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 looking good !!! maybe a TD now !!!
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Quoting Levi32:


Nuh uh....don't you dare...


I'm going to freak out if we get another system form off a frontal boundary.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Hey Levi, why is 93L taking so long to work down a surface circulation when it already has a vigorous mid-level one?


Well it's only just now entering the area in the western Caribbean where it could slow down some and allow the circulation to get going. The fast trade winds which have been pushing it along are not favorable for the closing off of a surface low.

Thunderstorm activity also hasn't been very deep, which means that there's not a whole lot of air being output from the top of the storm, and thus air pressures over the system are not inclined to decrease.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Out for a while. 93L isn't as organized as it appears. If it makes TS strength, that will probably be an achievement.

Later guys.
looks like 93 is interacting with the mid level low near the yucatan channel
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4869
Quoting Ivanhater:
12z GFS Ensemble mean brings it across Cuba and into the Central Gulf



Really we're fawning over the models 12 days out? Come on guys.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
All right. These are some of the things I have been thinking about. I have to admit I think the dry air is the least of the three. If anything, SAL, the usual dry air problem causer, has been lighter than last year. I think that lack of instability has been the big inhibitor, along with that big ole Azores high keeping the steering really fast.

Baha, keep in mind that the Images for SAL mostly include Aerosols, Particles of dust and so on.
That SAL image does not show the Dry Air as well as the WV images/loops.

Sal has been low (relatively) but dry air has been plenty. Where it matters especially!
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Quoting Levi32:
93L's track could still depend a lot on where its surface circulation forms, if it ever forms one. It would only take a northward shift of 50 miles from where the models have it to get it over the water just north of Honduras. If the surface low develops farther north, we may have some more oceanic real estate to deal with.


Hey Levi, why is 93L taking so long to work down a surface circulation when it already has a vigorous mid-level one?
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Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Don't post such a frightning image anything taking advantage of it will kill a lot of people
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Quoting JRRP:

ukm


UKM Still strong.
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Out for a while. 93L isn't as organized as it appears. If it makes TS strength, that will probably be an achievement.

Later guys.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
93L has slowd way down


thank you!!!

Quoting robert88:
Thunderstorms popping to the S now. Looks like it might actually be starting to wrap up.


as I said I think we may get a TS late tonight or early morn
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12371
93L's track could still depend a lot on where its surface circulation forms, if it ever forms one. It would only take a northward shift of 50 miles from where the models have it to get it over the water just north of Honduras. If the surface low develops farther north, we may have some more oceanic real estate to deal with.
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Quoting sarahjola:
when a storm slows does that mean a turn in the near future? tia



Usually yes.
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644. srada
Hey everyone!

I guess someone must have thrown some milk from all those milk jugs on the server board. Watching in Wilmington for this potential storm. Will be a doozy for the SE coast if develops and head up this way!
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Thunderstorms are starting to fire near the center this should get rid of the dry air in the center . Percentage should be up at 8 o'clock
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While things are quiet, and to take a break from the politics and GW stuff, can anyone tell me if Don counted as a CONUS tropical storm impact? The Wundermap shows Don as a 50 mph TS off the coast, but the next dot, just inland shows a 35 mph TD.

Link
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Quoting Tazmanian:
93L has slowd way down
when a storm slows does that mean a turn in the near future? tia
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Ugh...



Nuh uh....don't you dare...
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Thunderstorms popping to the S now. Looks like it might actually be starting to wrap up.
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large amplitude tw out there 32 w seems to have multiple weak vortexs.
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4869
Ugh...

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<
Quoting twincomanche:
He who laughs last.......
Im still laughing so hard mykidneys hurt..............lololololol
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Quoting kmanislander:


Probably a number of factors some of which I will list but not in order of importance.

1. Dry air, a plague in nearly every early season. That has been a big factor this year.

2. Fast forward speed.

3. Stable atmospheric conditions aloft ( both the Caribbean and the Atlantic are presently below average for atmospheric instability ) and this also inhibits development.

Starting in a few days with the return of the MJO which promotes rising air the instability levels should increase along with atmospheric moisture content. We already have high SST and TCHP so I am expecting a period of heightened activity to run from the third week of August onwards.
All right. These are some of the things I have been thinking about. I have to admit I think the dry air is the least of the three. If anything, SAL, the usual dry air problem causer, has been lighter than last year. I think that lack of instability has been the big inhibitor, along with that big ole Azores high keeping the steering really fast.
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Still not seeing all of the posts and the buttons at the top right are missing. The blog is not 100% back so will return later.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



Yeah, what really happened?
Well, I asked what officially happened, which might different from reality. ;)
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Quoting yonzabam:


Quite unfair. US politics has been a game of pass the parcel since Reagan got into pwer and doubled the deficit to pay for pledges that couldn't be honoured by tax receipts.

