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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When I hit F5 it showed the latest surface map.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Yeah, there's a low in the EPAC:


Photobucket

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Quoting Weather456:


12Z Friday June 5 - look at the time stamp


Look again.
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Quoting Drakoen:


That surface map says Friday today is Saturday June 6th 2009


Look again.
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Quoting Seastep:
The 12Z surface map now shows a low down there. Drives me crazy down there, though, cause I never trust it due to the seemingly ever-present colombia low.

If it moves N or NW away from ITCZ, could be our system. Timing fits with the 72hr surface forecast.

I'm a little more bullish on it now.

Will be interesting to watch how the factors evolve over the next three days.

Link


12Z Friday June 5 - look at the time stamp
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Seastep:
The 12Z surface map now shows a low down there. Drives me crazy down there, though, cause I never trust it due to the seemingly ever-present colombia low.

If it moves N or NW away from ITCZ, could be our system. Timing fits with the 72hr surface forecast.

I'm a little more bullish on it now.

Will be interesting to watch how the factors evolve over the next three days.

Link


That surface map says Friday today is Saturday June 6th 2009
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
The 12Z surface map now shows a low down there. Drives me crazy down there, though, cause I never trust it due to the seemingly ever-present colombia low.

If it moves N or NW away from ITCZ, could be our system. Timing fits with the 72hr surface forecast.

I'm a little more bullish on it now.

Will be interesting to watch how the factors evolve over the next three days.

Link
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Many are seeing a low level feature lifting north from Panama but even though I see the same thing I'm still in watching mode.

For one here's QuikSCAT



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
The CMC also features the steering flow around eastern flank of the deep layered ridge that will enter the GOM to be too strong with the mid tropospheric ridge out in the Atlantic leaving progressive upper troughing in the Caribbean.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
00Z Euro

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting hurricane23:


Have to wonder though why the aggressive CMC is not latching on to development down there.A monsoon type flare up occuring in the extreme SW Caribbean.


Did you run the CMC's shear loop? It does not believe the subtropical jet will lift northward and keeps sharp positively titled upper troughing in the area.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Now it appears that we may be witnessing the evolution of the much-hyped "potential future storm" beginning just north of Panama. On visible satellite imagery, you can clearly see a well-defined low-level circulation moving N off Panama and into the SW Caribbean. There is some decent convection to the north of this circulation. This may finally be the disturbance that we have been waiting for to track.
V isibleSatellite Loop
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Quoting Vortex95:
vortfix there is nothing there for them to confirm the GFS's belief of somthing forming within the next 5 days. Nothing significant at least that would be another reason I would believe. The GFS could very well be acting bullish.


Exactly....said the same a ways back...but, we will know more late tomorrow...

Everyone have a good day....and NO FIGHTING with ORCA........LOL!
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Quoting Drakoen:
LOL they are lowering there confidence based on the CMC not showing it but two of the most reliable models are.


Have to wonder though why the aggressive CMC is not latching on to development down there.A monsoon type flare up occuring in the extreme SW Caribbean.
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They're not willing to hang their hat on this yet and get burned.
That is more than they have been willing to say so far.

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CMC normally BULLISH?

lol
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
LOL they are lowering there confidence based on the CMC not showing it but two of the most reliable models are.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting IKE:
Look at the vort at 850 mb's....



Which is what I mentioned earlier in the week.
Satellite imagery shows a broad cyclonic rotation just north of Panama near an Upper high.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
PRELIMINARY EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD



SOUTHWARD GFS/DGEX/ECMWF STILL INSIST UPON TROPICAL DEVELOPMENT
MID PERIOD IN THE WESTERN CARRIBEAN OFF NICARAGUA/HONDURAS WITH A
GENERAL NWD TRACK TOWARDS WRN CUBA. THIS MODEL DEVELOPMENT HAS
BEEN SEEN FOR SEVERAL DAYS AND MORE. EARLIER THIS SEASON LONGER
RANGE GFS/ECMWF DID WELL IDENTIFYING LOW LATITUDE POTENTIAL
TROPICAL DEVELOPENT BUT IN THOSE CASES THE ORIGINAL SYSTEM WAS
MORE BAROCLINIC INTIALLY. THIS WOULD BE COMPLETELY TROPICAL AND
THIS TYPE OF CYCLOGENESIS IS NOT HANDLED WELL BY THESE MODELS. THE
CMC NORMALLY A BULLISH TROPICAL AND MARITIME EXTRATROPICAL MODEL
WITH A HIGH FALSE ALARM RATIO IS NOT GENERATING MUCH OF A SYSTEM
AND CONTS TO WEAKEN CHANCES OF DEVELOPMENT. THIS WOULD LEAD US
INTO EVEN LOWER CONFIDENCE IN THIS GENERATION. IF WE HAVE SOME
DEVELOPMENT IT MAY INCREASE THE CHANCE OF RAIN LATE WEEKEND OVER
CUBA AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA. DAILY NOON COORDINATION WITH TPC WILL
SETTLE TODAYS SOLUTION FOR AFTN FINAL MAPS.

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The GFS showing a more reasonable and original philosophy with the lack of depth in the June trough and the building back of a ridge. It would have been rare to have a system go out to sea like that with cyclogenesis beginning in the central Caribbean.
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Quoting Cotillion:


If that's true, it lends credence to the 'multiverse' theory... ;)


String theory
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Quoting presslord:



yes...the city that thinks it's the Capital of Carolina...when, in fact, we all know that Charleston is the center of the universe...


lol
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Quoting Vortex95:
we have our universe that is actually in a superuniverse that holds a 100 billion billion other universes and so on an so forth until you get to the Ultima universe were all you see is white.


