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The heat is on

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

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

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

Reader Comments

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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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253. silverfox4025
11:59 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
John, wasn't it in the pacific
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251. Weather456
7:56 PM AST on July 22, 2006
I'm stump
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250. OneDay
11:55 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
good bye everyone...thanks for the great discussion (as always.)
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249. SAINTHURRIFAN
11:45 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
betsy of course was right but so few floridians on this blog mention or the panhandle folks what about eloise
im convinced every one on here is under 30 lol. one more dont peak what hurricane weakened to a 25 mph depression was basically forecasted to
dissipate and then in less in 48 hours became a cat 4 and hit al/ms line clue was on the heels of a 180 mph cat 5 whose updwellings caused it to weaken then as the prior cat 5
went up the ga coast as a minimal storm the cane of question became the costliest us natural disaster of its time its a nother storm rarely mentioned on this blog
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247. bappit
11:54 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Maybe that Saint Cyriaco storm.
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246. silverfox4025
11:54 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
jp, was it faith
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245. highndry
11:52 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
how 'bout Irene? That one did a lot of juking and jiving?
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244. OneDay
11:51 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
would it be the same answer as before...San Ciriaco hurricane of 1899?
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243. Weather456
7:53 PM AST on July 22, 2006
Hurricane San Ciriaco in 1899
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242. bappit
11:52 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
early on ... all storms were named with female names

LOL
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241. Weather456
7:52 PM AST on July 22, 2006
the same storm with the highest ACE
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239. OneDay
11:49 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
I still think Ivan...assuming you count his north to south trek over the eastern US.
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236. OneDay
11:46 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Actually early on (jp probably knows when it changed over) all storms were named with female names.
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235. highndry
11:45 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
all women (except Gamma). Somebody might be inclined to make a joke about that - not I though.
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233. highndry
11:42 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Janet, that's the one I'm thinking of - oh well, at least I got the gender right.
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232. bappit
11:38 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
There was Edit in 71 where a hurricane hunter plane had a rough ride. The only HH plane lost in the Atlantic was in Janet back in the 50's.
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231. OneDay
11:39 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
bye, 27windows. stay dry
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230. OneDay
11:38 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Ivan, if we are counting his entire trek.
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229. ihave27windows
11:36 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Well I'm off.....Hopefully I'll be able to sneak on here tomorrow and see what the front did....or didn't do.

Bye bye.
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228. highndry
11:37 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
jp - didn't a hurricane hunter aircraft go down in a hurricane Alicia: although probably not the one you're talking about, this one was in the sixties, I think?
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226. OneDay
11:35 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
and how 'bout southern arkansas? (perhaps SomeThing will form there and move SouTh and devaSTate NOLA?)
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225. Weather456
7:34 PM AST on July 22, 2006
yep, jp thats correct.

Alberto 2006 caused 2 deaths, one in a plane crash due to bad weather and another person drown...showing that a 50mph storm can be deadly.

jp, you have the next....
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223. highndry
11:32 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
looks like the shear is beginning to relax around the hurricane spawning ground.

Link
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221. OneDay
11:29 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Same surreal experience for me...12 hours on the road (with 30 gallons of gas in the trunk for which I'm sure I could have been shot) before we decided to turn around and go home to ride it out. We ended up buying the last pizza at a local gas station before they closed. Being so far from the coast, I'll probably not evacuate again. Like they say, shelter against the wind, run from the surge.
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220. ihave27windows
11:31 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
I was 19 when Alicia hit, so I didn't remember she formed off a front.

Oh well, I guess we wait and see if this front makes it to the Gulf.
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219. highndry
11:31 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
sorry, should have linked that.

Link
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218. highndry
11:30 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Can Somebody help me with this one?


How come CIRA is predicting a 0.4-0.7% chance of tropical activity over the upper Adarondacks?

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/gparm/xyrfpr.gif
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217. sunny55
11:30 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
We stayed home for both Ivan & Dennis-with Ivan watched our windows bow in & out-now we have hurricane panels to put up on all our windows-the noise is terrifying.
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216. bappit
11:28 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
As long as these fronts keep pushing south, there ought to be some wind shear to keep things mixed up. Alicia developed off a front. A low developed over Lake Charles on the front and pushed out over the gulf with the front. It slowly became warm core.
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215. Weather456
7:29 PM AST on July 22, 2006
yep, jp, one was cause by drowning....
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213. Weather456
7:28 PM AST on July 22, 2006
nope
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212. bappit
11:27 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
That whole evacuation thing ... don't know. Weirdest hurricane experience I've had. Could not go anywhere, almost all stores were closed, stores that were open were sold out. All of this almost 48 hours before landfall.
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209. Weather456
7:25 PM AST on July 22, 2006
nope, oneday it wasnt lighting strikes....
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208. silverfox4025
11:24 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Thanks jp and OneDay
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207. sunny55
11:24 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Weather getting a little ugly here nw of Pensacola,if it will bring the much needed rain to area I wont't complain.
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206. ihave27windows
11:23 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Yep....took 16 hours to drive to Kerrville. We had it better than others though; we left at night, had a good Texas Atlas, (Which I believe I could have sold for a thousand dollars) food, water....

I don't know if I would do it again or not. Cat 4 or above, yeah, but anything lower and I will stay put.
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204. OneDay
11:21 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?
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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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