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Wild Weather Around the World

By: Christopher C. Burt, 8:32 PM GMT on July 29, 2013

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. OGIMET table.

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
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Heat Precipitation Records

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

That is an impressive super cell in France. I did not know that France was prone to having such super cells. Is this a rare/semi-rare event for France? .... I do seem to remember that there were some tornadoes there not too long ago.
Wow...those temps are really hot!! Thanks Christopher!
Is that windmill tipping? if so, is it from the storm? how fast does the wind have to be to do this? How do they correct it?
Quoting 3. mtwhitney:
Is that windmill tipping? if so, is it from the storm? how fast does the wind have to be to do this? How do they correct it?


I'm quite sure this is simply an illusion created by the camera angle and lens used.
A lot of interest Globally in the WV added via AGW,as we're seeing record rains from T-storms that now have 10% more WV to work with.

And this will only continue to increase as the Temp slowly climbs with the Co2, now 400ppm.

Jaw Dropping Video from INSIDE The Milan, Italy Tornado Today! Unbelievable!

There is some absolutely REMARKABLE video coming from from a group of people that were inside the Milan, Italy tornado from earlier today! This is some of the craziest video I have seen of any European tornado! Notice the power lines blow up at :59 seconds in the video. At the end of the video, you can literally hear the debris pummelling the windows of the building the person was in!
Quoting 7. Patrap:
Jaw Dropping Video from INSIDE The Milan, Italy Tornado Today! Unbelievable!

There is some absolutely REMARKABLE video coming from from a group of people that were inside the Milan, Italy tornado from earlier today! This is some of the craziest video I have seen of any European tornado! Notice the power lines blow up at :59 seconds in the video. At the end of the video, you can literally hear the debris pummelling the windows of the building the person was in!


Wow! Thanks for this clip...I've passed on to TWC (in case they haven't seen this yet).
The windows held out remarkably well. I'd like to see what happened after the video ended. They are very lucky to not be sliced and diced by broken glass.
Thanks for the post Chris!

It's strange to see images that are homely to me anywhere on WU...I'm about 6 miles from where that picture of 130 was taken in a southern NJ suburb of Philly. Unfortunately I happened to be out of state yesterday so I missed the epic rains which I know brought the area to a standstill. We usually don't have a lot of extreme weather to report but recently it's been really bad. Philly's been breaking several records these past few years - snowiest winter, wettest month, highest water level on the Delaware, lowest pressure (Sandy), and now wettest day. By the way this June was the wettest on record.

Who says we aren't being impacted by AGW locally...
@Some1Has2BtheRookie
No, the ration of supercells is about the same in France than in the tornado Alley. The reason for having less supercells in France is, that they're simply less thundersturms in total.
Austria, about half of the size of Oklahoma, has 50 supercells per year and at this ratio, this would yield roughly 300 supercells per year in France.

P.S.: there is a site which tracks supercells and tornadoes in France: http://www.keraunos.org/
P.P.S.: in the US there are several thousands of supercells per year.
Thanks for the interesting article!

As I am a native french and german speaker, I could give some help regarding weather events in France, Germany and Austria, as I frequent their official weather sites anyway.
Apart from that, new temperature records were set in Graz, Styria and a new styrian record was probably set too.
For instance, the inner city station of Graz broke it's alltime record from July, the 5th 1950. The old record was 37.1 %uFFFDC (98.8 %uFFFDF), so let's see what will be the new officially confirmed record.

Another interesting feats were the heat indices on sunday in Austria and this ist the highest one I found (recorded on last sunday at 4 p.m. local time)
Neusiedl am See, Burgenland, had a 37.5 %uFFFDC (99.5 %uFFFDF) reading and a relative humidity of 44%, so this would give us a dew point of 23.2 %uFFFDC (73.8 %uFFFDF). Using the NOAA-Formula for the heat index, we get a heat index of 44.1 %uFFFDC (111.4 %uFFFDF).
I presume this to be in the top order of heat indices in Austria, but to be sure, I will ask the austrian weather service.
Quoting 11. ChateauChalon:
@Some1Has2BtheRookie
No, the ration of supercells is about the same in France than in the tornado Alley. The reason for having less supercells in France is, that they're simply less thundersturms in total.
Austria, about half of the size of Oklahoma, has 50 supercells per year and at this ratio, this would yield roughly 300 supercells per year in France.

P.S.: there is a site which tracks supercells and tornadoes in France: http://www.keraunos.org/
P.P.S.: in the US there are several thousands of supercells per year.


Thank you. That is very useful information for me to have. I will bookmark your link!
As a resident of Germany, I said it once and I'll say it again and again....................

A heatwave in Europe is quite different than in the U.S. Most people do not have air conditioning in their homes or workplaces. Even department stores, supermarkets and restaurants are not air conditioned, for the most part.

Last Saturday evening, after hitting 96F in Stuttgart, the temp in my bedroom at midnight was 89 degrees!

During the horrific heatwave of 2003, while stationed in Italy, over 40,000 people died, mostly in France and Italy. This was mainly elderly people who did not have A/C in their homes.
Pinched from Neven's Arctic Ice Blog comments:

25.9C recorded yesterday at Maniitsoq Mittarfia (Sukkertoppen Airport) SW Greenland. Looks like a national record to me, does anyone know for sure?

Apparently it is a new record high Temp for Greenland

http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/en/index/klima/klimaet_indt il_nu/temperaturen_i_groenland.htm




weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
Quoting 15. Flakmeister:
Pinched from Neven's Arctic Ice Blog comments:

25.9C recorded yesterday at Maniitsoq Mittarfia (Sukkertoppen Airport) SW Greenland. Looks like a national record to me, does anyone know for sure?

Apparently it is a new record high Temp for Greenland

http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/en/index/klima/klimaet_indt il_nu/temperaturen_i_groenland.htm






Hi Flakmeister,

Yes, the Greenland record is good. Thanks to bringing to our attention. This is a very significant record as you might imagine. See my blog today with links for more info about this historic event.

Yours,

Chris