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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Uh oh looks like me and the rest of SF is going to get more severe storms today.Link
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
1074. Patrap
You see Kids,once the bloggers start issuing Watches and Warnings on a Pre-invest,the Manual says to Don yer Foil Hats.

Now,lets look at the UNYSIS 10-Day GFSx

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127647
1073. IKE
And the shear is lifting....

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1072. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Mmm not quite lol. The GFS is much more rapid in its development of the low. The European moves a weak low slowly through the NW Caribbean in 6-10 days.


I agree. The GFS is much more aggressive than the ECMWF. I like the conservative nature of the ECMWF than the aggressive GFS.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Quoting IKE:
I'll say this...I think this has a shot of getting in the extreme SE GOM.

Beyond that, I have no idea. Too far out.

Could bring a lot of rain to south Florida.


IKE Remember..each model run changes after 72hrs...and each GFS run has been different after 72hrs... look @ 6Z..had it going to eastern Cuba before a turn west towards the keys...now 12Z never makes it past 81W and moves it towards western tip of Cuba and into the SE GOM.. Next run could have it going into the Yucitan or towards eastern Cuba again and never feeling the trough and out into the Atlantic... 72hrs.. 120hrs if models are inagreement.. after that...forget it like a grain of salt...its fantasy... :)
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1610
1069. 19N81W
I dont really see much coming out of this except for a good amount of rain...which I can assure you the Caribbean needs! Bring it this way I say! Its been hot and dry since last November.
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yes 456 it now appears that the stonger of the three vortices you mentioned is now consolidating under the ball of convection. thesuub tropical ridge is also lifting north which will result in the shear weakening. it is quite possible that we could be dealing with a tropical system come next week
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1067. Levi32
Quoting futuremet:
GFS now in consensus with ECMWF. I believe this is the most tenable forecast thus far.


Mmm not quite lol. The GFS is much more rapid in its development of the low. The European moves a weak low slowly through the NW Caribbean in 6-10 days.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
1066. Patrap
ten·a·ble Listen to the pronunciation of tenable
Pronunciation:
\ˈte-nə-bəl\
Function:
adjective
Etymology:
Middle French, from Old French, from tenir to hold, from Latin tenēre — more at thin
Date:
1579

: capable of being held, maintained, or defended : defensible, reasonable
— ten·a·bil·i·ty Listen to the pronunciation of tenability \ˌte-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
— ten·a·ble·ness noun
— ten·a·bly Listen to the pronunciation of tenably \ˈte-nə-blē\ adverb
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127647
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Now that we have an area to look at, we can give the models some credit I believe.


lol I did back there.


They did verified because on Monday they mentioned a low pressure would develop in the SW Caribbean.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Levi32:


Jamaica is definitely within the strike-zone of a potential storm, but right now it's too early to say. We may be waiting a week for anything to really happen down there. I would keep an eye on it.

ok I'll keep my eye on it and wait and see if local mets pick up on it. They are really preparing for anything this year
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GFS now in consensus with ECMWF. I believe this is the most tenable forecast thus far.
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1062. Patrap
It my be a Tin foil HAt day here..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127647
Quoting weatherwatcher12:
hi guys, do you think there could be any issues in Jamaica with this blob


heavy rains
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1060. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

low in gom at 240 hrs out


Interesting. That's the 0Z run.
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Quoting IKE:


I say yes...heavy rains.

ok... the local newspaper started to hint that a low would form in the western Caribbean tommorow
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1058. Levi32
Quoting weatherwatcher12:
hi guys, do you think there could be any issues in Jamaica with this blob


Jamaica is definitely within the strike-zone of a potential storm, but right now it's too early to say. We may be waiting a week for anything to really happen down there. I would keep an eye on it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Quoting Weather456:
AOI



Now that we have an area to look at, we can give the models some credit I believe.
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1055. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

low in gom at 240 hrs out
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
hurricane23 thaT VIDEO WAS CRAZY!Was that yesterday because in boca we saw a massive thundercloud south of us and i though it was just amazing.Shocked I didn't hear any of this on the news well at least the national news.
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
1053. IKE
Quoting weatherwatcher12:
hi guys, do you think there could be any issues in Jamaica with this blob


I say yes...heavy rains.
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1051. IKE
I'll say this...I think this has a shot of getting in the extreme SE GOM.

Beyond that, I have no idea. Too far out.

