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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Quoting BahaHurican:
[looks at Levi's posts re: mean high etc.]

[BIG sigh]

I guess I better stock up on corned beef.... I'm not big on tuna patties....


bought a bunch of hot dogs today & have the grill -- that works
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can anyone answer this or is it too far out to even answer? what could possible turn 93l to the wnw? tia
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Quoting OMGITSNOTHAPPENING:
this is one wild wild season already
It's gotten to the point where I'm returning and replenshing my batteries with each TWO. Just to keep them as fresh as possible.
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:


Great shot btw


Thanks
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1405. 7544
cantwait to see the runs for pre 97l should be a fun one to track
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Quoting Patrap:
Last Viz frame of 93L this evening.


Late at night, looking across the counter, that's a TD-to-be to me. We'll see. In the morning things can look better, or worse....in my experience.
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Quoting alvarig1263:


Yeah, this was probably one of the most intense storms we've had so far this summer season.


Great shot btw
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1400. Patrap
00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest93
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
1399. scott39
Quoting ncstorm:
the entire east coast?? Booooooommmmmm!
Now thats what I call pure entertainment....speaking of a model more than 5 days out of course, not if it was really 8/28/11 today!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6775
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:


Oh I wish I were there this year... I was there last week for a week and almost no lightning. I was upset...


Yeah, this was probably one of the most intense storms we've had so far this summer season.
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The rate at which 93L is organizing impresses me; I wouldn't be surprised to see a TD come the next advisory. Judging by the satellite loops, the centre seems to be well-protected within its convection now.

Then agan, the satellite loops aren't great with what's on the surface.
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Quoting OMGITSNOTHAPPENING:
if the ridge weakens and the trough comes down off the east coast and the african dust shifts more northward then the wind shear in the carribean should pick up and allow the wave comming off africa to develop and track south for a while then head more northward around the bermuda high and back east but if the ridge moves more west and african dust doesnt shift the 3rd trough late next week could make a potential landfall in louisiana we will just have to wait this one out and watch the models


Well, right now the model consensus is generally aimed at a southeast US landfall. At this point, the only window into the Gulf I can see if it goes through Florida.

Although, I have seen things change. And they will.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20571
1394. 7544
Quoting caneswatch:


93L will not be getting to Florida. The wave in the Atlantic is the one we here in Florida need to watch.


totaly agrree that one has fla written all over it and other states thats the one to watch

as for 93l the way the trofs are this year nothing will surpise me wait watch and see but al in all a good few weeks coming up in the tropics stay tuned
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Our L is above the lines meaning 93L is not following the model runs
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Quoting scooster67:
The top of the Bolt looks like the tail of a Whale!

Thanks for sharing :)


Thanks
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:


Oh I wish I were there this year... I was there last week for a week and almost no lightning. I was upset...


I meant to say last year for a week..
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Quoting Abacosurf:
Was just watching from downtown as well. Brilliant! Nice little glow from sunset too!!


Thanks
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1388. Patrap
Quoting ncstorm:
the entire east coast?? Booooooommmmmm!


JB must have Fainted over at weatherbell.com, seeing dat un.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
1385. ncstorm
the entire east coast?? Booooooommmmmm!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


then how do you explain Charley?


My bad, what was I thinking, but anyway there isn't a trough there digging deep enough to pull it towards FL. This would be an October type pattern though.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6877
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


Baha....

Any way we can give that "bandwagon" a flat tire?
How about 4.... too easy to replace 1 flat with a spare... lol

But I gotta admit on a more serious note that I am not very pleased with this sudden amiability among models... like they all drank the coolaid...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22101
Quoting alvarig1263:


Awesome lightning in Naples, Florida.


Oh I wish I were there this year... I was there last week for a week and almost no lightning. I was upset...
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Quoting alvarig1263:


Awesome lightning in Naples, Florida.
Was just watching from downtown as well. Brilliant! Nice little glow from sunset too!!
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Quoting Dennis8:
PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 327 PM CDT WED AUG 17 2011/

DISCUSSION...
ANOTHER VERY WARM AFTERNOON TODAY ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS.
MOST INLAND LOCATIONS HAVE ALREADY REACHED OR EXCEEDED 100 DEGREES
AS OF 3PM...INCLUDING INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT. THIS EXTENDS THE
STREAK OF CONSECUTIVE 100 DEGREE DAYS IN HOUSTON TO 17.

