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 MississippiWx:


That's the propagation chart. In other words, if weather was just straight forward and there were no variables, that would be the propagation. This is the actual forecast from the GFS:



There's a very weak MJO pulse in the Western Caribbean in about a week, as you said, but it's much weaker than the chart you were showing. Most of the upward motion remains in the Western Pacific through the forecast. Of course, MJO forecasts change day to day.


That is, for some reason, from June 4. Here is today's..You probably already know, but GEFS is the one to look at. Much stronger signal in the Atlantic.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32001
Quoting wxhatt:
upward motion pulse coming to carribean in about a week.









That's the propagation chart. In other words, if weather was just straight forward and there were no variables, that would be the propagation. This is the actual forecast from the GFS:



There's a very weak MJO pulse in the Western Caribbean in about a week, as you said, but it's much weaker than the chart you were showing. Most of the upward motion remains in the Western Pacific through the forecast. Of course, MJO forecasts change day to day.

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Quoting RitaEvac:
Not sure if upper low is just stretching out this way or it's making a more pronounced turn SE on visible loops.
It is a cutoff low over North Texas and it is weakening, that is why rain chances have been up and down in Texas recently. It could die out over night and these lows have a mind of their own they can go any direction they want to that is why rain is so hard to forecast the weather with one of these cutoff lows. There is no rain around here. Reading the Dallas NWS discussion it says the low has lost its punch. Also reading that temps Sunday and Monday here will be around 100 and near 105 or so out in West Texas.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


The town of Slater is about to have a sitchiation....

Sound the sirens!!!!
Member Since: June 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 583
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The tornado is likely not as rain-wrapped anymore as the inflow notch is becoming increasingly visible on radar.



I dub thee the best storm of June 2012 so far.


The town of Slater is about to have a sitchiation....
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Wow, that is a massive system! I thought tropical systems didn't form between 5°N and 5°S latitude because of the lack of the Coriolis effect being too weak there?

Sure they can form.
But they can't generate rotation.
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upward motion pulse coming to carribean in about a week.







Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 917
Quoting washingtonian115:
You mean like that time when he said Hanna back in 08 was gonna be a major hurricane going to affect S.C.?.Then their were many times when he cut O'Rally off to make his point...


I think he's much better at recognizing patterns and changes in the climate than forecasting strength of storms. There's quite a difference in those two skills. When it comes to pattern recognition, Bastardi is very good.
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The tornado is likely not as rain-wrapped anymore as the inflow notch is becoming increasingly visible on radar.



I dub thee the best storm of June 2012 so far.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32001
Here is new invest 90W well SE of Guam.

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Quoting washingtonian115:
Yes I've been looking you.I'm sorry if you took my comment the wrong way.It was meant to be a joke.
It's alright I was just in a bad mood last night, haven't been getting a lot of sleep
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Link
Rabid storm in S.D. right now....
Member Since: June 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 583
Storm is done cycling, rotation is back as strong as before.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32001
Quoting MississippiWx:


He does know a lot, but you're right about the arrogance. It is most likely the turn-off for most people. I follow him on Twitter, but I'm not a big fan of the chest beating he does a lot of the time.
You mean like that time when he said Hanna back in 08 was gonna be a major hurricane going to affect S.C.?.Then their were many times when he cut O'Rally off to make his point...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16968
Quoting RitaEvac:
Katy just got nuked



The outflow on that storm is firing up a couple smaller cells around there. It just started pouring here in the medical center.
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Katy just got nuked

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Quoting TomTaylor:
I wouldn't mind Bastardi if it werent the arrogance he throws in with his forecasts. Nobody can accurately predict ENSO conditions that far out, yet he will make a stab at it and tell us to "watch that" as if we are supposed to know that it will come true.

However, gotta give him some credit because he does know his stuff and this forecast may verify quite nicely. El Ninos typically last 9-15 months and generally speaking, whatever phase we are in after spring and early summer will tend to persist until next spring. These are general guidelines, however, with no guarantees, but you can see that jb has incorporated these ideas into his forecast.


He does know a lot, but you're right about the arrogance. It is most likely the turn-off for most people. I follow him on Twitter, but I'm not a big fan of the chest beating he does a lot of the time.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Too much heat, too much sun, too close to upper air low, spells massive blow up sooner rather than later


I really wish we had an upper air sounding from Hobby or IAH but no, Lake Charles is the closest we can get. :(
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:
I may get some rain! Outflow boundary heading towards downtown from the North



Yep, I can see them from where I am too. Hooray!
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In fact, there is a doughnut hole.

EDIT: Latest scan shows the whole storm just fell apart. It is probably cycling.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32001

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Very nice couplet with the tornadic supercell in Wyoming. Everybody in the path of this needs to be in safe place.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32001
Looks Like Mischief...

Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 917
Quoting TomTaylor:
I wouldn't mind Bastardi if it werent the arrogance he throws in with his forecasts. Nobody can accurately predict ENSO conditions that far out, yet he will make a stab at it and tell us to "watch that" as if we are supposed to know that it will come true.

