The new hottest place on Earth: Death Valley, California

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:18 PM GMT on September 13, 2012

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As any weather aficionado can avow, Earth's most iconic weather record has long been the legendary all-time hottest temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) measured 90 years ago today at El Azizia, Libya on September 13, 1922. One hundred thirty six degrees! It's difficult to comprehend that heat like that could exist on our planet. For 90 years, no place on Earth has come close to beating the unbelievable 136 degree reading from Al Azizia, and for good reason--the record is simply not believable. But Earth's mightiest weather record has been officially cast down. Today, the official arbiter of Earth's weather records, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), announced that the all-time heat record held for exactly 90 years by El Azizia in Libya "is invalid because of an error in recording the temperature." The WMO committee found five major problems with the measurement. Most seriously, the temperature was measured in a paved courtyard over a black, asphalt-like material by a new and inexperienced observer, not trained in the use of an unsuitable replacement instrument that could be easily misread. The observer improperly recorded the observation, which was consequently in error by about 7°C (12.6°F.) The new official highest hottest place on the planet is now Death Valley, California. A remarkable high temperature of 56.7°C (134°F) was measured there on 10 July 1913, at Greenland Ranch.


Figure 1. The trading post at Al Azizia, Libya in 1923. The photo was taken from the Italian military fort located on a small hill just south of the trading post. It was at this fort that the temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) was observed on Sept. 13, 1922 (used with permission from the family of Gen. Enrico Pezzi).

The story behind the overturning of Earth's most hallowed weather record
Today's announcement is the culmination of a 3-year research effort begun by wunderground weather historian, Christopher C. Burt. His blog post today, World Heat Record Overturned--A Personal Account, provides a fascinating detective story on how the record came to be cast down--and how the Libyan revolution of 2012 almost prevented this from happening.


Figure 2. The new official hottest place on the planet: Death Valley, California. Wide open spaces, infinite views, intensely salty water, mind-boggling heat. What's not to love about this place? Image credit: Wunderphotographer SonomaCountyRAF.

Dead Heat: The Video
Don't miss the 25-minute wunderground video, Dead Heat, a detective story on how the El Azizia record was overturned.

Atlantic tropical update
Tropical Storm Nadine is recurving to the northwest and north well east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, on a track that would likely keep this storm far out at sea away from any land areas. However, Nadine may eventually threaten the Azores Islands or Newfoundland; the models are divided on how the steering currents will evolve next week, and we cannot be sure which way Nadine will go during the middle of next week.

The models predict that a trough of low pressure off the U.S. East Coast may serve as the focus for development of a non-tropical low pressure system on Sunday or Monday, but this low will likely form too far to the north to become a tropical storm. The GFS model has been predicting a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa may develop next week, but has not been consistent with the timing or location of the development.

In the Western Pacific, Super Typhoon Sanba is an impressive top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, and is headed north-northwest towards a possible landfall in Korea early next week.

Given the importance of the new world record all-time high temperature, I'll leave this post up until Saturday afternoon, when I'll post an update on the tropics.

Jeff Masters

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Time to give my F5 button a workout on the NHC page.
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1246. sheople
well it used to be sheoplevaccine which gives a whole different meaning to it. I just shortened it to save on typing. But thanks for noticing
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1245. etxwx
From spaceweather.com

ROCKET EXHAUST: The White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico conducted a test of the Patriot interceptor yesterday, producing iridescent rocket exhaust visible as far away as Phoenix AZ, Las Vegas NV, and Salt Lake City UT. David Blanchard photographed the display from Flagstaff, Arizona. The test proceeded as follows: A Juno rocket was launched from Fort Wingate in Gallup, New Mexico. This served as the target for another missile, the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptor, launched shortly thereafter from White Sands. A press release from White Sands confirmed the test and stated that "the Juno performed as expected."

In this wide-angle view, Blanchard captured the exhaust from both missiles. "The crescent Moon overhead was a beautiful bonus," he says.

