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

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
if any storm makes it to the gom in the coming weeks....... sst are off the charts and the shear for the area is non existent. great enviornment for hurricanes, just not to be living here at the moment
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2158. 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.
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Hmmm... think I'll stick around to see the 2 a.m.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
2156. WxLogic
This is the thing too... is that Tropical Systems tend to grow larger when they have just the right land interaction... example take IKE as it moved through Cuba and entered the GOM.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
anyone feel the NHC will go to their orange circle tomm over the disturbance in atlantic??
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Do I need to have a coin toss with my FL panhandle friends to see which one of us "might" get a visitor?
Gee, I need to have a tree cutdown in my yard; I think I may need to call somebody tomorrow..i
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Almost the exact same thing we saw in the 18z...a tad stronger here though and a tad further west. 204 hours:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting MississippiWx:
Interesting how the 850mb vort is almost gone with 93L. It's not really stacked with the 500mb vort either. The 850mb vort is getting caught in the low level flow and being pulled to the WSW. If 93L is going to develop a surface reflection, it's going to have to do it under the 500mb vort because the 850mb vort is going to run into Central America before it can do anything of significance.

850:



500mb:


yes maybe but the 925 vort says another thing it has a decent vort still just S of Jamaica right next the the blow up of convection near 16N 77.5W
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Quoting Mucinex:

Even us "CrimiNoles" couldn't dream up a situation like this one with Miami. If doesn't get the death penalty and Golden is able to turn this whole thing around, He will be my hero. Even though I am a Seminole.


I know someone who uses a "much different" nickname for the Noles. Butch Davis turned The U around in the late 90s into the 00s. I like what I'm seeing of Golden so far.

Now back to the tropics.
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Can I get a link to the twins? Admin is on the ball tonight [whoohoo!!!] and so I missed the video.

Nver mind.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
2149. WxLogic
@180HR... we have a cut off low in the Central CONUS and the W periphery of the Bermuda High weakening... so a NW to N movement should follow:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
2148. angiest


192 hours.
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If the GFS strengthens the ridge a tad more, this could get caught up on Hispaniola and Cuba.

Pretty much what the ECMWF is showing.
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174 hours out looks like everything from New Orleans eastwards is open for a direct hit
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 870
Quoting MississippiWx:


LOL...

Thanks for the special treatment, btw.


De nada, man! LOL
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Only hope around now is that the "mysterious forces" that have been with us so far will continue to be with us...

OTOH, a reemergence of MJO and a NAO flip-flop are not giving me the greatest hope here....


It might behoove you to be well and fully prepared...the elements seem to be coming together
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Quoting AllyBama:
Why do I get the feeling that this is a doom & gloom blog when we don't even have a storm?..lol.




Been thinking the same thing.
Btw how are you doing? Long time no see. Did you enjoy your snow this past winter? I have though i tore my hair out in the Christmas Day snowstorm lol.
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2142. WxLogic
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lifts out quickly. Basically hugging the Cuban coast through 180 hours.



lol... I believe it could become a cut off low and retrograde W some.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Evenin everyone, things are starting to heat up...or at least should be according to model synoptic runs and MJO forecasts. Not that we haven't been active, but as far as significant storms this season hasn't been too impressive yet. ACE reflects that.

Quoting MississippiWx:
Anomalies in the Atlantic continue to rise:

yea, gulf of guinea warming too
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2140. cwf1069
It looks to be going through the ne side between PR and DR. Lower mountain and less time over land can be the fact to not lose to much. Now it's 4 or 5 days to affect land. People on the caribean islands may begin to prepare as soon as tomorrow if the invest is declared.
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2139. WxLogic
@171HR Hugging the northern Cuba coast line:



This time the building high is a bit stronger to induce a more WNW track as per the 500MB shown before.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Quoting WxLogic:
@159HR would almost favor a left shift in the track, but notice the shortwave across the Central CONUS:

Lifts out quickly. Basically hugging the Cuban coast through 180 hours.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting BahaHurican:
Word.


Or else it smells like the the Everglades.
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174 mis que as well.....
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Interesting how the 850mb vort is almost gone with 93L. It's not really stacked with the 500mb vort either. The 850mb vort is getting caught in the low level flow and being pulled to the WSW. If 93L is going to develop a surface reflection, it's going to have to do it under the 500mb vort because the 850mb vort is going to run into Central America before it can do anything of significance.

