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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175. IKE
Quoting scottsvb:
If JV was here in Tampa.. he would say.. ." I think there is a Squall band coming in from our Possible developing Cat 3 down in the Sw Carribean that hasnt developed yet"


He's outside in Lauderdale hanging shutters.

12Z CMC with zilch.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Wow Boca's high was forecasted to be 88 and it is 90 right now.Sheez it's heating up with two monstorous storms on both sides of the peninsula right now.Man just looking at this satelite imagery scares me because of those clouds roaring over Panama right now.Link
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When driving through heavy rain... slow down. Always
leave a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
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172. JRRP
the GFS has problems this season
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If JV was here in Tampa.. he would say.. ." I think there is a Squall band coming in from our Possible developing Cat 3 down in the Sw Carribean that hasnt developed yet"
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170. IKE
Special Weather Statement

Statement as of 1:25 PM EDT on June 05, 2009

... Strong thunderstorms will affect Pasco... Citrus... western and
central Hillsborough... Hernando... Pinellas... Sumter and northwestern
Polk counties...

National Weather Service Doppler radar indicates a line of
thunderstorms... moving east at 20 mph... will affect the mentioned
area including Clearwater... Ridge Manor... Lacoochee... Brooksville...
Palm Harbor... Tampa... Land O Lakes and Bushnell... until 215 PM EDT.

Gusty winds up to 50 mph may cause loose objects to blow around. Some
damage to tree limbs and wires is possible. Frequent lightning is
expected. If caught outside... find a low spot... and stay away from
tall objects. When driving through heavy rain... slow down. Always
leave a safe distance between you and other vehicles.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
hmm keep losing power @ my house in Tampa from these wind gusts messing with Tampa Electric..

I see what your saying on June Developement on where climatology says the direction it will go... but this set up is a March-April set up. A cold core low over Florida down to Honduras..will deflect anything NE ahead of it. .. This is why Im saying there is less than a 20% chance of reaching western Cuba.. I see what your showing though. :)
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We are easily seeing winds gusting to 50 mph in Tampa. My window is bowing in and out. I'm many floors up though so I don't know if this wind is translating all the way to street level.
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Looks like us in Jamaica are going to get heavy weather from this potential system
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah the NHC map shows nicely the surface trough sitting over Central America in 3 days. The GFS may end up being right but it's pretty much a wait-and-see game right now. What we do know is the potential for tropical cyclogenesis is going to be fairly high in the western Caribbean during the next 10 days.




Levy Absolubtly correct, the only thing that we can said right now is:

potential for tropical cyclogenesis is going to be fairly high in the western Caribbean during the next 10 days

The 12z GFS is a Joke or what??
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Quoting stillwaiting:
drak,scott,levi,I'm on your boat,I use the NHC's 24,48,72 surface maps,they've been more accurate than any of the models so far this yr...until first shear drops and second there's atleast 2 global models showing a feature within 72hrs...


Am I experiencing Dejavu here?

150. Levi32 5:12 PM GMT on June 05, 2009

Quoting stillwaiting:
drak,scott,levi,I'm on your boat,I use the NHC's 24,48,72 surface maps,they've been more accurate than any of the models so far this yr...until first shear drops and second there's atleast 2 global models showing a feature within 72hrs...


Yeah the NHC map shows nicely the surface trough sitting over Central America in 3 days. The GFS may end up being right but it's pretty much a wait-and-see game right now. What we do know is the potential for tropical cyclogenesis is going to be higher in the western Caribbean during the next 10 days.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
The 12Z GFS looks absurd.
It maybe more believable if it continues to show this crazy solution.But until then I will remain skeptical.
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FAA Could Close 20 Weather Offices

By Steve Vogel and Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 5, 2009

The federal government yesterday moved forward with a controversial proposal that would close weather offices at 20 regional air traffic control centers around the country and instead provide controllers with forecasts from two central units in Maryland and Missouri.

The consolidation plan came under immediate fire from unions representing National Weather Service employees and air traffic controllers, which charged that the change will endanger aviation safety.

"Air traffic controllers will no longer have the immediate expertise of an on-site meteorologist to advise them where to route aircraft experiencing difficulty when weather conditions play a critical role in that decision," said Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization.

"This is a foolish plan that puts cost savings ahead of safety," said Patrick Forrey, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "Quite frankly, we cannot believe such a reckless idea has gotten this far." But the Federal Aviation Administration, which sought the changes, says advances in technology make face-to-face contact between controllers and forecasters unnecessarily expensive. No weather service employees will lose jobs under the proposed consolidation, according to federal officials, though job locations would change.

The proposal was sent to the FAA by John L. "Jack" Hayes, director of the National Weather Service.

