El Niño Watch issued by NOAA; Western Caribbean development next week?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:55 PM GMT on June 05, 2009

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NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño Watch yesterday, saying "that conditions are favorable for a transition from neutral to El Niño conditions during June - August 2009". The pattern of changes in surface winds, upper-level winds, sea surface temperatures, and deeper water heat content are all consistent with what has been observed during previous developing El Niños. As I discussed in detail in last Friday's post, most of our more advanced El Niño computer models are predicting a weak El Niño event for the coming Atlantic hurricane season. If this indeed occurs, it is likely that Atlantic hurricane activity will be suppressed due to the strong upper-level winds an El Niño usually brings to the tropical Atlantic, creating high wind shear that tears hurricanes apart.


Figure 1. Departure from average of the heat content of the upper 300 meters of the ocean in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific. Much of this increase in heat content is due to a large area of waters 2 - 4°C warmer than average at the thermocline (a depth of 50 - 150 meters). The heat content of the ocean has been steadily increasing since January, consistent with a developing El Niño episode. Image credit: NOAA's Climate Prediciton Center.

Western Caribbean development possible next week
An area of disturbed weather has developed over Central America and the adjacent waters of the Eastern Pacific and Western Caribbean, associated with a tropical wave interacting with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in the Eastern Pacific. This disturbance has generated 1 - 2 inches of rain over Costa Rica and western Panama over the past day, and is likely to bring 4 - 6 more inches of rain to those areas and Nicaragua over the next 3 - 4 days, as the storm drifts northwards into the Western Caribbean. The subtropical jet stream, which is currently bringing high wind shear to the Caribbean, is expected to shift northwards next week, bringing low wind shear to the region. The last few runs of several of our major dynamical computer weather forecast models have been pointing to the possible development of a tropical depression southwest of Jamaica by Thursday of next week. Heavy rains from the disturbance should spread into Jamaica and Cuba by Thursday and Friday, and may affect the Bahamas, Haiti, and South Florida 7 - 8 days from now.


Figure 2. Visible satellite image of the Central American disturbance expected to cross over into the Western Caribbean next week.

I'll have an update this weekend, probably on Sunday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Weather456:


I think CNET has the old version from back in 2004. The current version is 7.3 for 2008 but has not been available since November 2008


Can you WU mail me the link? Thanks.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
I don't think you can download Global Tracks right now. I think there website has been getting spammed.

Right now you have to input data manually.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


What do you think of the software... CNET Editors pick gives it 4 out 0f 5, but the users reviews.. not so much?


I think CNET has the old version from back in 2004. The current version is 7.3 for 2008 but has not been available since November 2008
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1571. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Do I look like a slave to the GFS? All the models will go back and forth with EVERY run developing systems. Yesterday the GFS slammed Bill into the Caribbean and Claudette into the Carolinas.

And to your first point, yes the MJO implies the upper anticyclone which can be seen right now building northward in the southern Caribbean, but the ridge in the east Pacific hasn't nosed into the Gulf of Mexico yet leaving the area open for the upper trough over Florida to do its dirty work enforcing shear over most of the area. By 10 days from now the EPAC ridge will have established itself firmly over the western GOM and the TUTT off the eastern USA will not have as much leeway, which not always but for the most part will leave the southern and western Caribbean open for potential business.


It certainly would have been helpful to have the GFS back up your allegations. And yes 10 days from now when the ridge moves in the GOM and the MJO is the strongest is when perhaps things will become more favorable. And even with the advection of the GOM low if the mid-Atlantic ridge stays strong that could allow the TUTT to dive down in to the southern Caribbean. So that ridge moving in is certainly not the end all be all. The southern branch of the jet stream still looks to linger in the GOM with increasing zonal shear which is the reason for the GFS split-low near the Yucatan channel. I would love to look at the ECMWF at 200mb because the 500mb and 200mb are not always one in the same.
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1570. Levi32
I will also add the obvious West Gulf of Mexico will be an area to watch as well once the upper ridge gets established.
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Quoting Weather456:
Generated using global tracks software



What do you think of the software... CNET Editors pick gives it 4 out 0f 5, but the users reviews.. not so much?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Another great software - SLOSH - If the GFS 00Z run from last night materialized.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Wow!!! The winds in that Miami clip are amazing. They must've been sustained at 60+ mph at a point, unreal. Surely there mustve been some widespread wind damage?
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1566. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


We are in a pretty decent phase and the strongest MJO phase is associated with an upper air high as it provides the ventillates. With the departure of the MJO the upper trough creates enough diffluence to enhance already leftover convection. The usually dramatic GFS does not hint at long-range development antithetical to your claims.


