Over 15,000 likely dead in Russian heat wave; Asian monsoon floods kill hundreds more

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:13 PM GMT en Agosto 09, 2010

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The Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 brought temperatures of 37°C (99°F) to Moscow today, and smog and smoke from wildfires blanketed the city for a sixth straight day. Air pollution levels were 2 - 3 times the maximum safe level today, and peaked on Saturday, when when carbon monoxide hit 6.5 times the safe level. The death toll from heat and air pollution increased to approximately 330 people per day in Moscow in recent days, according to the head of the Moscow health department. Yevgenia Smirnova, an official from the Moscow registry office, said excess deaths in Moscow in July averaged 155 per day, compared to 2009. The heat wave began on June 27. These grim statistics suggest that in Moscow alone, the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 has likely killed at least 7,000 people so far. A plot of the departure of July 2010 temperatures from average (Figure 1) shows that the area of Russia experiencing incredible heat is vast, and that regions southeast of Moscow have the hottest, relative to average. Moscow is the largest city in Russia, with a population just over ten million, but there are several other major cities in the heat wave region. These include Saint Petersburg, Russia's 2nd most populous city (4.6 million), and Nizhny Novgorod, Russia's 5th most populous city (1.3 million people.) Thus, the Russian population affected by extreme heat is at least double the population of Moscow, and the death toll in Russia from the 2010 heat wave is probably at least 15,000, and may be much higher. The only comparable heat wave in European history occurred in 2003, and killed an estimated 40,000 - 50,000 people, mostly in France and Italy. While the temperatures in that heat wave were not as extreme as the Russian heat wave, the nighttime low temperatures in the 2003 heat wave were considerably higher. This tends to add to heat stress and causes a higher death toll. I expect that by the time the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 is over, it may rival the 2003 European heat wave as the deadliest heat wave in world history.


Figure 1. A comparison of August temperatures, the peak of the great European heat wave of 2003 (left) with July temperatures from the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 (right) reveals that this year's heat wave is more intense and covers a wider area of Europe. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

Worst Russian heat wave in 1,000 years of history
The temperature at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport hit 99°F (37°C) today. Prior to this year, the hottest temperature in Moscow's history was 37.2°C (99°F), set in August 1920. The Moscow Observatory has now matched or exceeded this 1920 all-time record five times in the past two weeks. Temperatures the past 27 days in a row have exceeded 30°C in Moscow. Alexander Frolov, head of Russia's weather service, said in a statement today, "Our ancestors haven't observed or registered a heat like that within 1,000 years. This phenomenon is absolutely unique." There is some slight relief in sight--the latest forecast for Moscow calls for high temperatures of 31 - 33°C (88 - 91 °F) Wednesday though Sunday.

Belarus records its hottest temperature in history for the second day in a row
The Russian heat wave has also affected the neighboring nations of Ukraine and Belarus. All three nations have recorded their hottest temperatures in history over the past few weeks. Belarus, on the western border of Russia, recorded its hottest temperature in history on Saturday, August 7, when the mercury hit 38.9°C (102°F) in Gomel. This broke the all-time record for extreme heat set just one day before, the 38.7°C (101.7°F) recorded in Gorky. Prior to 2010, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Belarus was the 38.0°C (100.4°F) in Vasiliyevichy on Aug. 20, 1946. As I described in detail in Saturday's post, Belarus' new all-time extreme heat record gives the year 2010 the most national extreme heat records for a single year--seventeen. These nations comprise 19% of the total land area of Earth. This is the largest area of Earth's surface to experience all-time record high temperatures in any single year in the historical record. Looking back at the past decade, which was the hottest decade in the historical record, Seventy-five countries set extreme hottest temperature records (33% of all countries.) For comparison, fifteen countries set extreme coldest temperature records over the past ten years (6% of all countries). Earth has now seen four consecutive months with its warmest temperature on record, and the first half of 2010 was the warmest such 6-month period in the planet's history. It is not a surprise that many all-time extreme heat records are being shattered when the planet as a whole is so warm. Global warming "loads the dice" to favor extreme heat events unprecedented in recorded history.

July SSTs in the tropical Atlantic set a new record
Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic's Main Development Region for hurricanes had their warmest July on record, according to an analysis I did of historical SST data from the UK Hadley Center. SST data goes back to 1850, though there is much missing data before 1910 and during WWI and WWII. SSTs in the Main Development Region (10°N to 20°N and 20°W to 80°W) were 1.33°C above average during July, beating the previous record of 1.19°C set in July 2005. July 2010 was the sixth straight record warm month in the tropical Atlantic, and had the third warmest anomaly of any month in history. The five warmest months in history for the tropical Atlantic have all occurred this year. As I explained in detail in a post on record February SSTs in the Atlantic, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and its close cousin, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), are largely to blame for the record SSTs, though global warming and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) also play a role.