As the rockets raced through the high atmosphere, water vapor in their exhaust crystalized to form tiny ice crystals. The crystals diffracted the light from the rising sun to produce the iridescent colors.
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1244. Gearsts
Quoting CaribBoy:


Do you think the wave at 50W will try to do something before reaching the islands?
No with that upper low ahead and very weak spin also looks like is racing west.
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1243. JLPR2
Quoting allancalderini:
I hope it becomes a invest.


According to a recent ASCAT pass there is nothing going on under the convection, instead there is a weak spin to the south around 10n. I guess its best chance is to reform that spin under the convection, further north. But there seems to be some wind shear in the area as the tops keep getting blown off to the west. Yep, it has several things going against it.
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Quoting Gearsts:
High shear i think.

Possible or it could just be her trying to organize. Whatever it is we should find out at the next advisory.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Quoting Gearsts:
High shear i think.


Do you think the wave at 50W will try to do something before reaching the islands?
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1240. Gearsts
Quoting wxchaser97:
What is going on here, eyewall or not?
High shear i think.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Looking alive and well, maybe it will grab an invest designation over the weekend.

I hope it becomes a invest.
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1238. JLPR2
Looking alive and well, maybe it will grab an invest designation over the weekend.

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What is going on here, eyewall or not?
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
940 PM AST FRI SEP 14 2012

.UPDATE...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS PERSISTED DURING THE EVENING
HOURS ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTHERN SECTIONS OF PUERTO RICO. SEVERAL
FLOOD ADVISORIES WERE ISSUED FOR MUNICIPALITIES OVER THOSE SECTOR OF
THE ISLAND. THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
ACTIVITY WAS THE RESULT OF THE INSTABILITY CREATED BY AN UPPER LEVEL
TROUGH NEAR THE REGION IN COMBINATION WITH DAYTIME HEATING AND LOCAL
TERRAIN EFFECTS. THE UPPER LOW WILL FADE COMPLETELY BY SATURDAY AND
A MID TO UPPER LEVEL RIDGE WILL TALE CONTROL OF THE LOCAL WEATHER.
THEREFORE LESS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE
REGION DURING THE WEEKEND. HOWEVER...AVAILABLE MOISTURE...DIURNAL
HEATING AND LOCAL EFFECTS WILL COMBINE TO PRODUCE AFTERNOON SHOWERS
ACROSS PORTIONS OF PUERTO RICO EACH AFTERNOON. NEXT TROPICAL WAVE IS
EXPECTED TO REACH THE LOCAL ISLANDS TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Since the tropics are dead besides Nadine.My niece is trying to go on biggest loser.I asked her if she wanted to show the world her weight problems.Well they all ready sent the casting information and everything and now she is working on the cast tape.I hope this isn't one huge fail.Fame will either make you or break you..

Dead? No, no.

Invest 91E:



Not an official invest, but still has a floater:



Tropical Storm Kristy:



Invest 91W:



Typhoon Sanba:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32034
Quoting washingtonian115:
I think Nadine is going to see her best days yet.

Since she is a hurricane now and should get stronger, yeah she will.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
1233. etxwx
Antarctic ozone hole smaller than in 2011
GENEVA | Fri Sep 14, 2012
Reuters - The hole in the ozone layer, the earth's protective shield against ultraviolet rays, is expected to be smaller this year over the Antarctic than last, showing how a ban on harmful substances has stopped its depletion, the United Nations said on Friday. But the hole is probably larger than in 2010 and a complete recovery is still a long way off.

The signing of the Montreal Protocol 25 years ago to phase out chemicals that deplete the ozone layer has helped prevent millions of cases of skin cancer and eye cataracts as well as harmful effects on the environment, the U.N. weather agency said.

"The temperature conditions and the extent of polar stratospheric clouds so far this year indicate that the degree of ozone loss will be smaller than in 2011 but probably somewhat larger than in 2010," the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement.

The Antarctic ozone hole, which currently measures 19 million square kilometers, most likely would be smaller this year than in the record year of 2006, it said. The annual occurrence typically reaches its maximum surface area during late September and maximum depth in early October.

But the banned chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), once used in refrigerators and spray cans, have a long lifetime in the atmosphere and it will take several decades before their concentrations are back to pre-1980 levels, the WMO said.

The Montreal protocol has been a "great success", U.N. weather agency expert Geir Braathen told a news briefing.

