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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Nobody's talking about this???





Well, that seems to put paid to 93Ls chances to be more than a TS....... lol
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Time: 15:36:30Z
Coordinates: 17.4167N 65.3833W
Acft. Static Air Press: 426.0 mb (~ 12.58 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 7,134 meters (~ 23,406 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: -
D-value: 398 meters (~ 1,306 feet)
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 104° at 10 knots (From the ESE at ~ 11.5 mph)
Air Temp: -13.7°C* (~ 7.3°F*)
Dew Pt: -*
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 10 knots (~ 11.5 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: -
SFMR Rain Rate: -


Time: 15:46:30Z
Coordinates: 17.2167N 66.2W
Acft. Static Air Press: 392.9 mb (~ 11.60 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 7,740 meters (~ 25,394 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: -
D-value: 428 meters (~ 1,404 feet)
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 90° at 7 knots (From the E at ~ 8.0 mph)
Air Temp: -18.0°C* (~ -0.4°F*)
Dew Pt: -*
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 7 knots (~ 8.0 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: -
SFMR Rain Rate: -
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting Grothar:
Thanks, Doc.





Well, that would be a bad day for sure Gro. Glad there is at least 36 more runs before that would verify.
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Quoting WxLogic:


I've been wondering about that. Even though NAM is not an option (it is still fun to look at) it had on its 00Z run 93L actually moving NW into the E GOM.

To be more precised the Parallel run of NAM was doing so and not the current operational one.


Well, steering shows a weakness over the eastern GOM, so maybe NAM is seeing that:



It is probably not a likely solution, at least until a circulation forms.

Even the next steering layer supports a generally westward track:


but the opportunity currently exists to move a little more north.  Obviously you are looking at current state, etc.
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I fear the heatwave/drought in Texas is something of a positive feedback loop, in that the drier and warmer the air around Texas is, the less rain can be produced by weather systems, as exemplified by Don.
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mini low near the island of youth
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Recon has taken off and is enroute to intercept 93L.

Link

Time: 15:36:30Z
Coordinates: 17.4167N 65.3833W
Acft. Static Air Press: 426.0 mb (~ 12.58 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 7,134 meters (~ 23,406 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: -
D-value: 398 meters (~ 1,306 feet)
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 104° at 10 knots (From the ESE at ~ 11.5 mph)
Air Temp: -13.7°C* (~ 7.3°F*)
Dew Pt: -*
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 10 knots (~ 11.5 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: -
SFMR Rain Rate: -
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting hydrus:
Quoting Grothar:
GFS 006z: Wonder what that 12Z will look like
This is 228 hours out. I think that is around 9.5 days.


Howdy Gro...That would be a slow mover if that track were to materialize..Lotsa heavy rain and flooding issues..


Hi, hydrus. Someone posted a link right before the update of the large swirl in the Atlantic associated with the wave. I wish they could repost it. As the Doc mentioned, it may not have much convection, but a lot of spin. As you know, those usually turn out to be the bad ones when the come pat 60W. Usually I step out on a limb, but I am going to wait until there is a little more convection building. I do feel it might run alittle higher than 93L did, because of its possible strength.
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Recon has taken off and is enroute to intercept 93L.

Link
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System off of Africa 240 hours out...
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From the previous blog entry:
Quoting jpsb:
Not really, the only really reliable info on sea level would come from satellite measurements, since land masses slowly rise and fall for all kinds of reasons. And sea level measurements via satellites are a fairly recent development so there is not enough data points to allow any conclusions.

If it's true that land masses rise and fall, doesn't that make it all the more intriguing, then, that sea levels are predominantly rising? That is, wouldn't one expect rises and falls to be roughly equal over time?

Anyway, here's some satellite data for you. Now, this obviously only goes back to 1993, of course, so I suppose it's possible global sea levels suddenly started moving up that year after many decades of being level, but I'm doubting it... ;-)

Uh-oh

Lots of great info here.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13457
35W wave may be a sleeper. If it can gain some convection that would be a big step toward development.

Well, at least recon. will give a much more accurate assessment of just how organized 93L really is.





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Quoting USAFwxguy:
I wonder if we see development soon, whether 93L would be encouraged on a nw heading?





I've been wondering about that. Even though NAM is not an option (it is still fun to look at) it had on its 00Z run 93L actually moving NW into the E GOM.

To be more precised the Parallel run of NAM was doing so and not the current operational one.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4928
Good morning everyone, 93L really cranking up now i see. Should be 50 to 60% or greater depending on what the Recon finds... Should see Harvey later tomorrow, or early friday, and with the timing of the formation will determine if we will be able to see a hurricane out of Harvey.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting GTcooliebai:
1008 mb closed low?

I dont think 1 close isobar means a close low.
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Quoting Grothar:



I just post images. I haven't had any thoughts lately. At least I don't think I have.
They say memory is the first to go, I think.
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oh ok, sorry
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1130
Quoting 69Viking:
Thanks for the update Doc!


Ehhh, like your picture!
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Looks like a closed low to me.

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Thx, Dr M, but I miss Angela updates.
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.CLIMATE...

