Weather Around The World, 6/30: Tropics Getting Active; June Recap, Mostly Hot; Looking To The Fourth

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Home / Weather Around The World, 6/30: Tropics Getting Active; June Recap, Mostly Hot; Looking To The Fourth
The satellite photo shows three potential areas of cyclone development in the Pacific. Satellite photo courtesy of US Navy.

The satellite photo shows three potential areas of cyclone development in the Pacific. Satellite photo courtesy of US Navy.

It’s summer, so what do you expect?

Tropical cyclones and heat – and that’s what we have.

Pacific cyclones are forming in both hemispheres and there are record June temperatures in the American northwest and Spain.

But we have celebrations to think about, and Fourth of July weather looks pretty good over most of the US.

Let’s go Around The World.

Tropical Pacific Ocean Gets More Active On Both Sides Of The Equator

The Pacific has been unusually quiet for the past few weeks, but that’s about to change. Several potential trouble spots dot the western Pacific, both north and south. Two of them could soon receive names.

The system in the South Pacific is well east of Papua-New Guinea, but could threaten Australia as it moves northwest.

The two systems in the North Pacific are far to the east of the Philippines, but any potential development in this area needs carefully scrutiny. There have already been three Super-Typhoons this year in the Pacific, and several have struck the Philippines in the last two years.

El Niño And The Australian Wheat Crop

El Niño years are accompanied by rainfall deficit in eastern Australia. Graphic courtesy of Australia Bureau of Meteorology

El Niño years are accompanied by rainfall deficit in eastern Australia. Graphic courtesy of Australia Bureau of Meteorology

While we’re on the subject of the tropics, El Niño Eggplant has shown further strengthening: By one metric this El Niño is stronger than any since the historic El Nino of 1998. Virtually all forecasts now agree that this will be a significant event, lasting through the winter.

Normally El Niño brings dry weather to the eastern half of Australia, reducing agricultural output. So National Australia Bank has issued a warning that the Australian wheat crop could be the smallest in 8 years.

Hot, Hot, And More Hot — In The US And Europe

The big news in the United States in June has been the heat — first in the southeast with Weather Pattern Hotzilla, and now in the northwest, with Weather Pattern Westzilla. Here are just a few of the features of this remarkable heat wave that is ongoing:

  • Las Vegas, Nevada only tied one record in June, on the 20th. But the temperature has been above 100 and above the daily normal high, for 19 straight days. If the forecast is correct, both streaks will continue for another two weeks, making 33 consecutive days above normal.
  • Boise, Idaho has not been below normal since June Third, including record-tying temperatures on June 8, 9 and 28. If the forecast is correct, the temperature will not be below normal until July 23, a streak of 49 consecutive days above normal.
  • Walla Walla, Washington deserves the prize as the hottest of Westzilla’s hot. The streak of consecutive days at or above the normal high began on May 18, and if the forecasts hold up, won’t end until July 23 — 66 consecutive days. Furthermore, Walla Walla set an all-time June record of 113 on Sunday. This broke the record of 109 set — the day before. Sunday’s temperature was six degrees hotter than any June day in any previous year, and only one degree off the record all-time maximum temperature. The climatological maximum temperature comes at the end of July, when the normal high will be eight degrees above what it was on Sunday.
  • In Eugene, Oregon, the temperature tied or broke the daily record on five days in June.
  • Portland, Oregon set a record for number of days over 90 degrees in June, so far 8 and probably headed for nine today.

June was also hot in Spain:

  • Madrid set a monthly record for the second month in a row. In May, the temperature soared to 98 on the thirteenth, and this past Saturday the thermometer read 103 for a new June record. The heat wave will continue for at least another ten days, with highs reaching 100 on most days.

The heat in Spain is forecast to spread over much of Europe during the next few days. The temperature in Paris should be near 100 every day this week; the normal high is 74.

The most recent surface analysis shows a low pressure system between Greenland and Europe, which is pushing warm air into the continent. Analysis courtesy of NOAA.

The most recent surface analysis shows a low pressure system between Greenland and Europe, which is pushing warm air into the continent. Analysis courtesy of NOAA.

When the jet stream breaks down, it is hard to say which part initiated the process. A persistent low pressure area between Greenland and Europe is the main culprit in Spain’s heat wave.

The high pressure ridge over the western United States appears to be anchored by warm water in the Gulf of Alaska. Similarly the low in the Atlantic is associated with colder-than-normal temperatures in that part of the ocean.

The low pressure forces warm air into Europe on its east side.

Fourth Of July Weekend

The weather for the holiday weekend will be seasonable for much of the country, with a continuation of heat across the west and south. The jet stream continues to feature a ridge in the west and a shallow trough in the east.

There could be some natural fireworks along the old frontal system that parallels the jet stream through the midwest and mid-Atlantic, but severe weather, always possible in summer, will be at a minimum.

Though Washington state, northern Idaho, and Montana may get some cooling from Canada, the northwest will continue very hot, and warmer-than-usual weather will extend across the south.

The west has also been dry under the warm cap, so forest fire danger is elevated. Some moisture at middle levels will allow dry thunderstorms to form. These thunderstorms, which form high enough so that the rain dries up before it reaches the ground, are a major cause of wildfires.

Have a happy holiday and let Decoded Science know if you see any unusual weather.

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