"This has prevented a major environmental disaster and globally ozone depletion has leveled off. We haven't really seen any kind of unequivocal ozone recovery yet," he said. "Ozone depletion has stopped, leveled off," Braathen said.

In the Arctic stratosphere, there was record ozone loss in spring of 2011, but it has returned to more normal conditions this year, he said.
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The ADT page is now showing hurricane Nadine, Link.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Quoting allancalderini:
should be 80 to 85mph in the next advisory 75 is to low imo.

I would go with 80-85, I'm staying up for a while tonight watching Nadine.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
1230. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting MahFL:


Your nickname would suggest otherwise......we weren't born yesterday.


its funny
how they think
we won't pick up on these things
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1229. bappit
Quoting washingtonian115:
Since the tropics are dead besides Nadine.My niece is trying to go on biggest loser.I asked her if she wanted to show the world her weight problems.Well they all ready sent the casting information and everything and now she is working on the cast tape.I hope this isn't one huge fail.Fame will either make you or break you..

True words.
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I'd love the CATL WAVE to surprise us :)
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1227. Grothar
Quoting sar2401:

Which, I think, adds another storm that became a hurricane after it went beyond 30n. Very strange year.


Could get even stronger.
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1226. Grothar
Quoting indianrivguy:


You weren't first?


LOL. Got me!!
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1225. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Since the tropics are dead besides Nadine.My niece is trying to go on biggest loser.I asked her if she wanted to show the world her weight problems.Well they all ready sent the casting information and everything and now she is working on the cast tape.I hope this isn't one huge fail.Fame will either make you or break you..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting allancalderini:
Lol remember it may not be nothing right now but maybe in the future could develop into something.expect the unexpected from the tropics.
Conditions are not favorable.Their is suppose to be a sharp rise in shear.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting wxchaser97:
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
4.5 / 975.6mb/ 77.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
4.5 4.5 4.2

Center Temp : -58.2C Cloud Region Temp : -61.5C

Scene Type : EMBEDDED CENTER CLOUD REGION w/ MW EYE

14/2345 UTC 29.7N 53.3W T4.5/4.5 NADINE -- Atlantic
should be 80 to 85mph in the next advisory 75 is to low imo.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
They still won't be satisfied because it's not a cat 3 or higher.
Lol remember it may not be nothing right now but maybe in the future could develop into something.expect the unexpected from the tropics.
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Quoting Grothar:
Not trying to be funny, but Nadine has been a Hurricane for awhile. I thought somebody would have posted it by now. It has been on most of the sites.



You weren't first?
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Quoting sar2401:

Might be the blob that brings the Caribbean some rain and quiets down all the whining from that direction. :)
They still won't be satisfied because it's not a cat 3 or higher.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting CybrTeddy:


No "I", sorry.

-$100


-$100? Hey! Will someone loan me $98.32?
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CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
4.5 / 975.6mb/ 77.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
4.5 4.5 4.2

Center Temp : -58.2C Cloud Region Temp : -61.5C

Scene Type : EMBEDDED CENTER CLOUD REGION w/ MW EYE

14/2345 UTC 29.7N 53.3W T4.5/4.5 NADINE -- Atlantic
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
1216. sar2401
Quoting washingtonian115:
It won't amount to much besides give people rain and some gusty winds.The NHC is wasting their time.

Might be the blob that brings the Caribbean some rain and quiets down all the whining from that direction. :)
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I think Nadine is going to see her best days yet.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
1214. MahFL
Quoting sheople:
.. I am not here to stir the pot ...


Your nickname would suggest otherwise......we weren't born yesterday.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


No "I", sorry.

-$100



can i buy a A?
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Considering all of the bad news from around the world for these past few days, I think it is time to hear something a little more uplifting.

"Joy to the World"
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1211. beell
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

ATCF updated showing the storm as a hurricane.


And ATCF is THE official designator of Atlantic Tropical System names.

well, there was that little mix up the other day...

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Quoting Grothar:
It won't amount to much besides give people rain and some gusty winds.The NHC is wasting their time.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I would like to buy another vowel, please. Is there an "I"?


