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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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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New Tornado Watch out until 8pm MDT for cities like Denver, CO, Cheyenne, WY, and Scottsbluff, NE.

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Quoting Patrap:


Was just under that cell at Audubon Park, and a very wet, one Dog and one Human
air goes up.. air comes down.. that was pretty neat :)
hope it was refreshing!
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Quoting weatherh98:


Only 50 hahah

Perhaps an indication that NOAA isn't thinking we'll see anything more than a weak El Nino.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8035
Quoting Patrap:


Was just under that cell at Audubon Park, and a very wet, one Dog and one Human


Im kinda frustrated... Rain everywhere. not here though
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


There it is now.


Lol...Ok, good. Thanks for the heads up.
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Quoting weatherh98:
This is truly amazing. The new orleans cellhas choked itself off, an outflow boundary in all directions.



Was just under that cell at Audubon Park, and a very wet, one Dog and one Human
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon everyone... Sorry if it was mentioned already but the CPC has put out an El Nino Watch saying we have a 50% likelihood of El Nino forming in 2012.

Link


Only 50 hahah
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Good afternoon everyone... Sorry if it was mentioned already but the CPC has put out an El Nino Watch saying we have a 50% likelihood of El Nino forming in 2012.

Link
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8035
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
From what I see here, the NWS was expecting the Nature Coast to receive the heaviest rain today, and that's verified:

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
401 AM EDT THU JUN 7 2012

.SHORT TERM (TODAY-SATURDAY)...
THE MID/UPPER LEVEL TROUGH THAT HAS BEEN OVER THE EASTERN U.S.
THIS WEEK WILL SHIFT OUT INTO ATLANTIC OCEAN DURING FRIDAY...BUT
AN UPPER LEVEL LOW UNDERCUTTING THE RIDGE IN THE CENTRAL U.S. WILL
ALSO MOVE EAST INTO THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. THIS WILL KEEP
THE DEEP MOIST SOUTHWEST TO WEST FLOW ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH AT
LEAST SATURDAY. AT THE SURFACE THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY ACROSS NORTH
FLORIDA WILL DRIFT SOUTH INTO THE REGION FRIDAY...BUT DURING
SATURDAY THE GFS...NAM AND CANADIAN BEGIN TO LIFT THE BOUNDARY
BACK TO THE NORTH WHILE THE CONSISTENT ECMWF PUSHES IT FURTHER
SOUTH AND WEST INTO THE EASTERN GULF AND SOUTH FLORIDA. HAVE
PRETTY MUCH DECIDED TO TAKE A BLEND OF THESE MODELS AND KEPT THE
BOUNDARY ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH SATURDAY.

FOR TODAY WE SHOULD SEE MORE CONVECTION DEVELOP OVER THE EASTERN
GULF AND SPREAD ACROSS THE REGION AS SHORTWAVE MOVING NORTHEAST
ACROSS CENTRAL GULF APPROACHES. HAVE THEREFORE INCREASED POPS TO
80 PERCENT ACROSS MOST OF THE AREA...EXCEPT THE FAR NORTH AND FAR
SOUTH. STILL LOOKS LIKE SOME AREAS WILL RECEIVE HEAVY RAINFALL...
ESPECIALLY FROM THE TAMPA BAY AREA NORTHWARD.




Well, the NWS was quick to notice with the 4 AM update that models were too fast with the front so they quickly responded to match what would be more likely in all reality, however, yesterday the models all showed Tampa Bay southward as the main axis of heavy precip for today.


The good news is though, this does not mean less rain, a slower moving front will likely mean even more rainfall. Furthermore you can already see additional shortwave energy coming from the west to ramp up up convection even more later on.

Either way great drought relief is on the way, the atmosphere is honestly almost too moist for severe weather, in that the extremely high moisture content at all levels of the atmosphere with depth of warmth means unlikely there will be any severe weather. Strong thunderstorms are likely but probably nothing severe which is good. You sort of need a tropical cyclone to create severe weather with this type of atmospheric situation.
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Quoting txjac:


I'm just hoping it doesnt do a Don on us!

That's pretty much what it did yesterday. It looked great from a distance, but we didn't get much more than a cool breeze.

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Quoting MississippiWx:


Let's try it again for those who aren't getting my image to show up. Does this one work?



yes thanks
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting MississippiWx:


Let's try it again for those who aren't getting my image to show up. Does this one work?



There it is now.
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This is truly amazing. The new orleans cellhas choked itself off, an outflow boundary in all directions.

Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting MississippiWx:
I overlaid the Nino regions with today's new SST anomaly map to give you a better idea on what areas need to warm and what areas are already warm. Some of the lines are crossing each other, but the different Nino regions run together and combine with other ones. Just notice where a color begins and ends to tell what region you are viewing. Nino 3.4 is making progress and it won't take much more for the average anomaly to reach +0.5C.

Nino 1+2- Black
Nino 3- Purple
Nino 3.4- Green
Nino 4- Red



Let's try it again for those who aren't getting my image to show up. Does this one work?

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Quoting MississippiWx:


Is it still doing it? It's not doing that on mine.


Well,maybe is on my end as I still see the red x.
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Quoting weatherh98:


is that a low in the northern gulf?

Click the box next to fronts.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Link
GOM


is that a low in the northern gulf?
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
1042 AM CDT THU JUN 7 2012

...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS TODAY...

.THE RIP CURRENT RISK HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO A HIGH RISK TODAY ALONG
THE ALABAMA AND FLORIDA PANHANDLE BEACHES BASED ON REPORTS FROM LOCAL
BEACH PATROLS. WHILE WINDS ARE NOT THAT HIGH...LONGER SOUTHERLY SWELL
WAVES OF 3 TO 5 FEET ARE IMPACTING THE BEACHES. BEACH PATROLS HAVE
REPORTED THAT SOME RESCUES HAVE OCCURRED AND THAT RIP CURRENTS ARE
BEING OBSERVED.

ALZ063-064-FLZ002-004-006-080000-
/O.NEW.KMOB.RP.S.0004.120607T1542Z-120608T0000Z/
LOWER MOBILE-LOWER BALDWIN-COASTAL ESCAMBIA-COASTAL SANTA ROSA-
COASTAL OKALOOSA-
1042 AM CDT THU JUN 7 2012

...HIGH RIP CURRENT RISK IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MOBILE HAS ISSUED A HIGH RIP
CURRENT RISK...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING.

* TIMING...DANGEROUS SURF AND RIP CURRENT CONDITIONS LASTING THROUGH
THIS AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS...A HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS MEANS WIND...WAVE...AND
TIDAL CONDITIONS SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF WIDESPREAD
DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS. RIP CURRENTS ARE LIFE-THREATENING TO
ANYONE ENTERING THE SURF

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

RIP CURRENTS ARE POWERFUL CHANNELS OF WATER FLOWING QUICKLY AWAY
FROM SHORE...WHICH OCCUR MOST OFTEN AT LOW SPOTS OR BREAKS IN THE
SANDBAR AND IN THE VICINITY OF STRUCTURES SUCH AS GROINS... JETTIES
AND PIERS. HEED THE ADVICE OF LIFEGUARDS AND THE BEACH PATROL. PAY
ATTENTION TO FLAGS AND POSTED SIGNS.

IF YOU BECOME CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT...DO NOT PANIC. REMAIN CALM
AND BEGIN TO SWIM PARALLEL TO SHORE. ONCE YOU ARE AWAY FROM THE
FORCE OF THE RIP CURRENT...BEGIN TO SWIM BACK TO THE BEACH. DO
NOT ATTEMPT TO SWIM DIRECTLY AGAINST A RIP CURRENT. EVEN A STRONG
SWIMMER CAN BECOME EXHAUSTED QUICKLY.

&&

$$


PLEASE VISIT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE
NEW RIP CURRENT HAZARD...

HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SURVEY/NWS-SURVEY.PHP?CODE =RCVTECCHM






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Quoting Chicklit:


Link


Thanks for the picture Chicklit :-)
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Miss, the red x is showing up.


Is it still doing it? It's not doing that on mine.
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Quoting Jedkins01:
Forecasts were wrong again, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, lol forecast around here seems to be harder than anywhere else, which is often the reason for such conservative forecasting as well.


It's funny because last night I had a feeling the heaviest rain might remain north today because the front was still pretty far to the north, but forecasters were so adamant about the heaviest rain being from Tampa Bay south today that I just went with it.

I think tomorrow tonight into tomorrow looks to get more interesting into the central counties.


