The heat is on

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:16 PM GMT on July 22, 2006

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Record heat has gripped much of the U.S. this week. The heat is currently most intense in the Desert Southwest, where yesterday Phoenix recorded its fourth highest temperature of all time, 118 F. Needles, California hit a record 120 yesterday, and the temperature topped out at 123 F in Death Valley--only 13 degrees cooler than the world record 136 F measured in El Azizia, Libya, in 1922. The heat should continue for another week in the Southwest, before a shift in the jet stream pattern brings more normal temperatures to the region late next week.

The heat is on in Europe, too
Europe has seen its own record heat wave this week. Britain broke its all-time July temperature record, with a 98 F (36.5 C) temperature recorded at the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Wisley in Surrey. This bested the previous record for July, 36 C, set in Epsom in 1911. Belgium also recorded its hottest July day ever, 99 F (37 C) on July 19. Paris and Berlin both recorded 102 F (39 C) on July 20. However, the 2006 heat wave has caused far fewer deaths than the intense heat wave of 2003 that killed over 35,000 people. The 2006 heat wave has claimed 20 victims in France, 2 in Spain, and 4 in Germany and the Netherlands. Much of the reduced death toll can be credited to better preparation learned from the 2003 heat wave.

The heat, combined with drought, has reduced the amount of cooling water available to cool the nuclear reactors in Germany and France, forcing those plants to cut back on electricity production. In Italy, hydroelectric power generation has been reduced due to the drought.

Warmest January through June ever in U.S.
The National Climatic Data Center reports that the June 2006 was the 2nd warmest June on record, and the first half of 2006 was the warmest in the United States since record keeping began in 1895. The average temperature for the 48 contiguous United States from January through June was 51.8�F, or 3.4�F above average for the 20th century. Globally, June was also the 2nd warmest June on record, and the period January through June was the 6th warmest such period on record.

Watching the tropics
There are no areas of disturbed weather to talk about the tropical Atlantic today, and none of the computer models are forecasting any development for the coming week.

The main action this week will be in the Eastern Pacific, where we have my favorite type of hurricane--a huge, spectacular Category 4 (almost 5) storm that is no threat to land. Daniel joins May's Typhoon Chanchu as the only Category 4/5 tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere so far this year. Daniel could threaten Hawaii late next week, but the storm will probably be a weak tropical storm by that point, due to passage over cooler waters.


Latest satellite image of Hurricane Daniel

Jeff Masters

120 degrees (Westerberg)
But it's a dry heat. I'm sure it's going to get a couple degrees warmer today but I could not hang around any longer.
120 degrees

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304. refill
10:44 PM AST on July 22, 2006
I agree with all of you, guys, 2005 isn't a comparison year....
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303. iahishome
2:49 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
The record heat in and around the US is indicative of large scale changes in the global climate. Perhaps that Saharan dust is going to be much more of an issue over the next few years as drought continues to pummel Northern Africa.

When a storm does form, it will probably be a doozy due to the buildup of heat. (OK, that's pure speculation and I hope I'm wrong.)

Out here in California today, I captured this from our almanac about 3:00 PM:

Redlands CA
HI LOW
Normal (KRAL) 95 F 64 F
Record (KRAL) 107 F (1942) 50 F (1940)

Current: 114.6 F

Link to the PWS

Now granted, that's not an official temperature, but it's blowing the pants off of our official record. The thermometer in my car captured temperatures of 115 degrees before a small thunderstorm cooled the temperature briefly.

It was humorous to see fog on a 115 degree day from a heavy downpour almost immediately evaporating. I've seen lot's of wierd weather in the last few weeks and I'm in California where normally, heat and wind is the only story.

I gotta get a camera in my car. There were huge thunderstorms forming over the mountains the other day only to have their anvils blown 50 miles down wind by high level winds! The formation was continuing, so the cloud looked marvelous, like a stair step. I guess the winds were pretty constant at high levels, so the whole top of the storm was blown downwind intact. This was a very impressive sight and something I haven't seen in 30 years here.

