Russia records its hottest temperature in history; 97L forms near Puerto Rico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:40 PM GMT on July 19, 2010

A heat wave of unprecedented intensity has brought the world's largest country its hottest temperature in history. On July 11, the ongoing Russian heat wave sent the mercury to 44.0°C (111.2°F) in Yashkul, Kalmykia Republic, in the European portion of Russia near the Kazakhstan border. The previous hottest temperature in Russia (not including the former Soviet republics) was the 43.8°C (110.8°F) reading measured at Alexander Gaj, Kalmykia Republic, on August 6, 1940. The remarkable heat in Russia this year has not been limited just to the European portion of the country--the Asian portion of Russia also recorded its hottest temperature in history this year, a 42.3°C (108.1°F) reading at Belogorsk, near the Amur River border with China. The previous record for the Asian portion of Russia was 41.7°C (107.1°F) at nearby Aksha on July 21, 2004.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for July 11, 2010 for Russia. Russia's hottest temperature in history was recorded in Yashkul, 44.0°C (111.2°F). This was 9 - 10°C (16 - 18°F) above average. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

Moscow on track for its hottest July in history
According to the Russian weather service, the first fourteen days of July in Moscow averaged 6.2°C above average. The record hottest July, in 1938, had temperatures averaging 5.3°C above average, so Moscow is on track to set the record for its warmest July in history. The past four days, Moscow has averaged 8.2°C above average. The heat wave peaked on July 17, when the mercury hit 35.0°C (95°F). Moscow's hottest temperature of all-time is 36.6°C (98.2°F), set in August, 1920. With the wunderground.com forecast for Moscow calling for high temperatures between 31 - 38°C (88 - 100°F) for the coming week, no end to the heat wave is in sight. Weather records for Moscow extend back to 1879.

Russia's remarkable heat wave has led to a state of emergency to be declared for 19 of Russia's 83 provinces, and record number of Russians have been drowning in swimming accidents as they take to the water to escape the heat. Over 1200 Russians drowned in June, with another 233 dying between July 5 and 12. The heat has also created dangerous levels of air pollution in Moscow, and severely impacted agriculture.

Nine new national extreme heat records this year
As I commented in Friday's post, six nations in Asia and Africa set new all-time hottest temperature marks in June. Two nations, Myanmar and Pakistan, set all-time hottest temperature marks in May, including Asia's hottest temperature ever, the astonishing 53.5°C (128.3°F) mark set on May 26 in Pakistan. Last week's record in Russia makes nine countries this year that have recorded their hottest temperature in history, making 2010 the year with the most national extreme heat records. My source for previous all-time records is the book Extreme Weather by Chris Burt. I thank Mr. Burt and weather records researchers Maximiliano Herrera and Howard Rainford for their assistance identifying this year's new extreme temperature records.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of tropical wave 97L near Puerto Rico, and another tropical wave near Jamaica.

Two tropical waves worth watching
A tropical wave passing over the Virgin Islands this morning will bring heavy rain and possible flooding to Puerto Rico today. This wave was designated Invest 97L by NHC this morning. The wave is under about 20 knots of wind shear, due to strong upper-level westerly winds. The strong upper-level winds are associated with the counter-clockwise flow of air around an upper-level cold-cored low pressure system a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico. Satellite images of 97L show a moderate area of disorganized thunderstorms to the north of Puerto Rico, but no signs of a surface circulation, low-level spiral banding, or upper-level outflow. There is a large amount of dry air to the north of Puerto Rico that will interfere with development of 97L. As the wave progresses west to west-northwest through Wednesday, thunderstorm activity will increase, due to interaction with the upper low. The rains from these thunderstorms will bring the threat of flooding to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and Haiti on Wednesday. The upper low will also bring high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots over the the wave through Wednesday. No development of the wave is likely until at least Wednesday, when the SHIPS model predicts shear will fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots. At that time, 97L will be over the eastern Bahamas and eastern Cuba. However, none of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone development over the next seven days. I expect 97L will enter the Gulf of Mexico early next week. NHC is giving 97L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to fly into 97L Tuesday afternoon, if necessary.