PWAT is 2.2 to 2.4 inches so expect very intense rainfall and radar estimates will be much lower than actual rainfall totals.
From what I see here, the NWS was expecting the Nature Coast to receive the heaviest rain today, and that's verified:

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
401 AM EDT THU JUN 7 2012

.SHORT TERM (TODAY-SATURDAY)...
THE MID/UPPER LEVEL TROUGH THAT HAS BEEN OVER THE EASTERN U.S.
THIS WEEK WILL SHIFT OUT INTO ATLANTIC OCEAN DURING FRIDAY...BUT
AN UPPER LEVEL LOW UNDERCUTTING THE RIDGE IN THE CENTRAL U.S. WILL
ALSO MOVE EAST INTO THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. THIS WILL KEEP
THE DEEP MOIST SOUTHWEST TO WEST FLOW ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH AT
LEAST SATURDAY. AT THE SURFACE THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY ACROSS NORTH
FLORIDA WILL DRIFT SOUTH INTO THE REGION FRIDAY...BUT DURING
SATURDAY THE GFS...NAM AND CANADIAN BEGIN TO LIFT THE BOUNDARY
BACK TO THE NORTH WHILE THE CONSISTENT ECMWF PUSHES IT FURTHER
SOUTH AND WEST INTO THE EASTERN GULF AND SOUTH FLORIDA. HAVE
PRETTY MUCH DECIDED TO TAKE A BLEND OF THESE MODELS AND KEPT THE
BOUNDARY ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH SATURDAY.

FOR TODAY WE SHOULD SEE MORE CONVECTION DEVELOP OVER THE EASTERN
GULF AND SPREAD ACROSS THE REGION AS SHORTWAVE MOVING NORTHEAST
ACROSS CENTRAL GULF APPROACHES. HAVE THEREFORE INCREASED POPS TO
80 PERCENT ACROSS MOST OF THE AREA...EXCEPT THE FAR NORTH AND FAR
SOUTH. STILL LOOKS LIKE SOME AREAS WILL RECEIVE HEAVY RAINFALL...
ESPECIALLY FROM THE TAMPA BAY AREA NORTHWARD.

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Link
GOM
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Forecasts were wrong again, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, lol forecast around here seems to be harder than anywhere else, which is often the reason for such conservative forecasting as well.


It's funny because last night I had a feeling the heaviest rain might remain north today because the front was still pretty far to the north, but forecasters were so adamant about the heaviest rain being from Tampa Bay south today that I just went with it.

I think tomorrow tonight into tomorrow looks to get more interesting into the central counties.


PWAT is 2.2 to 2.4 inches so expect very intense rainfall and radar estimates will be much lower than actual rainfall totals.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
I overlaid the Nino regions with today's new SST anomaly map to give you a better idea on what areas need to warm and what areas are already warm. Some of the lines are crossing each other, but the different Nino regions run together and combine with other ones. Just notice where a color begins and ends to tell what region you are viewing. Nino 3.4 is making progress and it won't take much more for the average anomaly to reach 0.5C.

Nino 1 2- Black
Nino 3- Purple
Nino 3.4- Green
Nino 4- Red



Oops double post.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I overlaid the Nino regions with today's new SST anomaly map to give you a better idea on what areas need to warm and what areas are already warm. Some of the lines are crossing each other, but the different Nino regions run together and combine with other ones. Just notice where a color begins and ends to tell what region you are viewing. Nino 3.4 is making progress and it won't take much more for the average anomaly to reach +0.5C.

Nino 1+2- Black
Nino 3- Purple
Nino 3.4- Green
Nino 4- Red



Miss, the red x is showing up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I overlaid the Nino regions with today's new SST anomaly map to give you a better idea on what areas need to warm and what areas are already warm. Some of the lines are crossing each other, but the different Nino regions run together and combine with other ones. Just notice where a color begins and ends to tell what region you are viewing. Nino 3.4 is making progress and it won't take much more for the average anomaly to reach +0.5C.

Nino 1+2- Black
Nino 3- Purple
Nino 3.4- Green
Nino 4- Red

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Cool page Neapol
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
Mayaguez, PR, is at 99 degrees right now, setting that location's highest June temperature ever, tying its highest ever temp of 99, and coming in just one degree shy of Puerto Rico's likely all-time high of 100 (a 104-degree reading in 1996 at Mona is considered suspect and likely invalid).

The heat index is 107. Lovely...

MPR
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Link
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
Quoting Neapolitan:
The NCDC has released its national State of the Climate data for May, and it is a doozy.
take That 1998!!
:(
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Quoting Chicklit:
Link Here we go again!


Nados???




they have a weak crossover
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
200. Tygor
Quoting RitaEvac:


The white area along the coast is down right flawed



Yeah this map is a bit weird anyhow. I want to say at my house we are about 3" under average year to date, which isn't too bad actually. It's the 20-24" we were behind in 2011 that makes this year (and perhaps this map) laughable.
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


They won't make it here. Our only hope is if that L stalls over us tomorrow and storms develop. If not, we won't have any rain for a little while.
ok,good luck, there seems to be several lows over there to work with
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There are some massive powerlines running through those areas. Just a thought.
Quoting nofailsafe:


Awesome. Here's what we're seeing:




EDIT: Just thought about something: you can clearly see the outline of the coast of Trinity Bay and Galveston Island which makes me wonder if the reason why we're seeing highway 6 is the same reason we're seeing these other two features: temperature change.

