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 Levi32:


The summer of 1951 had all three indices in the same phase as this year. 1963 is a very close analog as well except that the AMO was neutral to negative that year.


That's pretty interesting, considering when I wrote my blog about Ernesto, I based a lot my forecast track off an analog from 1951: Hurricane Charley. It turned out to be a very solid analog as Charlie went just north of Ernesto.

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Levi, when will you be doing your next tropical tidbit?
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We may see a renumber during the next hour to 90 minutes. If not then than almost certainly between 9 and 10 PM.

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323. Skyepony (Mod)
aspectre~ 2007 had a set up that just blew alot of it out to the warm sea. This year has been different as it has been a total mixed bag of weather. Some winds blew some out to sea, followed by a high & clear skies, then an extreme storm...
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Quoting MississippiWx:
This year is a bit fascinating to me as it is the first year since I've began tracking weather where we've had a cold PDO, warm AMO, and an El Nino at the same time. To my knowledge, you would have to go back several years to find such an occurrence. I'm going to have a blast learning the tendencies of such a pattern.


El Nino is one of the most unpredictable patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, especially when they're set-up like this one, and when El Nino is in this scenario, it can be completely non-existant.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
EURO shows a reasonable scenario... Almost a similar track like Frances in 2004, the storm avoids the islands, but as a new ridge the west builds after the storm lifts north, it most likely forces the storm to move more to the west. I don't think a weakness that small and weak would recurve a storm.. Just my personal opinion.

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Quoting MississippiWx:
This year is a bit fascinating to me as it is the first year since I've began tracking weather where we've had a cold PDO, warm AMO, and an El Nino at the same time. To my knowledge, you would have to go back several years to find such an occurrence. I'm going to have a blast learning the tendencies of such a pattern.

Means more whack weather :).
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319. TXCWC
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Last frame.



If I am reading the models right today it looks like Euro and GFS have flipped as far as location of the main BOC low when it comes ashore...Euro now north of GFS with low coming ashore around the Tex/Mex border and GFS now where Euro was showing. I suspect GFS may trend further north again before all is said and done - Euro also seems slower than GFS as well. In short - alot of details still not known with this future BOC low and just where the heavier rains will end up.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

looks like it is set-up to recurve.


Yeah pulled north on last frame. That's good. :)
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Quoting MississippiWx:
This year is a bit fascinating to me as it is the first year since I've began tracking weather where we've had a cold PDO, warm AMO, and an El Nino at the same time. To my knowledge, you would have to go back several years to find such an occurrence. I'm going to have a blast learning the tendencies of such a pattern.



The summer of 1951 had all three indices in the same phase as this year. 1963 is a very close analog as well except that the AMO was neutral to negative that year.
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316. etxwx
These unfortunate folks can't get a break. The article states that "About 21 typhoons damage the country every year."

Filipinos use makeshift rafts while others walk on a footbridge on a road that remains flooded a week after heavy monsoon rains in Pasig City, east of Manila, yesterday. Tropical storm Kai-Tak slammed the northern Philippines triggering flash floods.

Manila 8/15/12 - Typhoon Kai-Tak moves to Cagayan
Excerpt: Three people were reported dead as Typhoon Kai Tak, locally known as Helen and the eighth to enter the country, weakened and moved to northern Luzon%u2019s Aparri, Cagayan on Wednesday, officials said.

A third of Philippines%u2019 three islands (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) continued to absorb water because Typhoon Kai-Tak affected mostly northern areas, exacerbating already flooded places there after 15 days of monsoon-triggered and raging rains due to Typhoons Saola and Hakui that were sea-bound and never landed in upper northern Luzon, said Ramos.

Although Typhoon Kai-Tak%u2019s rain was weak, between 7.5 to 12 mm per hour, it still scoured already water-drenched soils on mountainous areas in northern, central and southern Luzon. %u201CDreaded landslides could occur anytime in those dangerous areas,%u201D said Ramos.
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The Midwest really needs this hypothetical tropical storm to form in the GoM/BoC and move up thru Texas into Oklahoma/Kansas/Missouri/Illinois/Iowa/Dakotas and dump alot of rain. Even with severe thunderstorms the area isn't getting enough since they tend to randomly evaporate before getting to the worst areas and they emit some awful lightning.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Lot of dry air choking 93L.

"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."
-Dr. Masters.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Last frame.

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Quoting sunlinepr:


Levi, see that finally got your website running again...


Yes. Finally got the kinks worked out I think.
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May have broken the streak today at the house, this cell past near me at the NWS. I'm at the 7o'clock angle near the cone of silence.

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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Hmmmm other than the gulf that Atlantic storm's coming in low.


looks like it is set-up to recurve.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
This year is a bit fascinating to me as it is the first year since I've began tracking weather where we've had a cold PDO, warm AMO, and an El Nino at the same time. To my knowledge, you would have to go back several years to find such an occurrence. I'm going to have a blast learning the tendencies of such a pattern.

