Hottest rain on record? Rain falls at 115°F in Needles, California

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:19 PM GMT on August 15, 2012

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A searing heat wave rare even for the Desert Southwest sent temperatures soaring to record levels on Monday, with Needles, California tying its record high for the date of 118°F (47.8°C). The temperature might have gone higher in Needles, but a thunderstorm rolled in at 3:20 pm, and by 3:56 pm PDT, rain began falling at a temperature of 115°F (46.1°C). Most of the rain evaporated, since the humidity was only 11%, and only a trace of precipitation was recorded in the rain gauge. Nevertheless, Monday's rain at 115° in Needles sets a new world record for the hottest rain in world history. I don't think many people were outside to experience to experience the feeling of rain falling at 115°, but if they were, it must have been an uncomfortable, sauna-like experience! Thanks go to Dr. Warren Blier of the NWS Monterey office for pointing out this remarkable event to me.

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. Monday's rain in Needles was due to a flow of moisture coming from the south caused by the Southwest U.S. monsoon, a seasonal influx of moisture caused by the difference in temperature between the hot desert and the cooler ocean areas surrounding Mexico to the south. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the previous record for hottest rain, which I blogged about in June, was a rain shower at 109°F (43°C) observed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 5, 2012 and in Marrakech, Morocco on July 10, 2010. The 11% humidity that accompanied Monday's rain shower at 115° in Needles was the lowest humidity rain has ever occurred at anywhere on Earth in recorded history, according to Mr. Herrera.


Figure 1. True-color MODIS satellite image of California and Arizona taken at 1:25 pm PDT August 13, 2012. Developing thunderstorms surround Needles, CA, and the line of clouds to the southwest of the city would develop into a thunderstorm that brought rain to the city at 4 pm PDT, at a temperature of 115°F. Image credit: NASA.

A "very rare" heat wave for Phoenix
The heat wave that brought Needles' record hot rain has broken an exceptional number of heat records in Phoenix, Arizona the past two weeks. According to the Phoenix NWS office, the "almost unbearable heat" of the first two weeks of August is a "very rare" event, and August 1 - 14, 2012 was the warmest such 2-week period in city history. The average temperature on August 6 - 13 was 100°F or higher each of the eight days, tying the record for most consecutive days with an average temperature of 100°. The temperature peaked at 116° on August 8, just 6° below Phoenix's all-time record of 122° set on June 26, 1990. The forecast for Phoenix call for a bit of relief--highs are expected to be a relatively modest 105° today, and down near 100° by Friday.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of 93L over the Central Atlantic.

93L close to tropical depression status
A large tropical wave (Invest 93L) is located in the Central Atlantic about 700 miles east of Bermuda. Satellite loops this morning show a surface circulation has formed, and heavy thunderstorm activity has increased to the point where 93L should be considered a tropical depression, if the heavy thunderstorms can persist through this afternoon. Wind shear is light, and ocean temperatures are warm, near 28°C. The latest Saharan Air Layer Analysis from the University of Wisconsin shows that 93L has moistened its environment considerably, and dry air should no longer be a significant impediment to development. The 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will remain in the low range through the weekend, and I expect this system will become Tropical Storm Gordon by Friday. The storm will not affect Bermuda, but residents of the Azores Islands should keep an eye on 93L, which could pass through the islands as early as Sunday night. In their 8 am Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 93L an 80% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Friday morning.

Elsewhere in the tropics
In the Gulf of Mexico, a fall-like cold front is expected to stall out early next week, and the GFS model is predicting something could start to spin up near the Texas/Mexico border on Monday. Wind shear is predicted to be low to moderate, and cold fronts stalled out over the Gulf of Mexico often serve as the seed for tropical storms.

Most of the models predict development of a new tropical wave off the coast of Africa 6 - 7 days from now.

Jeff Masters

Haboob #7 (nukegm)
Another dust storm rolling into town.
Haboob #7
Strike over the Lake. (weathercts99)
A stunning bolt of lightning over a lake in Chandler.
Strike over the Lake.

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Now that is what I call consensus, how come we can't get that with Gulf and Caribbean storms?


