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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Not to be an alarmist, but anyone in the Lesser Antilles, the U.S Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispanola, should start to stock up on supplies, etc... as models suggest that PG17L will be affecting the areas aforementioned in 3-5 days.

(Lesser Antilles in 3 days, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands in 4 days, and Hispaola in 5 days, roughly).
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Quoting WxLogic:
@216HR Looks like this time it likes to visit the Tampa area:

No thank you!
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The Great Tampa Bay Hurricane!


Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
somebody post the hours (216+) between tampa and dc, the carolinas part
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Like I said earlier today way before this massive burst of convection. I noticed fernanda was really tightening up about 16 hours ago, and now dmax is really doing it some good! watch out Hawaii... Hurricane by 5 or 8am EST?!

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Quoting BahaHurican:
You know, Pulse, we were talking about this potential setup back in JUNE....



Yes indeed. I was waiting for that NAO to go positive, truly in a neutral atmosphere now. Lingering La Ninaish to date.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5045
Quoting angiest:


That track probably gives Tampa significant surge. Landfall looked to be in the eastern Panhandle, in an area where geography looks to support a high surge as well, but I don't know enough about the region.


That model 00z, has it make landfall at the Keys. I think the next run 06, will have it move a little further west, and then curve back towards central or No. FL as a stronger storm, (since it won't travel up or near the spine of FL) And then of course, by Friday, it will have it have it tracking on the east side of FL. again. Back and forth until 3 days out.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1547
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


I'll give you 2 to 1 that if a cyclone develops it doesn't hit within 200 miles of where the models have it landfalling now.


I said anywhere from FL to SC have to watch this.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23641
2202. ncstorm
Quoting WxLogic:


Guaranteed evacuation if such a track/strength pans out.


to where? Georgia? the storm engulfs Florida
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2201. WxLogic
Quoting 34chip:
Guys am in Key West. I DISLIKE!!!!


Guaranteed evacuation if such a track/strength pans out.
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You know, Pulse, we were talking about this potential setup back in JUNE....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21643
Quoting CybrTeddy:
FWIW, I do not recall a single occasion last year where the majority of the computer models consistently develop a tropical cyclone and strike the same state for several model cycles for 36+ hours, even if its long range. This is indeed not a good pattern that is setting up. That's not to say it will happen - indeed we could still not see a storm out of this at all, but the way things are setting up if there's a storm in the region, like the models are showing, FL to SC have to watch it closely.


I'll give you 2 to 1 that if a cyclone develops it doesn't hit within 200 miles of where the models have it landfalling now.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
2198. gugi182
If the new African wave develops watching the GFS Models I'm putting this wave south of Puerto Rico or on the extreme south west coast of the island about Monday night or Tuesday morning.
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When was the last time we saw an actual track like that up the edge of the East Coast? Agnes 72? Donna?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21643
2196. 34chip
Guys am in Key West. I DISLIKE!!!!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
FWIW, I do not recall a single occasion last year where the majority of the computer models consistently develop a tropical cyclone and strike the same state for several model cycles for 36+ hours, even if its long range. This is indeed not a good pattern that is setting up. That's not to say it will happen - indeed we could still not see a storm out of this at all, but the way things are setting up if there's a storm in the region, like the models are showing, FL to SC have to watch it closely.



This is deep layer steering being modeled and why your seeing the consistency, there is nowhere else for it to go. It's all going to depend on where the western edge of the B/A high is and how strong the storm is at that point.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5045
Aren't the other models also running? Where are they?
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Quoting dfwstormwatch:

Philadelphia, Boston, NYC all get slammed @ 276 hours


I wonder if Obama is getting briefed by his weather czar
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Nice pouch.

