Hottest rain on record? Rain falls at 109°F in Saudi Arabia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:24 AM GMT on June 07, 2012

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Pilgrims to the holy city of Mekkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia must have been astonished on Tuesday afternoon, June 5, when the weather transformed from widespread dust with a temperature of 113°F (45°C) to a thunderstorm with rain. Remarkably, the air temperature during the thunderstorm was a sizzling 109°F (43°C), and the relative humidity a scant 18%. It is exceedingly rare to get rain when the temperature rises above 100°F, since those kind of temperatures usually require a high pressure system with sinking air that discourages rainfall. However, on June 4, a sea breeze formed along the shores of the Red Sea, and pushed inland 45 miles (71 km) to Mekkah by mid-afternoon. Moist air flowing eastwards from the Red Sea hit the boundary of the sea breeze and was forced upwards, creating rain-bearing thunderstorms. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, this is the highest known temperature that rain has fallen at, anywhere in the world. He knows of one other case where rain occurred at 109°F (43°C): in Marrakech, Morocco on July 10, 2010. A thunderstorm that began at 5 pm local time brought rain at a remarkably low humidity of 14%, cooling the temperature down to 91°F within an hour.



Figure 1. Thunderstorms at 109°F? This true-color satellite image of Saudi Arabia taken at 2:10 pm local time (11:10 UTC) on June 5, 2012, shows a line of thunderstorms that developed along the edge of the sea breeze from the Red Sea. Three hours after this image was taken, Mekkah (Mecca) recorded a thunderstorm with rain and a temperature of 109°F (43°C.) Image credit: NASA.

More like a hot shower than a cooling rain?
Thunderstorms often produce big drops of cold rain, since these raindrops form several thousand meters high in the atmosphere, where temperatures are much cooler than near the surface. Some drops even get their start as snow or ice particles, which melt on the way to the surface. Additional cooling of the drops occurs due to evaporation on the way down. However, in the case of the June 4, 2012 Mekkah storm, I think the rain was probably more like a hot shower. Large raindrops, like the kind thunderstorms produce, fall at a speed of about 10 meters per second. A balloon sounding of the upper atmosphere taken at 3 pm local time at a nearby station (Al-Midinah) found that the bottom 1000 meters of the atmosphere was 97°F (36°C) or warmer. Thus, the thunderstorms' raindrops would have been subjected to 100 seconds of some very hot air on the way to the surface, likely warming them above 100°F by the time they hit the ground. A classic 1948 study of raindrops found that, in many cases, raindrop temperatures start off cold in the first few minutes of a rain shower, then warm up to within 1°C (1.8°F) of the air temperature within a few minutes. With the air temperature a sizzling 109°F (43°C) at the time of the June 4 thunderstorm in Mekkah, the raindrops could easily have been heated to a temperature of over 105°F (41°C) by the time they reached the surface!

How hot can it be and still rain?
If substantial amounts of liquid water are present on the Earth, the planet will experience rain, as long as some mechanism to lift the warm, moist air and cause condensation can be found. If the climate continues to warm as expected, we should see an increasing number of cases where it rains at temperatures well above 100°F. On Saturday, June 2, the temperature in Mekkah hit 51.4°C (124.5°F), a new record for the city, and just 1.1°F (0.6°C) below the all-time hottest temperature record for Saudi Arabia (125.6°F, or 52°C, recorded at Jeddah on June 22, 2010.) I expect that 20 - 40 years from now, we'll begin seeing occasional cases where rain falls at a temperature above 117°F (47°C) in the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East.

I'll have a new post by Friday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


lol seems like when we wait and wait for the forecast to pan out, it is a bust. when the forecast calls for sunny skies, it floods.


Got small ignition going around us, taking so late in the day for this stuff to get going
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281. txjac
I'm getting some clouds! Light grey ...fingers are crossed
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Not sure if upper low is just stretching out this way or it's making a more pronounced turn SE on visible loops.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Something big is bound to happen, if not.....I'm banning myself from this blog permanently and never returning.


lol seems like when we wait and wait for the forecast to pan out, it is a bust. when the forecast calls for sunny skies, it floods.
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


You better be right! I do have that feeling as well but I do not want to jinx it. Oh what the hell, if it is going to happen, it will happen. I think we will see some storms come together late tonight and last through tomorrow


Something big is bound to happen, if not.....I'm banning myself from this blog permanently and never returning.
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Couple of rotating supercells heading for Rapid City, SD... It's possible one or both of them could end up tornado warned.
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Quoting FFtrombi:

Last year he was forecasting a triple dip la nina...
only thing triple dipped is joe


but steroids do some strange things to ya so i've been told
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It sure was beautiful today...el nino will be weak maybe...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17492
Quoting RitaEvac:
Too much heat, too much sun, too close to upper air low, spells massive blow up sooner rather than later


You better be right! I do have that feeling as well but I do not want to jinx it. Oh what the hell, if it is going to happen, it will happen. I think we will see some storms come together late tonight and last through tomorrow
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Definitly,the GOM will be one of the hot spots during the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season.
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Current Sea Height Anomalies:

Look at that eddy..

