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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204. OneDay
11:22 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Yep...I'm in Spring. I used to live off of El Dorado Blvd. Did you "evacuate" for Rita?
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
203. ihave27windows
11:21 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Thanks OneDay,

I gather you are in Houston Metro Area?

I'm off Space Center Blvd.
Member Since: July 19, 2005 Posts: 108 Comments: 14904
202. OneDay
11:19 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
silverfox...I enjoyed the search (and I re-learned some geography along the way :0)
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
201. turtlehurricane
11:19 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Could the National Hurricane Center make forecasts better? This has been a question of debate over many years. At hurricane warning/ weathercore forums we invite you to express your opinion about this extremely important issue through a poll and debate. We want to hear what you have to say about it so dont be scared or shy to jump in. Join the discussion at

NHC Debate
Member Since: July 22, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 469
200. Weather456
7:16 PM AST on July 22, 2006
the question should be, what caused the two deaths in 2006's alberto.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
199. OneDay
11:17 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
wild guess...lightning strikes.
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
198. Weather456
7:14 PM AST on July 22, 2006
this is a givaway. What was the death toll by 2006's Tropical storm alberto? What caused the two deaths?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
197. silverfox4025
11:09 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
The question I asked earlier about a TS hitting Puerto Rico from the west. I was just curious about that, didn't know I needed to know the answer first. Didn't play by the rules I guess. LOL
196. OneDay
11:13 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
My thoughts, 27windows...

Posted By: OneDay at 9:22 PM GMT on July 22, 2006.

We've got a pretty robust (for this time of year) cool front making its way south into SE TX. If the energy associated with it (and causing our current severe weather) makes it into the GOM I bet we'll get a tropical system out of it. Especially considerring the forecasted low amount of shear after 24 hours.

The "if" seems like a good possibility the way the system is holding together.
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
195. thelmores
11:12 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
hey SJ you better standy..... looks heading your way as well..... some nasty lighting, hail, and gusty winds associated.... but i'm sure you are used to it! ;)
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193. thelmores
11:07 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
well, they are already in n. horry county..... but horry county is huge! LOL

they are saying we could get some gusts just in advance of the storm..... looks to me to me the moving easteward component looks about 15ph.... so i figure 8:30, i'll let you know! :)
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192. louastu
11:10 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
I'm so stupid. It was during WWII so it could not have been 1948.
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191. OneDay
11:05 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Alright, silverfox, doesn't look like it's ever happened...checked 1891, 1891, 1893, 1896, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1910, 1916, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1956, 1963, 1979, 1996 ,1998 ,2004
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
190. ihave27windows
11:09 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Good Afternoon All,

Got a question: If the front that is trying to pass through the Houston area makes it into the GOM, could it become a tropical dep, storm etc...?

Also, what is all the stuff already in the Gulf?
Member Since: July 19, 2005 Posts: 108 Comments: 14904
189. Weather456
7:09 PM AST on July 22, 2006
1943
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
188. louastu
11:10 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
1948
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186. Weather456
7:05 PM AST on July 22, 2006
right jp, you ask the next question....
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
185. StormJunkie
11:04 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
It will come thel.

You think the line of storm will die off as it cools and head to the coast, or you think it will make it ot your area?
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184. Weather456
7:05 PM AST on July 22, 2006
hello to you Hurricanealley
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
182. thelmores
11:01 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
"Very nice thel :)"

Thanks SJ..... really didnt understand the diurnal effects on tropical weather, or just storms in general, so thought i'd share what i dug up.......

just wish i could get a little better handle on this! :)
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181. OneDay
11:00 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
oops, I'm an idiot, that's Cuba, not Puerto Rico...disregard previous post.
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180. hurricanealley
11:02 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
hello
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179. Weather456
7:01 PM AST on July 22, 2006
and what was the death toll by the storm?
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178. thelmores
11:00 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
looks like a stormy evening for the Palmetto State......
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177. Weather456
7:00 PM AST on July 22, 2006
What was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane ever?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
176. StormJunkie
10:59 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Very nice thel :)
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175. OneDay
10:55 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Hey silverfox...still looking, but in 1910 a stong hurricane seemed to have hit Puerto Rico twice, the second time from the WNW.
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
173. louastu
10:59 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
I know it was the Okeechobee Hurricane, but I can't remember exactly what year it was (thinking 1928 or 1929).
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172. Weather456
6:57 PM AST on July 22, 2006
1928
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
170. thelmores
10:52 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
"Diurnal Effects: A reference to an effect that has its origins due to daytime heating, such as afternoon cumulus cloud development or the formation of a lake/sea breeze. These phenomena dissipate once the sun goes down and surface heating is lost."