Could bring a lot of rain to south Florida.
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hi guys, do you think there could be any issues in Jamaica with this blob
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Always remember folks... 72hrs... and if models are in agreement..up to 120hrs.. anything more than 120 hrs..its farmers alnamac!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1610
1047. Levi32
Quoting Levi32:


The GFS shows them as extended troughs at the surface and at 500mb. It has this problem. It won't consolidate the energy. I'm not saying they are seperate closed entities but the GFS is showing different areas of low pressure there.


For example.....low north of Hispaniola/PR:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
1046. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:
Levi, sometimes those 850mb maximas are observed if things are along the same axis or if the since is expansive enough. They aren't surface lows and the GFS isn't the only mdoel that acts like that at times.


The GFS shows them as extended troughs at the surface and at 500mb. It has this problem. It won't consolidate the energy. I'm not saying they are seperate closed entities but the GFS is showing different areas of low pressure there.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
AOI

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1044. IKE
I'm with the 12Z GFS up til hour 162...after this it's a shot-in-the dark.....too far in advance....

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1043. Drakoen
Levi, sometimes those 850mb maximas are observed if things are along the same axis or if the since is expansive enough. They aren't surface lows and the GFS isn't the only mdoel that acts like that at times.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Everything you guys are talking about are after 72hrs..and up till then..there is no organized low.. just a weak low pressure system with disorganized T-Storms... I will state that a TD may form in the next 3-5days between Honduras and Jamaica...but its wayy to early to speculate after 3-5 days how organized any LOW will be and which direction it may take. If the ridge over the GOM builds in quicker..it may never even reach Cuba and head back west towards Belieze and the Yucitan.. but that is speculation of course!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1610
1041. Levi32
I posted this graphic I made in my blog showing how the GFS splits the energy all over the place. The 2 northern-most vortices are positioned under 40 knots of shear right under the sub-tropical jetstream. Interestingly enough these 2 seem to spawn from the tropical wave currently approaching the islands. You can really tell the GFS has issues with this situation.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
Mike this is for you...Unnamed tropicalstorm in south beach.

"
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I just signed on for the day. Is it me or has the "blob" in the Caribbean blown up since last night?
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1038. Drakoen
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
1037. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:
'

That's a wind isotach.


Thanks...must not be very significant.
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1036. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


I agree. Especially if it is to become as large as forecasted.


Looks like the GFS is waiting on that trough to lift out and then starts to slowly intensify it.
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1035. Drakoen
Quoting IKE:


On that picture I posted, there's a lighter colored dip that goes down to near the north coast of the Yucatan?
'

That's a wind isotach.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Levi32, that is why I think the GFS maybe a little overdone. If it is correct, it needs to be a little more reasonable with the upper enviroment.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1033. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


It looks to me like the sub-tropical jet won't really lift far enough north until 5-6 days from now. That low needs breathing room.


I agree. Especially if it is to become as large as forecasted.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
1031. Levi32
Quoting Weather456:
It seems like everything is playing out. Notice how shear increases over the Greater Antilles and decreases in the SW Caribbean. This could only imply that with the movement of the low pressure north, the overhead subequatorial ridge is lifting north and the subtropical jet (which is located on the north flank of the subequatorial ridge) is also lifting north. Though wind shear is the most important factor here along with the interaction with CA and it appears the wind shear is not decreasing at the rate I would look for healthy cyclogenesis but nevertheless, it's decreasing.



It looks to me like the sub-tropical jet won't really lift far enough north until 5-6 days from now. That low needs breathing room.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26562
1030. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


I'm not sure what you are talking about...


On that picture I posted, there's a lighter colored dip that goes down to near the north coast of the Yucatan?
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1029. Drakoen
Quoting AussieStorm:

Do u have a link?

Link
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Quoting AussieStorm:

Do u have a link?


Link
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
I'm actually embarrassed to have Brown as my Prime Minister.

He made a complete hash of the whole invite to the D-Day rememberance, apparently booed by the army personnel and veterans perhaps for not inviting the Queen...

(Though partially the French fault... who forgot that the British and Canadians were involved in the D-Day. Because it's easy to forget that, obviously.)

Then is so star-struck to call Omaha beach, Obama beach... *headdesk*.

Countin' down the days to the election where we might finally just get a PM that's competent. Not good or great... just competent would be lovely.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
1026. Drakoen
The GFS just has it sitting in the central Caribbean.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Quoting Drakoen:
Stormchaser2007, the CAPE looks to range from 1000-2000 j/kg, a moisture 700mb-500mb column, a decent boundary layer moisture convergence. Once the CAP breaks with the surface heating things should start firing up.


Yeah we just need that CAP to break then with the sufficent surface heating we should see some strong cells with the potential for decent size hail and gusty winds.

Heres the RUC at 4 hours:

Cape:


Lifted Index:
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790

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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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