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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Another lovely day. Watching the pop up stationary storms hovering / streaming off of the Chattahoochee / Nantahala National forests (N. Carolina/Georgia border)

Whenever I see that I wonder about the mechanism at play. Would we have more showers in North/mid Gerogia if the forest was still around? Would it happen less if the area was uniform in forest? Is it due to the air streaming south over the mountains interacting with atmospheric moisture? The showers happen quite often in the late afternoons/evenings. No showers around elsewhere, at least not at first, just over the forested areas.
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Quoting yqt1001:
A very similar thing happened last year. The blog was drooling over model runs of Arlene on the June 15-25th region with hurricane landfalls on Texas (and the raincasters started to pray for this to happen).

Then the models kept pushing the date farther and farther behind...eventually everyone gave up on it's formation. It did eventually form, but not after the models moved it 3 weeks. :P

Though the models are being surprisingly consistent this time around.
I must exculpate myself from your statement. I never once drooled over the model runs that were pertinent to Arlene. I may have had a semi, but at no time during the model runs did I drool or slobber. I resent your remark sir, and demand a complete and full pardon...:)
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Anyone else tracking that storm in East-Central Colorado? It has strong rotation, a confirmed tornado, 70mph winds at least and baseball size hail.


thunderbug and chicklet
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Anyone else tracking that storm in East-Central Colorado? It has strong rotation, a confirmed tornado, 70mph winds at least and baseball size hail.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7969
Quoting weatherh98:


my countdown is 11 days.
I need something to track.Even if Chris lives by it's legacy of being a weak storm.
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Quoting thunderbug91:

And remove many windshields....


really? dang. guess that would be 'crawl into the ditch' time if you can't get out of its way.
Anybody have cloud top height image on that one?

Link Intellicast
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11392

Quoting kipperedherring:
KORITHEMAN!!! Glad to hear from you, it's always an honor to have one of the true greats on the website!!!
Hey, thanks. How are you today?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Exactly.Well everyone said the 15th.So I'm going with the first :).OK joking.But I do think something will form mid month.The exact date?.That's for nature to decide.


my countdown is 11 days.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
good night all, 9pm edt always sneaks up on me like this.
I say Chris between 10-14 days, 67.943% likely

I'm right behind ya Stormz.
Enjoyed the discussions.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11392
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
good night all, 9pm edt always sneaks up on me like this.
I say Chris between 10-14 days, 67.943% likely

Oddly specific.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting thunderbug91:

THAT'S what I'm talking about!!!!



There is a thing I learned about the GFS a long time ago. It may not have the timing or the position of a potential storm correct, but it is usually pretty good at 'pattern recognition'. So it sees the upward motion in that general area and that western atlantic ridge in place. I'd put a greater than 50 percent chance that we will see something in the eastern gulf in a couple weeks.
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Quoting Chicklit:

nasty...looks like it's headed for the 24/I-70 intersection. That will topple a tractor trailor I bet.

And remove many windshields....
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Quoting thunderbug91:

That's the one...

nasty...looks like it's headed for the 24/I-70 intersection. That could turn a tractor trailer topsy turvy I'll bet.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11392
good night all, 9pm edt always sneaks up on me like this.
I say Chris between 10-14 days, 67.943% likely
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Quoting Hurricane1956:
Don't understand at all our local Met's,they has been saying for the last 3 days that we are going to have a lot of rain and storms here in South Florida.
Not a drop of rain today!!!,don't know where they are getting their information???,tomorrow 60% chance of rain and storms here in South Florida??.

Up here We've been getting drowned all day, and we have more coming in about 30 minutes...
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Quoting wxhatt:
hmmmm...

GFS sure hates Florida this year so far.Will this pattern set in for the season?.Mmmm.

thunderbug91 were you born in the 1991.Just curious...
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Quoting Chicklit:

I am assuming this is the nasty looking cell SE of Denver, correct?
653 PM MDT Thu Jun 7 2012

The National Weather Service in Pueblo has issued a

* Tornado Warning for... +northeastern El Paso County in east central Colorado...

* until 730 PM MDT

* at 650 PM MDT...National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado. This dangerous storm was located 9 miles north of Ramah...or 27 miles west of
Limon...and moving south at 20 mph. This storm has a history of producing tornadoes.

* Locations impacted include...
Ramah and Calhan.

That's the one...
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Quoting thunderbug91:

Hope everyone is staying safe..

I am assuming this is the nasty looking cell SE of Denver, correct?
653 PM MDT Thu Jun 7 2012

The National Weather Service in Pueblo has issued a

* Tornado Warning for... +northeastern El Paso County in east central Colorado...

* until 730 PM MDT

* at 650 PM MDT...National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado. This dangerous storm was located 9 miles north of Ramah...or 27 miles west of
Limon...and moving south at 20 mph. This storm has a history of producing tornadoes.

* Locations impacted include...
Ramah and Calhan.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11392
Don't understand at all our local Met's,they has been saying for the last 3 days that we are going to have a lot of rain and storms here in South Florida.
Not a drop of rain today!!!,don't know where they are getting their information???,tomorrow 60% chance of rain and storms here in South Florida??.
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Quoting weatherh98:


which is what the theory is based on...


that is what i said :P
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Quoting KoritheMan:

My forecasts are my own. If they happen to agree with some dude with big credentials, it's purely by coincidence.
Exactly.
Quoting weatherh98:


Woah going out on a limb there:P
Well everyone said the 15th.So I'm going with the first :).OK joking.But I do think something will form mid month.The exact date?.That's for nature to decide.
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Quoting Chicklit:
Link Cell approaching 24 in colorado



Massive hail core in that one
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


no you think you are 100% sure you were alive, but there is a 99.9999999...% chance you are right.
And there is no garuntee you will stay alive. :)

As for quantum physics, nothing is sure to happen, but once it has happened it has happened.
So, weatherh98 was referring to predictions, in which case he is right.


which is what the theory is based on...
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting wxhatt:
hmmmm...