850:



500mb:

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2134. angiest

Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Weaker trough on the 0z. Wouldn't be surprised if it heads into the Gulf this time. 7 days out:




Looks like you saw the same thing I did.
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2133. Mucinex
Quoting caneswatch:


It's unbelievably fishy. We just gotta wait and see.



We have plenty of nicknames for the Gators, and the Seminoles too haha.

Ok, back to the tropics.

Even us "CrimiNoles" couldn't dream up a situation like this one with Miami. If doesn't get the death penalty and Golden is able to turn this whole thing around, He will be my hero. Even though I am a Seminole.
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Quoting angiest:
18Z 162 hours:



And 0Z 156 hours:


Notice a difference?
they blew the 162 hour positioning....mis step
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and off we go 162 hours out
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 870
Quoting BahaHurican:
Looks like all the models are sending the storm up the NE coast, which means most of it would miss the mountains. This is best track for Haiti, but worst track for TCI / Bahamas / FL and points either N or W....

Good point! I was reading up on that the NE DR is mostly lowlands.
Link
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2129. WxLogic
@159HR would almost favor a left shift in the track, but notice the shortwave across the Central CONUS:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
had to hop on and see if anyone else is watching TWC special on Galveston storm of 1900??

ugh breaks my heart!!!

we are so lucky to have the warnings we do now
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Quoting JLPR2:


I sure hope so, I like having power and using my AC. XD
Word.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
2126. angiest
18Z 162 hours:



And 0Z 156 hours:


Notice a difference?
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2125. BtnTx
Ignore is for the weak IMO. Never used it, never will. I was here before everyone. If you read a book and don't like something on a page do you tear the page out? Ignore: for the imature. I exit.
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Weaker trough on the 0z. Wouldn't be surprised if it heads into the Gulf this time. 7 days out:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Why do I get the feeling that this is a doom & gloom blog when we don't even have a storm?..lol.


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2122. WxLogic
Quoting angiest:


To me it looks like it is maintaining around 996mb as it exits. Not sure how the model's resolution is affecting that pressure.


Surely deep enough since as we know previous TS/Disturbances traveling S DR has pretty much dump enough rain already to start raising the possibility of Dam failures in the area.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
2121. JLPR2
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Two tropical cyclones in 6 days. Basically a tropical storm that the models have been insistent on coming off of Africa and PG17L moving towards the WNW.



Harvey and Irene. Supposing 93L doesn't develop.
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What a difference an hour makes... 93L is falling apart yet again for virtually no reason.
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Quoting sporteguy03:
One issue I have with GFS: How will the TC survive Hispaniola, that would be quite a feat if it can survive over the mountains unscathed.
Looks like all the models are sending the storm up the NE coast, which means most of it would miss the mountains. This is best track for Haiti, but worst track for TCI / Bahamas / FL and points either N or W....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22081
2118. JLPR2
Quoting MississippiWx:


Would be interesting to see the steering pattern when Georges formed and was traversing the Greater Antilles. The GFS is persistent on a similar track. Hopefully this won't be nearly as strong as Georges.


I sure hope so, I like having power and using my AC. XD
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Quoting JLPR2:
The GFS is doing what it hadn't done with any storm yet, shown consistence in track and development. I must admit I'm getting a little more nervous with each run.


Would be interesting to see the steering pattern when Georges formed and was traversing the Greater Antilles. The GFS is persistent on a similar track. Hopefully this won't be nearly as strong as Georges.
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2116. angiest
Quoting WxLogic:
@135HR it starts exiting DR:



Definitely not good for Hispanola as a whole coming this Monday/Tuesday. Will sure remind family/friends to ensure they're prepared if they haven't done so.


To me it looks like it is maintaining around 996mb as it exits. Not sure how the model's resolution is affecting that pressure.
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Two tropical cyclones in 6 days. Basically a tropical storm that the models have been insistent on coming off of Africa and PG17L moving towards the WNW.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
2114. JLPR2
The GFS is doing what it hadn't done with any storm yet, shown consistence in track and development. I must admit I'm getting a little more nervous with each run.
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2113. JRRP
Quoting ncstorm:
Poor Haiti..

poor Dominican Republic... Haiti is sunny here...
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138 hours out
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 870
Quoting mcluvincane:
GFS is dead set on its 5 day track 10 runs in a row


I agree.
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One issue I have with GFS: How will the TC survive Hispaniola, that would be quite a feat if it can survive over the mountains unscathed.
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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.