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 Skeptic33:


You don't need swampy land to grow them. Most years, you get enough rainfall to sustain them. We have many of them in Dallas-Ft Worth area and we get less rainfall. They'll do great at your place! :)



Thanks, Skeptic! I'll be looking for them around here. I've always associated them and seen them in and around bayous.
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Quoting WxLogic:


If it gets to that size... is going to definitely be huge.


That's what she said!!!

:P couldn't resist.

Anyways 8 days is a long way out, lets see this puppy develop first.
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Quoting twincomanche:
93L is doing a disappearing act right in front of our eyes.
Kinda like Don.
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1105. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55665
1104. WxLogic
SE CONUS Coast "Hugger":



18Z represented a slight left bias from 12Z but basically the same.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


I'm close to Natchitoches. I just googled them for hurricanes and it said they rarely ever go down. It's not swampy where my house is, but they just might do the trick! Thanks, I'll look more into them.


You don't need swampy land to grow them. Most years, you get enough rainfall to sustain them. We have many of them in Dallas-Ft Worth area and we get less rainfall. They'll do great at your place! :)

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1100. JLPR2
Quoting JFV2015:


Preparate, por que esta si que no PODRAS evitarla, eso te lo garantizo.


Usually talking too much about it usually sends it away. XD
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
1052. TropicalAnalystwx13 6:34 PM EDT on August 17, 2011

I understand what you are trying to illustrate (one model run several days out) but some folks on here (many) who have actually gone through a major cane and lost lives or property don't appreciate an alarmist post..................Wait until an NHC 3 day track is headed right for your house; then you can start freaking out.
but you should have the list including a full tank of gas today does not look as if the models are letting it develop too strong
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1096. WxLogic
Quoting twincomanche:
Huge if. (official downcaster) LOL.


lol... nothing wrong with that in my book.
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Quoting LillyMyrrh:


Agreed! Neither Rita nor Ike were any fun. We evacuated for Rita (and very glad of it.) We had some damage to our roof, so there was water damage inside. It meant that about half of our house had to be demolished and rebuilt. The part of the house that was rebuilt is smaller than the original. But that's ok, it's just me and my husband these days. The repairs were finally finished just a few weeks before Ike came through. Unfortunately, we weren't able to evacuate for Ike. Fortunately, we didn't have any damage from Ike. But I still don't want to ever ride out another hurricane. That being said, we sure do need something to break this drought. I don't want even a mild Cat 1 to come through here. Nor do I want anything like TS Allison that sat over Houston several years back. I just want what I call a gentle soaker. Maybe several of them. No floods. No winds. No damage. It'll be bad enough with the "rainy-day-racers" that'll be on the roads, but it's harder to control human nature than it is to predict Mother Nature.


Our superintendent, (I'm a teacher) had school. By the time we got out they were telling us NOT to evacuate, we'd be caught on the roads. We left three days later. It was too hot to stay and with a son with a heart condition, not safe. I went north to a son who was an ATC at Little Rock Air Force Base. You should have seen the SP at the gate when I pulled up with 12 Papillons in crates, a huge doberman leaning down and across me to see him, two kids and an African Grey parrot screaming, "No go! Cricket no go!' from the back seat. I showed him my ID card and reassured him we were going through base and out the back gate to where my son lived. He did say if they had to they would find a place for me. A lot of military and retired military don't know if they evacuate any base will put them up. Ike wasn't as bad, niether was Gustav two weeks later. Sorry about your house!
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Quoting JFV2015:
wow, ^_^, I'm crying...dreams do come true.
Enjoy...

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
1052. TropicalAnalystwx13 6:34 PM EDT on August 17, 2011

I understand what you are trying to illustrate (one model run several days out) but some folks on here (many) who have actually gone through a major cane and lost lives or property don't appreciate an alarmist post..................Wait until an NHC 3 day track is headed right for your house; then you can start freaking out.


I just posted where I thought the storm would go in this model run.

Chill.
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Quoting WxLogic:


If it gets to that size... is going to definitely be huge.
Very impressive cyclone. The model does appear to have some westerly shear over the hurricane though, as you can see with the deepest of the convection located in the eastern quadrant.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting OMGITSNOTHAPPENING:
why has it been such a wild and active season so far?