The FAA has received the report but has not yet reviewed it, according to Paul Takemoto, a spokesman for the agency.
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drak,scott,levi,I'm on your boat,I use the NHC's 24,48,72 surface maps,they've been more accurate than any of the models so far this yr...until first shear drops and second there's atleast 2 global models showing a feature within 72hrs...
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Always a possibility of tornadoes in FL during the summer. The surface winds don't matter as much as the difference between the winds at the surface, and the winds as you rise with height. In other words if the winds at the surface and the winds aloft are blowing different directions, you have one component for rotation within a thunderstorm cell. Also when we get our East/West Coast see breezes to collide you have another opportunity for rotation.

Quoting CaneWarning:
Davis Islands, Tampa, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 4 min 39 sec ago
81.4 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 74%
Dew Point: 72 °F
Wind: 22.0 mph from the WSW
Wind Gust: 26.0 mph
Pressure: 29.85 in (Rising)
Heat Index: 86 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 8 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 3000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 4100 ft
Mostly Cloudy 6000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 6 ft


One thing I am noticing with the winds is they are changing directions frequently. Does this indicate the possibility for tornadoes?
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121 Thanks!!!!!!!!!!
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Wow Tampa radar looks like we are in for some stormy weather and more rain - which we do not need.
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I'm just talking about June storms Scott.
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Maybe,..
"The Ocean"..will tell us
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Quoting scottsvb:


Only 1 went East of Western Cuba? This happens 2-3 times a year...early in the season and in November! maybe I dont understand what you ment or you got bad data.


See post #127 look at the map of past tracks I think that is what cane is saying.
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5270
Quoting scottsvb:


Only 1 went East of Western Cuba? This happens 2-3 times a year...early in the season and in November! maybe I dont understand what you ment or you got bad data.



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Quoting Levi32:


It's not going anywhere fast for the moment, but in 6-8 days things open up for business in the Caribbean.



how about we just say...things may look better in August...hehe
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NO CONUS severe Weather watches or Warnings currently.

US Watches and Warnings Map
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Quoting stillwaiting:
drak,scott,levi,I'm on your boat,I use the NHC's 24,48,72 surface maps,they've been more accurate than any of the models so far this yr...until first shear drops and second there's atleast 2 global models showing a feature within 72hrs...


Yeah the NHC map shows nicely the surface trough sitting over Central America in 3 days. The GFS may end up being right but it's pretty much a wait-and-see game right now. What we do know is the potential for tropical cyclogenesis is going to be fairly high in the western Caribbean during the next 10 days.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


20%? Only a small handful in the past 155 years went NW over the Yucatan and only 1 went NE back in 1904. A significant majority of storms did make it there. Surely data like that deserves more than 20%, what am I missing?


Only 1 went East of Western Cuba? This happens 2-3 times a year...early in the season and in November! maybe I dont understand what you ment or you got bad data.
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Tropical Cyclone Formation Probability Guidance Product



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Davis Islands, Tampa, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 4 min 39 sec ago
81.4 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 74%
Dew Point: 72 °F
Wind: 22.0 mph from the WSW
Wind Gust: 26.0 mph
Pressure: 29.85 in (Rising)
Heat Index: 86 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 8 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 3000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 4100 ft
Mostly Cloudy 6000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 6 ft


One thing I am noticing with the winds is they are changing directions frequently. Does this indicate the possibility for tornadoes?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
drak,scott,levi,I'm on your boat,I use the NHC's 24,48,72 surface maps,they've been more accurate than any of the models so far this yr...until first shear drops and second there's atleast 2 global models showing a feature within 72hrs...
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Quoting scottsvb:


Yep...but I dont see it moving much due to it being sandwiched between the strong ridge to its NW and trough exiting NE over Hispaniola.


It's not going anywhere fast for the moment, but in 6-8 days things open up for business in the Caribbean.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
Quoting CaneWarning:
It is VERY windy in Tampa right now. I just walked outside to grab some lunch downtown and it is actually hard to walk into the wind. There appears to be a nasty line of storms coming at us from the gulf.


Lived there for 4 years. I went downtown during Frances, as it was leaving town. Wind was blowing 55mph through the buildings. Made it hard to stand up was kinda cool. Not too strong, but strong enough.
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Quoting scottsvb:



Wrong! chances of it making it up to western Cuba is under 20%


20%? Only a small handful in the past 155 years went NW over the Yucatan and only 1 went NE back in 1904. A significant majority of storms did make it there. Surely data like that deserves more than 20%, what am I missing?
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Just amazingly cool here still @ Noon.
Lub it,we just Lub it.

