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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1559. MTWX
1:13 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
Quoting Floodman:
Yeah, but you have to mash 'em just right Baha...
I see press in here causing trouble; nothing new there...Grothar, was ist los?

Evenin Flood. Still hoping you guys get some rain soon!
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
1557. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:12 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
POSS T.C.F.A.
XX/INV/93L
16.10N/76.36W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54329
1556. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:12 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
XX/AOI/XXL
MARK
14.21N/37.86W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54329
1555. hcubed
1:12 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
Quoting MTWX:

I hear ya Dragonfly! I used to maintain the FMQ-19 here at Columbus, but now I maintain the WSR-88. Fun stuff to work on!


Wow, another radar troop.

When I was in, just worked on the ASR/PAR. Taught the TPX-42 at Keesler.

They've consolidated the radar field, haven't they? Combined all the Ground radar fields?
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
1554. HurricaneSwirl
1:11 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
What happened to 93L's 850mb vort?

15 hours ago:


Now:
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
1551. mcluvincane
1:11 AM GMT on August 18, 2011
Quoting OMGITSNOTHAPPENING:
the models also said that wind shear is building again all over the atlantic and carribean over the next 4 weeks maybe we wont have a storm


Last I checked the models can't talk
Member Since: June 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1341
1549. MTWX
Quoting presslord:


Which ones, exactly, are those?

Press... mail...
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
Quoting ncstorm:


yeah but five hurricanes hitting the US in a 4 week time frame..it takes two weeks for the system to travel across the atlantic..I wont believe that scenario not if it happens..LOL..


That'll be 2004 all over again.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
1546. ncstorm
Quoting BahaHurican:
It's not like we've been having as heavy a wave train as I've seen in some years....



yeah but five hurricanes hitting the US in a 4 week time frame..it takes two weeks for the system to travel across the atlantic..I wont believe that scenario not if it happens..LOL..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yeah, but you have to mash 'em just right Baha...
I see press in here causing trouble; nothing new there...Grothar, was ist los?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1542. ncstorm
Quoting HouGalv08:
One of the posts earlier between pages 26-30 actually commented that us Texans are hoping for a hurricane to relive the drought. Ummm....not really. Yes, we may have enough sense to evacuate after living and watching the debacle that Rita brought on, but for lords sake you have NO idea whats happening in and around Houston right now. The heat has been so intense coupled with the lack of rainfall, the trees are breaking left and right because they are so brittle. We'd have trees falling on power lines all over the place. I for one would not want a repeat of Ike right now. 14 days without electricity wasn't a camping trip (I made out ok because I have a generator and stocked plenty of fuel), but the majority of folks here don't have resources like that. I think a strong tropical depression would be about right, but please, nothing more that a strong tropical storm.


I ask the same question earlier this week about texas getting hit with a tropical storm/hurricane and losing power..with the current heat wave they are having, that would be detrimental to the elderly as well as to the other population..rain will come in good time..
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1541. Grothar
Quoting presslord:


Which ones, exactly, are those?


I will write them to you off-blog if you promise not to blush.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26460
1540. Thrawst
Quoting BahaHurican:
Very interesting. Either that's shades of Katrina, or the eye is passing to the east of us... or well to the west.


Well in this run it is 38 knots from the ENE. this would make the storm to the SSE of us... probably headed WNW-NW.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Sheared??



Dry air??? It has a big moisture shield.




You my friend have no idea what you are talking about, which clearly represents a troll. Goodbye.
Trollbaiting alert!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
The wave emerging looks very healthy



Probably has a better chance to develop than the one in front of it that has been spoken about so much during the last few days.
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1534. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Enourmous system.
well i was talking to JFV you know that guy that just won't leave he says he would like to stay and play so we are going to obliged him and maybe just maybe something wicked comes to play ya all best move outta the way
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54329
Ah.... trolls.... just blog grease if you do it right.... lol
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1532. aquak9
Quoting FLdewey:
Give me the update water dawg... what's the real scoop?