If I do talk my wife into moving to Houston, perhaps I'll see this sort of thing more often.

I look out on my patio right now in Colton, CA and it is still 101 degrees at 8:00 PM.

Taking Air Conditioning Bill Donations in So. Cal because I've got a 5 day old baby and recovering wife at home!
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301. SLU
2:34 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
laters!
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300. SLU
2:33 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
also the long range GFS has been a bit bullish lately about a strong and developing wave/low exiting W. Africa in the 1st 3 or 4 days of August
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299. Weather456
10:32 PM AST on July 22, 2006
well, good night all!!!!!
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
298. Weather456
10:29 PM AST on July 22, 2006
and also an invest back in april or may....
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
296. Weather456
10:16 PM AST on July 22, 2006
yep, there was record disturbances/invest in June and July...from 91L to 97L

but as a normal season, wind shear was high in June, and July...

August, much less september and october aint even reach yet...and we are begining to wrap up the season.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
295. SAINTHURRIFAN
2:14 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
456 we love our trivia in 1985 only 11 storms but
6 hit the us including elena and gloria and crazy juan and kate whichhit fla panhandle as a 2 3 days before thanksgiving and juan looped around se la and ms from halloween to early nov thats what i see this year late start very late finish
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
294. SLU
2:14 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
true dat 456 ... we shouldn't use 2005 as a benchmark to measure any other season cuz it was probably a once in every 250 years kinda season. 2006 is going along like clockwork so we should be thankful for the quiet nature and hope it stays so too
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293. Weather456
10:13 PM AST on July 22, 2006
July 2004 .. we had lots of good healthy waves which kept the weather watchers interested

and none formed...

In July 2006, we had four healthy waves so far, and we might add one next week, and none formed.....

so July 2006 isnt diffrent from 2004, its very similar...
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
291. Weather456
10:08 PM AST on July 22, 2006
I still have to admit, I wish we never had 2005, because it ruined people's idea of a normal tropical season....

Maybe alot of are thinking of 2005, when they see a blobs......
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
290. SLU
2:07 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
lol .. Ivan scared me to death too when it was rapidly intensifying east of the antilles all the way up to 135mph and was heading directly for St. Lucia but the night b4 it hit it took a more westerly course and the WNW track did'nt materialise and then it ended up further south in Grenada ... Phew!!
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289. ricderr
2:02 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
it seems..this seasaon has been just as busy as last year...difference is that the storms have been found in other places than the atlantic....not much talk about them on this blog.....and daniel was one of the most classic looking storms...anyone mind checking how the weather services and the models did on predicting their paths?..if you're on here to learn about tropical cyclones..then you've already missed the boat..it would appear..that what is of interest to those posting on this blog..are the ones that might harm people..especially those in the states
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21310
288. SAINTHURRIFAN
2:02 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
slu i remember 2004 bored me to death until charley then it was away we go we just missed ivan in se ms and thought how lucky we were
till 11 months later and the 100 billion dollar baby came for a visit i told my wife we should have taken ivan and maybe we wouldnt have got katrina lol ivan for katrina would have been a good trade lol
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
287. SAINTHURRIFAN
1:55 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
actually of all the land falling hurricanes that formed in the eastern or central carrib since the upswing in 95
thier really has not been that many us hits that is most formed in nw carrib the ones that formed in eastern or central carrib that hit us since 95
2002 lili and isodore 2004 charley rememberivan formed well outin the east atlantic 2005 dennis the rest were in nw carrib opal 95 98 mitch
2000 gordon 2005 cindy wilma
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
286. SLU
1:56 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
July 2004 .. we had lots of good healthy waves which kept the weather watchers interested
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285. SLU
1:50 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
july 2004?
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283. Weather456
9:46 PM AST on July 22, 2006
Posted By: SLU at 9:41 PM AST on July 22, 2006.
in my opinion .. its the quietest July here in the Eastern Caribbean since maybe 2001?? (lack of wave activity, little rainfall and thunderstorms to enjoy, hot, dry, sunny weather like as if it was late March and not late July).