THAT'S what I'm talking about!!!!
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


I am 100% sure I am alive. U Mad Quantum Physics?


no you think you are 100% sure you are alive, and there is a 99.9999999...% chance you are right.
And there is no garuntee you will stay alive. :)

As for quantum physics, nothing is sure to happen, but once it has happened it has happened.
So, weatherh98 was referring to predictions, in which case he is right.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Same here.
One of the reasons I respect you.
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hmmmm...

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Quoting Chicklit:
Link Cell approaching I24 in colorado


Hope everyone is staying safe..
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Quoting KoritheMan:

My forecasts are my own. If they happen to agree with some dude with big credentials, it's purely by coincidence.

Same here.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting washingtonian115:
So?.Why does someone always think someone is copying Levi...Here I'm gonna say Chris will form on July 1st.Got that?.lol.


Woah going out on a limb there:P
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539

Quoting washingtonian115:
So?.Why does someone always think someone is copying Levi...Here I'm gonna say Chris will form on July 1st.Got that?.lol.
My forecasts are my own. If they happen to agree with some dude with big credentials, it's purely by coincidence.
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.
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Quoting weatherh98:


But the first time i heard those dates was after levi said it. you said it right around there also
So?.Why does someone always think someone is copying Levi...Here I'm gonna say Chris will form on July 1st.Got that?.lol.

K-man you'll get your storm.Don't worry.
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Link Cell approaching 24 in colorado

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11392
Quoting thunderbug91:

Some have 49K tops with VIL densities of 76

If anyone has photos of these storms would love to see them as they are probably an amazing sight to behold....
Thanks
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Quoting Chicklit:


Wow...again? Link NWS Denver Radar

Some have 49K tops with VIL densities of 76
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Quoting yqt1001:
A very similar thing happened last year. The blog was drooling over model runs of Arlene on the June 15-25th region with hurricane landfalls on Texas (and the raincasters started to pray for this to happen).

Then the models kept pushing the date farther and farther behind...eventually everyone gave up on it's formation. It did eventually form, but not after the models moved it 3 weeks. :P

Though the models are being surprisingly consistent this time around.
Arlene formed just after the upper range of that timeframe.
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Quoting KoritheMan:

If I'm not mistaken, the most recently accepted base period is from 1981-2011, but again, don't quote me on it.


It is, thats the "30 year average"... climate must be taken over 30 years
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting aspectre:
What is an SST anomoly being compared to? Historical mean? Historical median?
10year running mean? 10year running median?

This is all it states.

"The SST anomaly is the difference between today's temperature and the long-term average. The scale goes from -5 to +5 °C. Positive numbers mean the temperature is warmer than average; negative means cooler than average."
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
A very similar thing happened last year. The blog was drooling over model runs of Arlene on the June 15-25th region with hurricane landfalls on Texas (and the raincasters started to pray for this to happen).

Then the models kept pushing the date farther and farther behind...eventually everyone gave up on it's formation. It did eventually form, but not after the models moved it 3 weeks. :P

Though the models are being surprisingly consistent this time around.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting thunderbug91:
B3 75 dBZ 41,000 ft. VIL VIL 70 kg/m² Hail 100% chance Severe Hail 100% chance Max Hail Size>4.00 in. 4 knots SSW (205)
Very intense storm in East Colorado right now...


Wow...again? Link NWS Denver Radar
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11392

Quoting aspectre:
What is an SST anomoly being compared to?
Historical mean? Historical median? 10year running mean? 10year running median?
If I'm not mistaken, the most recently accepted base period is from 1981-2011, but again, don't quote me on it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yeah, this is getting old due (well it was never funny to begin with).


But the first time i heard those dates was after levi said it. you said it right around there also
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
V2 69 dBZ 36,000 ft. VIL 69 kg/m² Hail 100% chance Severe Hail 100% chance Max Hail Size 3.50 in. 10 knots NNW (329)
Would love to be chasing SE of Denver right now... and its tornado warned too.
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Quoting weatherh98:


Levi said in his beryl blog those dates so it was then

Yeah, this is getting old dude :P (well it was never funny to begin with).
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Thanks all. Especially you Koritheman, a crystal ball so much more reliable than an eightball.
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Man, for probably the 5th or 6th straight weather event, Central Pinellas gets the lowest rainfall totals in the whole area, we have been the doughnut hole lately, it drives me nuts how weather can have these unexplained, persistent "mini" patterns the dominate for a while within other patterns.


Anyways, we still got a little over an inch today, over a half inch yesterday, and 0.79 on Tuesday, so still much needed beneficial rain, and still some more rain about to head in off the gulf.

Due to the front being slower to progress south than expected, I still think the Tampa Bay area has a better shot at more intense rainfall tomorrow even though today was originally the highlighted day. the NWS issued a flood watch this evening so they must be leaning in the same direction as I am.

Furthermore with PWAT's over 2 inches and continued upper energy in place, its likely thunderstorm coverage will remain very high this weekend, and with an easterly movement of thunderstorms beginning to take shape its likely strong thunderstorms and very heavy rainfall totals will occur in parts of the west coast of Florida this weekend with east to west summer pattern setup.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7836
What is an SST anomoly being compared to? Historical mean? Historical median?
10year running mean? 10year running median?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
B3 75 dBZ 41,000 ft. VIL VIL 70 kg/m² Hail 100% chance Severe Hail 100% chance Max Hail Size>4.00 in. 4 knots SSW (205)
Very intense storm in East Colorado right now...
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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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