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 bohonkweatherman:
Could be very positive news for Texas and the 4 letter word Rain: BY MONDAY...THE UPPER RIDGE WILL ONCE AGAIN BE SHIFTING BACK TO
THE WEST AND AMPLIFYING. THIS WILL PLACE NORTH TEXAS IN NORTH
FLOW...WHICH CAN BE A FAVORABLE PATTERN FOR PRECIP. HAVE LEFT THE
MENTION OF RAIN OUT OF THE FORECAST FOR THE BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK
DUE TO UNCERTAINTIES WITH THE AVAILABLE MOISTURE AND NO LIFTING
MECHANISMS OTHER THAN THERMALS...BUT WOULDNT BE SURPRISED IF A FEW
ISOLATED SHOWERS OR THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED EACH AFTERNOON.

FOR THE END OF THE NEXT WEEK THE GFS/ECMWF AGREE THAT AN UPPER
LOW WILL DROP SOUTH FROM THE MAIN JET STREAM AND TRACK ALONG THE
EASTERN PERIPHERY OF THE UPPER RIDGE. THE GUIDANCE THEN DIFFERS
WITH HOW THEY HANDLE THIS FEATURE FROM THERE. THE GFS IS MORE
AGGRESSIVE WITH ITS DROP TO THE SOUTH AND PLACES THE NORTH TEXAS
IN A FAVORABLE AXIS FOR LIFT AND THIS WOULD EQUAL DECENT RAIN
CHANCES FOR THE END OF NEXT WEEK. THE ECMWF STRENGTHENS AN UPPER
RIDGE OFF THE EASTERN ATLANTIC COAST AND THE UPPER TROUGH AXIS
GETS WEDGED BETWEEN THE TWO DOMINANT RIDGES AND STALLS BEFORE
REACHING THE AREA. ONE OTHER THING TO NOTE IS THE ECMWF HAS
FOLLOWED THE GFS WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TROPICAL SYSTEM NEXT
WEEK WITH A PATH SOMEWHERE NEAR THE EAST COAST. THIS COULD ALSO
INFLUENCE THE STRENGTH OF THE EAST COAST RIDGE AND THUS OUR
POTENTIAL TROUGH. MANY VARIABLES HAVE TO BE SORTED THROUGH...BUT
KEPT THE 20 POPS FOR THURSDAY IN THE FORECAST. THIS IS SOMETHING
TO WATCH AND CAN HOPEFULLY BRING THE REGION SOME MUCH NEEDED
RAINFALL.


Hope it pans out. Any rain would be a blessing. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Ahhhhhhh! Most refreshing! Thanks Aussie. :)

Here's some pics for ya.













Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
Quoting TampaSpin:
I am really surprised we don't have an Invest yet from the Central Atlantic. Should be coming soon, one would think.


Just been tagged according to lots of folks... strap in.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Storm Surge maps are linked from the main tropical page, for those interested. PR, VI, and Bahamas maps are included w/ US maps, but I note there is an "international" page now.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22728
I am really surprised we don't have an Invest yet from the Central Atlantic. Should be coming soon, one would think.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cloudburst2011:



you have a real problem all he is doing is giving and opnion...you think you the only one here that has and opinion...you are the one thats scares the hell out of everyone on here...listening to you you would think we dont have much time left and the system hasnt even formed yet...you are the one that needs to turn it down not 23...


I think you may have posted incorrectly to / about me. I was was not saying anything about 23....at all. Kinda supporting him. I think you meant to post this with ref to the member calling 23 a downcaster.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
97L puts 93L to shame
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
Christchurch right now.




Ahhhhhhh! Most refreshing! Thanks Aussie. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2896. 7544
when will the speghtti models be out for 97l tia
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaTom:


Looking rather Dean and Felix like.. but without that pesky cat 5 intensity...



YOu just doomed many..........YOU know that..........LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2893. kwgirl
Quoting ncstorm:


Oh I would welcome that bit of good news myself..its terrible here and the knats (not sure if I am spelling that right) that come with the skeeters aint no better eithier..
Good Morning everyone. All you need is one rain to get the skeeters going. I can attest to that! After a week of afternoon showers I was finally able to cut my grass last night. Now it looks like a mown hayfield LOL. I don't think I have the strength to rake it. It will probably fill another four garbage cans. Isn't human nature hilarious?? We pray for rain and then when we get it, we curse the consequences. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JasonCoolMan2012:
Tampa Spin = re - ported


Poof..........again please!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest93
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)








Looking rather Dean and Felix like.. but without that pesky cat 5 intensity...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Could be very positive news for Texas and the 4 letter word Rain: BY MONDAY...THE UPPER RIDGE WILL ONCE AGAIN BE SHIFTING BACK TO
THE WEST AND AMPLIFYING. THIS WILL PLACE NORTH TEXAS IN NORTH
FLOW...WHICH CAN BE A FAVORABLE PATTERN FOR PRECIP. HAVE LEFT THE
MENTION OF RAIN OUT OF THE FORECAST FOR THE BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK
DUE TO UNCERTAINTIES WITH THE AVAILABLE MOISTURE AND NO LIFTING
MECHANISMS OTHER THAN THERMALS...BUT WOULDNT BE SURPRISED IF A FEW
ISOLATED SHOWERS OR THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED EACH AFTERNOON.

