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The Atlantic is quiet; Pakistan monsoon rains continue; last day of Russian heat wave

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:54 PM GMT on August 18, 2010

A tropical wave in the Caribbean near Jamaica is generating disorganized thunderstorm activity over the central Caribbean. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots over the region, and water vapor satellite images show that there is some dry air to the west of Jamaica that will interfere with any development that might occur. None of the reliable computer models develop this wave.

The GFS, NOGAPS, and ECMWF continue to predict that a tropical storm will form between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands 3 - 7 days from now. A strong tropical wave currently moving off the coast of Africa is a good candidate for such a development. The NOGAPS model is predicting the development of a strong tropical disturbance near the coast of Honduras this weekend.

Figure 1. Extreme flooding along the Indus River in Pakistan has swollen the river to 16 miles (24 km) wide in sections, as seen in the top image from yesterday. For comparison, and image taken a year ago at this time in August (bottom image) shows that the Indus is normally just 1 - 2 km wide during monsoon season. Image credit: NASA Natural Hazards web site.

Extreme flooding and monsoon rains continue in Pakistan
In flood-ravaged Pakistan, heavy monsoon rains hit the Punjab region in the northeastern portion of the country yesterday, dropping up to 113 mm (4.45") of precipitation. The main river in Pakistan, the Indus, continues to cause extreme flooding, and has expanded to 16 miles (24 km) wide in some sections (Figure 1.) Dr. Ricky Rood, who writes our Climate Change Blog, has a sister that works in Pakistan. He has a must-read analysis of the catastrophe in Pakistan, "Pakistan: A Climate Disaster Case Study".

Moscow hits 93°F on the final day of the Great Russia Heat Wave of 2010
Temperatures at Moscow's Domodedovo airport hit 34°C (93°F) today, which is 13°C (22°F) above average. However, pressures are falling rapidly and winds are picking up out ouf the southwest in advance of a powerful cold front that promises to sweep through all of European Russia tonight, finally bringing an end to the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010. The latest forecast for Moscow predicts Thursday's high will be just 21°C (69°F)--essentially average. With tonight's cold front will come rain to help put out the fires that continue to plague Russia with toxic smoke. Cool temperatures near of below average over the coming week will also help fire-fighting efforts.

Jeff Masters

Climate Change Hurricane

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