Famine declared due to drought in Somalia; U.S. heat wave shifts east

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 15:43 GMT le 20 juillet 2011

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The main rainy season rains have failed again in the Horn of Africa--the region of East Africa comprising Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Rainfall over most of the Horn of Africa between February and July 2011 was 2 - 8 inches (50 - 200 mm) below average, leading to today's official declaration that famine conditions now exist. The region is experiencing a humanitarian emergency with more than 2 million malnourished children needing lifesaving action. The Horn of Africa has two rainy seasons, a main rainy season in April/May, and then the "short rains" of October/November. The main 2010 April/May rainy season brought above average rains to the region. However, the October/November 2010 "short rains" failed, as did the April/May 2011 main rainy season rains. The failure of two consecutive rainy seasons is a devastating blow for East Africa. African countries are highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture for both employment and economic production, with agriculture accounting for more than 50% of gross domestic product and up to 90% of employment across much of the continent (World Development Indicators 2009, World Bank). One third of the population of Africa lives in drought-prone areas (World Water Forum, 2000), and about 25% of the population of Africa currently experiences high water stress. Remarkably, several nations in East Africa have been selling their land to other countries to raise food for export in recent years. These nations include Ethiopia and Sudan, who both receive massive food aid from the U.N. World Food Program. According to the fascinating and sobering book, World on the Edge by Lester Brown, in January 2009, Saudi Arabia celebrated the arrival of the first shipment of rice on land they had acquired in Ethiopia, where the World Food Program was feeding 5 million people at the time. Saudi Arabia has been actively buying land in other countries to raise crops since the recent failure of agriculture in their country after they pumped their aquifers dry. India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia have all brought land to grow crops in Sudan, which was the site of the World Food Program's largest famine relief effort in 2010. The world is running short of food, and nations that cannot feed themselves are aggressively competing to buy land to grow food where land costs are low, like East Africa.


Figure 1. Rainfall over most of the Horn of Africa between February and July 2011 was 2 - 8 inches (50 - 200 mm) below average, leading to a deadly drought in the region. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Another day of dangerous heat in the Midwest
The dangerous Central U.S. heat wave of July 2011 will continue to bring another day of exceptionally humid heat to the Midwest today, and will also begin bringing temperatures in the mid-90s with high humidity to much of the mid-Atlantic and New England. The heat index--how hot the air feels when factoring in both the temperature and the humidity--exceeded 100°F in sixteen states in the center of the country on Tuesday, with the dangerous heat extending from Texas northwards to North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. At least thirteen deaths are being blamed on the heat in the Midwest. The heat index hit a torrid 129°F at Newton, Iowa on Tuesday, and a heat index in excess of 120° was recorded at several locations in North Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota.


Figure 2. Predicted maximum heat index for Friday, July 22, 2011. Portions of 35 states are predicted to have a heat index in excess of 100°, with a heat index in excess of 115° expected over large portions of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Image credit: NOAA.

Heat wave headed to the Eastern U.S.
The extreme heat will shift slowly eastwards this week, peaking in Chicago today, Detroit and Pittsburgh on Thursday, and New York City and the mid-Atlantic states on Friday. The forecast high of 103° in Washington D.C. for Friday is just 3° below the hottest temperature ever recorded in the city, 106°. This will no doubt stimulate some predictable quotes on global warming. The heat will remain in place over the mid-Atlantic states through Sunday, then ease on Monday when a cold front is expected to pass through. Wunderground's climate change blogger Dr. Ricky Rood has some good insights on the current heat wave in his latest post.

Tropical Storm Bret no threat
Tropical Storm Bret continues to spin off the U.S. East Coast, but is a weak storm with 50 mph winds, and is not expected to affect any land areas. Wind shear is a high 20 - 25 knots, and is expected to remain in the high range for the next three days. The combination of high wind shear and dry air nearby should act to keep Bret from strengthening, and the storm should slowly decay as it heads out to sea over the next few days.

Invest 99L no threat
Satellite imagery suggests that a low pressure system near 34N, 55W, about 500 miles east of Bermuda, is close to tropical depression strength. This system, dubbed Invest 99L, has been given a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by NHC. The storm is headed east-northeastwards out to sea, and is not a threat to any land areas. The storm will move over cool ocean waters below 25°C by Thursday morning, so it has just a short window of time to develop.

An African wave worth watching
An African wave near 45W, midway between the coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands, is currently generating a limited amount of heavy thunderstorms due to the presence of a large amount of dust and dry air from the Sahara. However, this wave has a modest degree of spin to it, and it is possible it could develop once it finds a moister environment near the Bahama Islands early next week. The last few runs of the UKMET model have shown development of this wave by Tuesday over the Bahamas. The ECMWF and NOGAPS models show that this wave will become a strong tropical disturbance by Tuesday over the Bahamas, while the GFS model shows no development. If this wave does develop, it may recurve before hitting the U.S., since the models agree that there will be a large trough of low pressure present over the U.S. East Coast early next week.