Do I look like a slave to the GFS? All the models will go back and forth with EVERY run developing systems. Yesterday the GFS slammed Bill into the Caribbean and Claudette into the Carolinas.

And to your first point, yes the MJO implies the upper anticyclone which can be seen right now building northward in the southern Caribbean, but the ridge in the east Pacific hasn't nosed into the Gulf of Mexico yet leaving the area open for the upper trough over Florida to do its dirty work enforcing shear over most of the area. By 10 days from now the EPAC ridge will have established itself firmly over the western GOM and the TUTT off the eastern USA will not have as much leeway, which not always but for the most part will leave the southern and western Caribbean open for potential business.
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Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which now also includes Weather456, daily updates


AOI #1

AOI #2

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
1564. Levi32
Quoting Weather456:
Generated using global tracks software



Lol at that straight line for 90L from Bahamas to east Gulf of Mexico. That's when the NHC messed up and picked the wrong area of low pressure. That was funny.
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1563. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


The ECMWF is only showing this disturbance we're tracking now and the active pulse goes beyond its 10-day forecast, this disturbance may not be the only area of interest we get, and again it's a 10-day forecast of a barely initialized low so we can't put much stock in what it shows. What we do know is that the Euro is showing the potential for tropical cyclogenesis down the road.

The MJO is not an automatic storm-maker. It may be a weaker upward pulse with time but look at the conditions out there right now. The maximum pulse comes while wind shear is strong across the region while the weaker pulse comes under an upper ridge. Which is better for development? I think it's obvious.

We'll see how things pan out...


We are in a pretty decent phase and the strongest MJO phase is associated with an upper air high as it provides the ventillates. With the departure of the MJO the upper trough creates enough diffluence to enhance already leftover convection. The usually dramatic GFS does not hint at long-range development antithetical to your claims.
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Generated using global tracks software

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1561. Ossqss
So I will ask this a different way this time. Could the models be experiencing difficulty due to the transitioning to El Nino?



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1560. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


If we want development in June a good MJO phase is necessary. Simply just having it doesn't cut it as opposed to if this were peak season. The ECMWF looks to be hinting at it but it is not as dramatic or expansively oriented as the GFS. Also having a ridge in the GOM doesn't always stop a postively titled TUTT though I will say that it certainly is helpful.


The ECMWF is only showing this disturbance we're tracking now and the active pulse goes beyond its 10-day forecast. This disturbance may not be the only area of interest we get, and again it's a 10-day forecast of a barely initialized low so we can't put much stock in what it shows. What we do know is that the Euro is showing the potential for tropical cyclogenesis down the road.

The MJO is not an automatic storm-maker. It may be a weaker upward pulse with time but look at the conditions out there right now. The maximum pulse comes while wind shear is strong across the region while the weaker pulse comes under an upper ridge. Which is better for development? I think it's obvious.

We'll see how things pan out...
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1559. Drakoen


Pressures around 1009mb are typical for the Panamanian low.
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1558. Drakoen
To add to that the ECMWF doesn't seem to know exactly how large enough this ridge is. The 00z long-range look a lot better than the 12z.
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Quoting MrstormX:


They have had it issued for hours now.

oops just checked :)
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:
nhc has issued a yellow alert


They have had it issued for hours now.
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1555. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Well it's still an upward motion pulse which is by no means unfavorable for development, and guess what....the European goes out pretty far too and look at it pretty much agreeing with the GFS on the ridge moving into the western GOM with trough off the eastern US coast 7-10 day mean:



It's not like a pattern change that will last for many weeks it's a 1 or 2-week pulse that may bring us 1 or 2 June named storms.


If we want development in June a good MJO phase is necessary. Simply just having it doesn't cut it as opposed to if this were peak season. The ECMWF looks to be hinting at it but it is not as dramatic or expansively oriented as the GFS. Also having a ridge in the GOM doesn't always stop a postively titled TUTT though I will say that it certainly is helpful.
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:


That is Friday's GFS.


Wow, I knew it looked off. lol they better update their site.
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nhc has issued a yellow alert
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Quoting MrstormX:
Interesting model based off GFS

Link


That is Friday's GFS.
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1550. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


I don't like 1km at times. It's too close.


That's why I posted zoomed-out the firstest time.
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1549. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


I never said it was going to be gone I said it would be significantly weaker thereafter. I don't think we can say a pattern change is going to come in especially since we only have one model that goes out to 384hrs. I disagree with the June 20th philosophy in favor of an anticyclone set up climatologically over the EPAC favoring development in that region.


Well it's still an upward motion pulse which is by no means unfavorable for development, and guess what....the European goes out pretty far too and look at it pretty much agreeing with the GFS on the ridge moving into the western GOM with trough off the eastern US coast 7-10 day mean:



It's not like a pattern change that will last for many weeks it's a 1 or 2-week pulse that may bring us 1 or 2 June named storms.
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Interesting model based off GFS

Link
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1547. IKE
Quoting hurricane23:


Hey zoo that was taken in virginia key.