The magnitude of the anomaly has increased slightly since June, because trade winds over the tropical Atlantic were at below-normal speeds during July. These lower trade wind speeds were due to the fact that the Bermuda-Azores High had below-normal surface pressures over the past month. The Bermuda-Azores High and its associated trade winds are forecast to remain at below-average strength during the next two weeks, according to the latest runs of the GFS model. This means that Atlantic SST anomalies will continue to stay at record warm levels during the remainder of August, and probably during September as well. This should significantly increase the odds of getting major hurricanes in the Atlantic during the peak part of hurricane season, mid-August through mid-October.


Figure 2. The departure of sea surface temperature (SST) from average for August 9, 2010. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

94L
A area of disurbed weather (94L) over South Florida is generating disorganized heavy thunderstorms over Florida and the adjacent waters, but is not a threat to develop today due to high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear will fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, tonight through Thursday. This relaxation in shear may allow 94L to begin to organize. However, 94L will not have much time over the Gulf of Mexico to become a tropical depression or tropical storm, as steering currents favor a westward or west-northwestward motion over the Gulf that would bring the storm ashore over the northern Gulf coast by Wednesday or Thursday. NHC is giving 94L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday morning. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 94L on Tuesday afternoon.

93L
A tropical wave (Invest 93) in the middle Atlantic Ocean is close to tropical depression status. The disturbance has a well-defined surface circulation, but only a limited amount of heavy thunderstorm activity, thanks to dry air and wind shear of 10 - 20 knots affecting it due to a large upper-level low pressure system to the west. Wind shear is expected to stay in the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, over the next two days, which should allow 93L to become a tropical depression by Tuesday. NHC is giving a 70% chance 93L will become a tropical depression by Wednesday morning. Both the GFDL and HWRF models predict 93L will develop, and the GFDL predicts the storm will become a hurricane. A strong trough of low pressure moving across the central Atlantic should force 93L to turn northward on Wednesday, and 93L should only be a concern to shipping interests. None of the reliable computer models are forecasting tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic over the next seven days, other than for 93L.

A exceptionally slow-starting typhoon season
There is one bit of good weather news to report. Over in the Western Pacific, typhoon season has been remarkably quiet this year. Prior to yesterday's formation of Tropical Storm Dianmu, just three named storms had formed this year--Tropical Storm Omais, Typhoon Conson, and Typhoon Chanthu. The average for this point in the season is ten storms. Sunday's total of three named storms in the West Pacific tied 2010 with 1998, 1954, and 1975 as the slowest starting Western Pacific typhoon season on record, for the date August 8. Now that we have Tropical Storm Dianmu in the Western Pacific, 2010 ranks as the 4th slowest start to a typhoon season as of August 9. Reliable records of typhoon activity go back to 1951.


Figure 3. Heavy downpours triggered landslides and mud-rock flows in China's Gansu Province, early Sunday morning. Image credit: www.news.cn.

The deadly 2010 monsoon kills hundreds more in China, India, and Pakistan over the weekend
The Asian Southwest Monsoon has been exceptionally deadly this year. Northwest China's Gansu province was hard hit over the weekend with torrential monsoon rains, and the resulting flooding and landslides claimed at least 127 lives. At least 1300 people are missing in the disaster. Fresh monsoon rains in Pakistan over the weekend triggered landslides that killed sixty more people, in addition to the 1,500 - 1,600 people who died in monsoon floods that began in late July. At least 137 died in floods and landslides in the neighboring Indian state of Kashmir over the weekend, with 500 people missing. Monsoon flooding and landslides have also killed at least 65 people in Afghanistan in the past two weeks. Dave's Landslide blog has some great discussions of the flooding and destruction wrought by the terrible monsoon rains this year in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and China. I plan to write much more about this year's deadly monsoon on Tuesday.

Next post
I'll have an update Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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looks like JFV is back with a new name
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I think alot of the people on here are restless about the season because they thought the season would happen early and just keep going and never stop. my 2 cents! Not too much rain here in z-hills fl today .06 thats all.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


It wasn't so much a response to the troll as it was to the community as a whole.


yea to say the season is a dud on August 9th is ridiculous

thats like saying a team will not achieve a certain # of wins only a quarter of the way through the season; makes no sense.

I dont think many realize how quickly the #s can increase

I think we could easily see 5 more storms in August; that is certainly not out of the question. Then 5-6 in September and a very active October with 4-5 named storms. Finally we finish with 1 in November. Even if we take the low end of those #s we end up with this

3 storms so far
5 in August
5 in September
4 in October
1 in November

18 named storms for the season, definitely not out of the question at all
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1148. pfft. I'm not even going to bother with that statement.
Member Since: Julio 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23626
Whew...heavy rains, thunderstorms and westerly winds over south Trinidad for the last 2 hours. More flooding again. Wonder if Pottery is getting the storm as well?
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If Mexico requests it, good chance Alex will be retired.
Member Since: Julio 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23626
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Interesting Fact!

