water shortage in Houston
The Marina

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Hi there, long time lurker here.

It's amazing that up till now, tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic basin had been mostly inhibited.

The situation seemed similar with 2010, where the synoptic pattern that lead to the deadly Russian heatwave suppressed tropical cyclone activity after hurricane Alex.

Could the same situation be happening with the current Texas drought?

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Experimental FIM

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2408. Levi32
Quoting KoritheMan:


Not to mention the potential for center reformations in such a scenario, which could throw off the track.


All details will become clear in time. Step 1 is still to get development somewhere west of 50W. Chances are if this system gets named at all, it will be trouble for somebody.

Goodnight all.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
2407. tj175
97L is way to far out right now to even fathom where it could go. I see some of the model runs but EVERYONE on here knows how they flip flop back and forth every few hours. We are literally talking about something a week or so away. By the end of the weekend is when everyone in the Southeast US should be paying close attention but for now we should just watch and not speculate where it is going to go.


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Quoting Gearsts:
Dude cant you see what im doing? Im trying something new. Im downcasting the twave to test a theory i have with this systems and me ;) Downcasting=It develops,Doomcasting=it goes poof until it reaches south of DR XD


My system is a bit different but foolproof. Have just spent 13k on a whole house generator system. I promise, no storms for FL for years to come, LOL.
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Very impressive pouch. The "Pouch Guy's" synopsis.

SYNOPSIS 2011081700

P17L
14N, 29W
700 hPa


ECMWF: Large, easily-tracked pouch. Steady intensity for three days, followed by intensification.

GFS: Consistent story: Weak pouch that gradually intensifies after three days. GFS continues to depict a secondary, temporary ITCZ pouch in the wake of P17L around Day 1.

UKMET: Large, distinct pouch that gradually intensifies after a couple days.

NOGAPS: OUTLIER! Immediately after the analysis, NOGAPS depicts two large OW maxima. For the first couple of days, the a pouch is depicted with the eastern, slower OW max. However, then two separate pouches are depicted. Due to the uncertainty as to which pouch I should track, I only assigned an analysis position.

HWRF-GEN: Smooth, generally westward track. Steady intensity for two days, followed by intensification.

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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
The "Big Three" seem to be in remarkably impressive consensus for this far out in time. It should be very interesting to see whether or not this consensus holds, or if this even develops. The fact that this will be traversing Hispaniola really makes me question this whole solution, since that has the potential to rip a weak system apart.


Not to mention the potential for center reformations in such a scenario, which could throw off the track.
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Looks like 93L is running out of real estate, imo it's toast! It looks like it will come ashore around the Nicaragua/Honduras border as a rainmaker.


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The "Big Three" seem to be in remarkably impressive consensus for this far out in time. It should be very interesting to see whether or not this consensus holds, or if this even develops. The fact that this will be traversing Hispaniola really makes me question this whole solution, since that has the potential to rip a weak system apart.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
No way...

Look at the 00z CMC

Quite the consensus. Very impressive.
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2400. Levi32
I see the 0z Euro is back with a hurricane. The big question is whether the 12z will be yet another flop lol.

The models' overall consistency and consensus during the last 2-3 days is a bit concerning, though. The pattern seems really locked in, but we will see. Folks should keep a very close eye on this system.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
2399. tj175
Ive read several articles about the Hoover Dike in Palm Beach and they all say that it's literally holding on by a thread. If we get a slow moving powerful storm there is gonna be a considerable amout of property and lives lost .
Quoting caneswatch:


I'm in Palm Beach County. No where in this county is safe. The Hoover Dike is this close to failing and they've projected the water from Lake O would reach what's called the "Western Communities," where I live, which is 10-20 miles inland, depending on where you live.
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93Ls model have shifted to the N


Quoting JLPR2:


I'll have to lightly disagree, it is true it isn't the most reliable source for surface winds but it isn't horrible either. A few weeks ago Emily's west winds weren't discernible, but a sharp trough was still visible. In this case there isn't much going on which makes me believe 93L hasn't reached the surface yet, but it could at any moment.


plus that was taken at 2:53Z and its now 6:15Z I this 93Ls COC should have worked it way down by now
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Quoting Chicklit:
There is a lot of SAL too, so that should help to put a damper on things.



Ironically, that is the very thing that concerns us most about pre 97L.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
ouch... scrapes the florida coast and plows into the GA/SC area as a Cat 4
yeah and the GFS has it going up the west coast, so now both models develop it, and foresee an US hit, and as time goes on this is becoming a reality, so in terms of the US anywhere from the eastern Gulf to the southeast coast is looking like fair game.
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No way...

Look at the 00z CMC

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There is a lot of SAL too, so that should help to put a damper on things.

