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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In my mind, I'm going to Carolina.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
124. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:
The NOGAPS 12z shows nothing. The upper trough sharpens deep into the Caribbean with the cyclogenesis of a closed upper low over Florida: shear.


Yeah...it's backed off too.

Oh well....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Drakoen:
The NOGAPS 12z shows nothing. The upper trough sharpens deep into the Caribbean with the cyclogenesis of a closed upper low over Florida: shear.


I'm starting to think the GFS had it a lot more correct a few days ago than it does 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.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Can someone give me a better picture of the storms coming across florida? The wundermap I am looking at cuts off some of it....wanted to get an idea of the size..

Thanks!
Jill
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Quoting SQUAWK:
Hey, is there anyone on the blog that is from around the carolinas?

What are "the Carolinas"? There is a "North Carolina", and a "South Carolina". (I am only doing this before Presslord goes insane)
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
At least the NAM is more believable.


Or at least looks more believable to a layman.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
The NOGAPS 12z shows nothing. The upper trough sharpens deep into the Caribbean with the cyclogenesis of a closed upper low over Florida: shear.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Vorticity advection is spinning up several surface lows in one conistent trough. I highly doubt it. More reasonable, it's just area.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Hey, is there anyone on the blog that is from around the carolinas?
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Quoting Drakoen:


The frames before that try to cut off an upper level low with the mean TUTT flow. It's not a trough split since it's coming off the shortwave energy of the eastern seaboard and the vorticity lobe of the TUTT. I think the GFS is showing its inability to handle the upcoming MJO phase.


That might be what it is.

Yeah I guess I'm technically incorrect in still calling it a trough-split. I call it that because that's how it started on the model 2 days ago. This loop of the 06z GFS on June 3rd shows the real trough split drifting south all the way into the Caribbean:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
At least the NAM is more believable.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which now also includes Weather456, daily updates


AOI #1

AOI #2
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Quoting Levi32:
I cannot laugh more at this model....



Still splitting energy all over the place it's a mess.

The GFS is officially on drugs. Someone needs to send it to detox.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Did I miss Ana and Bill in the past 30 minutes?


Sorry my bad guys I meant Bill lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting SevereHurricane:



Yea it is confused alright.
There is no telling where it may go until it develops.If it develops.


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!
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110. IKE
LOL...12Z GFS has almost completely backed on any significant development in the western Caribbean.

"Ghost" storm.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I cannot laugh more at this model....



Still splitting energy all over the place it's a mess.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
the 12Z GFS has some inconsistency. It keeps and area in the SW Caribbean over the next week but pulls another area towards the NE. The model spread (average of all models)for the deep layer is showing that an upper amplifies across the NW Caribbean/Eastern Gulf creates a NEward flow. But during this time, it still keeps another area in the SW Carib while moisture and the other low is shifting NE.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Levi32:
Another testament to the GFS's problems. It forms Claudette directly under the 50-knot sub-tropical jet at 168 hours.


Hey. I've been trying to keep up with all this. Where do you get Claudette from if we haven't even had Ana yet?
Thanks.
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Basically by the end of the month we'll have Ana, Bill, Claudette, and Danny. Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting Levi32:


Look here south of the Carolinas.....it's pretty far north and east on the model for a typical trough split but it is one. The GFS sends another little piece into the NW Caribbean. A couple days ago it was sending the whole thing down in there. It splits the energy everywhere into fractured pieces. I don't think it has a good handle on it, and most models don't until it's right on top of them.



The frames before that try to cut off an upper level low with the mean TUTT flow. It's not a trough split since it's coming off the shortwave energy of the eastern seaboard and the vorticity lobe of the TUTT. I think the GFS is showing its inability to handle the upcoming MJO phase.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Quoting Levi32:
Another testament to the GFS's problems. It forms Claudette directly under the 50-knot sub-tropical jet at 168 hours.

Did I miss Ana and Bill in the past 30 minutes?
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Quoting Haapoja:
Wouldn't doubt we know each other, after all Homer is a small town :)


Yup it sure is. If you don't know me by name (my handle) then we probably don't know each other, but I've probably at least heard about almost everyone in town lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Another testament to the GFS's problems. It forms Claudette directly under the 50-knot sub-tropical jet at 168 hours.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Look here south of the Carolinas


AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!
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Quoting Drakoen:
I don't see a trough split. The departure of the trough looks fine to me. It looks like low level high pressure prevents the system from advance northward. The flow around the eastern periphery could induce and more easterly or slightly southerly movement.