MOST CONSECUTIVE 100-DEGREE DAYS AT HOUSTON (IAH):
(RECORDS SINCE 1889)

1. 16 DAYS - ONGOING
2. 14 DAYS - ENDING 7/19/1980
3. 11 DAYS - ENDING 8/05/1998
4. 9 DAYS - ENDING 7/03/1980
5. 8 DAYS - ENDING 9/05/2000
6. 8 DAYS - ENDING 8/21/1993
7. 8 DAYS - ENDING 8/14/1962
8. 7 DAYS - ENDING 6/29/2009
9. 7 DAYS - ENDING 8/02/1986
10. 7 DAYS - ENDING 6/22/1902

MOST 100-DEGREE DAYS FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER AT HOUSTON (IAH):
(RECORDS SINCE 1889)

1. 32 DAYS - 1980
2. 27 DAYS - 2011 (ONGOING)
3. 24 DAYS - 1998
4. 20 DAYS - 2000
5. 19 DAYS - 1902
6. 17 DAYS - 2009
7. 16 DAYS - 1909
8. 14 DAYS - 1993
9. 13 DAYS - 1907
10. 10 DAYS - 1999
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 446
39. jpsb
Quoting kshipre1:
grothar,


any thoughts?
Well since I have watched system after system fail to develop into much this year, I am going to have to see one develop first before I believe a 200 hours model forecast calling for a major hurricane. Something is killing systems this year and until that stops not much is going to happen.
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Quoting kshipre1:
grothar,

the pic you show could be true. from experience we all know that it is way too early to speculate deeply given the storm has not formed but based on what Dr. Masters was saying that the storm could near Puerto Rico, that is pretty scary in itself given that last year and up to this point many storms have recurved at that point or a little westward.

With the upper level pattern change in the High parking itself right off of the eastern seaboard, I have a tough time seeing how this storm could recurve.

only way is if the high is a little weaker, displaced eastward or a trough strong enough swings down in time to curve a bit east of florida

any thoughts?



I just post images. I haven't had any thoughts lately. At least I don't think I have.
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Quoting Grothar:
Thanks, Doc.


Quoting Grothar:
GFS 006z: Wonder what that 12Z will look like
This is 228 hours out. I think that is around 9.5 days.


Howdy Gro...That would be a slow mover if that track were to materialize..Lotsa heavy rain and flooding issues..
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From Sunday morning's Hou/Galv NWS discussion:

"...And now to finish off with today's climate fact: the all-time record high minimum temperature of 85 degrees in Galveston occurred a total of Nine Times between 1874 and 2010. It has now occurred Nine Times this Summer...including on the last seven consecutive mornings..."
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1008 mb closed low?

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The following sentence lacks clarity:

Lake Houston is dangerously low as well. They will be draining 12inches of water to ease the water shortage in Houston.

They will be lowering levels in Lake Conroe (which may be the lake in the jet-ski photo) to add to Lake Houston. Both are part of the San Jacinto River system.
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Quoting cloudburst2011:



well we will see i think its a waste of money ..they know best..


I agree that the surface obs available, such as buoy data, all point to this system not having a surface low at this time. The system is entering a zone generally favourable for development and by the time the aircraft arrives and spends time on station conditions may start to change.

Who knows why the mission was kept but there it is. I personally do not see much to be gained by sending a plane out but that's just my opinion.
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grothar,

the pic you show could be true. from experience we all know that it is way too early to speculate deeply given the storm has not formed but based on what Dr. Masters was saying that the storm could near Puerto Rico, that is pretty scary in itself given that last year and up to this point many storms have recurved at that point or a little westward.

With the upper level pattern change in the High parking itself right off of the eastern seaboard, I have a tough time seeing how this storm could recurve.

only way is if the high is a little weaker, displaced eastward or a trough strong enough swings down in time to curve a bit east of florida

any thoughts?
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1130
Thanks Dr. Masters
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Quoting CorneliaMarie:
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.



when did Texas start keeping records?



Houston's records go back to the 1880's or 1890's as I recall. So we have a little over a century of instrumented records.
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Quoting rmbjoe1954:


Hi Grothar-
Is that the latest GFS?


The new one should be coming out shortly. That is 228 hours out, so don't worry yet.
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Morning all.

I see 93L is looking somewhat more organized this a.m.....

We got a good soaking earlier this a.m. from the shortwave that had been moving west the last couple days.

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Click Image for loop.




Click for loop.




Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting Gearsts:
OMG how many hours is that?


228
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Thank you Dr. Masters
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 446
Quoting Grothar:
Thanks, Doc.




Hi Grothar-
Is that the latest GFS?
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HH leaving St. Croix now!
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 57 Comments: 566
HA THE HH ARE IN THE AIR
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11023
Quoting Grothar:
Thanks, Doc.


OMG how many hours is that?
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Quoting cloudburst2011:



dont even try lol


Not sure what your point is. The first page showed no coordinate change for the entire page then the update shows the aircraft climbing out.
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Thanks, Doc.


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Quoting WxLogic:
HH on it's way:

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 17th day of the month at 15:16Z
Date: August 17, 2011
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 300)
Mission Purpose: Investigate fifth suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 01


Time: 15:26:30Z
Coordinates: 17.6167N 64.6833W
Acft. Static Air Press: 652.9 mb (~ 19.28 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,782 meters (~ 12,408 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1016.6 mb (~ 30.02 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 100° at 18 knots (From the E at ~ 20.7 mph)
Air Temp: 5.9°C (~ 42.6°F)
Dew Pt: -1.3°C (~ 29.7°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 19 knots (~ 21.8 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: -
SFMR Rain Rate: -
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Thanks Dr. M.
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Thanks for the update Doc!
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Quoting kmanislander:


The single page downloaded shows the aircraft is not moving. Still on the ground it would seem and the coordinates suggest PR.


Who knows they might be thinking about it... haha.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4928

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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.