However, gotta give him some credit because he does know his stuff and this forecast may verify quite nicely. El Ninos typically last 9-15 months and generally speaking, whatever phase we are in after spring and early summer will tend to persist until next spring. These are general guidelines, however, with no guarantees, but you can see that jb has incorporated these ideas into his forecast.
Yes I've been looking you.I'm sorry if you took my comment the wrong way.It was meant to be a joke.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16968
Quoting thunderbug91:

That rotation is vicious...
And a 40K top too
Member Since: June 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 583
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."
I wouldn't mind Bastardi if it werent the arrogance he throws in with his forecasts. Nobody can accurately predict ENSO conditions that far out, yet he will make a stab at it and tell us to "watch that" as if we are supposed to know that it will come true.

However, gotta give him some credit because he does know his stuff and this forecast may verify quite nicely. El Ninos typically last 9-15 months and generally speaking, whatever phase we are in after spring and early summer will tend to persist until next spring. These are general guidelines, however, with no guarantees, but you can see that jb has incorporated these ideas into his forecast.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Tornado on the ground in SE Wyoming... Rotation is pretty strong.

That rotation is vicious...
Member Since: June 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 583
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Quoting cyclonekid:
JTWC issued out a special outlook for an area that has persisted at an unusually low latitude (2.5N). This thing is massive and looks like it's poised to become our next tropical depression in the Western Pacific. It'll definitely give us something to look at while we wait for the MJO pulse to enter our area from the 15th to the 20th.



Wow, that is a massive system! I thought tropical systems didn't form between 5°N and 5°S latitude because of the lack of the Coriolis effect being too weak there?
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I may get some rain! Outflow boundary heading towards downtown from the North

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302. txjac
Quoting DavidHOUTX:
Storms are finally starting to fire north of Houston. Looks like this will continue for the next few hours. Tomorrow looks to be the big day with the L moving SE


I just got a 10 minute rain shower ...loving it
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Tornado on the ground in SE Wyoming... Rotation is pretty strong.
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Quoting cyclonekid:
JTWC issued out a special outlook for an area that has persisted at an unusually low latitude (2.5N). This thing is massive and looks like it's poised to become our next tropical depression in the Western Pacific. It'll definitely give us something to look at while we wait for the MJO pulse to enter our area from the 15th to the 20th.

Reminds me of the monsoonal development we've been getting over the last few years here in the ATL.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16968
Quoting thunderbug91:

LOL That is AWESOME
I agree quite interesting. i hope this weather pattern holds out all summer. it will make for some good lightning photography.
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JTWC issued out a special outlook for an area that has persisted at an unusually low latitude (2.5N). This thing is massive and looks like it's poised to become our next tropical depression in the Western Pacific. It'll definitely give us something to look at while we wait for the MJO pulse to enter our area from the 15th to the 20th.

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Quoting NakedSwirl:
For those inquiring about strange returns on radar this morning, here is something interesting I found:

Doppler Radar Detects Vehicles on Thursday Morning


LOL That is AWESOME
Member Since: June 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 583
Quoting jmag2424:

I am in Jefferson county. Same here everything staying to the North and East of us.


Yea, everything staying north, east, south and west of me
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Well it's boring on here...I though some threatening cells were moving near Rapid City S.D.....When will Chris form?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Galveston county

I am in Jefferson county. Same here everything staying to the North and East of us.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Yea, and going the wrong dang way


there is a tiny one near me! maybe it will rain for a whole 15 seconds! just enough to make it feel worse than it already does
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Quoting jmag2424:

What part of Texas do you live in?


Galveston county
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Yea, and going the wrong dang way

What part of Texas do you live in?
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The clouds were the puffiest I've seen in a while over head in the sky.Might thunderstorm later....Why do people hate Bastardi again?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16968
Quoting DavidHOUTX:
Storms are finally starting to fire north of Houston. Looks like this will continue for the next few hours. Tomorrow looks to be the big day with the L moving SE


Yea, and going the wrong dang way
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If hopes are high you may get your wish of rain that was expected!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


It's rocket fuel out there...
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Storms are finally starting to fire north of Houston. Looks like this will continue for the next few hours. Tomorrow looks to be the big day with the L moving SE
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Couple of rotating supercells heading for Rapid City, SD... It's possible one or both of them could end up tornado warned.

I really should work for the NWS

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RAPID CITY SD
254 PM MDT THU JUN 7 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RAPID CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL CUSTER COUNTY IN SOUTHWESTERN SOUTH DAKOTA...

* UNTIL 345 PM MDT

* AT 250 PM MDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR ARGYLE...OR 9 MILES NORTHWEST OF DOWNTOWN
HOT SPRINGS...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
ARGYLE...WIND CAVE VISITORS CENTER...BLUE BELL AND CUSTER PARK
GAME LODGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4353 10379 4380 10336 4363 10317 4348 10347
4348 10373
TIME...MOT...LOC 2054Z 231DEG 25KT 4352 10361

$$

RUDGE

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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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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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