Wild Weather Around the World
It has been a wild weekend weather-wise around the world. Record rainfall in Philadelphia, record cold in the Midwest, record heat in eastern China, Japan, and Europe where violent storms produced tornadoes and waterspouts.Philadelphia Freak Rainstorm
An all-time 24-hour and calendar day rainfall record was set on Sunday July 28th in Philadelphia where 8.26” was measured in just 12 hours between 3 p.m. July 28 and 3 a.m. July 29th. Of this 8.02” fell on July 28th surpassing the previous calendar day rainfall record of 6.63” on September 16, 1999 during the passage of Hurricane Floyd. The previous 24-hour precipitation record was also associated with Floyd with a 6.77” accumulation September 15-16.METARS for Philadelphia International Airport (site of the official NWS Philadelphia reporting station) from 2:54 p.m July 28 to 4:54 a.m. July 29. Note how an incredible 7.35” of the rainfall occurred in just the four hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The storm was very local with the most intense cell just sitting right over the airport for hours on end. No other sites in the region recorded anything even close to the International Airport observation. The Northeast Philadelphia Airport, located just 18 miles northeast of the International Airport picked up a total of just .64”. Wilmington, Delaware, just 20 miles southwest of the airport measured a storm total of 1.72”. A site south of Wilmington, Blackbird, recorded the greatest amount aside from Philadelphia Int’l Airport, with a 3.34” total. Pennsauken, New Jersey located just across the Delaware River and a few mils northeast of the airport reported 2.60”, the most of any site in the greater Philadelphia region (aside from Philadelphia International Airport of course).Highway flooding was reported throughout the Philadelphia area Sunday afternoon resulting in one fatal automobile accident. The above photo shows a flooded underpass along Rt. 130 in Pennsauken, New Jersey where 2.60” of rain fell.
Photo by Jen Dent.
The freak rainstorm has boosted Philadelphia’s monthly rainfall for July to 13.24”, the 2nd highest monthly amount in modern records (since 1872). The wettest month on record remains 19.31” in August 2011. September 1999 (when Floyd hit) has now become the 3rd wettest month with a total of 13.07”. Looking at older records (precipitation data for Philadelphia goes back to 1820) August 1867 saw 15.82” of rainfall. Needless to say, this July is now the wettest July on record (in old or modern times) surpassing the previous July record of 10.42” in 1994.Record heat in China and Japan
Shanghai, largest city in China (and in the top ten of the world with 22,265,000 urban residents), recorded its hottest temperature on record July 25th with a reading of 40.6°C (105.1°F). Records go back 140 years (to 1873) here. The previous record was 40.2°C (104.4°F) during the summer of 1934. It has also been the warmest July on record (so far) with 23 days (out of 28) reporting temperatures at or above 35°C (95°F). To make matters worse, the humidity in Shanghai is very high during the summers, remaining above 50% most days. The nights have been unbearable with some overnight lows as warm as 31°C (87.8°F). Shanghai’s neighboring province of Zhejiang and the central province of Hunan have also been experiencing record heat this month. Changsha, the provincial capital of Hunan, has reported temperatures over 35°C (95°F) every single day of the month so far. All-time record maximum temperatures have also been reported in Fuyang with 41.1°C (106.0°F) and Bozhou with 42.1°C (107.8°F).Everyday of the month has reached 35°C (95°F) at Changsha, China so far this July. The normal temperature range for the city in July is 25°C-33°C (77°F-91°F). Note that the ‘coolest’ night during the past month so far has been a balmy 26.5°C (79.8°F) on July 7th. Also take note of the hourly average humidity for the site. This implies that the heat index has probably been well in excess of 40°C (104°F) everyday.
Extreme heat has also prevailed in parts of Japan where the city of Katsunuma reached 39.3°C (102.7°F) one day this July, a bit short of the all-time national heat record for Japan of 40.9°C (105.6°F) set at Tajima and Kumagaya on August 16, 2007.Hot in Europe with severe storms
The heat wave that swept across portions of central Europe this past weekend did not quite reach the historic dimensions that some forecast but was strong enough to set some all-time heat records nevertheless. It is also ongoing and extreme heat is being forecast for the coming weekend. So far, the most notable temperatures have been in Austria where it was 38.6°C (101.5°F) on July 28th in Salzburg, Austria, a city and state all-time record. Elsewhere in Austria 39.2°C (102.6°F) was measured at both Waidhofen and Bad Goisern. These were very close to matching the all-time national heat record for Austria: 39.7°C (103.4°F) at Dellach in Drautal on July 27, 1983. Liechtenstein also came within just a few decimals of setting their hottest temperature on record which remains 37.4°C (99.3°F) at Ruggel during the famous August heat wave of 2003. The warmest temperature measured in Germany this weekend was 38.1°C (100.6°F) at Rheinstetten. Basil, Switzerland saw temperatures as high as 38°C (100.4°F) and Zurich 35.8°C (96.4°F). On Sunday (July 28th) the Czech Republic saw temperatures as high was 38.7°C (101.7°F) at Doksany. This was not a record for Doksany (that occurred last summer with a 39.4°C/102.9°F reading on August 20th) but seven other sites did break their all-time heat records (and one tied such) elsewhere in the country. The national heat record for the Czech Republic is 40.4°C (104.7°F) set at Dobrichovice on August 20, 2012.
Severe thunderstorms have followed the heat wave in France, Germany, and Italy. Late reports suggest hail up to 9 cm (3 ½”) have fallen in Germany and several tornado and waterspout reports have come in from Italy. I’ll blog more about these on Wednesday when all the facts become clearer.A rotating super cell thunderstorm in the Loiret region of France on July 26th taken by a French storm chaser.
Photo by Xavier Delorme.Big chill in the Great Lakes region and Midwest
Temperatures fell close to freezing this morning (July 29th) in Minnesota and a rare July frost warning was posted. The minimum temperature fell to 35°F (1.6°C) at International Falls and Embarrass, Minnesota. This is still a long way from the coldest July temperature ever measured in Minnesota which was 24°F (-4.4°C) set at Tower in July 1997. Wisconsin saw a low of 38° at Manitow and even in Iowa it got as cool as 43° at three different locations. On the Upper Peninsula of Michigan the temperature fell to 39° at Ironwood. Houghton had a high
of 52° on Sunday with a chilly .84" of rainfall. Watton, Michigan had a high of just 50°. Numerous daily record lows and daily record low maximums were set across the entire Great Lakes and Midwest region (too many to list!) but no significant July cold records (minimum temperatures) have been set so far.
I’ll have updates on the various heat waves (and cold wave in the U.S. Midwest) and storms in Europe on Wednesday.
Christopher C. Burt