Too many factors at play with the storms weve seen in the Caribbean and Gulf this year, This pattern is very straight-forward...
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TD 8...

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Now that is what I call consensus, how come we can't get that with Gulf and Caribbean storms?

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
What are the odds of me winning the Powerball tonight? Should I take a chance and go out and buy a Lamborghini tonight?
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Quoting Tazmanian:




its TD 8 now
I thought we'd see that today... likely named overnight...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20744
Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon all...

No renumber on 93L????
It's becoming a big boy now
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon all...

No renumber on 93L????

Look at the NHC site?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon all...

No renumber on 93L????

Yes its TD 8 already
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon all...

No renumber on 93L????
Its a TD now
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Afternoon all...

No renumber on 93L????




its TD 8 now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114075
Afternoon all...

No renumber on 93L????
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20744
Quoting StormTracker2K:
I love living in FL just for this reason "Thunderstorms" as we are going to get hammered today. These cumulus clouds are really shooting up right now. Just a matter of time!

Cumulus, ..then towering cumulus, the cumulonimbus, And hopefully not cumulonimbusmammatas
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Quoting jascott1967:


Unfortunately, I work in an office that is split between libs and moderates and now no one talks to each other, friends have become enemies.

When I managed a bar in Houston, one of the rules of the house was, you want to argue religion or politics, do it somewhere else. More than once I had to call the police because a bar fight broke out due to political sniping.

There are times and places for everything and this is not the place for politics.


In the UK they have the same problem in bars...but it's over football teams not politics or religion...and many bars people aren't allowed to wear team shirts and the like it's so bad!

Not sure which is worse, place where so many don't care about politics and their main worry is their football teams, or somewhere where people are too passionate about their politics :o

I'm really curious now though, a few pages back the track of a storm in 66' I think, that was a hurricane all the north of Scotland...would they even keep it classified as such nowadays? I'm sure it would be branded extra-tropical before reaching the North Sea area.
I know the UK got hit by some remnants around 1980, that one weatherman has never lived down saying on air 'not to worry, there's no hurricane on the way'...which, there technically wasn't as it was at least post-tropical by the time it hit, but it still had hurricane force winds and caused tons of damage. it's still spoken of today and comes up on tv progs it was such a big thing. Though I think it's cause he dismissed it in such a way, people didn't even realise such a big storm was coming.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Straighter than yours I'm sure. Anything that forms in the gulf will take lots of time and for another the FIM has those winds higher up and not at the surface. The GFS is the only model showing a TS in the Gulf. Could it happen yes but it will take time as is always the case with frontal systems.
Here 10 meters from the surface, sure seems like Tropical Storm force winds:

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They really need to add flash player to the iPhone.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
40 knots is not a Tropical Storm and that storm is not hugging the coast of Mexico like the GFS, are you sure your eyes are straight?

lol
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417 Tribucanes: I would bet good money Jeff's blog tomorrow will address this new report and it's implications.

And why would Dr.Masters have a better insight into what is contained within the Office of the Inspector General audit report than anyone else on this forum?
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
40 knots is not a Tropical Storm and that storm is not hugging the coast of Mexico like the GFS, are your eyes are straight?


Straighter than yours I'm sure. Anything that forms in the gulf will take lots of time and for another the FIM has those winds higher up and not at the surface. The GFS is the only model showing a TS in the Gulf. Could it happen yes but it will take time as is always the case with frontal systems.
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This is my thoughts. I believe years like 2005 were actually more common in the past than one might think...I mean think about something the really active years of the early 1930s, how much more storms do you think those seasons could have had if these little nothing storms were found and named...I think the busy seasons back in the day were closer to 2005 and the "dead" seasons were closer to the past 3 years...Yes these past 3 years have been "above average" in terms of names but most of the storms were little storms like this that probably would not have gotten a name back then...if the satellite boom had not occurred I believe our time period would be considered a quiet time with little storms in the MDR or gulf affecting land
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This line forming to my north is going to build down into Orlando as the East Coast sea breeze rolls in.

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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Nada on the operational FIM except a weak low sliding into MX. GFS has a TS sliding into MX.

