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 TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not sure where that Upper Level Low in the central Atlantic came from, but it is causing some high wind shear in that area.





That ULL is forecasted to propagate Northward according to the models with little effect on our African wave.
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Quoting Skeptic33:


Try bald cypress trees.


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.
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1056. WxLogic
I guess you know where is going with this pattern setup:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
I'm thinking a Rita-like track until it recurves northward around 85˚W.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

It looks good on satellite, but not on vorticity maps.




yup


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Florida is written all over this image..

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significant weakening
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 877
1050. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
XX/AOI/XXL
MARK
14.21N/33.23W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53844
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Quoting Tazmanian:
93L not looking good right now

It looks good on satellite, but not on vorticity maps.

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Quoting Skeptic33:


Try bald cypress trees.


Do they grow in a mix of red clay and white sand? That's pretty much what my 'dirt' is.
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93L is running out of time
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d.r is in trouble
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 877
1042. WxLogic
@150HR... cleared DR

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
93L not looking good right now
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i think 93L will get drop too 10 too 20%
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1038. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
POSS T.C.F.A.
XX/INV/93L
MARK
15.21N/75.83W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53844
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Predictions for the 8PM TWO?

I say 40%, but they may certainly drop it down to 30% or 20%.

They will not drop it, it's DMIN.
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Pretty flat trough on the 18z GFS.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting aislinnpaps:


Oh, I agree! I lost the trees near the house in Rita, one of which thought it should be part of the house. Then the house burned down last November and I put a doublewide on my property. With hurricanes in mind, I placed it far enough so if a cane comes through and a tree comes down it won't hit house. (I hope) But that means I'm still out in the field in full sun. My electric bills are rediculous.


Try bald cypress trees.
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Watching Cops on truTV. They are working Virginia Beach after a Hurricane. I didn't catch which one. I think it was Hugo.
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P17L's circulation may or may not be well defined, but if it keeps this size, not only it will be the largest cyclone of the season, but largest cyclone in modern history!
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TropicalAnalystwx13, its at 25N 55W do you think its EX 92L?
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Ehh, don't want to stir the OT pot.
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Predictions for the 8PM TWO?

I say 40%, but they may certainly drop it down to 30% or 20%.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Not sure where that Upper Level Low in the central Atlantic came from, but it is causing some high wind shear in that area.



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1023. WxLogic
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Skirting along northern Hispañola by 144 hours. Still a strong/moderate tropical storm.


Shallower region when compared to the rest of DR... so changes of surviving in such a track increases.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Hispañola is DOOM I say
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Quoting roatangardener:
i can only hope we get some rain here on Roatan from whatever 93L becomes. been a very dry spring and summer here so far. all persons living with cisterns would really appreciate a few inches of rain. and my gardens would be extremely happy....
Hey there! Was wondering when u would check in....

Hope this isn't more than a rain event for u guys.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22140
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Ouch...I see red...Not too often you see that unless things are really expected to pick up and develop in that region.


oh **** that t wave is bad
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Quoting washingtonian115:
And that's why I belive the models are being a little to agrresive when it comes to intensity.


My assessment as well.
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1017. WxLogic
Not good for DR at all:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Skirting along northern Hispañola by 144 hours. Still a strong/moderate tropical storm.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Looking at the 1st five days of the latest gfs . . . same or nearly same track. Looks like it may end up a little further west of the last run. But that's what it's been doing. I know, it has not even formed, but the interesting to see if the models pan out and which one does best. Anyone following the euro?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
93L's vorticity is becoming more and more elongated as time progresses...Not a good sign for the invest.


wow but its getting stronger
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Ouch...I see red...Not too often you see that unless things are really expected to pick up and develop in that region.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Most intense run today...will get disrupted by the mountains of the Dominican Republic though.


And that's why I belive the models are being a little to agrresive when it comes to intensity.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


This AOI has been silently consolidating the past couple days. Looks to be around 13.5-14N 34W. Sometimes these large envelopes can aide a system by shielding a surface low from dry air.


That is a good point and may be true, however it will take longer for it to develop and it would be much more easily disrupted by land such as Hispanola on it's possible track keeping it from developing very much. Time will tell.
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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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