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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

35 Mph, 1013 MB?

Thats pretty weak...


Lot of dry air choking 93L.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
ATCF is keeping 93L an invest for now:

AL, 93, 2012081518, , BEST, 0, 291N, 550W, 30, 1013, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1017, 150, 35, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,

35 Mph, 1013 MB?

Thats pretty weak...
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Hmmmm other than the gulf that Atlantic storm's coming in low.

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Nooo!.
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ATCF is keeping 93L an invest for now:

AL, 93, 2012081518, , BEST, 0, 291N, 550W, 30, 1013, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1017, 150, 35, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
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Seems like ex-TD7 sort of fizzled out.
Lots of unorganized circulation left in W-Cairbbean though. I suppose if it starts circulation, maybe moves NW into W-GOM region, could make something.
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Where isnthe best place to access all the models that can be viewed on the iPad?
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Quoting Levi32:


You missed what I said about the FIM7, which is the worst-performing low-resolution version of the FIM. The operational FIM develops nothing in the western gulf during the next 10 days if that makes you feel better. The FIM caught the intensification of Ernesto prior to hitting the Yucatan, something the GFS did not predict, so it has already shown some prowess in the tropics at times.

Currently, the FIM is out-performing the GFS in 5-day 500mb height forecast correlation. As you can see, the FIM7 and FIMX (both 60km resolution) are the lowest-performing.





That's probably why no one is posting the operational one then. I see everyone posting the FIM7 which I agree is horrible and shouldn't be posted.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
That will also give the Eastern Atlantic sst's time to rebound from any cooling that was caused by the SAL.


Good point.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Recuvacane.
I like it.
May not go over well with the fauxcasters though.


How about "anti-Nikes"??
They move in a pattern opposite that of the Nike logo.
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Quoting Levi32:


You missed what I said about the FIM7, which is the worst-performing low-resolution version of the FIM. The operational FIM develops nothing in the western gulf during the next 10 days, and also caught the intensification of Ernesto prior to hitting the Yucatan, something the GFS did not predict.

Currently, the FIM is out-performing the GFS in 5-day 500mb height forecast correlation. As you can see, the FIM7 and FIMX (both 60km resolution) are the lowest-performing.





I'm sorry missed that. I didn't notice the "FIM7" my bad.

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Quoting MississippiWx:


Well of course there has been dry air in the Atlantic. It's very normal to have dry air in the Eastern Atlantic during the first half of the season due to a stronger A/B High. The strong A/B high causes large dust storms to blow across the Atlantic. Now that the high is weakening, the SAL is also at its lowest level of the season.

That will also give the Eastern Atlantic sst's time to rebound from any cooling that was caused by the SAL.
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Quoting Levi32:


Wind 10 meters above the ground.


Levi, see that finally got your website running again...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting aspectre:
33 Skyepony:
More wild records

I'm not one to have actual visceral reactions to much, but
I felt "my heart drop into my stomach" upon first viewing that chart.
It's one thing to have intellectually known that it could happen, and another altogether to know that the worst-case scenario is happening.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Before . . . . . . . . . . . & . . . . . . . . . . . After
33 Skyepony:
They are calling that Arctic storm...that busted so much up ice The Great Arctic Storm of 2012.

In some small measure, the fact that a fluke busted up and melted so much so quickly is a relief...
...tempered by the realization that such a "fluke" might just be the forerunner of the NewNormal.
A somewhat similar event (though not storm/speed-wise) happened in 2007 if I remember correctly.


I don't think there's any doubt that the "new" normal of ice loss is what's happening now, and will increase over the coming decades.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Really? GFS is performing much better than the FIM if I'm not mistaking. It almost seems like the CMC by spinning every little blob.


You missed what I said about the FIM7, which is the worst-performing low-resolution version of the FIM. The operational FIM develops nothing in the western gulf during the next 10 days if that makes you feel better. The FIM caught the intensification of Ernesto prior to hitting the Yucatan, something the GFS did not predict, so it has already shown some prowess in the tropics at times.

Currently, the FIM is out-performing the GFS in 5-day 500mb height forecast correlation. As you can see, the FIM7 and FIMX (both 60km resolution) are the lowest-performing.



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Quoting mcluvincane:
Got another name for the so called fish storms--recurvacanes
Recuvacane.
I like it.
May not go over well with the fauxcasters though.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5684
Quoting Levi32:


The FIM is going to replace the GFS at some undetermined point in the future. Currently, the operational FIM matches or even out-performs the GFS in the northern hemisphere at 5-7 days out.