The deficit is now $13.4 trillion. Obama has inherited this from previous administrations and he's left holding the parcel.


The deficit was not nearly as large as it was under Bush. It actually increased under a democratic house and senate.

I am personally tired of the politics on a weather blog, but outright lies irritate me.

Last of my gripes, let's argue about the weather.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Well we do have a sub-tropical climate afterall. 30 inches is actually above normal for our rainy season, and we still have a month left of it. Hey don't get me wrong I'm not complaining. Love the rain!


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.
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Quoting islander101010:
close enough 2.0 i think that the recon was worth it. cant take a chance this couple months


I agree.
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Quoting JeffMasters:
Sorry about that, we were upgrading some memory on a few key servers, and had a bit of a rough time for a few minutes with the blogs as a result.

Jeff Masters
There was a disturbance in the force but balance is restored.
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Quoting angiest:

OK, but what of the 1000 repeats of the same post last night? What, officially, happened? :D



Yeah, what really happened?
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Quoting kmanislander:
610. MississippiWx 2:59 PM EST on August 17, 2011

The quote function is not working.


... out there.


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Quoting MississippiWx:


Yep.

Prime example of why you can't take a satellite image and make a claim. I'm more experienced than that and I shouldn't have made that statement, but I was too short on time to look at other observations.

It appears to be a TD on satellite, but it's apparently not even close at the present time.
close enough 2.0 i think that the recon was worth it. cant take a chance this couple months
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4869
12z Canadian ensembles agrees with the Gulf solution as well

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Quoting JeffMasters:
Sorry about that, we were upgrading some memory on a few key servers, and had a bit of a rough time for a few minutes with the blogs as a result.

Jeff Masters
OK, but what of the 1000+ repeats of the same post last night? What, officially, happened? :D
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Quoting Jedkins01:


You wanna talk tropical weather, we've had almost every morning in the 80's for weeks up here on the west Coast of Florida, and now over 30 inches of rain has fallen since late June. The ground is quite saturated as you might expect.
Well we do have a sub-tropical climate afterall. 30 inches is actually above normal for our rainy season, and we still have a month left of it. Hey don't get me wrong I'm not complaining. Love the rain!
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Quoting JeffMasters:
Sorry about that, we were upgrading some memory on a few key servers, and had a bit of a rough time for a few minutes with the blogs as a result.

Jeff Masters


ok no prob doc btw now that you are here and I knew that you flew in the HH before please can you give me an idea what in the world these guys are doing now in 93L they looked like they where headed back home theb they turned Eward back into the system thanks
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12371
Quoting bigeasystormcaster:
DON'T KID YOURSELF. 93L IS NOT TURNING NW!


I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!
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Quoting tatoprweather:
Does anybody think we'll have a new invest in the ATL very soon? Soon = Not later than tomorrow.
Yes, by tonight
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610. MississippiWx 2:59 PM EST on August 17, 2011

The quote function is not working.

No worries about that. When the surface obs tell you that nothing of consequence is going on, as buoy 42058 was showing, the HH cannot find what is not out there.
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Good afternoon all.
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DON'T KID YOURSELF. 93L IS NOT TURNING NW!
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Does anybody think we'll have a new invest in the ATL very soon? Soon = Not later than tomorrow.
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Flip flops with the ECMWF are to be expected, but the general trend is towards development IMO. Its got to happen people, the longer we wait without a hurricane the stronger it will be, hurricanes are like the A/C of the Earth, and all the upward MJO will be focused in our basin when this storm comes around, so the Atlantic will bare the brunt of the activity for now. 93L though, I doubt it will develop. It has a nice look but no closed circulation. Had a nice try though, but running out of time.
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12z GFS Ensemble mean brings it across Cuba and into the Central Gulf

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Quoting kmanislander:


Sorry, I have not been on for a few hours. Was he expecting the HH to find a TD out there ?


Yep.

Prime example of why you can't take a satellite image and make a claim. I'm more experienced than that and I shouldn't have made that statement, but I was too short on time to look at other observations.

It appears to be a TD on satellite, but it's apparently not even close at the present time.
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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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