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Yeah a month of no rain will do that to you, lol... The storm up here faded a little before it got to me but I still had some very heavy rain and some strong winds... Probably at least a couple gusts to 40-45mph.


Me = Jealous. Lol. It has been about 95F every day for a month with no rain. We were supposed to get rain this week with the slow moving front coming down, but somehow it skipped over us and went to the immediate coastal area. It's supposed to rain tomorrow through at least Wednesday of next week, but I've seen that in the forecast for a while now only to have it trimmed back to 10%.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Joe Bastardi tweets about El Nino:

"@BigJoeBastardi: "The el nino will last into winter, lead to a cold winter cause its a cold pdo nino off a double nina, then fade next year. There, watch that."

Last year he was forecasting a triple dip la nina...
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Quoting MississippiWx:


It has been at least a month since I've received any rain. We got a sprinkle last week, but that was it. We're going to start showing up on the drought monitor soon.

Yeah a month of no rain will do that to you, lol... The storm up here faded a little before it got to me but I still had some very heavy rain and some strong winds... Probably at least a couple gusts to 40-45mph.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Well if "BigJoeBastardi" says it it must be true...
j.b._gilbert+texas=no
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
I'm about to get a nice storm...

AT 328 PM EDT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LINE
OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING SMALL HAIL ALONG A LINE
EXTENDING FROM FRAMINGHAM TO 2 MILES EAST OF WESTBOROUGH TO 2 MILES
NORTHEAST OF GRAFTON TO 3 MILES NORTHWEST OF GRAFTON TO 5 MILES
NORTHEAST OF AUBURN...OR ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM FRAMINGHAM TO 8
MILES SOUTHWEST OF FRAMINGHAM TO 9 MILES EAST OF WORCESTER TO 5 MILES
SOUTHEAST OF WORCESTER TO 2 MILES SOUTHEAST OF WORCESTER...MOVING
SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.


It has been at least a month since I've received any rain. We got a sprinkle last week, but that was it. We're going to start showing up on the drought monitor soon.
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Too much heat, too much sun, too close to upper air low, spells massive blow up sooner rather than later
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Some garden back yard cells about a mile wide north of Houston, other than that, keep on cooking and drying out, but I'm starting to feel were due....something big and bad is about to overspread Houston/Galveston
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Joe Bastardi tweets about El Nino:

"@BigJoeBastardi: "The el nino will last into winter, lead to a cold winter cause its a cold pdo nino off a double nina, then fade next year. There, watch that."

Well if "BigJoeBastardi" says it it must be true...
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I'm coming I'm coming
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Quoting LargoFl:
.as many as it takes to get the word out,this could very well be dangerous for us here, no one gives a S>>> about what is going to happen 320 hours from now, in a stiuation like this...........poof

We understand that...but continuous radar images is a bit bunch. Not to mention it could slow some peoples connection down if enough are posted.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
261. j2008
Dr Masters it rains frequently during the monsoon season when its over 100 here in Arizona. I'd be curious to know how cool it got after that storm moved through. Here it usually cools from about 105 down to the mid 80s.
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Joe Bastardi tweets about El Nino:

"@BigJoeBastardi: "The el nino will last into winter, lead to a cold winter cause its a cold pdo nino off a double nina, then fade next year. There, watch that."
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Rain you better move your A>>> cuz you bout to be eliminated off the forecasts
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Quoting jrweatherman:


Dude, how many radars are you going to post?


We need more radars. I cant see what is happening.10 per page isn't enough.
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Lol Nice storm! I had like 4 here in 3 weeks in Late March in to April!
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
There is some nasty weather about to move onshore in Pinellas County. We've kinda been missing out all day with just a few passing showers.



We had a few around 6am or so, but yeah, it's been relatively dry since.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
The best sure thing that we can see about tropical development after the 15th is in the EPAC with Carlotta being a moderate to strong Tropical Storm despicted by ECMWF and GFS.