Did you know that Hurricane Alex caused more damage than Hurricane Dean in 2007?


Really? Interesting.

Perhaps it merits retirement, then.
Member Since: Marzo 7, 2007 Posts: 558 Comments: 20000
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Interesting Fact!

Did you know that Hurricane Alex caused more damage than Hurricane Dean in 2007?

Alex=Retired
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Interesting Fact!

Did you know that Hurricane Alex caused more damage than Hurricane Dean in 2007?
Yep. There were also 8 more fatalities during Alex than Dean.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1144. xcool
scott39 .LMAO.WELCOME
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
1143. scott39
Quoting xcool:


BY ImpactWeather’
Thanks xcool-- It doesnt get any simpler than that! LOL
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Key West NAF, Florida (Airport)
Updated: 46 min 46 sec ago
81 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 82%
Dew Point: 75 °F
Wind: 7 mph from the WNW

Pressure: 29.88 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 87 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 2 out of 16
Pollen: .60 out of 12


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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
You just got trolled. Good info though.


It wasn't so much a response to the troll as it was to the community as a whole.
Member Since: Marzo 7, 2007 Posts: 558 Comments: 20000
Quoting Orcasystems:


Not with Snow on the ground I can't :(
He said.. Cold..and snow :(

you have a point there.guess i have been in fl to long and for got lots of snow no golf. look at the brite side maybe you will just have the cold.
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Im thinkin 94 may need to be high at the next two.
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1138. xcool


BY ImpactWeather’
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Interesting Fact!

Did you know that Hurricane Alex caused more damage than Hurricane Dean in 2007?
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Quoting xcool:





west wind 94l


Nice 1009.8mb
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Quoting KoritheMan:


1984 didn't start until August 28 or 29, when Arthur developed east of the Leeward Islands. Within just 24 hours, Bertha and Cesar had also developed. The important thing is, all three of these storms were quite weak and short-lived, and battled similarly hostile conditions that we are seeing now. But you know what? Despite the late start, and the hostile conditions that persisted into September, we ended up with 12 named storms, five hurricanes, and one major hurricane. One of the hurricanes was a December hurricane: Lili.

Bearing that in mind, this season WILL get active.
You just got trolled. Good info though.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1134. viman
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Interesting, is that for 93L or 94L?


Stupid Question -- how do you know its west? don't see it on the graph.
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Quoting thewindman:
Wow what a BUSY hurricane season. My head is spinning with all the blobs? NOT


1984 didn't start until August 28 or 29, when Arthur developed east of the Leeward Islands. Within just 24 hours, Bertha and Cesar had also developed. The important thing is, all three of these storms were quite weak and short-lived, and battled similarly hostile conditions that we are seeing now. But you know what? Despite the late start, and the hostile conditions that persisted into September, we ended up with 12 named storms, five hurricanes, and one major hurricane. One of the hurricanes was a December hurricane: Lili.

Bearing that in mind, this season WILL get active.
Member Since: Marzo 7, 2007 Posts: 558 Comments: 20000
1132. xcool
MiamiHurri.94L
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Quoting severstorm:

Yes i saw what he said and that means my winter will be normal or above and after last winter i will take it besides you can play golf with a orange ball.


Not with Snow on the ground I can't :(
He said.. Cold..and snow :(
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
1130. xcool
scott39 /lol
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Interesting, is that for 93L or 94L?
Doubt it's for 93L...the lack of buoys there is astonishing.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1128. JLPR2
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I think that either one of the next two weeks we'll see our first Cape Verde hurricane, and I don't even need to explain why, just look at the pictures:









I would post more, but I think that we're catching on.


I like looking at pictures :D
LOL
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1126. scott39
I dont understand why anybody would question the forecast of a busy season? Its only Aug9th! Now I know everyone has seen the chart. Dont make me post it! We are getting ready to blast off, so just stand in line a little longer,and the ride will be well worth the wait!
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1125. JLPR2
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Actually, I don't recall too strong of model support around Dean. The GFS and the CMC I think, no where near as strong as it was and north of the islands.


Add the NOGAPS to that, but I'm not sure about any other model.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


He is the best... no question there... but he better be dead wrong about my Winter Weather..... it was not a nice thing to say :(

Yes i saw what he said and that means my winter will be normal or above and after last winter i will take it besides you can play golf with a orange ball.
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Quoting StormW:
Okay...thoughts regarding the so called "slow" August start. Don't know how close I am to correct...Levi, your thoughts are welcomed on this.