40 knots is not a Tropical Storm and that storm is not hugging the coast of Mexico like the GFS, are you sure your eyes are straight?
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Nope it's sliding up the coast!!
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Have a Safe and Great Evening Everyone. See Yall and the models tomorrow.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
I just posted the operational run which shows the exact same thing as the GFS operational.


Nada on the operational FIM except a weak low sliding into MX. GFS has a TS sliding into MX.

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Quoting StormTracker2K:


That site need to be down as it junk right now. Worst model of them all other than the operational FIM which apparently is taking over the GFS later. Disregard the FIM7 people!
I just posted the operational run which shows the exact same thing as the GFS operational.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
I love living in FL just for this reason "Thunderstorms" as we are going to get hammered today. These cumulus clouds are really shooting up right now. Just a matter of time!

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Abita :)
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Edit: Post 540

Quoting opal92nwf:
So what's happened to the models with the potential gulf storm?

The GFS and Experimental FIM still show it.

Experimental FIM 150 hrs:

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Quoting aspectre and pensacola Doug:


Again, both sides of the aisle corrupting a weather blog with politics.
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Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Gotta love freedom of speech :)


Unfortunately, I work in an office that is split between libs and moderates and now no one talks to each other, friends have become enemies.

When I managed a bar in Houston, one of the rules of the house was, you want to argue religion or politics, do it somewhere else. More than once I had to call the police because a bar fight broke out due to political sniping.

There are times and places for everything and this is not the place for politics.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
Fresca?

It ain't called Programming for nuttin'
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125753
Quoting GTcooliebai:
The GFS and Experimental FIM still show it.

GFS 144 hrs.



Experimental FIM site is down.


That site need to be down as it junk right now. Worst model of them all other than the operational FIM which apparently is taking over the GFS later. Disregard the FIM7 people!
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BOTH TDs
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Have an Amazing day today at high school now I am officially a junior :) I am so happy. I see we have td 8 I expect a 65 to 70mph storm out of this. Helene could form in BOC and Isaac could be from the wave leaving Africa.
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Quoting opal92nwf:
So what's happened to the models with the potential gulf storm?
The GFS and Experimental FIM still show it.

GFS 144 hrs.



Experimental FIM site is down.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting CANTBELIEVEIT:
i said its a fishy year 3 months ago and i was laughed at
Quoting unknowncomic:
Starting to look like its the year of the fish.


So Beryl, Debby, and Ernesto were fish storms?
And the Azores are a LANDmass NHC and you two.
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You do not normally see that type of track out there (all the way back towards the Azores); usually it's further to the West with a swipe near Bermuda then going extra-tropical into the maritimes. Been kind of strange in the tropical Atlantic so far this year; an early cluster of CV storms that sputtered into the Caribbean and now this one. I am not placing any bets on what may, or may not, happen in the tropics over the next 6 weeks.
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The CAPE and Lift Index right now are off the charts! Get ready Orlando to rock and roll here in a couple of hours.

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So what's happened to the models with the potential gulf storm?
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Quoting jascott1967:


almost every website and broadcasting station has a political platform they want to jam down our throats.



Gotta love freedom of speech :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Hurricane Gordon is fitting.
Yep and Isaac being this season's first major is also fitting.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Looks like we are about to get an explosion of thunderstorms across E C FL over the next few hours. Once the seabreezes collide we could have thunderstorms going past midnight as the atmosphere is very unstable right now due to the later onset of convection. Anybody outside this evening around orlando over to the east coast of FL better beware!



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Quoting CANTBELIEVEIT:
i said its a fishy year 3 months ago and i was laughed at


People were smart to laugh at you for that. Several tropical systems have impacted land already. And even if that was not the case, claiming a season will be a "fish year" before the season even begins is incredibly stupid, and potentially dangerous (if anyone takes you seriously- which I doubt with predictions like that)
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In stark contrast to the EPAC and notice the warming in the CPAC.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting redwagon:

There are members of both sides of the aisle that try to drive our blog to politics every day, that activity needs to be frowned on and ignored as we are almost to the height of the Tropic season.


Agree 100%. I'm sick of it. I hear it at work, I hear it on the radio, almost every website and broadcasting station has a political platform they want to jam down our throats.

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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.