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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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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1524. Patrap
The Bill is in the mail press.

$2.54 a Image plus post
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1517....quick!!! SJ!!!! Opportunity knocks!!!!!
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1522. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Sharp trough yes but far enough north to allow development in the southern Caribbean. 10-20 days you heard me right. That is the pattern we are in now. They are beginning to improve now but the peak will be centered around the 20th of June. I like the Euro's idea as well, and it's definitely not hostile. The Euro forecasts the thing to be around 7-10 days from now so don't expect it to be anything stronger than a TD on the model map.


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
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1521. Levi32
Quoting 305st0rm:
Does anyone have a link to the fsu site with all of the models.....TIA


Here you go
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Adrian - that is a great video clip - any idea where it was taken?
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1519. Patrap
Google FSU Tropical Models..
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Quoting 2009hurricane:


WOW!!!


Did I miss something, whats so exciting?
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Does anyone have a link to the fsu site with all of the models.....TIA
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Quoting hurricane23:


Mike check this out!

Updraft over downtown...



Whoa, yet again another great video Adrian! Thanks for posting. Ill try and do those GRLevel3 images by Mid-week if you want them.
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ty Pat
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1514. Levi32
Quoting 2009hurricane:


WOW!!!


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

And mine's 1km lol
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Quoting Drakoen:
I like posting pictures:


I usually post images...(walks away feeling useless)
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Thats because there isnt one. Its at 8pm.


Mike check this out!

Updraft over downtown...

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1511. Patrap




PICTURES: New Cloud Type Discovered?


An "asperatus" cloud rolls over New Zealand's South Island in an undated picture.

This apparently new class of clouds is still a mystery. But experts suspect asperatus clouds' choppy undersides may be due to strong winds disturbing previously stable layers of warm and cold air.

Asperatus clouds may spur the first new classification in the World Meteorological Organization's International Cloud Atlas since the 1950s, Gavin Pretor-Pinney said.

Since the last addition to the atlas, the emergence of satellite imagery has pushed meteorologists to take a much broader view on weather and focus less on small-scale cloud formations.

But "the tide is turning back again," in part because the humble cloud is seen as a "wild card" in climate-change prediction, Pretor-Pinney said.

LeMone agreed that clouds are a "big unknown" in climate change, mostly because climate-change models do not provide a high-enough resolution to determine what clouds' impacts will be on a changing world.
—Photograph courtesy Merrick Davies
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1510. Drakoen
Here's a nice 2km loop to look at
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1509. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


NOGAPS has a sharp upper trough lingering. 10-20 days lol? It needs a better upper air environment. The GFS is always the drama queen with pattern changes. I'd prefer to stay on the ECMWF side for now and maybe lean towards the NOGAPS compromise.


Sharp trough yes but far enough north to allow development in the southern Caribbean. 10-20 days you heard me right. That is the pattern we are in now. Conditions are beginning to improve now but the peak will be centered around the 20th of June. I like the Euro's idea as well, and it's definitely not hostile. The Euro forecasts the thing to be around 7-10 days from now so don't expect it to be anything stronger than a TD on the model map.
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Quoting 2009hurricane:
I don't see the 5PM Eastern Time Tropical Outlook on NHC website


Thats because there isnt one. Its at 8pm.
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1507. Makoto1
Quoting 2009hurricane:
I don't see the 5PM Eastern Time Tropical Outlook on NHC website


They come out at 2AM, 8AM, 2PM, and 8PM.

*goes back to watch*
1500...your link didn't work, Mr. Smartiepants...
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1504. Levi32
Anti-cyclone is building northward as shear weakens. Be careful when saying convection is increasing as some of it over Central America is purely day-time-heating-based and can deceivingly make the system look better. Low-level vort max headed right for Nicaragua.

NASA High-Res Visible Loop
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1502. Drakoen
I like posting pictures:
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1501. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


The NOGAPS isn't too bad, and the CMC handles the FLorida trough unrealistically. Plus they all don't go out past 144 hours. The pattern is there, conditions will be favorable in the western Caribbean during the next 10-20 days.


NOGAPS has a sharp upper trough lingering. 10-20 days lol? It needs a better upper air environment. The GFS is always the drama queen with pattern changes. I'd prefer to stay on the ECMWF side for now and maybe lean towards the NOGAPS compromise.
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Nice Tightlines, thanks

And for those that are too lazy to copy and paste...New cloud type
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New Cloud Type Discovered?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/new-cloud-pictures/photo2.html
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1496. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


Only one out of our 5 models show conditions favorable for significant development, the GFS. The ECMWF is marginal; The UKMET, CMC, and NOGAPS, are hostile.


The NOGAPS isn't too bad, and the CMC handles the FLorida trough unrealistically. Plus they all don't go out past 144 hours. The pattern is there, conditions will be favorable in the western Caribbean during the next 10-20 days.
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New Cloud Type Discovered?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/new-cloud-pictures/photo2.html
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Anti-cyclone is looking better last time i checked pressures were around 1008-1010mb & falling near Puerto cabezas.
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1491. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Best conditions for development are still 5-7 days out. All the models can tell us right now is that the western Caribbean is going to be in a favorable pattern for tropical development during the next 5-15 days. Based on that, we should keep a watch on the area and monitor potential triggers such as the Panama low which we are observing now.