"DIURNAL
Pertaining to actions or events that occur during a twenty-four hour cycle or recurs every twenty-four hours. Meteorological elements that are measured diurnally include clouds, precipitation, pressure, relative humidity, temperature, and wind."

"Daily; related to actions which are completed in the course of a calendar day, and which typically recur every calendar day (e.g., diurnal temperature rises during the day, and diurnal falls at night)."

" Diurnal Variability

The variation throughout the course of the day (diurnal) of UV radiation is much like that of visible light.



This Figure overlays a mostly clear day's observations of the "global" or mostly visible radiation and UV radiation. Notice how UV radiation is much more attenuated than the global at high solar zenith angles in the early morning and late afternoon. This is because the two components which make up UV and all other forms of radiation; the direct and the diffuse, are both greatly affected at these low sun angles. Direct UV radiation is greatly reduced by the increased absorption by stratospheric ozone during its increased path length through the atmosphere (about 6 times more than when the sun is directly overhead). Also, radiation at the UV wavelengths is scattered much more than visible light. This further decreases the direct component and increases the diffuse component. As the Sun rises above the horizon, the amount of absorption in the stratosphere and scattering in the troposphere is reduced. The result is a drastic increase in UV radiation reaching the surface.

The variation of surface temperature differs significantly from both UV and global radiation. Where as the diurnal variation of incoming infrared radiation is similar to that of global radiation, there exists a delay between the time when the earth-atmosphere system is irradiated to when the temperature begins to increase. This is know as the thermal response. Depending upon the time of the year the lag in time between the peak radiation flux reaching the surface (solar noon) to when the surface temperature reaches its maximum can be as great as 3 to 4 hours. For example, have you noticed that it is hottest in the mid afternoon not at noon. A typical summer surface temperature plot.....



showing how the peak temperature is reached later in the afternoon. By the time of the temperature maximum, the amount of UV radiation reaching the surface has decreased almost by half of that at solar noon."

hope this helps a lttle on Diurnal....

easy to understand the components (clouds, precipitation, pressure, relative humidity, temperature, and wind), much harder to figure out how they interact with each other.

For example..... how much does "solar radiation" "aid" a TS, as compared to the overnight low temperature, which allows higher cold cloud tops...... and seems pressure would be lower at night, since the air is cooler, and sinking, more dense, and in the daytime, pressure decreases as air expands and rises....

sorry for the long post, just trying to share! Please, somebody correct any inaccuracies, or add anything pertinent, as i still have much to learn on this subject! :)

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169. OneDay
10:50 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
yep...hint on where...least populated TX coastal county (and that's probably why you don't remember where...Alicia struck 16 years earlier and was a bit weaker, yet everyone knows it hit Houston.)
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
167. OneDay
10:49 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
peeking
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166. OneDay
10:46 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Since Alicia in 1983 there has been only 1 major hurricane hit the entire Texas coast. What was its name, when did it hit, and where did it hit? (and no peaking on my blog.)
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
164. OneDay
10:43 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
does it have to be tropical storm related?
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
162. Weather456
6:37 PM AST on July 22, 2006
Beryl did'nt surprise me with the northward movement. This is probably a wake up call for the Northeast coast because the track Beryl took or is taking is possibly another track for a September Hurricane. (What is your justification for this statement?) Also meteorologists believe a season like 2004 is possibly likely as the Bermuda high just sits there in the Atlantic. It's the high that controls the storms path. Keep that in mind....

MORE
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161. OneDay
10:41 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
oops, my bad...didn't know there were rules. Won't happen again.
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159. OneDay
10:38 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
specifics on this hurricane here. Pretty incredible.
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931
158. StormJunkie
10:34 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Afternoon all.

Welcome silverfox, interesting question.

Been out doing a bunch of work around the house. Defrosted the cane freezer and got it ready for the season. Stand up freezer packed full of two liter bottles filled with water. Great for keeping stuff cold, and when it melts, makes great drinking water.

StormJunkie.com-models imagery, marine data, wind data, preparedness info, and much more. Including some great WU blogger video. Make sure to check out the Quick Links page for fast storm tracking from some of the best sites on the web.

SJ

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157. seflagamma
6:38 PM EDT on July 22, 2006
Hi Silverfox, glad to have you aboard. sometimes you get ignored on this blog but I noticed your post. Have fun!
Gams
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156. seflagamma
6:38 PM EDT on July 22, 2006
everything still ok out there right?

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155. OneDay
10:36 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Hurricane San Ciriaco in 1899, according to Wikipedia.
Member Since: July 13, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 931

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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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