Friday, August 17, 2012
Hottest rain: City of Needles sets world record
NEEDLES, CA, USA -- Jeff Masters of Weather Underground reports that "a searing heat wave rare even for the Desert Southwest sent temperatures soaring to record levels on Monday, with Needles, California tying its record high for the date of 118°F (47.8°C), and setting the new world record for the Hottest rain.
Photo: True-color MODIS satellite image of California and Arizona taken at 1:25 pm PDT August 13, 2012. Developing thunderstorms surround Needles, CA, and the line of clouds to the southwest of the city would develop into a thunderstorm that brought rain to the city at 4 pm PDT, at a temperature of 115°F. Photo: NASA (enlarge photo)
The previous Guinness world record for hottest rain was 109 degrees in Mecca, Saudia Arabia, on June 5, 2012; and in Marrakech, Morocco, on July 10, 2010.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Largest collection of thermometers, set by Richard T. Porter, aka 'The Thermometer Man', an 83-year-old retired schoolteacher who runs the Porter Thermometer Museum, and has collected 5,200 thermometers.
Masters added: "I don't think many people were outside to experience the feeling of rain falling at 115°, but if they were, it must have been an uncomfortable, sauna-like experience!"
Fortunately, most of the precipitation evaporated before it hit the ground, thanks to 11% humidity.
Needles is on the western bank of the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert, in San Bernardino County, just across the bridge from Arizona and not far from Nevada.
Explains Masters: "It is exceedingly rare to get rain when the temperature rises above 100°F, since those kind of temperatures usually require a high pressure system with sinking air that discourages rainfall.
"Monday's rain in Needles was due to a flow of moisture coming from the south caused by the Southwest U.S. monsoon, a seasonal influx of moisture caused by the difference in temperature between the hot desert and the cooler ocean areas surrounding Mexico to the south."
Related world records:
collection of thermometers - world record set by Richard T Porter
June recorded worldwide - June 2010 sets world record
interactive weather report - BBC News School Report
surface wind speed - Tropical Cyclone Olivia
career as a weather forecaster - Dave Devall
Friday, August 17, 2012 5:15 AM