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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93l is trying real hard to get its' act together. The satellite presentation is looking better. While there is no surface low, the satellite imagery is showing a tightening of the the upper level circulations. Surface buoys are also showing lower pressures. I would not be surprised if we have a depression by morning and TS Harvey by tomorrow at this time.
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Quoting Grothar:



Then here try this one. Anything else you want, GT??
I have a list of all the pharaohs from the early 1st dynasty. I suppose you want that, too. :)

Link
Haha, that's ok, I might be like the kid walking out of a library carrying stacks of books way above my head, bumping into everybody, then wham! I go tumbling down the stairs :o
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting Tazmanian:
you think we seen all what we are going too see what 93L?
I don't think so. Like you pointed out earlier, 93L is slowing down and has entered into some warmer waters. Then land interaction will play its roll in development. If it makes it to the BOC???????
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Hmmm.... Looks like S FL and NW Bahamas will get some rain this p.m. ......




Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21537
Quoting TexasHurricane:


lol...yeah it has definitely been HOT and DRY!!

I am by no means wishing a major hurricane to come my way (close to LA border) but we could use a good rain maker as well as the rest of Texas.

Heh, yes! I'd like to avoid winds above Cat 1, but a big, juicy tropical storm or three, with nice, wide-spread bands to cover a lot of area and not inundate any one place too much? That would rock so hard. From my parents' place out northwest of Austin to here in San Antonio, everything is just completely dessicated.

Wouldn't a wet September be great?
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Quoting weatherjr:
Simple question: Which US agency is the principal sponsor to develops some of the weather models?
In the infancy stage of developing new modeling efforts (way, way before they become operational modeling at NOAA), NCAR is what comes to mind: http://ncar.ucar.edu/community-resources/models
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@ 'OMGITISNOTHAPPENING' regarding there being no hurricanes this year,

... sorry to shove this in everyones faces again, but it is more than appropriate for him to read right now.
Link

Comment 201 kid, read it.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23606
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Thanks Grothar, I actually have that link bookmarked...interesting that they have the earliest Hurricane formed Mar. 6, 1908 and latest Hurricane formed Hurricane Alice Dec. 30, 1954, but they don't have latest "first" Hurricane.



Then here try this one. Anything else you want, GT??
I have a list of all the pharaohs from the early 1st dynasty. I suppose you want that, too. :)

Link
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900. SLU
Quoting BahaHurican:
Even if it doesn't develop as 93L... I think it still has a chance if it crosses into the EPac. I admit I've stopped expecting any development to the stage of a hurricane from it, though, even in the EPac....


Interestingly the African wave train has been remarkable slow this year and very few of the EPAC storms this year are actually from tropical waves.
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Quoting SLU:


Hmmmm .... starting to doubt 93L will ever develop. Only about 48 hours before it moves inland and with its rapid 20 - 25mph westward motion and not even a surface circulation, its chances of being named are dropping quickly.
I agree.Not unless this sucker quickly quickly closes off that low I highly doubt we'll see really anything.Not even a tropical depression.
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Anyone if you would like to enlighten me on what I see on the gfs for next friday slamming in to south east florida heading to louisiana..!!
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
Evening everyone. It's 104 degrees, and more with the heat index. We're needing over fifteen inches of rain to help break the drought and the ridge still protects and hinders us from getting rain. While I do NOT want a hurricane, a stalled TS over us and TX is in my dreams.


I know what you mean...our AC is set on 74. It is 80 in our house. Can we at least have some cloud coverage??

and yes, we could use the rain...
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Quoting Grothar:


Here's a link for you GT. Enjoy.

Link
Thanks Grothar, I actually have that link bookmarked...interesting that they have the earliest Hurricane formed Mar. 6, 1908 and latest Hurricane formed Hurricane Alice Dec. 30, 1954, but they don't have latest "first" Hurricane.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting SLU:


Hmmmm .... starting to doubt 93L will ever develop. Only about 48 hours before it moves inland and with its rapid 20 - 25mph westward motion and not even a surface circulation, its chances of being named are dropping quickly.
Even if it doesn't develop as 93L... I think it still has a chance if it crosses into the EPac. I admit I've stopped expecting any development to the stage of a hurricane from it, though, even in the EPac....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21537
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Quoting dfwstormwatch:
does that mean a surface circulation?