With Neo and Morpheus standing there next to shelves and shelves of guns.
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Weather here is dreadful. Temperatures have plummeted to the low 50s.. even high 40s in places. Again, we've shifted to the Southern Hemisphere apparently...

More rain and flood warnings in effect for the South. Here's to the advantage to living next to hills and mountains.. you don't get flooded. Least here, you don't.
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Some of the best shots of the Season

90L



92L

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1005 UTC SAT JUN 06 2009


TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR THE EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN

GLOBAL MODELS SLOWLY LIFT THE
ITCZ NWD INTO THE CARIBBEAN OVER THE WEEKEND...AND DEVELOP A
BROAD AND ELONGATED CYCLONIC CIRCULATION FROM THE W COAST OF
COSTA RICA NE INTO THE SW CARIBBEAN...AND SLOWLY DRIFT THIS
FEATURE NWD THROUGH WED. THIS WOULD REPRESENT A VERY WET PATTERN
FOR THE REGION IF THIS EVOLVES AS FORECAST...POSSIBLY MORE
SIGNIFICANT ON THE CARIBBEAN SIDE.
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Quoting presslord:



yes...the city that thinks it's the Capital of Carolina...when, in fact, we all know that Charleston is the center of the universe...


If that's true, it lends credence to the 'multiverse' theory... ;)
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Quoting Seastep:


Columbia, Carolinas?



yes...the city that thinks it's the Capital of Carolina...when, in fact, we all know that Charleston is the center of the universe...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
Quoting presslord:


Do I sense a bit of sarcasm?

Remember the consequences of messing with me:

It is now bikini season ;)


Please permit me to redact my post from fear of impending future liability and anguish. Yikes ! L8R
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8183
Ana will form by November 30th.

I promise...
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broad area of low pressure still centred over panama. at the moment there are no signs of any genesis. conditions inthe upper levels are not conducive for development, with 30m knots of vertical shear. somehow this area will drift northwest and will be in the vicinity southwest of jamaica by tuesday next week. the wind shear is anticipated to slaken in this area ,while allowing a low pressure area to form. after that it is anybody's guess if some tropical entity will form.\\

be back later after cricket
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Orca never have i said Ana or a Storm would not develop....I simply stated the Models are not in agreement.....Wow and outside of the GFS its really the only one that has been consistent and even it has been up and down...
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Based on the current surface forecasts they're dragging that low up and over from the EPAC.

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Quoting presslord:
and nobody with any sense would want to stay in Columbia....


Columbia, Carolinas?
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Good morning.
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90L...Formed Over the SE* Gulf, moved into the Gulf coast near Mississiipi/Alabama border
91L...Formed near Bahamas, moved north and became TD 1 while recurving, caused minimal rains along the Outerbanks of SC.
92L...Non Tropical Low in NE Atlantic, just north of the Azores. Did become subtropical but was not officially classified.
93L...
94L...
95L...
96L...
97L...
98L...
99L...


lol....I'm keeping track
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


If you mean in the Atlantic, that is normal.

If you mean Eastern Pacific, somewhat quiet.

I don't think anyone really put much though into it but NOAA predicted a below normal to near average Pacific Hurricane Season, which is rather contradicting the El Nino forecast but the cited that climatogically when you have neutral transitioning conditions it tends to reduce activity in the EPAC.


Yes, I know. I was being sarcastic.

Sully said 19-11-5 for the EPac which seemed a little on the high side, but maybe it'll be a late start.

West Pacific hasn't exactly gone racing out of the blocks either. At least in comparison to last year. (2007 had a slow start too, I guess.)
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72 hour surface forecast:



Photobucket

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I just hate when a storm is a tropical storm and it's not named by the NHC for whatever reason. Who cares if it will dissipate soon? If it's a storm, it's a storm and it deserves to be named.

Plus, it's getting kind of repititive looking at the name Ana.
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Quoting Ossqss:


How True, and you taught many of us that sometimes painful lesson Press :)


Do I sense a bit of sarcasm?

Remember the consequences of messing with me:

It is now bikini season ;)
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
That is really a pretty bold statement from the TPC about this.
They mentioned the day and some coordinates...that is rare for them to step out that hard.
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Quoting presslord:
stormw...Thank you for that...one picture is worth a thousand words...


How True, and you taught many of us that sometimes painful lesson Press :)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8183
I think we should already have three named storms. 90L=Ana, TD 1=Bill, 92L=Claudette

That's just my opinion of course, but they all had the qualifications of a tropical storm (or subtropical). If they were perhaps a little stronger and lasted a little longer, I think the NHC would have got the nerve to name them. The reason they never named it was due to the fact they lasted too short and they want to meet the predictions of 11 named storms.
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Quoting Cotillion:
It's already 6th June and no storm!

..Has anyone randomly combusted yet with the wait?




If you mean in the Atlantic, that is normal.

If you mean Eastern Pacific, somewhat quiet.

I don't think anyone really put much though into it but NOAA predicted a below normal to near average Pacific Hurricane Season, which is rather contradicting the El Nino forecast but the cited that climatogically when you have neutral transitioning conditions it tends to reduce activity in the EPAC.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.