A lot of systems than CAN form HAVE formed. Like 2005, but to a lesser extent.
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1935 maybe alittle more north
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1052. TropicalAnalystwx13 6:34 PM EDT on August 17, 2011

I understand what you are trying to illustrate (one model run several days out) but some folks on here (many) who have actually gone through a major cane and lost lives or property don't appreciate an alarmist post..................Wait until an NHC 3 day track is headed right for your house; then you can start freaking out.
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1085. WxLogic
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
SFLA in 192 hours:



If it gets to that size... is going to definitely be huge.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


That ULL is forecasted to propagate Northward according to the models with little effect on our African wave.


Great!!!
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1081. Mucinex
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Great. Irene is headed back home. I've been afraid of that name all season. Irene was a b!$ch of a storm in 1999. Also, a break down of science vs the protecting the public from NHC
Member Since: May 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 254
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1079. WxLogic
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The location of that weakness...no bueno.


Nope... no bueno at all.
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SFLA in 192 hours:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Do they grow in a mix of red clay and white sand? That's pretty much what my 'dirt' is.


http://text.lsuagcenter.com/en/family_home/home/d esign_construction/Design/Landscape+Design/Prepare +Your+Site.htm
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Quoting WxLogic:
I guess you know where is going with this pattern setup:

The location of that weakness...no bueno.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Skeptic33:


Oh wait, where do you live? If you are near Nacogdoches, Go to Stephen F Austin Arboretum plant sale in the fall and spring and get Montezuma cypress which is semi-evergreen fast growing sister of bald cypress. It's not every day you get to see "winter" color instead of fall color that you get from bald cypress. You will get shade rather sooner than later.


I'm close to Natchitoches. I just googled them for hurricanes and it said they rarely ever go down. It's not swampy where my house is, but they just might do the trick! Thanks, I'll look more into them.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Rapid deepening taking place.





poor key W
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115437
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Do they grow in a mix of red clay and white sand? That's pretty much what my 'dirt' is.


Sure although I've never heard of such soil mix like that. Interesting. Bald cypress (and Montezuma cypress) are so called hurricane proof trees. The trunk is very thick at the base then tapers off to the top. The branches aren't very thick as you'd see in others for its eventual large size.
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hmm 174 hours out quick restrengthening
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 891
Rapid deepening taking place.

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Quoting tcbob8794:
have we ever had the first 5 storms in the e pac become hurricanes before this year?


Yes, we have.

1971 managed it with 4, before 1966 managed to get its first six *named* storms as hurricanes. That consecutive streak was interspersed with tropical depressions, however. If you mean any type of tropical cyclone, I don't think there has been unless one can find an obscure year (in East Pacific terms).

East Pacific records are very patchy, however. There's quite a drop off until the mid 1960s.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:


Rita was no fun. You can always tell who has not had to deal with the damage and hardships of being hit with a hurricane when they post how they want one. Glad you guys wdid okay with Rita.


Agreed! Neither Rita nor Ike were any fun. We evacuated for Rita (and very glad of it.) We had some damage to our roof, so there was water damage inside. It meant that about half of our house had to be demolished and rebuilt. The part of the house that was rebuilt is smaller than the original. But that's ok, it's just me and my husband these days. The repairs were finally finished just a few weeks before Ike came through. Unfortunately, we weren't able to evacuate for Ike. Fortunately, we didn't have any damage from Ike. But I still don't want to ever ride out another hurricane. That being said, we sure do need something to break this drought. I don't want even a mild Cat 1 to come through here. Nor do I want anything like TS Allison that sat over Houston several years back. I just want what I call a gentle soaker. Maybe several of them. No floods. No winds. No damage. It'll be bad enough with the "rainy-day-racers" that'll be on the roads, but it's harder to control human nature than it is to predict Mother Nature.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



looks like key W is in for this go a round
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1063. xcool
Invest later on tonight IMO
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1061. JLPR2
Rather nice spin with the wave, watching it closely.
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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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