No, it just means that pressure in that vicinity are slightly lower than the surrounding environment.
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888. SLU
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


No, not even a surface circulation.


Hmmmm .... starting to doubt 93L will ever develop. Only about 48 hours before it moves inland and with its rapid 20 - 25mph westward motion and not even a surface circulation, its chances of being named are dropping quickly.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Levi, Drak, either one..

The pattern that is being forecast by the ECMWF ensembles in a week to 10 days from now, what would you compare that to?

2005? 2005? 2008?


Not any of them, lol, but the general pattern reminds me at least of 1996 and 2008.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23606
Quoting hurricanehanna:
I still get chills remembering my Mom driving me in Biloxi on the beach road as a child, seeing stairs and fireplaces, and nothing else on a lot, where a house once stood. I couldn't fathom at a young age what had happened to that beautiful place....no one should ever forget this happened...and could happen again.
More than a little creepy to see a whole neighborhood of nothing but stairs and chimneys.
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the 18z gfs is starting to come in...
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Evening everyone. It's 104 degrees, and more with the heat index. We're needing over fifteen inches of rain to help break the drought and the ridge still protects and hinders us from getting rain. While I do NOT want a hurricane, a stalled TS over us and TX is in my dreams.
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Question when Harvey forms and becomes a hurricane is that the lastest in the alphabet for a hurricane going up the alphabet..If not what is..
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Oh well thank you for looking Baha, Yeah I just took a look at the FAQ & the closest I found was... When did the earliest and latest hurricanes occur?...and that wasn't the one I was looking for. Neapolitan found the answer.


Here's a link for you GT. Enjoy.

Link
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you think we seen all what we are going too see what 93L?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
So I looked, and it's not on that FAQ!!!! [I was so sure it was....] Now I'm trying to find where I saw that... last year sometime.
Oh well thank you for looking Baha, Yeah I just took a look at the FAQ & the closest I found was... When did the earliest and latest hurricanes occur?...and that wasn't the one I was looking for. Neapolitan found the answer, but you went out your way to find the answer, so thanks to the both of you for hearing me out... :)
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting SLU:
Just in ..

Did the recon find a closed low?


No, not even a surface circulation.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Thank You Nea, that's what I was looking for, it would've taken me years to go through each year since 1851 to find that out, hehehe.
Thanks from me too... was still trying to comb through my links from last year.... plus my "guess-olection" was not really that close, now was it??? lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21537
93L still not able to sustain convection



in the face of mid-level dry air, as shown by the Kingston sounding.

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Levi, Drak, either one..

The pattern that is being forecast by the ECMWF ensembles in a week to 10 days from now, what would you compare that to?

2005? 2005? 2008?
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Quoting Dennis8:
000
FXUS64 KHGX 172027
AFDHGX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
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


I see your in SE Texas too. It just seems that that high has got to move sometime. It has just been to long...
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Quoting SLU:
Just in ..

Did the recon find a closed low?



nop
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Quoting Tazmanian:




POOF you go bye


agrree
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I still get chills remembering my Mom driving me in Biloxi on the beach road as a child, seeing stairs and fireplaces, and nothing else on a lot, where a house once stood. I couldn't fathom at a young age what had happened to that beautiful place....no one should ever forget this happened...and could happen again.
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Quoting twincomanche:
Why's that if you don't mind my asking?
1) work-related; don't have control over what browser we use there

2) very old laptop, with limited HD. I am soooo not messing with changing software until I can upgrade stuff. Not happening ATM; maybe I'll get me a Christmas pressy, though.... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21537
Quoting cloudburst2011:



dont like the ridge shifting west near tyhe 4 corners area..THAT LEAVES THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN GULF WIDE OPEN FOR A HIT...
actually... ive been watching and unlucky for us here in texas it will be strong enough to protect Texas and Louisiana as for areas east of that wide open
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864. SLU
Just in ..

Did the recon find a closed low?
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Quoting Drakoen:


no



Hey, Drak, could you make your posts a little less verbose? You're getting like me now. Welcome back.
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Quoting weatherh98:
Thats jfv he knows everyone




POOF you go bye
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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.