1.) The Indian Monsoon plays a role in our Tropical activity (Cape Verde systems, and tropical wave strength). Looking at this graph of the Indian Summer Monsoon Index, it's been fluctuating. If you notice where it has peaked, I believe you'll find it matches pretty close to where we have seen an increase of activity this season. It has recently seen an upswing (as we can tell from headlines), and this is why we have seen better looking waves coming off the west coast of Africa, albeit hard to start, they've been looking better. Should this remain positive in the range it's in, we should have an increase in activity, soon. However, that will work hand in hand with the next item:



Here is some previous years data as well;
Indian Summer Monsoon Index

2.) MJO. You've heard most of us harp on the MJO and the forecast, etc. Yes, we are in an upward motion phase of the MJO...and I know a lot of you will say, "But StormW, you said when we got to the upward motion phase, activity would ramp up"? Well, it has slightly...however, we are not where we need to be yet. Yes, we have upward motion, but it's not in full swing. They haven't updated the real time Index yet, however, it is still within that inner circle, indicating a weak signal. If you look at the models forecast of the Index, you can count about how many days to go, before it comes back into either Octant 1 or 2. When it does, this will work with the Indian Monsoon, if that value is still positive, and you'll see more wave than you care for.







3.) Yes, we've had SAL outbreaks, another negative factor. However, they have become less intense and less frequent. Rainfall has increased over the past week over the Sahel in Africa. As we head into the negative phase of the NAO, dust should be a moot point.

4.) If you've noticed the current SST anomalies, they are still very, very warm. Now you might say, "Storm, if the SST's are so warm, why does it seem so dead. I'll answer that...because if you remember what Levi and I were posting about the Atlantic Tripole, well, it's kinda changed. Basically, the whole Atlantic is above normal. This has a tendency to distort the upward motion we spoke of earlier this season, meaning it's not as focused in the MDR right now, as it was earlier in the season. This leads to another and final item I'll touch on:



5.) I guess by now, most of you understand that the heat over the East and SE U.S. has been induced by a mega ridge, forever it seems. This is what Levi and I and Drak refer to as a 500mb positive height anomaly. Well, in about 2 weeks (I would gather), This positive height anomaly is forecast to shift pretty far NE, and usher in some cooler temperatures. As this happens, Mother Nature is going to see, and this process will also cause the upward motion in the MDR to be the main focal point in the Atlantic.

Yes, I said activity would BEGIN to pick up this week, however I also said, I wouldn't expect to see a ramp up of the Cape Verde activity until around mid month (about 14 August).

You can take this for what it's worth, but just pointing out data.

Great post Storm!!!!!!
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1121. xcool
CybrTeddy .94L
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
I think that either one of the next two weeks we'll see our first Cape Verde hurricane, and I don't even need to explain why, just look at the pictures:









I would post more, but I think that we're catching on.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting xcool:



nice

west wind


Interesting, is that for 93L or 94L?
Member Since: Julio 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23626
1117. xcool





west wind 94l
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Around this time in 2007 there was pretty strong model consensus about this little guy.



Actually, I don't recall too strong of model support around Dean. The GFS and the CMC I think, no where near as strong as it was and north of the islands.
Member Since: Julio 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23626
Storm, thank you for that analysis. Although I don’t remember ever seeing the word “snot” in a tropical discussion.:) Just a joke!

If you've noticed the current SST anomalies, they are still very, very warm. Now you might say, "Storm, if the SST's are so warm, why does it seem so dead. I'll answer that...because if you remember what Levi and I were posting about the Atlantic Tripole, well, it's kinda changed. Basically, the whole Atlantic is above normal. This has a tendency to distort the upward motion we spoke of earlier this season, meaning it snot as focused in the MDR right now, as it was earlier in the season. This leads to another and final item I'll touch on:
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Thanks Storm for that detailed explanation and for everything you do to keep us informed about what is going on in the tropics.
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Around this time in 2007 there was pretty strong model consensus about this little guy rolling off of Africa.

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Quoting severstorm:

+10 best comment of the day. Your right what fun would it be if we knew what was going to happen.


He is the best... no question there... but he better be dead wrong about my Winter Weather..... it was not a nice thing to say :(
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


It's a lot more than usual foolishness, ethnic, racist slurs all the time, and trolls threatening to shoot and kill people.


If I were admin, and I am not, I would shut that sucker down until everyone cooled off....say, december, and in addition, if one guy had 9 posts of his closed for community violation, why let him post anymore, just seems auto admin should be replaced with humanwithsense admin once in a while
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1108. Levi32
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


It's a lot more than usual foolishness, ethnic, racist slurs all the time, and trolls threatening to shoot and kill people.


Instant chat fails on here.....we have the best blogs on the net...that's why nobody ever uses the chat and it should stay that way.
Member Since: Noviembre 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26563
Levi32, more so in 94L then 93L in my opinion.
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: Octubre 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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