Really? GFS is performing much better than the FIM if I'm not mistaking. It almost seems like the CMC by spinning every little blob.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


For the Gulf and Caribbean for sure. Too much dry air I feel across the rest of the Atlantic Basin to get anything going. I feel that it's close to home we will have to be concerned with.


Well of course there has been dry air in the Atlantic. It's very normal to have dry air in the Eastern Atlantic during the first half of the season due to a stronger A/B High. The strong A/B high causes large dust storms to blow across the Atlantic. Now that the high is weakening, the SAL is also at its lowest level of the season.

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Quoting washingtonian115:
Really sad what man has done to the Everglades.A real beautiful place now infested with foreign snakes that are killing the native wild life and destroying the ecosystem.Every time I here a story like the one above I just shake my head in disappointment.Damn..just Damn...



Well it is not all man made. When Hurricane Andrew hit in 92 there were numerous exotic snake breeding facilities in Homestead that got destroyed and hence released many different types of snakes that found their way to the Glades.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Yeah, it's terrible and I had to laugh at the person who said that model would be replacing the GFS soon. Lot's of wishcasting for storms lately and it's only going to get worse as overall the pattern looks pretty meek other than a possible weak low in the Gulf this weekend. TX to FL can expect a very rain weather pattern from Saturday thru all of next week as a strong front stalls out across the northeern Gulf. Big cool down for folks up north with lows in the 40's!
Who's wishcasting again?.
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Quoting Levi32:


The FIM is going to replace the GFS at some undetermined point in the future. Currently, the operational FIM matches or even out-performs the GFS in the northern hemisphere at 5-7 days out.

*sheds tear*
The GFS will be missed...
*taps plays*

lol
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Euro not as bullish with development in the BOC unlike the GFS:

Euro:



GFS:



The reason TD 7 lots all of it's convection while traversing the Caribbean. Euro is probably right here.

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Did not know that, thanks for the heads up, so what does it mean by 10m wind under the fields?


Wind 10 meters above the ground.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


For thw Gulf and Caribbean for sure. Too much dry air I feel across the rest of the Atlantic Basin to get anything going. I feel that it's close to home we will have to be concerned with.
LOL why you always have to downcast everything everyone says :(
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Quoting hurricanehanna:

looks to be moving from the SW...a break from these afternoon showers would be nice...doesn't really cool, just causes steam


Your right, it is quite a bit worse after a ten minute shower.
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Early Fall?

6-10 days


8-14 days
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Yeah, it's terrible and I had to laugh at the person who said that model would be replacing the GFS soon. Lot's of wishcasting for storms lately and it's only going to get worse as overall the pattern looks pretty meek other than a possible weak low in the Gulf this weekend. TX to FL can expect a very rain weather pattern from Saturday thru all of next week as a strong front stalls out across the northeern Gulf. Big cool down for folks up north with lows in the 40's!


The FIM is going to replace the GFS at some undetermined point in the future. Currently, the operational FIM matches or even out-performs the GFS in the northern hemisphere at 5-7 days out.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
One interesting thing to note: The US is now beginning a stretch of cooler weather with temps falling below normal for the next two weeks or so over the majority of the country. At the most, temps should be close to average. This could be a big instigator for the hurricane season to really crank up as most of the heat will be focused in the Atlantic rather than over land. Combine this with the upcoming MJO pulse and climatological upswing, it sounds like a nice recipe for an active time in the Tropical Atlantic.


And the plot thickens ;)

May Numbers:
2 Named storms
June Numbers:
2 Named storms
July Numbers:
0 Named storms
August numbers?:
6 Named storms
September numbers?:
5 Named storms
October numbers?:
1 Named storm

Would equal 16 named storms...
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Euro not as bullish with development in the BOC unlike the GFS:

Euro:



GFS:

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Quoting Redbull77:
Got some storms popping out of nowhere near Lafayette la. Got home a few minutes ago sun was shining. Just heard thunder and the sky is dark black.

looks to be moving from the SW...a break from these afternoon showers would be nice...doesn't really cool, just causes steam
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Quoting MississippiWx:
One interesting thing to note: The US is now beginning a stretch of cooler weather with temps falling below normal for the next two weeks or so over the majority of the country. At the most, temps should be close to average. This could be a big instigator for the hurricane season to really crank up as most of the heat will be focused in the Atlantic rather than over land. Combine this with the upcoming MJO pulse and climatological upswing, it sounds like a nice recipe for an active time in the Tropical Atlantic.



For the Gulf and Caribbean for sure. Too much dry air I feel across the rest of the Atlantic Basin to get anything going. I feel that it's close to home we will have to be concerned with.
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Got some storms popping out of nowhere near Lafayette la. Got home a few minutes ago sun was shining. Just heard thunder and the sky is dark black.
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Quoting wxmod:
Arctic algae bloom. MODIS


Whatever next?
Coral reefs.
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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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