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 belizeit:


shows some sorta circulation there but I rather wait for the ASCAT but none are as reliable as the HH RECON missions
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12147
Quoting kmanislander:


Jamaica may need some flash flood warnings. The eastern end is very mountainous and orographic lift when the norther edge of the system reaches there could produce several inches of rain in short order.


Yep...It appears that the Northern band will hit Jamaica head on...

As of now, I think recon will find a TD.
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Maybe the NHC and the AFR HH need some "Tax Cut's".

That will help Im sure.

jus saying
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
Quoting cloudburst2011:



93L is moving due west and it hasnt SLOWED DOWN..

it moving N of W and it has slowed down
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12147
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Thanks for the correction but you know what I meant about putting too much credence in long-term model runs (hopefully)........ :)


no problem:)
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Hello Levi. do you know off hand what the wind shear looks like with the next big african wave headed westward?

I know there is plenty of warmer water ahead but I guess the dry air could play a role as well?
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Quoting MississippiWx:
If 93L can strengthen a little more quickly than the models believe, it could bring it just far enough north to miss Honduras and Nicaragua. That would give it another day over water, which could prove to be significant for somewhere like Belize.



Jamaica may need some flash flood warnings. The eastern end is very mountainous and orographic lift when the norther edge of the system reaches there could produce several inches of rain in short order.
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Quoting ncstorm:


Sunday for the islands..thats not two weeks..


Thanks for the correction but you know what I meant about putting too much credence in long-term model runs (hopefully)........ :)
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HH entering this cluster of storms is, IMO, a waste of resources. The general upper and lower level flow is going to push it to the SW more and it will only be a rain event for Central America. Like I said earlier. It is running of real estate.
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If 93L can strengthen a little more quickly than the models believe, it could bring it just far enough north to miss Honduras and Nicaragua. That would give it another day over water, which could prove to be significant for somewhere like Belize.

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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Always fun to see if such a long term model verifies in two weeks but don't bet on it......Best to wait until a fully developed storms approaches the Antilles where the models can then give us a better picture of the "general" area for a potential landfall.


Sunday for the islands..thats not two weeks..
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
It appears recon has the NE Portion Checked , getting SE winds, and its now retrograting toward the East implying that the North is closed as well... will be an interesting investigation into 93L


What ??

The aircraft is still at cruise altitude.
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ha ha lol.... i see your point
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Quoting winter123:

If it hits south Belize then moves wsw it could be yet another epac storm!
No big surprise there. I've been saying this was a possibility since I saw Pre-Greg out there on the weekend. It would be quite amusing if 93L ended up as the H storm.... in the OTHER basin.... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22318
Quoting cwf1069:

Hi Levy, what will be the steering pattern IF 93 developed really quick and can attain hurricane status before make landfall at Honduras/Nicaragua border. Thank you in advance.


A stronger system would tend to track slightly farther north, perhaps staying north of Honduras and hitting Belize, but 93L is unlikely to explode during the next 36 hours. Its best opportunity was going to be when it was north of Honduras, but since it looks like it may run out of time over water faster than anticipated, we probably won't be dealing with an awfully strong system. 36 hours is only enough time for 93L to become perhaps a tropical depression or weak tropical storm.
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This is where I see any kind of center. I could be wrong:
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Quoting tropicfreak:
Looks like 93L might be beginning to go just north of west.


Link

yes me and stormpetrol just said that
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12147
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
It appears recon has the NE Portion Checked , getting SE winds, and its now retrograting toward the East implying that the North is closed as well... will be an interesting investigation into 93L



yup

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Quoting Gearsts:
Levy why do you think the NHC is wating to tag the wave in the central atlantic and invest?


There is no criteria for a system being tagged an invest, and thus the NHC can do it at their leisure. They probably sense that it is unlikely to develop before 50W, and thus is not an immediate threat. I expect we will see an invest soon enough though if the models continue to support eventual development.
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Quoting Levi32:


Unbiased forecasting is a virtue, friend. Try to remember that.

Hi Levy, what will be the steering pattern IF 93 developed really quick and can attain hurricane status before make landfall at Honduras/Nicaragua border. Thank you in advance.
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agreed
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Quoting kshipre1:
wow, that is pretty incredible model consensus eventhough models this far out when a system has not formed is unreliable.

that is pretty amazing how much the models develop this system with the amount of dry air and upcoming wind shear

anyhow, if this system does become a major hurricane, with the High set to dominate, Florida better be wishing for a recurve or track further to the south


Slow down Grasshopper................ :)
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Quoting Patrap:
...I left my Opine,,in San Fransisco...


Opine - to hold or express an opinion

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Looks like 93L might be beginning to go just north of west.


Link
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Always fun to see if such a long term model verifies in two weeks but don't bet on it......Best to wait until a fully developed storm approaches the Antilles where the models can then give us a better picture of the "general" area for a potential landfall.
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For sale, Rain and plenty of it, 1c a gallon.







Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15938
Quoting Levi32:


Unbiased forecasting is a virtue, friend. Try to remember that.
Levy why do you think the NHC is wating to tag the wave in the central atlantic and invest?
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@ gugi,

Hay algo aparece in nuestra vecinidad en 7 - 10 dias

Looks like something in our area in 7-10 days.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22318
It appears recon has the NE Portion Checked , getting SE winds, and its now retrograting toward the East implying that the North is closed as well... will be an interesting investigation into 93L
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...I left my Opine,,in San Fransisco...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
Quoting Gearsts:
Why you dont have opinion on anything?


That's just your opinion. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26460
Quoting jpsb:


Not sure about world wide, but North America is still rebounding from the last ice age (rising). I suspect that sea levels rise and fall too, in cycles for various reasons. I think it is a good bet that the climate is changing, I think it is a good bet that the climate is always changing. Warming would not surprise me or worry me since we are in an inter glacial.

I fear cooling much more then warming. In earths history there has never been a case of run away global warming but there has been a case of runaway global cooling (Snow Ball Earth). Now we did come close to runaway global warming 225 million years ago, but that took 1 million years of the most massive volcanic activity we know about (see Siberian Flats). However only 25,000 years ago we had mini runaway cooling. I also note the massive snowfalls in North America in recent years and lack of complete melting this spring and wonder if maybe we are really looking at a cooling.

Seems the heat is mainly at lower latitudes while the higher latitudes are cooling. It is all very confusing :)


--If North America is still rising from the last ice age, sea levels would be concomitantly falling in the absence of any other external force. The fact that they're not doing that the're not doing that, then, should tell you something.

--Yes, the climate always changes. But it's never--not as far back as scientists can see in the fossil data--changed this quickly without bringing on severe disruptions to the biosphere.

--Not sure why anyone would say they fear cooling more than warming. A) The planet is definitely warming. B) Any positive side effects of warming will be greatly outnumbered by the negative side effects. (In fact, they're already doing so.)

--As has been said too many times to count, a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. More moisture means more precipitation of all kinds. That means more rain in warmer areas, and more snow in colder areas. Hence, the massive snowfalls.

--The higher latitudes are definitely not cooling. In fact, the closer one gets to the poles, the more warming there has been. Perhaps that's why you're confused. ;-)

Anyway, onward and upward...
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wow, that is pretty incredible model consensus eventhough models this far out when a system has not formed is unreliable.

that is pretty amazing how much the models develop this system with the amount of dry air and upcoming wind shear

anyhow, if this system does become a major hurricane, with the High set to dominate, Florida better be wishing for a recurve or track further to the south
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Quoting mcluvincane:



Ummmm..Ouch again


Oh great its showing a SE coast landfall again, make up your mind GFS, Florida or East Coast? LOL
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Quoting rushisaband:
new member of the asylum here. hi everyone


Welcome to wunderground!
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170. JRRP
Quoting Gearsts:
Every system that models bring towarsd PR has stay weak so im waiting for the last 48 when we have all the news talking about it and i can see the bands of rain and wind over to prepair ;). Puerto Rico is a Twave killer.

jejeje i'm a bit skeptical too
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Ummmm..Ouch again
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Quoting gugi182:
If this system in the Atlantic actually develops into something before this Sunday or gets classified by the NHC where do you think it will head and what classification do you give it?

A. Invest
B. Tropical Depression
C. Tropical Storm
D. Hurricane
So where are the "other" answers to your 2-part question??
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I think the HH might find 93L LLCOC further N maybe near 15.6N 74.2W moving W-WNW




with that models run I would go with the CLP5
I really don't think to continued W-WSW track will follow through I say maybe even a bit further N than the CLP5 would be the track


Unbiased forecasting is a virtue, friend. Try to remember that.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
00z CMC

Landfall in FL

That track would be a major disaster for sure..Florida getting whacked, enters the super warm gulf, and inevitably, another landfall..
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Quoting kshipre1:
ok thanks for your help. no, you are not being rude.. did not take it that way

I was just asking because I did not see model runs from the ECMWF and UKMET. only GFS


Link
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oh GFS...983mb into SC
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Quoting JRRP:
max winds 85.4073kt

06z GFS
Every system that models bring towarsd PR has stay weak so im waiting for the last 48 when we have all the news talking about it and i can see the bands of rain and wind over me, to prepair ;). Puerto Rico is a Twave killer.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
93l looks like it might have slowed some and moving more north of west now, jmo

true I see that as well
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12147
Quoting Grothar:
Since no one believes in any of the models, tracks, forecasts, data, etc. I say we post cartoons until a system is 2 hours off of the coast before posting anything. This way conjecture, thoughts, ideas, progession and can be removed from the equation and we can all be surprised.


chuckle for the day
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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.