Weather Around The world: Sandstorm; Heat Wave; Tropical Depression; Tornadoes — And More

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A sandstorm in Iran in 2011. Image courtesy of NOAA

A sandstorm in Iran in 2009. Image courtesy of NOAA

The weather is settling into a summer pattern in the northern hemisphere and there’s lots to talk about. Let’s go around the world.

Iran: Unusual Sandstorm In Tehran

At our first stop, we find the weather over the Arabian Peninsula affected by the mountains of Turkey and the Saudi Arabian plateau, which funnel winds from the northwest into Iraq and beyond.

At this time of year, the winds become gusty and arrive in what is known as a shamal, which often picks up desert sand. Normally the shamal blows over Iraq and southern Iran, but occasionally a strong shamal will affect the entire area from Somalia to India.

Normally the most powerful shamal arrives in the first week of June. The current shamal began on Sunday, June 1, and was strong enough to reach Tehran, Iran’s capital situated in the north of the country.

Four people reportedly died as the sand was accompanied by 70 mile per hour winds and plunged the city into darkness at five p.m. local time. The temperature reportedly dropped from 91 to 64 with the arrival of the storm.

The bad weather is forecast to continue into Wednesday, June 5, though the worst is probably over.

Paris Weather: Rain Could Interrupt Play Tuesday and Wednesday At The French Open Tennis Tournament

At our second stop, we find there is a good possibility that rain could affect play today (June 3) and tomorrow (June 4) in the French Open quarter finals. After that, Thursday should be clearing and cool, with warmer and sunny weather for the rest of the week. The women’s singles final is on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday. Both days should be beautiful with temperatures in the 80s.

Nebraska: High Risk Of A Tornado

At our third stop, Nebraska, a sharp dip in the jet stream will bring a high probability of tornadoes to the central plains today, centered on Nebraska, but including Kansas and South Dakota. Very warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico has overspread the plains as far north as the Dakotas. The jet stream dip will bring dry air at middle levels of the atmosphere along with a change in the direction of the wind — the setup for tornadoes.

The system will move east on Wednesday, with tornadoes possible in the midwest.

Pacific Ocean: A New Tropical Depression

Tropical depression 2-E has formed in the eastern Pacific, our fourth stop, south of Mexico and close to where Hurricane Amanda was born last week. The water in this area is very warm, and this will not be the last tropical system that begins its life there.

Two-E looks like it will reach Mexico and Guatemala before it can become very much stronger, though it will probably reach tropical storm status. The greatest threat is from flooding and landslides. Up to 20 inches of rain is forecast to fall over Mexico and Central America.

There is a possibility that 2-E could cross into the Gulf of Mexico’s Bay of Campeche, where conditions are marginally favorable for development.

Forecast path of tropical depression 2-E. Forecast courtesy of National Hurricane Center

Forecast path of tropical depression 2-E. Forecast courtesy of National Hurricane Center

President Proposes Carbon Emissions Reductions in Washington, DC

With Congress at a stalemate on virtually every issue, the administration has taken action by directing the EPA to come up with a plan for significant carbon emission reductions – let’s take a look, as our fifth stop.

The proposed regulations are a long way from being finalized, and Big Oil has already begun a campaign to block the reforms or water them down. Will the reductions, if they are ever promulgated, lead to a stop to the runaway increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide? Not likely.

First of all, the reduction, while laudable, will still leave the U.S. as a candidate for the northern hemisphere’s largest per-capita polluter. Second, it will not reverse the earth’s past increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, nor even reverse the continued upward trend.

That would require serious action by the international community, and such action is unlikely to be forthcoming. The plain fact is that the developed countries don’t want to give up their fossil-fuel-burning, lavish lifestyles, and the developing countries want to acquire them.

Southwestern United States: An Early-Summer Heat Wave And Some Insects

At our sixth stop, are the residents of Phoenix – accustomed to hot summer weather. The normal high temperature the first week of June is 100 degrees. But Phoenix and the rest of the desert southwest and southern plains are experiencing hotter than usual early summer weather. The high temperature in Phoenix has reached triple digits for the last eight days, tying a record on June 2, and is forecast to stay above normal for the next three weeks, possibly getting as high as 115 degrees during that time.

Albuquerque, New Mexico, normally in the mid-80s in early June, will be in the mid to upper 90s this week. Rain would help alleviate the heat, and the high fire danger. Albuquerque radar has been showing showers over this parched region for the last three nights — but there was no rain. The radar echoes were from a swarm of grasshoppers.

Russia: Unusual Heat In Eastern Europe

All things are relative, and Moscow’s heat wave, our seventh stop, may not be much by Arizonian standards, but it is more remarkable. In the last 172 days, the high temperature has exceeded the normal by more than ten degrees exactly half the time. From February 2nd to March 17, the temperature never went below the long-term average.

The normal high temperature in Moscow at this time of year is 68. The forecast is for continued hot temperatures for the next five days, including an almost-unheard-of 90 degrees on Saturday, followed by a return to more typical temperatures.

Are The Heat Waves Caused By Global Warming? Last Stop, End Of The Line

No one can link a particular weather event to man’s interference with Mother Nature. But the observations are consistent with climate change. Finding a particular black crow is consistent with, but does not prove, the conjecture that all crows are black. But if you find enough black crows and never find one any other color, the conjecture is eventually proved by induction. Similarly, an accumulation of events consistent with global warming, and in the absence of any countervailing evidence, must eventually be deemed conclusive.

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