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2393. JLPR2
Quoting Chicklit:


It got me up to check its progress in the wee hours of the morning. And then I checked Cape Verde and saw this:




Yep, it's another interesting wave, the spin is crossing the coast now.
Link
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Quoting JLPR2:


Yep, this one is dangerous. It's the first TW to conserve its spin after exiting Africa.
The other seemed to loose it, becoming mid-level features only to obtain a new one further down the road.


It got me up to check its progress in the wee hours of the morning. And then I checked Cape Verde and saw this:


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Cloud cover:


Precip:
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2390. JLPR2
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

I don't trust the SCATs cause they can only observe so much from a sattelite surface ob and HH obs are the way to go I think 93L has W winds not much but it does and so the circulation is open soon to close and help from D-Max should start to see big changes very very soon


I'll have to lightly disagree, it is true it isn't the most reliable source for surface winds but it isn't horrible either. A few weeks ago Emily's west winds weren't discernible, but a sharp trough was still visible. In this case there isn't much going on which makes me believe 93L hasn't reached the surface yet, but it could at any moment.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
957mb landfall

A strong system too! Wouldn't doubt that if it hits the Gulf Stream.
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180 hours

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957mb landfall

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Quoting JLPR2:
Well this is actually surprising, was expecting at least one west wind barb. XD

I don't trust the SCATs cause they can only observe so much from a sattelite surface ob and HH obs are the way to go I think 93L has W winds not much but it does and so the circulation is open soon to close and help from D-Max should start to see big changes very very soon
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2382. Gearsts
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Can't tell if the system made landfall at 222 hours. Way too many isobars.

This has to be one of the most intense runs of the new ECMWF since Fiona of last year.

216

Next run it will drop it but and interesting thing is that it hasnt drop the TS west of the Cape verde islands.Oo
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2381. JLPR2
I'm surprised to see the EURO adjusting to what the GFS is predicting, instead of the other way around.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
next run will show an open wave lol


Wouldn't doubt it one bit.

Impressive that OSCAT shows that PG17L has a better circulation than 93L.
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2378. Gearsts
POOF!
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Can't tell if the system made landfall at 222 hours. Way too many isobars.

This has to be one of the most intense runs of the new ECMWF since Fiona of last year.

216

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2376. JLPR2
Quoting Gearsts:
Dude cant you see what im doing? Im trying something new. Im downcasting the twave to test a theory i have with this systems and me ;) Downcasting=It develops,Doomcasting=it goes poof until it reaches south of DR XD


Doing the opposite has worked for me. xD
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2375. JLPR2
Well this is actually surprising, was expecting at least one west wind barb. XD
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2374. Gearsts
Quoting JLPR2:


Emily was lacking a closed LLC. Neither Don or Emily are similar to this one.

92L had a nice circulation but it dissipated and I never saw proof of 93L's LLC while in the CATL.
Dude cant you see what im doing? Im trying something new. Im downcasting the twave to test a theory i have with this systems and me ;) Downcasting=It develops,Doomcasting=it goes poof until it reaches south of DR XD
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Pulls a "Das Boom" at 210 hours. Very intense system.

192

969mbs

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192 hours. Major hurricane.

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2371. JLPR2
Quoting Gearsts:
Well thats true, it will probably get tag today cause is getting close to 40w and waters will get warmer as pre 97L keeps moving west.


Yep, this one is dangerous. It's the first TW to conserve its spin after exiting Africa.
The other seemed to loose it, becoming mid-level features only to obtain a new one further down the road.
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168

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2368. Gearsts
Quoting JLPR2:


Having an invest would make life easier for us, we would get a floater and model runs. We are always looking forward to those. :D

But these large CV spins take awhile to dissipate and it should hit more favorable conditions in a day or two so why not waste an invest number? They did on 96L. XD
Well thats true, it will probably get tag today cause is getting close to 40w and waters will get warmer as pre 97L keeps moving west.
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Quoting weatherman12345:
stormchaser link?


Paid site
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Very strong system just east of "Home" by 198.

156:

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2364. JLPR2
Quoting Gearsts:
Emely was the same.


Emily was lacking a closed LLC. Neither Don or Emily are similar to this one.

92L had a nice circulation but it dissipated and I never saw proof of 93L's LLC while in the CATL.
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Intense system east of SEFL by 192.

Heading WNW/NW
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2361. JLPR2
Quoting Gearsts:
Well theres stil time to watch it, they are not making the same mistake they did with 93L when it got tag south of the cape verde islands and then went poof for a couple of days and got deactivated. I will be concern when we have atleast a TD :)


Having an invest would make life easier for us, we would get a floater and model runs. We are always looking forward to those. :D

But these large CV spins take awhile to dissipate and it should hit more favorable conditions in a day or two so why not waste an invest number? They did on 96L. XD
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Nasty looking pattern setting up on the ECMWF. Have't seen that in years.


Impressive system by 180 slowly moving through the Bahamas.
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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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