Jeff Masters

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1636. 1344
I cant wait for the adv!
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Quoting blsealevel:
Bret



Cindy






love those high resolution shots.
Member Since: 6 septembre 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6697
Bret



Cindy



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00z ECMWF now says that the storm it was predicting 24 hrs ago crossing Florida will now steer north and will be absorbed by the trough as pointed out by Dr. Masters yesterday.

Link
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I guess we'll see about CHIPS vs OFCL et al shortly.

Big divergence in intensity forecasts.
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Dr. M should be posing any minute now but Dora is beautiful on the vis loops as the Sun comes up.......Stadium effect in full view.
Member Since: 8 août 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9372
1630. Skyepony (Mod)
Dora failed 1 of the 7 tests to be marginally annular.


## ANNULAR HURRICANE INDEX (AHI) EP042011 DORA 07/21/11 12 UTC ##
## STORM NOT ANNULAR, SCREENING STEP FAILED, NPASS=6 NFAIL=1 ##
## AHI= 0 (AHI OF 100 IS BEST FIT TO ANN. STRUC., 1 IS MARGINAL, 0 IS NOT ANNULAR) ##



If she wasn't so close to land, she might have been a perfect 8...
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00z ECMWF NAO

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Quoting jasonweatherman2011:
winds up to 70 mph at 11am


I agree, Cindy is trying to make a brief run at Minimal Hurricane status today before becoming Extratropical. You've been doing a good job Jason, keep it up man :)
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OPERATIONS

NOAA P-3s

Friday, Jul 22, 2011
NOAA-42: Scheduled for deployment into Hurricane Dora. Takeoff at 1600 UTC from San Diego, CA and landing in San Diego, CA.
Comments: NOAA-42 will be performing an East Pacific Decay Experiment.

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1626. Skyepony (Mod)
T# 7 = 161 MPH

CMISS isn't being as bullish.... 6.7 = 158mph.

CIMSS has the more recent ADT score..

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Best looking storm iv seen in a while.
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Member Since: 12 juillet 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
Good-looking cane.

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Quoting lucreto:
I predict 155 mph for Dora next update, I really wish recon could go in there today.
They are, Taz would not stop talking about it yesterday unless they cancelled
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winds up to 70 mph at 11am
Member Since: 12 juillet 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I think the eye itself is looking a lot better along with the eye wall, dora may go for cat5!
With a CI of 6.9 here: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/2011/adt/tex t/04E-list.txt , you may be correct. Numerically, awfully close to cat 5.
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1619. Skyepony (Mod)
Cindy T# 2.5
Bret T# 1.5
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1618. lucreto
I predict 155 mph for Dora next update, I really wish recon could go in there today.
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1617. Skyepony (Mod)
T#7 = Cat5

21/1145 UTC 16.9N 106.6W T7.0/7.0 DORA

21/0545 UTC 16.3N 105.7W T6.0/6.0 DORA

20/2345 UTC 15.7N 104.8W T5.5/5.5 DORA

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Quoting lucreto:


That is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard.


Thanks for your input.
Member Since: 6 septembre 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6697
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Latest from NRL has Dora @ 135kts./155 mph
04EDORA.135kts-929mb-169N-1065W
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1614. lucreto
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Cindy starting to look Extratropical, I know there is still convection over the center, but an obvious cold front is forming south of her.


That is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard.
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New NHC numbers out soon, but to exercise a possible new storm-stability test...
TSBret (line segments on the left) hound still scenting in on the track (single dots of 99L)
left behind by the vixen TSCindy (line segments on the right)

Shortest "Cindy"segment represents 3hours between ATCF'sTDnumbering and NHC'sTSnaming
Otherwise, 6hours between dots
Bret's max.sus.wind was between 40mph(64.4k/h) and 65k/h(40.4mph)
minus its average travel speed of 9.3mph(15k/h)
for a spin of 30.7to31.1mph(49.4to50k/h)
Cindy's max.sus.wind was between 50mph(80.5k/h) and 85k/h(52.8mph)
minus its average travel speed of 32.5mph(52.3k/h),
for a spin of 17.5to20.3mph(28.2to32.7k/h)

Copy&paste 31.1n74.4w-31.8n73.7w, 31.8n73.7w-31.9n73.0w, 31.9n73.0w-32.8n72.6w, 32.8n72.6w-33.1n71.7w, bda, 32.7n68.3w, 32.9n67.4w, 33.2n66.5w, 33.4n65.5w, 33.2n63.8w, 33.1n61.8w, 33.1n59.5w, 33.3n56.9w-34.5n54.7w, 34.5n54.7w-35.2n53.8w, 35.2n53.8w-36.3n51.6w, 36.3n51.6w-38.3n49.1w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info.
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Latest fro NRL has Dora @ 135kts./155 mph
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Cindy starting to look Extratropical, I know there is still convection over the center, but an obvious cold front is forming south of her.
Member Since: 6 septembre 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6697
0.0
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@1597

We are all wrong sometimes. You just gotta say when you are.
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1607. barbamz
Quoting pottery:

There must be some wonderful waves along that stretch of coastline.....


webcam Ixtapa. Clouds of Dora in the background, I think.

http://www.webcamsdemexico.com/webcam-ixtapa.html
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1606. Jax82
SSTz

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Good morning Dora!