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If this system developes and takes the track the GFS is currently showing it could impact a large length of the east coast.kinda reminds me of Floyd of 1999
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2190. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting MississippiWx:


93L is currently on life support.
clear!!!
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Philadelphia, Boston, NYC all get slammed @ 276 hours
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
FWIW, I do not recall a single occasion last year where the majority of the computer models consistently develop a tropical cyclone and strike the same state for several model cycles for 36+ hours, even if its long range. This is indeed not a good pattern that is setting up. That's not to say it will happen - indeed we could still not see a storm out of this at all, but the way things are setting up if there's a storm in the region, like the models are showing, FL to SC have to watch it closely.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23641
2187. gugi182
I guess residents in the following areas should monitor the new African wave that at 8pm had a 10%. Residents of Florida, Cuba, Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, US and British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts & Nevis and other northern islands should monitor this system for further development in case there is any off this system.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


93L is currently on life support.

absolutly not its just sick abit just need it D-Max drugs
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dc's got more to worry about then the economy @ 264 hours
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Quoting Levi32:


No, because it is little threat for development during the next 48 hours. It may be at least 60-72 hours before it starts to ramp up, once it's over warmer water and has a chance to mix out the dry air that is pinning it down at the moment.


Hi Levi, how do you see this wave affecting the Islands?,,,,,,,,,,Barbados being the one I live on.
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93L....where art thou? My tropical storm into the Yucatan prediction is looking a little to aggressive.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
2182. lennit
not to be mean, but Florida better hopes it tangles with Hispanola if not LOOK OUT
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2181. WxLogic
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Something to note on the 216 hour frame, look at how flat troughing is. Ridge over the western United States and a stretched out subtropical ridge. Nasty, nasty, nasty.



Those type of tracks tend to be slow and the Tropical system tests the W periphery of the High in an attempt to head NE to E (around it). If the High puts up a fight it could be a slow one.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Any sign of a CDO with 93L???


93L is currently on life support.
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@ 288 hours still a powerful system up in canada
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2178. Drakoen
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Something to note on the 216 hour frame, look at how flat troughing is. Ridge over the western United States and a stretched out subtropical ridge. Nasty, nasty, nasty.



Indeed. A pattern conducive to increased risk to the United States.
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2177. angiest
Quoting WxLogic:
@216HR Looks like this time it likes to visit the Tampa area:



That track probably gives Tampa significant surge. Landfall looked to be in the eastern Panhandle, in an area where geography looks to support a high surge as well, but I don't know enough about the region.
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Link
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2175. ncstorm
that is a bad run..most of the east coast is on the NE Quadrant side..
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Any sign of a CDO with 93L???
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21643
Something to note on the 216 hour frame, look at how flat troughing is. Ridge over the western United States and a stretched out subtropical ridge. Nasty, nasty, nasty.

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Well, there you have it. One more consistent 8 day run run, GFS 00z , just a little farther west as it strike so fl. This time, keeps it over FL longer, thus weakens it a bit. The next run may move it a little further west and then turn it back toward central FL as a strong storm.

Check again in the morning. But 10 or 11 runs within a 100 miles or less of each other. I think the GFS model is convinced. We shall see, 8 days from now.
Of course, I know, it still 8 day out and has not even been assigned. But still.

Link
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1547
2171. WxLogic
@216HR Looks like this time it likes to visit the Tampa area:

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I can't wait to see 93L at D-Max
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2169. JRRP
Quoting WxLogic:


Definitely... I've been amazed so far at its consistency, with now CMC/UKM not too far behind it.

+1
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Quoting Levi32:
The GFS is exhibiting extraordinary consistency in the last several runs, something we do not see with this model very often with a system that is not yet developed.


Levi have you seen this before with models in the past.
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216 hours.

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$100 bucks says that once PG17L develops the GFS will drop it, lol, $100 bucks.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5045
2165. WxLogic
Quoting Levi32:
The GFS is exhibiting extraordinary consistency in the last several runs, something we do not see with this model very often with a system that is not yet developed.


Definitely... I've been amazed so far at its consistency, with now CMC/UKM not too far behind it.
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2164. Levi32
Quoting stormhank:
anyone feel the NHC will go to their orange circle tomm over the disturbance in atlantic??


No, because it is little threat for development during the next 48 hours. It may be at least 60-72 hours before it starts to ramp up, once it's over warmer water and has a chance to mix out the dry air that is pinning it down at the moment.
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2163. ncstorm
well I sense a plane ticket is being booked to Miami first class..Jim Cantore------->Miami..
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2162. angiest
Extreme Eastern Gulf:

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enormous hurricane @ 192 hours
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2160. WxLogic
@192HR quite a powerful system the FL Straights region:

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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.