A second region of concern is a tropical wave in the Western Caribbean, near Jamaica. This wave is currently producing widely scattered thunderstorms, and shows no signs of organization. However, wind shear is a light 5 - 10 knots over the wave, and we need to keep an eye on this one. The wave will continue to the west at 10 - 15 mph this week, and will bring the threat of heavy rain to Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula late this week. NHC is giving this wave a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday.


Figure 3. Approximate oil spill location on July 18, 2010, estimated by NOAA using visible satellite imagery from NASA's MODIS instrument and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from polar-orbiting satellites. Image credit: NOAA Satellite Services Division.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
East to southeast winds of 10 - 20 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Friday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting ocean currents should push the oil to the west and northwest onto the portions of the Louisiana nearest the Deepwater Horizon blowout location, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The long range outlook is uncertain, and will depend upon what 97L does. It's a pleasant relief to look at the trajectory maps and not see the usual bull's eye of high oil concentrations at the blowout site! However, there is still plenty of oil in the Gulf that will slosh onto shore in the coming weeks and months.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
Map of oil spill location from the NOAA Satellite Services Division
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA's interactive mapping tool to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Next post
I'll have a new post on Tuesday.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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2384. Drakoen
Quoting KoritheMan:


Based on the synoptic scale steering pattern, I just don't see that large a weakness developing.


It's actually not even a large weakness.


Seems the GFS parallel takes it right into South Florida
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Quoting pottery:

LOL ( I think! All these peculiar words. I am at a complete loss. You will need to spell it out).
heheheh


I think the GOM is going to get a bad butt whopping.
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2382. pottery
Quoting pottery:

LOL ( I think! All these peculiar words. I am at a complete loss. You will need to spell it out).
heheheh

Nevermind. I looked it up.
Forecasting Under Bad Atmospheric Realities.
You should try to avoid that, at all costs.
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Quoting JLPR2:


There is always the GFS Parallel

66hrs


Based on the synoptic scale steering pattern, I just don't see that large a weakness developing.
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2380. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Ummmm FUBAR

LOL ( I think! All these peculiar words. I am at a complete loss. You will need to spell it out).
heheheh
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2379. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


We can safely discount that.


There is always the GFS Parallel

66hrs
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2378. Drakoen
Quoting YourCommonSense:
Hey Drakoen,

Whats your take on 97L?


Not much at the moment, still very disorganized. The latest GFS and GFS Para don't show this ramping up until it gets north of Haiti.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
The GFS starts to kill it and moves it NE around 72 hours.

Flawed?



We can safely discount that.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Ummmm FUBAR


now I know what that means
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Quoting pottery:

Hooped?? Meee?
(not sure what hooped means. Having never visited your Strange Land - except for Toronto - and that doesnt count)


Ummmm FUBAR
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2373. xcool
SOME ONE TAKE A take chill pill
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2372. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Me thinks your hooped big time.

Hooped?? Meee?
(not sure what hooped means. Having never visited your Strange Land - except for Toronto - and that doesnt count)
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I vote for the whale back -- can't even tell its you!

As to steering - reading NHC, towards the end of the week the steering layers should move out some, and let the moisture, (and who knows what else) "draw northward".

Would sure like some moisture around here....pretty dry these days
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The GFS starts to kill it and moves it NE around 72 hours.

Flawed?

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2369. JLPR2
Quoting sailingallover:

Please post image or link. I just rechecked ASCAT and WINDSAT and both missed PR as far as I can see or do you have a link I don't know about?


I was going to ask that. XD
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2368. Drakoen
Quoting sailingallover:

Please post image or link. I just rechecked ASCAT and WINDSAT and both missed PR as far as I can see or do you have a link I don't know about?


Link
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Quoting Drakoen:
This evening's ASCAT pass reveals no evidence or hint of a surface low with 97L.

Please post image or link. I just rechecked ASCAT and WINDSAT and both missed PR as far as I can see or do you have a link I don't know about?
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Quoting pottery:

Yeah! I was looking at 'the pond' earlier too.
Big stuff over Africa. SAL Receding. SST's still good. August commeth.


