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Since June began, no doubt the 1400-plus new heat records set across the U.S. have impressed. But consider the following: between midnight and 1 a.m. Thursday morning, the temperature in Wichita, Kansas spiked from 81 and 101 degrees. Yes- the temperature ROSE 20 degrees in one hour in the middle of the night, passing the century mark. To the north, across the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, there were some remarkable - though not nearly as dramatic - temperature declines.
A heat burst is a downdraft of hot and dry air that typically occurs in the evening or overnight hours. . . . Heat bursts usually happen in the evening or at night after thunderstorms are ending. Thus, a thunderstorm has a vital role. Two other characteristics are that the air must start its descent from fairly high up and the environmental air aloft needs to be very dry.
As rain fell into the dry air layer at around 2-3 thousand meters above the surface, it evaporated rapidly. The evaporating rain cooled the air very quickly, and this cool air was now much heavier than the air around it. This heavy, rain cooled air, fell rapidly to the surface, but heated due to compression at the standard adiabatic rate of 10 C per 1000 meters. If it fell 2500 meters, then the temperature of that rain cooled air would have risen 25C!
UPDATE (3:15 p.m.): A little more detail on the heat burst: the Daily Mail reports that the temperature rose 17 degrees in 20 minutes in Wichita (from 85 at 12:22 a.m. to 102 at 12:42 a.m.) as winds gusted to 50-60 mph.
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COVER FEATURE IndianPoetry:Part4 The Fever Bird Vikram Seth Thefever birdsangoutlastnight. I couldnotsleep,try as I might. Mybrain wassplit, myspirit raw. I lookedintothegarden, saw Theshadowoftheamaltas Shakeslightly onthemoonlit grass. Unseen, thebirdcried outitsgrief, Itslunacy, without relief: Three notes repeated closer, higher, Soaring, then sinking downlikefire Onlytobreathe thenight andsoar, Ascrazed, as desperate, asbefore. I shivered inthemidnight heat Andsmelt thesweatthat soakedmysheet. Andnowtonight I hearagain Thecallthat skewers through mybrain, Thecall,thebrain-sick triple noteA boneofpainstuck initsthroat. I amsotired I couldweep. Madbird, for God'ssakeletmesleep. Whydoyoucry likeonepossessed? Whenwillyourest? Whenwillyourest? Why waiteachnight tillallbutI Liesleeping inthehouse,then cry? Whydoyouscream intomyear What nooneelsebutI canhear? Vikram Seth (b 1952) studied and livedforseveral yearseach inIndia,England, the UnitedStates,and China. Winnerofinnumerable nationaland international awards,hisgenre-spanning worksinclude the travelogue FromHeaven Lake,the novel-in-verseTheGolden Gate, the poetrycollections Mappings,TheHumble Administrator's Garden,All YouWhoSleep Tonight, The Poems:1981-1994, andthe nonfiction-memoir TwoLives, among others.Hisworkhas been translatedintomany internationallanguages and widelyanthologized. He lives inNew Delhi and London. Across the treeless street Vikram Seth Across thetreeless street A moist breeze blows. I re-arrange mysheet, Wiggle mycoldtoes, Stare atthesky, andtoss, Insomniac. A train Screams through wideplainsacross Thescent ofdesert rain. I amtootired tonight Tosleep.I lie Companionless. Thewhite Cloudsgutthesky. Orion, Pleiades, Plough, Allsignsandcertainties Arelosttovision now. Thewillowtrees Thatnamethetownaregone. Thefreight-trains go. Theloadedtrucks moveon. Thisisthegreat depot Where nothing stays. Thehours movetowards light. Sleep:inthetall-skied days Youwillforget tonight. z O w> z o Ï 501WorldLiterature Today ... 350c69d7ab