MIA got hit my a hurricane yestersday not sure if you saw this vid a friend got down there at the beach.Ive never truly see anything like that before in miami and ive been through some crazy stuff.Storms were training one after another right over the beach.



Some rough weather.
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1546. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


If you mean the satellite loop......I can do better Link

And mine's 1km lol


I don't like 1km at times. It's too close.
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Quoting hurricane23:


Hey zoo that was taken in virginia key.

MIA got hit my a hurricane yestersday not sure if you saw this vid a friend got down there at the beach.Ive never truly see anything like that before in miami and ive been through some crazy stuff.Storms were training one after another right over the beach.



If the video did not had a name and there were abvious signs of human activity, I would think it's a hurricane
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1544. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Ok I must have seen the 00z NOGAPS, that does look hostile.

The MJO is not gone by the 20th:



And....the pattern is such that the mean ridge is moving right over the GOM with the mean upper trough lingering off the US east coast. It's a prime trough-split pattern for pieces to drop down into the GOM and Caribbean and develop. Remember old fronts and trough-splits are the 2 main causes of June tropical systems. The pattern is ripe for activity centered around June 20th.


I never said it was going to be gone I said it would be significantly weaker thereafter. I don't think we can say a pattern change is going to come in especially since we only have one model that goes out to 384hrs. I disagree with the June 20th philosophy in favor of an anticyclone set up climatologically over the EPAC favoring development in that region.
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Quoting 2009hurricane:


They must have changed it?


Well its 30 mintues after 5 so obviously they didn't.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24246
Look at this chick trying to rescue here BMW in flood waters.

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1541. Patrap
Sat Wars..

..in a Blog Long,..Long time ago.
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1539. WxLogic
Hehe... of course not that most of you didn't know about this. :)
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Are we sure that wasn't a potential funnel cloud in it's prelimenary stages, Adrian? Because it certainly looked like one.


I didnt see any rotation.
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Quoting zoomiami:
Adrian - that is a great video clip - any idea where it was taken?


Hey zoo that was taken in virginia key.

MIA got hit by a hurricane yestersday not sure if you saw this vid a friend got down there at the beach.Ive never truly see anything like that before in miami and ive been through some crazy stuff.Storms were training one after another right over the beach.

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1535. viman
Quoting kmanislander:
I flew into Miami yesterday around 6:30 from Barbados and found total chaos at the airport. Weather had closed it for about 3 hrs and my plane was #16 in a line waiting for a gate. We parked way off to the side, shut off the engines and waited in the aircraft for 3 hrs.

Talk about stir crazy !!.

Missed my connection home and had to overnight. 6 inches of rain flooded the area but especially Collins Ave . The Eden Roc hotel had to be evacuated due to flooding.

If that type of weather continues this summer on top of tropical season Florida will be in serious trouble.


I know what your talking about cause I was in the middle of that chaos myself. We manage to get to the gate but we were delayed about 4 hours and finally took off and got into St.Thomas around midnight. Spent about 40 minutes bouncing around in t-storms before finally getting on the ground and then after take off the first hour or so bounced around some more with lightening off the wing-tips the whole time. WILD TIME - Thats for sure!!
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1534. WxLogic
Good evening... well... seems NHC has taken an interest in this disturb region... with a 30% chance of development.
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1533. Makoto1
Quoting 2009hurricane:


They must have changed it?


It's been this way. Storm advisories are at 5pm, not tropical weather outlooks, that's probably what confused you.
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1531. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


The upper trough is cut in fairly deep and very sharp. The strongest phase of the MJO for this month will be gone by June 20th with a significantly weaker phase thereafter. The EMCWF has the resolution to observe a strong storm and there is no wind field around the low


Ok I must have seen the 00z NOGAPS, that does look hostile.

The MJO is not gone by the 20th:



And....the pattern is such that the mean ridge is building right over the GOM with the mean upper trough lingering off the US east coast. It's a prime trough-split pattern for pieces to drop down into the GOM and Caribbean and develop. Remember old fronts and trough-splits are the 2 main causes of June tropical systems. The pattern is ripe for activity centered around June 20th.
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Quoting 2009hurricane:


They must have changed it?


Years ago.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15921
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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Thanks Levi
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cool Pat...SJ can pay it...since his link didn't work...and he called me lazy...
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Just in case anyone else cares - we have big family picnic next weekend, don't want tropical blob mess around!

Although what makes us think we are actually going to get an afternoon without the wicked showers is puzzling.
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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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