Me thinks your hooped big time.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
What is going on here? Seriously stop saying dumb things.
Quoting jasoniscoolman2010x:
HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE UPPER LOW.
dude, with all your images and statements, do you have any clue what you are saying...I can answer that, its obvious, NO
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Quoting Drakoen:
Seems like we finally get some development out of the GFS per the 00z run
looks like a ts on the gfs
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2361. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Hmmmm not yet, but its going to get fun
Look at the Choo Choo coming across the pond.



AOI


Its going to go nuts in here in a couple days.

Yeah! I was looking at 'the pond' earlier too.
Big stuff over Africa. SAL Receding. SST's still good. August commeth.
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2360. Drakoen
If 97L develops soon then it could go on a more WNW track. You can see a flat 500mb trough between the high centered over the southeastern CONUS and a high out in the subtropical Atlantic.

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2359. Asta
re:2268. Patrap Sophisticated model..

Ouch!
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I have a feeling tomorrow will be the day 97L gets a surface circulation, and tomorrow night it will steadily organize, followed by a TD in the Wednesday/Thursday time frame.
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2357. 7544
yeap drak andd btw and look how much more north they take it hmmmmm
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2356. Asta
re:2349. KoritheMan
Thanks!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Surface observations from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also confirm this.


I guess then the spin we see on radar NE of Puerto Rico and somewhat on satellite imagery is a transient (short-lived) mid-level one.

Quoting maryweather84:
can someone tell me if 97L has a chance of heading towards south east texas??


It seems that high pressure ridging currently in place over the SE US is supposed to stay for a few more days. That would mean a steady WNW track if 97L develops, so I'd keep an eye on this one for now. Its hard to say specifically where specifically on the Texas coast we are talking about because the models depend on an intial center positon, but this thing doesn't quiet have a surface center yet. If central position is off, then so is the forecast track.

I believe the initial central positon the models use is currently based on where it is believed likeliest the center will form.
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Quoting pottery:

Best we prepare the lifeboats then ?.


Hmmmm not yet, but its going to get fun
Look at the Choo Choo coming across the pond.



AOI


Its going to go nuts in here in a couple days.
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2352. Drakoen
Seems what allows 97L to develop is this upper level high forecasted by the GFS:


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2350. scott39
Quoting jasoniscoolman2010x:
I AM STARTING TO SEE LOTS OF DRY AIR HERE.
Thats not going to effect developement. The area is plenty moist around 97L.
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Quoting Asta:
Hey all!
What is the spin in the GOM near the Bay of Campeche?
Link


Upper low.
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2348. Asta
Hey all!
What is the spin in the GOM near the Bay of Campeche?
Link
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2347. Drakoen
Seems like we finally get some development out of the GFS per the 00z run
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Quoting maryweather84:
can someone tell me if 97L has a chance of heading towards south east texas??


It's possible.
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2345. pottery
Quoting maryweather84:
can someone tell me if 97L has a chance of heading towards south east texas??

There is always a chance.........
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2343. scott39
Its obvious that the ULL is weakening and that that 97L is looking better. Conditions will only get better for it.
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Operational GFS develops this A LOT sooner

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can someone tell me if 97L has a chance of heading towards south east texas??
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Good night everyone...Got a long day of 97L tomorrow...LOL.
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2339. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


Appears the SHIP is choosing Channel 2


Best we prepare the lifeboats then ?.
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Good evening, all. Hope everyone is doing alright tonight.
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I see a favorible environment developing in the Atlantic and Caribbean. We are in for a very busy cyclone season starting very soon. No El Nino, Bermuda high building and periods of low shear.
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2336. 7544
agree koith it the ull is weak now
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Quoting 7544:
looks like on wv the ull might be weaking sooner that thought check it out i could be wrong looks like the spin in the ull is fading ?

Link


Looks to me like the ULL is maintaining strength and stationary in that water vapor loop.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman2010x:
some dry air will get into invest 97L SOON. UPPER LOW IS MOVING SW TO. ITS NOT LOOKING GOOD FOR INVEST 97L RIGHT NOW.


That upper low has been gradually weakening, however.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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