IIRC, RF can be refracted by changes in medium density. So what we're seeing is some of the radiation from the transmitter getting refracted by this temperature inversion from warm water to cool land.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


The white area along the coast is down right flawed. They're going by stupid numbers of being above normal, not by actuality! of what's going on



Completely agree
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Quoting LargoFl:
.........................these storms in texas are sinking southward it looks like Houston you might get some this afternoon


They won't make it here. Our only hope is if that L stalls over us tomorrow and storms develop. If not, we won't have any rain for a little while.
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That's all these "experts" do, is go by numbers. Instead of real world actuality of the situations of what is taking place on the ground, in the air.
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Quoting allancalderini:
That would be awesome if it verifies. we would have Chris and Debby if that happen and my forecast of June will verify of two storms.


We'd be well ahead of 2005 if that where to happen, I don't think there's ever been a recorded case of having 4 named storms before July.
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192. txjac
Quoting LargoFl:
.........................these storms in texas are sinking southward it looks like Houston you might get some this afternoon


I'm just hoping it doesnt do a Don on us!
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Link Here we go again!

I wonder if in our region we could see the same sort of hot rain scenario along the Texas and/or Mexican GOM coast. I also wonder if rain at that temperature killed any vegetation.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
.........................these storms in texas are sinking southward it looks like Houston you might get some this afternoon
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Screw Dallas! We need it down here. The drought is coming back..



If we do not get any rain out of this system, expect that map to look worse this time next week.


The white area along the coast is down right flawed. They're going by stupid numbers of being above normal, not by actuality! of what's going on

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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSONVILLE FL
159 PM EDT THU JUN 7 2012

FLZ033-038-071845-
FLAGLER-ST. JOHNS-
159 PM EDT THU JUN 7 2012

...A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR SOUTHEASTERN
ST. JOHNS AND NORTHERN FLAGLER COUNTIES FOR STRONG WINDS AND
EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING VALID UNTIL 245 PM EDT...

AT 159 PM EDT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED STRONG
THUNDERSTORMS CENTERED 3 MILES SOUTHWEST OF DUPONT CENTER...OR 7
MILES WEST OF CRESCENT BEACH...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 15 MPH. THESE
STRONG THUNDERSTORMS WILL ALSO AFFECT AREAS AROUND ELKTON...
MARINELAND...DUPONT CENTER...CRESCENT BEACH...SAINT AUGUSTINE
SHORES...BUTLER BEACH...SAINT AUGUSTINE SOUTH...SAINT AUGUSTINE
BEACH...VILANO BEACH AND SAINT AUGUSTINE THROUGH 245 PM EDT.
EXCESSIVE CLOUD-TO-GROUND LIGHTNING AND GUSTY WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH
CAN BE EXPECTED ALONG WITH POSSIBLE MINOR DAMAGE. HEAVY RAINFALL WILL
PRODUCE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS AND MINOR FLOODING OF LOW-LYING
AREAS.

REPORT DAMAGE TO THE NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY OR YOUR COUNTY
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

LAT...LON 2960 8132 2972 8149 3000 8131 2998 8130
2993 8129 2988 8126 2977 8125 2967 8120
2965 8120
TIME...MOT...LOC 1759Z 217DEG 11KT 2973 8134

$$

PETERSON
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Quoting weatherh98:


You got somecoming though
yes a whole blob soon to arrive..theres bad weather moving into east florida
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Quoting LargoFl:
your time will come,they have been getting alot of rain around Dallas


Screw Dallas! We need it down here. The drought is coming back..



If we do not get any rain out of this system, expect that map to look worse this time next week.
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The NCDC has released its national State of the Climate data for May, and it is a doozy. I won't go into much detail, as I'm pretty sure Dr. Masters will discuss the unprecedented warmth himself over the next several days. But I thought I'd mention a couple of salient features.

30 or states saw their warmest springs on record. Only two of the contiguous 48 states saw near normal temps:

Hit

Spring (March - May) was by far the warmest ever in the United States (note the blue spike at the far right):

Hit


...and June 2011-May 2012 was by a good margin the warmest 12 month period recorded in the US since 1895. And all 11 of the 11 warmest 12 month periods have taken place since 2000, with threee of the top 5 taking place in the past 14 months:

Hit
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Quoting LargoFl:
yeah its been north and south of me today, a few showers short lived by my house today


You got somecoming though
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539


"Dey startin ta pop down hea"
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539

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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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