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Were gona get our first look at dora soon!
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1603. hydrus
Quoting pottery:

There must be some wonderful waves along that stretch of coastline.....
Huge waves.
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AFTER THE PASSAGE OF THIS WAVE...A DRIER AIR MASS IS FORECAST TO
AFFECT THE REGION...MEANING MOST OF THE ACTIVITY WILL OCCUR DUE
TO THE INTERACTION OF SEA BREEZE CONVERGENCE...DAY TIME HEATING...AND
OROGRAPHIC EFFECTS. LATEST NRL/MONTEREY AEROSOL ANALYSIS AND
PREDICTION SYSTEM MODELING DO NOT SHOWS ANY SIGNIFICANT SAHARAN DUST
ARRIVING TO OUR LOCAL AREA IN THE LONG TERM...WITH MAIN
CONCENTRATION REMAINING IN THE FAR EASTERN TROPICAL ATLANTIC.

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21/1145 UTC 16.9N 106.6W T7.0/7.0 DORA -- East Pacific
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Quoting Abacosurf:

and you can watch it live.....just so happens to be a surf contest at puerto escondido mexico happening now.

http://itv360.com/QuiksilverProPuerto/live/
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Quoting pottery:

There must be some wonderful waves along that stretch of coastline.....

and you can watch it live.....just so happens to be a surf contest at puerto escondido mexico happening now.
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1598. emcf30
Quoting pottery:

There must be some wonderful waves along that stretch of coastline.....


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caneswatch i thought with the enormous size of the wave something i havent see in years would punch right through the sal but i was wrong.. it surprised me how strong and how much of and affect this dust had...with the wave of this size i would of never thought it would of folded like it did...
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1596. pottery
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I think the eye itself is looking a lot better along with the eye wall, dora may go for cat5!

There must be some wonderful waves along that stretch of coastline.....
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I think the eye itself is looking a lot better along with the eye wall, dora may go for cat5!
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@1592

You're gonna fess up and say you were wrong and now you're not? Typical troll behavior.
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1593. ncstorm
Quoting yonzabam:


Convection only started to flare up a few hours ago. That piece was obviously written before it got going.

I'm having trouble seeing this one getting as far north as the Bahamas.


It was written at 6:25 EDT am this morning
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caneswatch you must of not been here last night when i posted i guess...i will repeat it will be very hard for anything to develop from the african coast..the enornous wave with all the convection it had wed afternoon folded like a bad poker hand when the saharan dust just destroyed it...there is a big pocket to the north and its moving sw towards the caribbean sea...so it doesnt look like anything is going to develop in the near future...oh well it look good while it lasted...at least the cv season if the saharan dust continues is in big trouble...
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Quoting reedzone:


???? Dissipated?? What's he smoking?


Convection actually grew overnight, not dissipated. Sorry but I disagree with Accuweather on this one.


Convection only started to flare up a few hours ago. That piece was obviously written before it got going.

I'm having trouble seeing this one getting as far north as the Bahamas.
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Cloud Burst alias Storm Top or Lenny.Does this mean you will finally pay up a lost bet beings you never paid off the 150 missed predictions over the years Lol.Well just messing with you; but at least this year you came on and said you were wrong.By the way Pat said to tell you he wants a oyster and ill take a crabmeat.Poboys for us all.looking at the models for what they are worth they all just about dropped this poor over posted, over scrutinized wave.Seriously it could develop.But it is almost at 50 degrees west now moving close to 20 knots at about 280 degrees.I dont see how this will move into the northern leewards unless it turns northwest pretty quickly.I believe the other killer for this system other than dry air is it will only move north enough to go over PR. and Hispaniola.That would disrupt any deloping circulation.So pretty much in summary a lot of ado about nothing so far.For the conus onlysince 6/1/2009 till 7-21-2011 2 40 mph trop storms.Hope it stays that way.
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1589. pottery
Quoting hydrus:
Mornin Pott...

Greetings Hydrus.
Trying to temp Fate here to encourage some showers.
It's been a very weird 10 days, rain-wise.
Occasional heavy showers, but short ones.

Hot and steamy this morning already.
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1588. MahFL
KSC is keeping Atlantis as a museum piece.
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Cloudburst, how's that "becoming Don Thursday" prediction going?
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1586. hydrus
Quoting pottery:

See the WV loop for this.
Mornin Pott...
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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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