Current Conditions

Uptown, New Orleans, Louisiana (PWS)
Updated: 34 sec ago
Overcast
74.8 °F
Overcast
Humidity: 48%
Dew Point: 54 °F
Wind: 3.1 mph from the North
Wind Gust: 5.4 mph
Pressure: 29.97 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 78 °F
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Quoting Levi32:
Regardless of losing model support, I think the area of disturbed weather near Central America should still be watched as it drifts slowly northward. It is still likely to be the initiation point for a potential tropical disturbance in the western Caribbean down the road. The GFS is probably just rushing things due to its feedback problems.


Yep...but I dont see it moving much due to it being sandwiched between the strong ridge to its NW and trough exiting NE over Hispaniola.
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Im a Betting man,..I'll go out on a Limb and say we will get a Low developing in the BOC come next Thursday.

"I got a Lady source in Boca"...

She has a 92.1 % accuracy going on since 97
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Regardless of losing model support, I think the area of disturbed weather near Central America should still be watched as it drifts slowly northward. It is still likely to be the initiation point for a potential tropical disturbance in the western Caribbean down the road. The GFS is probably just rushing things due to its feedback problems.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
It is VERY windy in Tampa right now. I just walked outside to grab some lunch downtown and it is actually hard to walk into the wind. There appears to be a nasty line of storms coming at us from the gulf.
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Quoting IKE:


Yeah...it's backed off too.

Oh well....


We never really had strong model support to begin with. The CMC and UKMET not showing anything. The ECMWF barely shows anything TD at best. The GFS of course the most agressive with its QPF bombs and inability to handle to the MJO phase.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
Chances of it getting up to western cuba, should it survive long enough are significantly high. Two scenarios if you as me.

1. It dies over Nicaragua / Honduras

2. It goes north to Western Cuba

If it survives Cuba, who knows right now.



Wrong! chances of it making it up to western Cuba is under 20%
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Quoting sporteguy03:


What about Cuba?


eastern cuba maybe...but I really dont think there will be much more than a disturbance or weak area of low pressure...always said that.
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Quoting IKE:


Yeah...it's backed off too.

Oh well....



you know what that means Ike look out for the 18z , lol j/k .
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5270
Chances of it getting up to western cuba, should it survive long enough are significantly high. Two scenarios if you as me.

1. It dies over Nicaragua / Honduras

2. It goes north to Western Cuba

If it survives Cuba, who knows right now.
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Guys calm down, you'll see the ghost storm again either on the next runs or 00Z runs.. It's just one of those model things today where it looses a storm, should pop back on later on as the days go by.
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm starting to think the GFS had it a lot more correct a few days ago than they do now. It may be jumping the gun too early. It's almost not even allowing the subtropical jet to lift out before development starts. It might be more likely that we see development in 6-8 days than 2-4.


I'd agree with that.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
7 days from now is when the high from the EPAC really begins to build in over the southern Gulf of Mexico and the sub-tropical jetstream lifts north. Around that time the MJO pulse will be coming in as well. To me that looks like a better time frame to be looking for development down in the Caribbean.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
Quoting scottsvb:


actually this run is one of the better runs so far.... For 1 though.. I always say look up to 72hrs... then up to 120hrs (5days) for somewhat of a idea... then the rest is farmers alnamac.....The Low (at 72-96hrs)should be at the bottom of the trough near Honduras..Now with the strengthening (SEASONAL) Mexican upper ridge moving east into the western GOM down the Yucitan...it will push the trough into the west-central carribean.Midlevel energy will (should) move NE leaving behind a weaker area of low pressure off Nicaragua-Honduras in 6-8days. The midlevel moisture may develop north of Hispaniola next weekend as it moves NNE out into the Atlantic. The area in the western carribean will depend on the pattern by next weekend..and how strong the ridge is over the Mexican Cont-GOM and if there is another trough coming down into the SE U.S. Most June systems south of 25 and west of 85 tend to feel the ridge over Mexico and move W into Mexico.. just matters how strong that ridge is..and the Major Long Term Models are showing it being pretty strong. I still say florida has less then a 10% chance of seeing anything out of this!


What about Cuba?
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5270
It's just one run. I would look for similar patterns on subsequent runs.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076


I like how Dr. Masters seems to smooth out all the ups and downs of the models in his explanation of the Caribb Disturbance. The above map should explain it all.
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Everyone looks tooo much long term... Meteorology isnt long term...it's short term out to 72hrs.. but Gov wants 5 day forecasts.. Models go downhill every 12hrs in accuracy.

This is why I keep telling everyone ..72hrs..72hrs... and up to 120hrs if models agree... after 120hrs .. dont matter what models show.
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In my mind, I'm going to Carolina.
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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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