Only one out of our 5 models show conditions favorable for significant development, the GFS. The ECMWF is marginal; The UKMET, CMC, and NOGAPS, are hostile.
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Don't expect too much organization overnight. Wind shear is 60 knots over Jamaica.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. Link
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1489. KS4EC
This just out!!
Thought the location was interesting



6.0 Mb - NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
Preliminary Earthquake Report Magnitude 6.0 Mb
Date-Time 6 Jun 2009 20:33:28 UTC
6 Jun 2009 17:33:28 near epicenter
6 Jun 2009 15:33:28 standard time in your timezone

Location 23.822N 46.059W
Depth 10 km
Distances 1802 km (1120 miles) ENE (63 degrees) of SAINT JOHN'S, Antigua
1859 km (1155 miles) NE (48 degrees) of BRIDGETOWN, Barbados

Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 10.0 km; Vertical
Parameters Nph = 50; Dmin = 999.9 km; Rmss = 0.99 seconds; Gp = 100°
M-type = Mb; Version = 7
Event ID US 2009hnca ***This event supersedes event AT00432041.

For updates, maps, and technical information, see:
Event Page
or
U.S.G.S. Earthquake Hazards Program

National Earthquake Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey
http://neic.usgs.gov
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1488. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:
I saw that Adrian. Looking at the ECMWF i don't see anything above TD strength. The NOGAPS 12z dropped the system. UKMET and CMC showing noth. GFS slightly weaker and most agressive.


Best conditions for development are still 5-7 days out. All the models can tell us right now is that the western Caribbean is going to be in a favorable pattern for tropical development during the next 5-15 days. Based on that, we should keep a watch on the area and monitor potential triggers such as the Panama low which we are observing now.
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The low is the EPAC is forecast to dissipate so the Caribbean one looks to dominate
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1486. Drakoen
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1484. Drakoen
Quoting hurricane23:


Careful this is a hot-spot this time of the year and convection is on a steady increase this afternoon.


I thought you would take the conservative route on this too lol
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Quoting Drakoen:
I saw that Adrian. Looking at the ECMWF i don't see anything above TD strength. The NOGAPS 12z dropped the system. UKMET and CMC showing noth. GFS slightly weaker and most agressive.


Careful this is a hot-spot this time of the year and convection is on a steady increase this afternoon.
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1481. Drakoen
I saw that Adrian. Looking at the ECMWF i don't see anything above TD strength. The NOGAPS 12z dropped the system. UKMET and CMC showing noth. GFS slightly weaker and most agressive.
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heres an intresting model. shows the disturbance forming south of cuba, and moving north

link
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Quoting Drakoen:
We only have one model showing significant development in the Caribbean. The ECMWF barely with anything. This thing needs model support badly. I don't blame the HPC for taking the conservative route with the lack of model consensus of the development, track, and strength of a system if anything at all.


000
AGXX40 KNHC 061945
MIMATS

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
345 PM EDT SAT JUN 06 2009


CARIBBEAN AND TROPICAL ATLC W OF 55W...
COMPUTER MODELS HAVE COME INTO MUCH BETTER AGREEMENT REGARDING
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRES OVER THE SW
CARIBBEAN. CONVECTION HAS STARTED TO INCREASE OVER THE AREA...
AND A QSCAT PASS FROM AROUND 1030 UTC THIS MORNING...ALTHOUGH
NEAR THE EDGE OF THE SWATH...SHOWED THAT WINDS ARE BEGINNING TO
VEER TO THE SE BETWEEN 70W AND 76W. FOR THIS FORECAST
PACKAGE...WILL CONTINUE WITH THE TREND OF BROAD LOW PRESSURE
FORMING OVER THE W CARIBBEAN LATE MON THROUGH THU WITH WINDS IN
THE 20 KT RANGE AND MAX SEAS OF UP TO 9 FT OVER THE NW
CARIBBEAN. WILL CLOSELY MONITOR FUTURE MODEL GUIDANCE TO SEE IF
THERE APPEARS TO A MORE DEFINITIVE CONSENSUS AS TO ANY POSSIBLE
UPCOMING POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT WITH THIS FEATURE AS WELL AS ITS
FUTURE TRACK...PARTICULARLY SINCE THIS IS A FAVORABLE AREA FOR
TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION DURING THIS EARLY PORTION OF THE
SEASON.
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1478. Drakoen
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1477. Drakoen
Quoting sporteguy03:
18z models are not very good they are missing upper air data 12z and 00z are better.


Yesterday's NAM 18z was very robust.
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1476. Drakoen
We only have one model showing significant development in the Caribbean. The ECMWF barely with anything. This thing needs model support badly. I don't blame the HPC for taking the conservative route with the lack of model consensus of the development, track, and strength of a system if anything at all.
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18z models are not very good they are missing upper air data 12z and 00z are better.
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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.