There must be a better choice of words than "the best sure thing" when you are clinging to the guess of a model at 216 hours in the future.
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I'm about to get a nice storm...

AT 328 PM EDT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A LINE
OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING SMALL HAIL ALONG A LINE
EXTENDING FROM FRAMINGHAM TO 2 MILES EAST OF WESTBOROUGH TO 2 MILES
NORTHEAST OF GRAFTON TO 3 MILES NORTHWEST OF GRAFTON TO 5 MILES
NORTHEAST OF AUBURN...OR ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM FRAMINGHAM TO 8
MILES SOUTHWEST OF FRAMINGHAM TO 9 MILES EAST OF WORCESTER TO 5 MILES
SOUTHEAST OF WORCESTER TO 2 MILES SOUTHEAST OF WORCESTER...MOVING
SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH.
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There is some nasty weather about to move onshore in Pinellas County. We've kinda been missing out all day with just a few passing showers.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13 [06/06/2012]:
Denver is having major problems at this time after a monster supercell thunderstorm sat on the northeast side of the city producing lots and lots--up to 6"-- of hail. There have been many, many traffic accidents.

2012 really has been the year of hail.

Here's what I was referring to last night. Yes, that is hail, not snow. Simply amazing photo. Some areas on the northeast side of Denver received up to 6" of the white stuff.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting tropicfreak:
We really need something to track.....



I am standing by and ready to track. ;-)

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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
FLC053-101-071945-
/O.NEW.KTBW.SV.W.0011.120607T1918Z-120607T1945Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
318 PM EDT THU JUN 7 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
PASCO COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA...
HERNANDO COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA...

* UNTIL 345 PM EDT.

* AT 318 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR HERNANDO BEACH...OR 7 MILES
WEST OF SPRING HILL...AND MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
BROOKSVILLE...BAYPORT...PINE ISLAND...SHADY HILLS...WEEKI WACHEE...
GLEN LAKES...HIGH POINT...MASARYKTOWN...BROOKRIDGE...HERNANDO
COUNTY AIRPORT...GARDEN GROVE AND LAKE LINDSEY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IN ADDITION TO DAMAGING WINDS...CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND
LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY!
LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS. REMEMBER...IF YOU
CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

&&

LAT...LON 2841 8272 2844 8268 2847 8269 2849 8268
2850 8269 2854 8267 2859 8267 2864 8269
2870 8259 2869 8242 2866 8241 2866 8233
2837 8227 2832 8274
TIME...MOT...LOC 1917Z 250DEG 24KT 2846 8268

$$

14-MROCZKA


looks like I spoke too soon about the severe part lol
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7836
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
what is WPB Rainfall??


The shield talk isn't for rain, I believe it is for hurricanes. Tampa is getting their fair share of rain this year. As of yesterday TIA was 1in below normal for th year. They should be above normal by tomorrow.
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We really need something to track.....

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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
FLC053-101-071945-
/O.NEW.KTBW.SV.W.0011.120607T1918Z-120607T1945Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
318 PM EDT THU JUN 7 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RUSKIN HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
PASCO COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA...
HERNANDO COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA...

* UNTIL 345 PM EDT.

* AT 318 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR HERNANDO BEACH...OR 7 MILES
WEST OF SPRING HILL...AND MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
BROOKSVILLE...BAYPORT...PINE ISLAND...SHADY HILLS...WEEKI WACHEE...
GLEN LAKES...HIGH POINT...MASARYKTOWN...BROOKRIDGE...HERNANDO
COUNTY AIRPORT...GARDEN GROVE AND LAKE LINDSEY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IN ADDITION TO DAMAGING WINDS...CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND
LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM. MOVE INDOORS IMMEDIATELY!
LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS. REMEMBER...IF YOU
CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.
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what is WPB Rainfall??
Quoting Neapolitan:
With all the talk of "rain shields" and the like, one would think Tampa has been parched this year. But the city isn't doing as badly right now as some other locations across the state:
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.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
The best sure thing that we can see about tropical development after the 15th is in the EPAC with Carlotta being a moderate to strong Tropical Storm despicted by ECMWF and GFS.


Looks like it may give Mexico a close shave.
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Wow
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The best sure thing that we can see about tropical development after the 15th is in the EPAC with Carlotta being a moderate to strong Tropical Storm despicted by ECMWF and GFS.

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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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