WeBeDoom.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1531. Grothar
Quoting Abacosurf:
Well jeez....I don't quite remember not having satellite... You really are ancient....lol


Well, thanks. You just made my day. Then I guess discussing when they delivered ice to our house for our ice-box is out of the question.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26460
Quoting presslord:
\

good grief...it was just banal chatter...it's simply what Southerners do....has no deeper meaning...


Care to see the handle you are quoting?
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
Quoting Grothar:


That's OK, Scott. We all do it sometimes. Just don't use No-No words.


Which ones, exactly, are those?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1526. scott39
Quoting Grothar:


That's OK, Scott. We all do it sometimes. Just don't use No-No words.
Thanks--good advice
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6858
Quoting bigeasystormcaster:
TROPICAL UPDATE 7:30PM 8-17-11:

93L continues to diminish in the Central Carribean as it is getting sheared apart by two ULL to the SW and NW. No development expected as it continues to move toward the Nicaraguan coast and arrive late tomorrow or early Friday.

Elsewhere no significant development is expected of the wave in the Central Atlantic 750 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. It is surrounded by significant dry air to it's North and West which will limit development and it will eventually encounter unfavorable upper level winds which will tear the sytem apart in about 3 days.

Elsewhere no t=other threats exist for the next 7 to 14 days.


Sheared??



Dry air??? It has a big moisture shield.




You my friend have no idea what you are talking about, which clearly represents a troll. Goodbye.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
1523. WxLogic
Quoting aquak9:
WxLogic- shhhhhh.....there's nothing out there, there's nothing out there, there's nothing out there.


I'll do my best... :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Thrawst:


Well, well well... what do we have here? Windfinder follows the GFS model, and turns the data into a wind prediction. It shows the central Atlantic wave becoming a hurricane and affecting Nassau, Bahamas... starting on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. I take this for a grain of salt... and it may or may not happen. Interesting to say the least. The units are in Knots... and the numbers at the bottom is the Pressure.
Very interesting. Either that's shades of Katrina, or the eye is passing to the east of us... or well to the west.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
One of the posts earlier between pages 26-30 actually commented that us Texans are hoping for a hurricane to relive the drought. Ummm....not really. Yes, we may have enough sense to evacuate after living and watching the debacle that Rita brought on, but for lords sake you have NO idea whats happening in and around Houston right now. The heat has been so intense coupled with the lack of rainfall, the trees are breaking left and right because they are so brittle. We'd have trees falling on power lines all over the place. I for one would not want a repeat of Ike right now. 14 days without electricity wasn't a camping trip (I made out ok because I have a generator and stocked plenty of fuel), but the majority of folks here don't have resources like that. I think a strong tropical depression would be about right, but please, nothing more that a strong tropical storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


he is counting every wave on africa right now as a hurricane and striking the US? that is a bold forecast and wrong one at that..


I believe it is wrong too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


he is counting every wave on africa right now as a hurricane and striking the US? that is a bold forecast and wrong one at that..
It's not like we've been having as heavy a wave train as I've seen in some years....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


They both could miss most of the dry air.



Looks like they want to develop both.



Oh wow, didn't see the probability picture. Well, looks like we'll be watching both.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxLogic:
P17L is no joke... if it keeps being stacked the way it is now... it will be a troublesome one once it encounters a better environment for development past 50W:

850MB:


500MB:
Enourmous system.
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Quoting MTWX:

Good thing I don't live in LA!! This 'ol Kentucky boy prefers Wild Turkey anyway...


certainly an acceptable substitute
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1512. Grothar
Quoting scott39:
I apolojize to the blog for the outburst.


That's OK, Scott. We all do it sometimes. Just don't use No-No words.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26460
1511. MTWX
Quoting Patrap:


OMG, dats a serious offense,,I think maybe a Felony in Louisiana.

Good thing I don't live in LA!! This 'ol Kentucky boy prefers Wild Turkey anyway...
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
WSW movement of 93L beginning I believe
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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.