FOR THE END OF THE NEXT WEEK THE GFS/ECMWF AGREE THAT AN UPPER
LOW WILL DROP SOUTH FROM THE MAIN JET STREAM AND TRACK ALONG THE
EASTERN PERIPHERY OF THE UPPER RIDGE. THE GUIDANCE THEN DIFFERS
WITH HOW THEY HANDLE THIS FEATURE FROM THERE. THE GFS IS MORE
AGGRESSIVE WITH ITS DROP TO THE SOUTH AND PLACES THE NORTH TEXAS
IN A FAVORABLE AXIS FOR LIFT AND THIS WOULD EQUAL DECENT RAIN
CHANCES FOR THE END OF NEXT WEEK. THE ECMWF STRENGTHENS AN UPPER
RIDGE OFF THE EASTERN ATLANTIC COAST AND THE UPPER TROUGH AXIS
GETS WEDGED BETWEEN THE TWO DOMINANT RIDGES AND STALLS BEFORE
REACHING THE AREA. ONE OTHER THING TO NOTE IS THE ECMWF HAS
FOLLOWED THE GFS WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TROPICAL SYSTEM NEXT
WEEK WITH A PATH SOMEWHERE NEAR THE EAST COAST. THIS COULD ALSO
INFLUENCE THE STRENGTH OF THE EAST COAST RIDGE AND THUS OUR
POTENTIAL TROUGH. MANY VARIABLES HAVE TO BE SORTED THROUGH...BUT
KEPT THE 20 POPS FOR THURSDAY IN THE FORECAST. THIS IS SOMETHING
TO WATCH AND CAN HOPEFULLY BRING THE REGION SOME MUCH NEEDED
RAINFALL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Christchurch right now.


Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
2885. SLU
Quoting Vincent4989:

You can't find the LLC because it might be beneath the convection mass.


It does have a LLC but it doesn't appear to be closed at the surface at this time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting angiest:


A little over a month ago we drove to New Orleans. We took a break at the rest area/welcome center just across the Sabine River. I got more bites in the few minutes we were there than I have had the entire year here.


Lol. Yep. I'm just on this side of the Sabine river. They are thick here!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting angiest:


The one bright spot in this drought, I can count on one hand the number of skeeters I have seen around Houston all year.


Wow! At least you have that. Here, we got a couple of drops of rain now we have a bazillion skeeters! Lol. I just love Texas!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:



Correct..........i was hoping the big high over Texas was going to regress West a little faster.....but, that is not happening yet........NO MOISTURE to Texas with this one.......SORRY!




Thanks Tampa.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This Years CApe Verde Spinners seem to be some big'ns
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2878. 7544
official

Atlantic





97L.INVEST
93L.INVEST

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2877. angiest
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
I have not seen one since last Spring here. 78 out of my last 80 days have been clear, so getting clouds into Texas would be a huge improvement.


A little over a month ago we drove to New Orleans. We took a break at the rest area/welcome center just across the Sabine River. I got more bites in the few minutes we were there than I have had the entire year here.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
2876. 7544
now 97l on the navy site
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xtremeweathertracker:
You know guys i cant remember when i've seen so many models with virtually all the same solution for an Invest. I just looked at the 6Z GFS, UKMET, EMCWF, CMC, GGEM and they all are in fairly good agreement about a track toward Florida and the East Coast. When all the global models agree we really need to pay attention. IMO


Bro that is NOT just your opinion..........that is a FACT.......When we see a CONSENSUS agreement of all the models.......ONE better pay very close attention.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2874. Patrap
Consensus is always the key.

There are many NHC Model Tutorials available if one searches.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Quoting ncstorm:


Good Morning:) no rain in sight for TX yet..


Sigh. Not yet. ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Southeast coast of U.S. looks interesting!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2870. beell
Quoting sullivanweather:



Slowly getting better organized.


It (93L) does look better, sully. I believe there's a surface low in there now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting angiest:


The one bright spot in this drought, I can count on one hand the number of skeeters I have seen around Houston all year.
I have not seen one since last Spring here. 78 out of my last 80 days have been clear, so getting clouds into Texas would be a huge improvement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:



LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THIS ONE COMING OFF AFRICA.......WOW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You know guys i cant remember when i've seen so many models with virtually all the same solution for an Invest. I just looked at the 6Z GFS, UKMET, EMCWF, CMC, GGEM and they all are in fairly good agreement about a track toward Florida and the East Coast. When all the global models agree we really need to pay attention. IMO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JasonCoolMan2012:
I think 97l could become like Katrina.I dont like this tropical wave at all guys!!!

That is just Stoopid talk. Bye Bye Jason, join all you other names on my ignore list.

Currently 48.7F heading for an over night low of 43F and a high tomorrow(friday) of 63F.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
2865. angiest
Quoting P451:
97L





What you meant to say was now we can get specialized model runs.

Good? Yeah....after watching the Emily, 92L, and 93L fiascos unfold model wise and blog wise (OMG! HWRF AT 84 HOURS! DOOM!) I think it would be wise to temper any expectations from the models and the following discussion they generate.



I mean to say good views of the model runs, as in Google Earth, Wunderground, etc.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
2863. Patrap
12z 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: 428 Comments: 129844
Quoting NavarreMark:


Matagorda Bay.

if it'll bring Rockport TX some rain, bring it on!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting angiest:


The drought would eat something that small alive. ;P

By the way, shouldn't you have chosen to be Gungnir instead? That is a much more well-known one of my .. er .. Odin's weapons.


Yeah. Just ask Don! Lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2860. angiest
Quoting USAFwxguy:


That is a wonderful place, from what I hear.


Matagorda Bay is relatively undeveloped (there is plenty of development along some of its arms, notably Tres Palacios Bay and Lavaca Bay, which has two important ports). IIRC, Matagorda Island is a good example of what a barrier Island is supposed to look like.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766

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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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