what happen to 2004.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
282. Weather456
9:42 PM AST on July 22, 2006
it is a nice quiet night in the tropics, almost feels good. No confusion, no "who's right or wrong", just peaceful...
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
280. SAINTHURRIFAN
1:42 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
with lower pressures and a trough coming into gulf i think thuer could be a problem in the gulf nxt week
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
278. SLU
1:37 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
in my opinion .. its the quietest July here in the Eastern Caribbean since maybe 2001?? (lack of wave activity, little rainfall and thunderstorms to enjoy, hot, dry, sunny weather like as if it was late March and not late July).
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277. SLU
1:34 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
maybe everyone's mood is a direct reflection of the type of season we're having so far ... (yawn) zzzzzzzzzzzz
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276. SAINTHURRIFAN
1:31 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
buoy reports in the western north and central gulf are pretty low found one at 28.7 88.7 at 29.80 thats about 1009 mb
with all these t/s coming into the gulf who knows
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
275. uwusnama
1:31 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
JP, et al.--looks like a quiet night for weather talk. Looks like Daniel is slowing down and there are no blobs to examine. Guess it's time to give it a rest for the night. See y'all manana.
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274. StormThug
8:26 PM CDT on July 22, 2006
im here
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272. Weather456
9:10 PM AST on July 22, 2006
AN EASTERN ATLANTIC TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 33W SOUTH OF 20N
MOVING WEST 10-15 KT. A 1013 MB LOW IS ALONG THE WAVE NEAR 15N.
THIS AREA OF LOW PRES IS CLEARLY DEFINED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY
AND IN THE SURROUNDING SHIPS/BUOYS. DESPITE THE WELL DEFINED
STRUCTURE OF THE WAVE AND LOW...A WIDESPREAD AREA OF SAHARAN
DUST IS SUPPRESSING ANY SIGNIFICANT SHOWER ACTIVITY. ONLY
SCATTERED SHOWERS ARE SURROUNDING THESE FEATURES EMBEDDED IN THE
ITCZ. THIS WAVE WILL LIKELY INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT TRACKS UNDER THE STRONG LOW-LEVEL
RIDGE.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
271. hurricane23
8:42 PM EDT on July 22, 2006
Have u guys ever sen the wind analyses for the 1935 labor day hurricane?



Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13621
269. bappit
12:25 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
Durn Wikipedia people can't spell. They left the 'k' off the end of Frederick.
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268. SAINTHURRIFAN
12:19 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
only 1 190 at landfall another ms coast visitor camille
for such a small coastline we really get the doozies
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
267. SAINTHURRIFAN
12:16 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
fredrick he was here in se ms we ddid not have power for over a month the highest wind gust at chevron in pascagoula was during fredrick
178mph 130 sustained dauphin islands pressure was 938 mb before the weather station blew down never before or sense have seen a storm destroy so many trees or utility poles
that goes for camille or katrina as ive said forgotten storm
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
265. bappit
12:18 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
um, Moosbrugger
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264. highndry
12:10 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
okay, I'll ask the question, but I gotta run - the missus wants me to get the dogs on the grill. What hurricane had the highest recorded wind speed. This is an easy one, JP should be all over this one.
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263. bappit
12:12 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
odd I don't see a Wikipedia article

though the USS Mooseburger made an emergency sortie from Pascagoula cause of it
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262. silverfox4025
12:07 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
right, too easy
260. bappit
12:06 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
gotta be Frederick
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259. SAINTHURRIFAN
12:02 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
that storm i asked about completly sucked mobile bay dry another hint david was the cat 5 in front of it
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 706
255. highndry
12:02 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
Wilma.
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254. silverfox4025
12:01 AM GMT on July 23, 2006
What was the fastest intensifing hurricane in the atlantic?

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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.