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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12Z ECMWF Ensemble:

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Please tell me the blog isn't having problems again...



the blog is a little bugey today
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UGH not again.
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wow the african waves continue to die out and look wimpy
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So, just to be clear, a closed circulation is when winds are found in all directions, but of any speed? So you could have 1 mph winds out of the west and that would still count?
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Good Afternoon.
Does 93L have ANY surface reflection?
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Quoting Houstonweathergrl:
HHJoe,
Would you care to share your weather observations with us? I doubt anyone is interested in your political leanings. Please give it and us a rest.
I will. I didnt start it.
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Quoting angiest:

The lowest winds I have seen on a tropical depression, that I can recall, were 20-25 mph.  The side that is probably hardest to close off is the left half, where you have forward motion as a big negative.  For instance, 93L seems to lack west winds anywhere.  Due to it's westward motion, those west winds will be to the south of the COC.  And they have to overcome the 20mph forward speed of the storm.





ok
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Can someone please tell me what in the world the HH are doing they looked like they where heading home but now the back in the system

What's tells you that?
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Please tell me the blog isn't having problems again...
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I would not be surprised if we get a Low on the 18Z surface map for 93L

93L will aquire a LLC very soon maybe we will se a TD or TS at 11pm tonight 2 am in the morn or at 5am
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Quoting Levi32:


It has to be exactly what it sounds like: a closed circulation of winds, basically a connected circle with winds flowing all 360 degrees or 2pi radians around it.



ok
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Re 680. I think Taz meant how strong do the winds have to be in all directions. Even if he didn't, I would like to know
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Our African wave, even though the ECMWF has (for the moment, though going to change) dropped development has one thing no other system has had this year.. the UKMET developing it. True, the UKMET isn't a very good model it is often very conservative.


GFS ensembles also develop this wave.


Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
93L looking healthy this afternoon. I suspect a TD by tomorrow.
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Living in South east Louisiana all my 50 something years,
one thing is certain, these systems can and do weird things! The Gulf Coast needs to be looking at this system and not stop until it is either dissipated, or has gone inland somewhere else. New Orleans took a devastating blow in 2005, it cannot take another- I for one would never return, it simply is not worth the risk.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



reported and poofed

Please don't quote propaganda.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Not sure how it will affect the tropics but I am hearing the High Pressure that has been over Texas forever will move Northwest to Colorado and Wyoming areas in 7 to 10 days?
i bet texas is glad to hear that! just hope it plays out for them
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
I have to agree.President Obama(thefeckless one) is trying to destroy every Republicam impediment that was thrown in his way after he got elected,but before he took office.Just admit it,he's feckless,he's black, and he's your president! I have one major gripe about him,the stimulus shoulda been 2 trillion,enough to outlast republican obstinance and hate,and time for the american people to see who really is on their side.


I agree, he is not a good president, ok this isn't a politics blog, this is a tropical weather blog.
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Re 671:
Please discuss this somewhere else. You can have whatever political opinions you like, but this is a TROPICAL WEATHER blog. Discuss either

a) tropical weather
b)whatever else Dr M talks about in the blog entry

but please stick to those subjects, at least during the season.
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Hmmm.... wondering if I'm actually back on again....

Nah. [#$*&@]

This constant line dropping is driving me crazy. And the so-called "new and impoved" private company can't find and fix....


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Blog is still on Go-Slow....
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Surface observations continue to indicate that 93L has yet to form a closed low.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489

Quoting Tazmanian:
can some one tell me what you need for a close low what kind of winds you have too have
The lowest winds I have seen on a tropical depression, that I can recall, were 20-25 mph.  The side that is probably hardest to close off is the left half, where you have forward motion as a big negative.  For instance, 93L seems to lack west winds anywhere.  Due to it's westward motion, those west winds will be to the south of the COC.  And they have to overcome the 20mph forward speed of the storm.


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Fernanda looks to be gathering strength once again, still looks like it will break the hurricane streak the Eastern Pacific has going on.



Greg may be upped intensity some, but it doesn't look it has gathered much strength over the past few hours.

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looked like the hh were heading home but they just turned southeast for some reason?
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HHJoe,
Would you care to share your weather observations with us? I doubt anyone is interested in your political leanings. Please give it and us a rest.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Can someone please tell me what in the world the HH are doing they looked like they where heading home but now the back in the system
Harvey the rabbit came from back of the plane and said "i sense there is a LLC here.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
can some one tell me what you need for a close low what kind of winds you have too have

N,E,S,W and everything in between.
But I am sure you know that!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
can some one tell me what you need for a close low what kind of winds you have too have


It has to be exactly what it sounds like: a closed circulation of winds, basically a connected circle with winds flowing all 360 degrees or 2pi radians around it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Not sure how it will affect the tropics but I am hearing the High Pressure that has been over Texas forever will move Northwest to Colorado and Wyoming areas in 7 to 10 days?
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Quoting Levi32:


Remember Atmos, it's for entertainment purposes only...lol.

In all seriousness, the overall pattern could favor bringing an African wave into the Caribbean islands or southeast U.S., so it's worth watching, though details of model runs are worth little at this point.


MJO is approaching the basin so I'd agree with that.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


This is no where near a tropical depression, it is lacking the single most important thing that is needed for it to be declared - A surface circulation that is well-defined and closed.




looks good anyway.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



nop no close low



ok but looks good to me anyway.
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can some one tell me what you need for a close low what kind of winds you have too have
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Quoting islander101010:
looks like 93 is interacting with the mid level low near the yucatan channel
how so??? tia
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Quoting Tazmanian:



nop no close low

Exactly Right!
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Quoting atmosweather:


Really we're fawning over the models 12 days out? Come on guys.


If you know how to use the ensembles, it gives great clues how the pattern could evolve. Obviously you are the only one "fawning".
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Quoting atmosweather:


Really we're fawning over the models 12 days out? Come on guys.


Remember Atmos, it's for entertainment purposes only...lol.

In all seriousness, the overall pattern through the end of this month could favor bringing an African wave into the Caribbean islands or southeast U.S., so it's worth watching, though details of model runs are worth little at this point.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting Jedkins01:


Well actually rainfall a little over 30 inches for the whole rain season is pretty normal, but 30 inches in 2 months is definitely above normal! But hey last year it was mostly drought, and since we live in a wet climate, above "normal" should be more common then drought. And yeah you better believe I love the rain!

Personally I wish we had the rain season year round like is around the Equator belt, where 10 inches of rain per month or more year round in the Average.

I love lots of rain in thunderstorms, I never get sick of it.


I couldn't agree more. Absolutely love the rain! Where is the latest GFS run placing the Eastern Atl. wave when it approaches the conus? Thanks.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
93L looking good !!! maybe a TD now !!!


This is no where near a tropical depression, it is lacking the single most important thing that is needed for it to be declared - A surface circulation that is well-defined and closed.

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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
93L looking good !!! maybe a TD now !!!



nop no close low
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North Belize to Cancun is where I think this will head.
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Quoting sarahjola:
when a storm slows does that mean a turn in the near future? tia
Could be.

It could also give it time to strengthen.

Levi,

He did go there! :)
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93L looking good !!! maybe a TD now !!!
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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.