Heat wave shifts to the Midwest; Waldo Canyon Fire still 5% contained

By: Angela Fritz , 8:17 PM GMT on June 28, 2012

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The ridge of high pressure causing this week's record-setting heat wave continues to drift east today, and will inflict extreme June heat across most of the central U.S. and Midwest on Thursday. Triple-digit heat (and heat indices) will be widespread from the Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland) to the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys (St. Louis, Louisville, Memphis). Ann Arbor, Michigan has reached 100° as of 4pm EDT. Heat advisories spread from Kansas north to Michigan, and as far southeast as North and South Carolina.

On Wednesday, 16 all-time record highs were broken or tied from Wyoming to Kansas, and 47 month-of-June records were either broken or tied. 66 warm overnight low records were also tied, 8 of which were all-time records for the month of June. The temperature did not get below 81° in Lamar, Colorado Tuesday night. The overnight low temperature is an important barometer for public health and safety in extreme heat waves; if the mercury does not drop significantly, our bodies (the sick and elderly, in particular) cannot recuperate.


Figure 1. Heat advisories (pink) from Kansas north to Michigan, and as far southeast as North and South Carolina on Thursday, where heat indices are expected to reach 105, as much as 110 in some places.

Our Weather Historian, Christopher C. Burt, wraps up yesterday's significant temperature records:

• Lamar, Colorado hit 112°, which is the city's hottest ever reading, beating 111° measured a few days ago and also on July 13, 1934.

• Dodge City, Kansas finally broke free of its multiple 110° previous all-time records with 111° on Wednesday. Dodge City has one of longest periods of record in the United States, with temperature records beginning on September 15, 1874.

• Hill City, Kansas hit 115° as it did on Tuesday as well, again just 1° short of all-time Kansas STATE June record of 116° set at Hugoton on June 25, 1911.

• Tucumcari, New Mexico hit 108°, just 1° short of all-time record as was the case in Goodland, Kansas and many others.

Waldo Canyon Fire gains 5,000 acres, still 5% contained

18,500 acres (up from 13,5000 on Wednesday) have been consumed, and $3.2 million spent fighting, in the Waldo Canyon Fire which is burning northwest of Colorado Springs and encroaching on the city. The fire remains 5% contained. Around 32,000 people have been evacuated as of Thursday morning as fire fighters continue to battle the blaze, with some help from the weather. Colorado Springs is forecast to reach 97° on Thursday, though it will be slightly cooler in the hills where the majority of the fire is burning. The red flag warnings have been dropped as wind speeds calm to 5-10 mph out of the northwest. However, humidity will still be relatively low, around 15% at the peak heat of the day. Thunderstorms are in the forecast, which creates the threat of lightning-induced fires


A giant plume from the Waldo Canyon Fire hovers high above Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs, Colo. on Saturday, June 23, 2012. The fire is zero percent contained and has consumed 2500 acres. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations were taking place across the west side of Colorado Springs. Tankers were dropping fire retardant in front of the advancing flames. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

In the Tropics…

An African easterly wave in the central main development region of the North Atlantic is still producing some disorganized thunderstorm activity. The circulation in the wave is moderate but somewhat displaced from the strongest thunderstorm activity, though given the moderate wind shear the wave is experiencing that's not surprising. Sea surface temperature is around average, 28° C (82° F), which is warm enough to support tropical development. The National Hurricane Center continues to give this wave a 10% chance of developing over the next 48 hours.

There are a couple more tropical waves expected to leave the coast of Africa in the next week or so, neither of which are showing any signs of development in the models.

Angela

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Quoting Fraidycat:
I'll go out on a limb and predict that the Gulf blob will become a TD just as it comes ashore or even just after it does AKA TS Allison (2001). Very little stays out in the western GOM this time of year more than three days and doesn't develop, and I think I see a cyclonic rotation in the rain bands.

There is no rotation associated with the blob in the Gulf. What you are seeing is anticyclonic rotation associated with the upper level anticyclone across the west Gulf and Bay of Campeche.
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Quoting FutureWx6221:
Absolutely 0 vorticity at any level from the GOM blob. @584
just some rain for my friends in texas
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Quoting icmoore:


You're welcome and I agree it is horrifying! Am I remembering correctly that you lost everything? I hope you were able to get to your water aerobics for your knee!
Yes, I did finally get into the pool. And it really is to strengthen my back muscles. The knee was/is broken so I just need to let the bone heal. While sitting around doing nothing at my age, you really lose a lot of strength quickly.
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Quoting kwgirl:
I say that as well. If the clouds aren't dark enough they will not rain. However, the true reason we see color in anything is light refraction.:)


reflection*** as opposed to refraction, the bending of light through a medium
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In Assam, Northern India...
up to 50 people have died and a MILLION people are homeless due to exceptional rains this week.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24878
I made an estimate of numbers of TS-Hurricanes-M.Hurricanes, in the years were El NINO was weak, and the average was

