Weather Around The World: Record Heat, Record Cold, And A Typhoon


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The forecast track of Typhoon Rammasun.

The forecast track of Typhoon Rammasun. Courtesy of NOAA

The World Cup belongs to Germany, so the weather focus is on Berlin rather than Rio.

The jet stream continues to be active over the United States.

And there’s a serious typhoon in the Pacific Ocean. Let’s go around the world.

Celebrations In Berlin; Weather Cooperates

It’s been a hot July in Berlin, but the weather will be trending back to normal this week for ongoing celebrations. Continental weather was the flip side of the US  coin last winter: cold US; warm Europe. Warm temperature records were set from London to Moscow.

Summer weather patterns are always weaker than in the winter, but the persistent ridge in the western United States and trough in the eastern part of the country have ripples downstream. The ripples over Europe have kept cold air locked up in the arctic.

A battle is brewing between the current weather pattern and a looming El Niño, which correlates with opposite conditions over much of the northern hemisphere.

Decoded Science is making no bets on the outcome of this confrontation, though a wager on the over on temperature is probably a winner in our era of global warming.

Meteorology Back In The U.S.A. The Heat Goes On In The West

High temperature records are being set daily in the western parts of North America as far north as Alaska. Some samples of Monday’s records:

  • Yakima, Washington: 104
  • Reno, NV: 105
  • Annette, AK: 83
  • Stanley, ID: 93

The accentuated high pressure system over the Gulf of Alaska and the western US has forced the polar vortex into action once again in the central and eastern US, though in the summer the result is invigorating rather than vexatious. Record cold temperatures are expected this week from the upper midwest to Texas.

For tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Minneapolis will be under the influence of the cool polar air mass. The temperature at game time will be in the 60s — more typical of a World Series game in October — and fans will definitely need a jacket for the journey home.

Typhoon Rammasun

For the second week in a row we have a typhoon to talk about in the western Pacific. Last week, super-typhoon Neoguri weakened sufficiently before hitting Japan to cause only minor damage. This week, Typhoon Rammasun has strengthened rapidly and now has winds of 115 miles per hour. The storm has recently made landfall in the Philippines and later today will pass directly over Manila, with a metropolitan population of over ten million and construction standards that may prove inadequate.

The result will not be what happened with last year’s super-Typhoon Haiyan in which over 6,000 people died, but damage could be extensive.

Interaction with the land mass of the Philippines will weaken Rammasun to a minimal typhoon, but then it will move over very warm water and strengthen. By the weekend, Rammasun will strike China’s Hainan Island with winds up to 120 miles per hour and flooding rains. After that, current predictions take Rammasun into north Vietnam, north of Hanoi. The forecasts have been trending to the south over time, so Rammasun could hit Hanoi head on.

Southwest US Monsoon Pronounced This Year

Every summer, moisture makes its way from the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California into the southwestern states. This year features an active monsoon, with flooding in places with poor drainage. New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada have received an unusual dose of precipitation, but unfortunately the rain hasn’t reached the parched parts of California.

US drought monitor as of July 8. Courtesy of NOAA.

US drought monitor as of July 8. Courtesy of NOAA.

California Drought Goes On

The US drought monitor update for July 8 shows exceptional drought, the most severe category, in much of California, part of Nevada, and along the Texas-Oklahoma border.

No relief is immediately in sight, though residents are hopeful that the developing El Niño will bring a change in the weather and a change in the sea.

However, the highly anomalous pool of warm ocean water in the Gulf of Alaska, which bears much of the responsibility for the current weather pattern, shows no sign of weakening.

Summer Doldrums Are Almost Here

We are approaching the time of maximum temperatures in the northern hemisphere summer. Long-range forecasts are divided into two camps: another polar outbreak in the midwest with a continuation of heat in the west: or a flattening of the jet stream, accompanied by relief from the heat in the northwest and the definitive heat wave of the summer in the center and east of the country.

Whichever way the weather goes, it’s always interesting. What’s it like where you are?

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