VERY LITTLE CHANGE IN THE OVERALL PATTERN EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT
SEVERAL DAYS AS THE UPPER LEVEL RIDGE REMAINS CENTERED TO OUR
WEST. A FEW MORE CLOUDS ARE EXPECTED ON THURSDAY AS AN AREA OF
MID LEVEL MOISTURE MOVES IN FROM THE NORTHEAST BUT SUBSIDENCE
ALOFT SHOULD REMAIN STRONG ENOUGH TO PREVENT ANYTHING BUT
ISOLATED CONVECTION. HAVE BROUGHT TEMPERATURES DOWN A FEW DEGREES
BY EARLY NEXT WEEK AS THE UPPER LEVEL RIDGE SHIFTS WESTWARD INTO
THE FOUR CORNERS REGION
. 38
You think the northside will get some of that isolated convection?
Member Since: December 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 54
Quoting Progster:


Looks like the mid level circulation of 93L is tracking a little N of W. Maybe a northern Belize landfall? Of course anything can happen :)


newest model runs continue to show it developing a wsw motion
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what would make 93l pull to the wnw? tia
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Quoting MTWX:
Absolutely fell in love with the sat loops on this site!! Thank you to whoever posted this link yesterday!!


Link


Reported!
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Quoting OMGITSNOTHAPPENING:
well we are all staying glued to the weather channels here in florida and watching 93 very closely its getting huge


93L will not be getting to Florida. The wave in the Atlantic is the one we here in Florida need to watch.
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1373. Patrap
Last Viz frame of 93L this evening.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128273
Quoting tropicfreak:


If that does happen, the trough won't be digging that deep. This is mid August, not October.


then how do you explain Charley?
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Quoting twincomanche:
OK Major troll alert!


Duh...you are a tad slow on the uptake on that one :)

Remember:

Report
Ignore
Move on

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Quoting Hurricanes101:


still looks due west to me; not very much northern componenet at all to me


You could be right, one thing for certain , time will tell
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Quoting alvarig1263:


Awesome lightning in Naples, Florida.
The top of the Bolt looks like the tail of a Whale!

Thanks for sharing :)
Member Since: September 26, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 637
Quoting BahaHurican:
Geez... even HPC is jumping on the bandwagon....


Baha....

Any way we can give that "bandwagon" a flat tire?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
General model consensus - our African wave will develop into a Tropical Storm by the 22nd, and a secondary system will be attempting to develop around the same time. This scenario is supported by the GFS/CMC/ECMWF, and consistently too. The secondary system, thanks to its high latitude, does not appear to be a threat to the US. The African wave (97L before too long).. not so lucky.


and if that were to happen, we could be at 10 storms before the end of August

pretty amazing
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Quoting Patrap:
More folks died in the Evacuation of Houston before RITA than the Storm claimed in Lives.

So I'd maybe consider that before jumping to, er, a conclusion.







EVACUATION
Lessons come at high cost: 107 lives
By CINDY HORSWELL and EDWARD HEGSTROM Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Sept. 29, 2005, 4:59PM


Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/topfront/33744 68.html#ixzz1VKpE004S


Friends of mine moved to between Galveston and Houston. Rita was coming and he spent 24 hours driving the normally 3 hour drive to bring the rest of the dogs home to their house here. (She was at a dog show in Dallas.) After arriving here found out Rita was now heading straight towards us. He then drove another 24 hours to get to Dallas, normally a 6 hour drive.
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Quoting 7544:


maybe 93l will pull a wilma track if it could get further north into the gom by gthat time a trof will be comiong down in the mid states and push it ne could happen if it slows down in foward speed right


If that does happen, the trough won't be digging that deep. This is mid August, not October.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6877
General model consensus - our African wave will develop into a Tropical Storm by the 22nd, and a secondary system will be attempting to develop around the same time. This scenario is supported by the GFS/CMC/ECMWF, and consistently too. The secondary system, thanks to its high latitude, does not appear to be a threat to the US. The African wave (97L before too long).. not so lucky.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24018


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Quoting stormpetrol:
93L pulling more WNW now, not good , alot more time over those warm waters!


still looks due west to me; not very much northern componenet at all to me
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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.