12 Tropical strom
7.2 Hurricanes
3 Major Huricanes

But, when el nino is in modiki status,
1969---- 18 tropical strom
12 hurricanes
5 major hurricane

2004------15 tropical storm
9 hurricanes
6 M.hurricanes

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Quoting LeMoyne:


Clouds are white because they are made of snow.
The darker the cloud the more likely that there are enough water drops in there to start falling out.
I say that as well. If the clouds aren't dark enough they will not rain. However, the true reason we see color in anything is light refraction.:)
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Absolutely 0 vorticity at any level from the GOM blob. @584
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Quoting Fraidycat:
I'll go out on a limb and predict that the Gulf blob will become a TD just as it comes ashore or even just after it does AKA TS Allison (2001). Very little stays out in the western GOM this time of year more than three days and doesn't develop, and I think I see a cyclonic rotation in the rain bands.


I see some anticyclonic flow around that whole area. But nt really anything cyclonic
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
I'll go out on a limb and predict that the Gulf blob will become a TD just as it comes ashore or even just after it does AKA TS Allison (2001). Very little stays out in the western GOM this time of year more than three days and doesn't develop, and I think I see a cyclonic rotation in the rain bands.
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I just heard this on my local NWS radio:

Heat is the #1 weather-related killer.


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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Current 2m temperatures as of 17:15 UTC:



That's about right here
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Current 2m temperatures as of 17:15 UTC:

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Debby wreaked havok in parts of Florida.... The little city of Live Oak was totally flooded downtown. A friend of mine has property there. He said that the downtown area is like a cereal bowl. Everything flows to the lowest part, which is the center of town. Bad engineering for a place to make a city , I guess. If I mis-spelled havok, please forgive me.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Well, the Atlantic may not be too active in July, but the East Pacific sure should be with these kind of pressure falls forecast.



That's quite a few storms too!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Well, the Atlantic may not be too active in July, but the East Pacific sure should be with these kind of pressure falls forecast.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Is Debby going to pull a Chris?

It looks like.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Is Debby going to pull a Chris?


No.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Quoting oracle28:
So, um, where can I pick up my plate of grilled crow and a glass of ice-cold global warming kool-aid??

When it's above 100 after dark in Arkansas in June, I'm starting to think Al Gore was right!!

:)

Yeah, that's pretty incredible.
But believing in Al Gore will mean that you have to accept that we are creating a large part of the problem.

Easier to deny the entire thing, and buy more AC units.

:):))
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24878
Quoting Grothar:


I am somewhere else. I only drop in more a few minutes at a time. We have to go to dinner, but I will try and be on later. They aren't as much fun as you people are, either.
I absolutely hated visiting my ex-hubby's family in Ohio... So boring, but I guess that is what I was supposed to do. No more
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And then from somewhere below
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
Is Debby going to pull a Chris?

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To tell you how strange it is(how strange is it?) We could reach 105 degrees today without a heat watch of any kind. The humidity is so low......wow
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Quoting Grothar:
It looks better than yesterday maybe a 20% seems reasonable.
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Thank you Patrap. Hopefully we get some rain here.
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Strange weather here in N. Georgia. We had a low near 60 this morning and the high is now 99 here in calhoun. No humidity,rapid rising temperatures and massive differences between morning and evewning temps. It will be near a 45 degree difference today. This is virtually unheard of here in the South. Desert temps in a sub-tropical region...lol
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Nice blob.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22601
Quoting Minnemike:
for starters, try to avoid answering a question when you're just making things up.. and 2nd.. see #435. Zappy 1:40 PM GMT on June 29, 2012 for the actual answer to the question.


LOL - not making it up. Most clouds are up high enough that water IS frozen. So, they are made of snow (ice crystals).

Here in NM we see are pretty puffy white cumulus - usually is over 10,000 ft MSL or 5,000 ft up. Sometime they have grey bottoms and sometimes they actually drop a curtain of precipitation that is grey (shadowed or not) - almost certainly hail falling out of the cloud. I am sure that all of our rain in the mountain west starts as hail except in fall/spring when we get low clouds made from evaporation of the last rain/snow. The white creamy looking stuff that is pouring out the top of a TC sure ain't liquid water.


The Bermuda webcam
tells a different story: blue sky behind low solid grey clouds that are almost certainly made of fat juicy water drops at a few hundred feet altitude where the temp is warm.

I don't think that it is quite true that the sky is blue in the same way that clouds are white. Cloud color is dependent on both the state of the water and the size of the water 'particles'.

The sky is blue because the refraction of light by the atmosphere goes down with the fourth power of the wavelength so blue is scattered and appears to come from everywhere. Same effect (Rayleigh scattering) makes sunsets red (everything else scattered away in the longer path throgh the sky). The particles in the clear blue sky are ~all in the micron size range or smaller.