No "I", sorry.

-$100
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1208. sar2401
Quoting Grothar:
Not trying to be funny, but Nadine has been a Hurricane for awhile. I thought somebody would have posted it by now. It has been on most of the sites.


Which, I think, adds another storm that became a hurricane after it went beyond 30n. Very strange year.
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1207. Grothar
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1206. viman
Quoting CaribBoy:


I hope we get rains in the NE Carib. I would be VERY angry should the rain stayed south!


We surely do need it, we got some yesterday and today with the feature that's north of us right now, but no way near what we need or would like to see, however we did have a pretty decent t-storm yesterday afternoon, but it moved off the island to quickly.
Looking to the east with fingers crossed...
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Washingtonian115.You should have checked before jumping to conclusions.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
1204. etxwx
It's cooling down a bit...and that's a good thing. Not the kind of fireworks you want at an Independence Day Celebration.


Guatemala volcano eruption cools as Independence Day celebrations heat up
9.14.12 CSM - La Antigua, Guatemala Excerpt:

Guatemalans received a scare on the eve of their Independence Day celebrations. The Volcano of Fire, Fuego, had its strongest eruption since 1974 on Thursday leading to the evacuation of around 6,500 people, according to CONRED, the Guatemalan disaster agency. Close to 900 people are in shelters after the eruption created massive plumes of smoke and ash that could be seen from Guatemala City and neighboring UNESCO heritage city La Antigua, both less than 46 miles away.
"On a scale of 1 to 5, with five being the worst, I would say this was a 3.5," says David De León Villeda, spokesperson for CONRED.
The volcano’s activity has decreased dramatically. Today, marching bands pour through the streets of the capital and La Antigua against the back drop of a blue sky. The sounds of drumming and students marching in commemoration of the country's independence seems to distract residents and tourists alike from the ongoing, albeit smaller, explosions, lava flows, and visible columns of ash coming from the volcano. Fuego is returning to its previous state, Villeda says, at least for now.
Complete story here.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
No.Why won't you go read.1156 1172 and 1173 are proof that Nadine is now a hurricane.Stop starting stuff.
Asking a simple, honest question is not starting stuff. LOL. Who the heck are you to say something like that? That's offensive. My comment made when I saw the
ATCF quote...
Quoting StormDrain:
Duh. NVMD.

Add to ... : For the record, your previous comment and my response, which is what you addressed above.
Quoting washingtonian115:
Well looks like after days on end of flirting with hurricane status Nadine finally made it.FINALLY.
?
From the 8 pm TWD...

I don't see a special advisory. Atcf showing something? Nadine probably shoulda woulda coulda been a 'cane earlier, imho, but I don't know what official source you mean. Maybe you're just trying to see if anyone's payin' attention.

...
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

ATCF updated showing the storm as a hurricane.
Thank you. I just saw Neo's comment.
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1202. Grothar
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

ATCF updated showing the storm as a hurricane.



TA you do know Nadine will move back west, don't you?
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Quoting viman:
Do we have 92L as yet???? Hope we get some rain, the plants are crying out, the cisterns are bawling, and all of Gods littlest creatures are awaiting his bounty... It's been a long and hot, hot, very hot, few months... Did I mention that it has been hot...


I hope we get rains in the NE Carib. I would be VERY angry should the rain stayed south!
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1200. Grothar
Not trying to be funny, but Nadine has been a Hurricane for awhile. I thought somebody would have posted it by now. It has been on most of the sites.

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


14-8-1.

Realistically it is probably more like 80mph due to the SAB/ADT combo, unless the TAFB is below hurricane status.


I would like to buy another vowel, please. Is there an "I"?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

ATCF updated showing the storm as a hurricane.
THANK YOU.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting wxchaser97:
ATCF says we got hurricane Nadine with 75mph winds.
AL, 14, 2012091500, , BEST, 0, 296N, 529W, 65, 986, HU, 64, NEQ, 30, 20, 0, 0, 1013, 240, 20, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, NADINE, D,


Hurricane NADINE.

14-8-1.

Realistically it is probably more like 80mph due to the SAB/ADT combo, unless the TAFB is below hurricane status.
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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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