Clouds are grey or white.
Why aren't clouds or fog multi-colored or rainbow hued in any way?
That question tells me that state is crucial: clean ice can reflect off its surface at any size while reflection, retransmission and scattering by water drops is dependent on size and there is always a mix of sizes -- hence greyness. Significant hail in the cloud/sky is grey because it is rugged (lower reflectivity = absorbs more) and hail is much larger than water vapor, water drops and the ice particles it is made from so it absorbs and scatters every wavelength very well and white light is shifted to lower intensity on the grey scale.

To be sure the particle size effect in scattering is important in how white or grey a fog made of liquid water appears. The bright white of clouds tells me that reflectivity (surface, particle effect) dominates over scattering (bulk, wave effect). So, call me crazy if you will but I am still convinced that white = snow (ice crystals) and grey = water or hail (ice lumps) when it comes to cloud color (excepting self-shaded cloud bottoms of course).
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Quoting Grothar:


I am somewhere else. I only drop in more a few minutes at a time. We have to go to dinner, but I will try and be on later. They aren't as much fun as you people are, either.

Spike the punch......
that ought to do something or the other!

In any case, have fun.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24878
So, um, where can I pick up my plate of grilled crow and a glass of ice-cold global warming kool-aid??

When it's above 100 after dark in Arkansas in June, I'm starting to think Al Gore was right!!

:)
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Quoting pottery:
Hello, Gro.
I thought you were gone somewhere?


I am somewhere else. I only drop in more a few minutes at a time. We have to go to dinner, but I will try and be on later. They aren't as much fun as you people are, either.
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They system will be entering a high shear area near the Caribbean.

However, when there is a strong high over the US, quite often the pressure drop in the Gulf and the Caribbean. While development chances are low for the development of either, it is still good to watch the Gulf Area.

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I don't know if that wave over the Atlantic has chances of developing into something, but looking at the strenght and setup of the High over the atlantic I feel a bit uneasy if it does develop. Looks like whatever forms this year has a huge chance of US landfall unless the high changes pattern or weaken like it did last year and the year before. Not much chance of fish storms this year under the current scenario.

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Man it has been a long time since I posted on here... just been lurking so far this year. We could use some clouds and rain here in Texas.. just saying
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557. N3EG
And once again, cool weather in the Pacific Northwest for the third year in a row.
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556. etxwx
Quoting Patrap:
The GOM area isnt a Tropical threat.




Thanks Patrap. Non-tropical is just fine with us...something with a little rain and some cooler temps would be nice. The wind part can stay far far away.
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Hello, Gro.
I thought you were gone somewhere?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24878
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Any chance that the blob in the Western Gulf spins up into anything?
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The GOM area isnt a Tropical threat.


Not even a circle from the NHC


THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO...

UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONIC WIND FLOW COVERS THE GULF OF MEXICO
TO THE WEST OF 87W. THE ANTICYCLONIC WIND FLOW MOVES AROUND
A 23N93W ANTICYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTER. WIDELY SCATTERED
MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION IS FROM
25N TO 27N BETWEEN 92W AND 95W. CONVECTIVE DEBRIS CLOUDS
ARE ELSEWHERE TO THE SOUTH OF 25N TO THE WEST OF 89W.
SCATTERED MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION
IS OCCURRING FROM 18N TO 19N BETWEEN 97W AND 98W...WITH
UPPER LEVEL NORTHEASTERLY WIND FLOW THAT IS MOVING AROUND
THE 23N93W ANTICYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTER.
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Quoting Patrap:


Hey I live in Pearland TX and there is an interesting thing in the GOM. Any clues?
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Quoting Patrap:


LARGE Low Cloud Image, ESL by LSU

I can't believe what I've been hoping and praying for is actually coming true for once. Even so, Centex doesn't look to see much rain out of the storm, but even an inch would be a luxury now.Shoot, cloud cover would be a luxury.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The consensus for this hurricane season is a weak El Nino.

Note: Yes, this image is a bit outdated. However, the forecast is still straight on with the amount of warming we've seen.



The chart you are looking at is nearly 2 months old, as you said. However, it is not really that accurate. According to that chart, we should be at 0.1C when in reality we were at 0.4C on the update. In real time, we are most likely at the 0.5C threshold. The only model that has been aggressive enough with current trends is the Euro. It may end up being too aggressive since it takes us to borderline strong conditions. I've been banking on moderate strength.
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LARGE Low Cloud Image, ESL by LSU

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It kind of looks as though Debby isn't a Downer yet... I wonder if she will indeed be re-classified?
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It is insanely hot outside. Could reach up to 108 in my current location. What is worse is its going to get even hotter tomorrow. Currently 95 and rising. The worse part about this is the stillness. No wind at all.

That temp reading was taken at 11. Its much hotter now just hitting 100.
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Quoting Patrap:


Tell that thing to come this way
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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