Look here south of the Carolinas.....it's pretty far north and east on the model for a typical trough split but it is one. The GFS sends another little piece into the NW Caribbean. A couple days ago it was sending the whole thing down in there. It splits the energy everywhere into fractured pieces. I don't think it has a good handle on it, and most models don't until it's right on top of them.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Wouldn't doubt we know each other, after all Homer is a small town :)
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Quoting Weather456:
This morning's QuikSCAT continue to show well developed monsoonal flow.



Defiantly appearing a possibility that something will pop by tuesday down there. Well, we'll just watch and wait.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24016
I don't see a trough split. The departure of the trough looks fine to me. It looks like low level high pressure prevents the system from advance northward. The flow around the eastern periphery could induce and more easterly or slightly southerly movement.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30489
Quoting IKE:


The odds of a system that far south ever affecting the USA are slim and none.

Other areas...yes, but the USA, probably not.


True but you have to realize that the whole mess is just sitting there, it ain't going anywhere. As the sub-tropical jetstream lifts north during the next 5 days and the upper trough from Florida digs in creating a weakness in the upper ridge, the whole area will drift north or northwest into Central America or the western Caribbean. Thereafter the road to the north is open.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647

Quoting Levi32:
Look at how confused the GFS is still getting with the trough-split. 2nd run in a row with a ghost storm near Haiti:





Now that's more like what we should be seeing, but it is weird how it takes it NNW over Honduras through 96 hours and then backs it almost back to where it started to the SE at 120 lol.


Yea it is confused alright.
There is no telling where it may go until it develops.If it develops.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
94. IKE
Quoting Levi32:
Based on satellite, the 2 most likely areas for cyclogenesis are right over Panama and southwest of Costa Rica, shown as the two 850mb vort maxes here:



The odds of a system that far south ever affecting the USA are slim and none.

Other areas...yes, but the USA, probably not.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Haapoja:

Good morning to you also, from a past Homerite!


Hey that's awesome! Don't get many Homerites in here =)
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Based on satellite, the 2 most likely areas for cyclogenesis are right over Panama and southwest of Costa Rica, shown as the two 850mb vort maxes here:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting Levi32:
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit from 12:00pm eastern time 6-5-09

Good morning to you also, from a past Homerite!
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90. IKE
Quoting mossyhead:
hey ike, maybe we can get together and keep an eye out for potenetial donut systems. put out donut alert radios and recruit donut chasers. lol.


Yo bud.


Looks like the 12Z GFS keeps a low buried in the SW Caribbean...over land.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Look at how confused the GFS is still getting with the trough-split. 2nd run in a row with a ghost storm near Haiti:



Quoting Weather456:
12Z GFS has it interacting with Central America more



Now that's more like what we should be seeing, but it is weird how it takes it NNW over Honduras through 96 hours and then backs it almost back to where it started to the SE at 120 lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
This morning's QuikSCAT continue to show well developed monsoonal flow.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Day 7 and still stuck in the SW Caribbean- Link
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
Quoting sfla82:
Lets see 80% chance of heavy rain yesterday here in Pompano Beach and no rain at all! Today is 70% chaince of rain for us.....Break out the sun screen.....Should be another dry one!!! LOL



I couldn't have said it any better , even Ron St John mentioned it yesterday that the mets should fess up and admit they screwed up royally this time :)
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12Z GFS has it interacting with Central America more

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting presslord:
The maritime world uses EPIRB beacons to enhance search and rescue efforts

mine activates if the life raft deploys...it's amazing how many people still sail offshore without one....

Anone who goes offshore for any reason without a life raft is just asking for trouble. Even if the water is 80F, you are still at risk of dehydration and hypothermia if in the water long enough. A life raft helps prevent that.
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Andrew..."A" storm not until 8/24/1992!

The blog, if it existed, had to have some nut cases by then that late in the season! :)
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Quoting BeachDogDaddy:
The maritime world uses EPIRB beacons to enhance search and rescue efforts. These are activated either manually or by immersion in water and transmit a number identifying the vessel and the GPS coordinates. A similar device could be applied to aviation. It would continuously update and store its GPS position, but transmit to the satellite only upon activation by the flight crew or by any anomalous condition that would activate a cockpit alarm: excess velocity, equipment failure, etc. This would facilitate SAR in survivable cases and location of the FDR and CVR in fatal cases.

If they could make the EPIRB survivable enough, and also set it up so it won't start going off in-flight, it would be excellent. I think the hardest part about that is the survivability issue, as it has to be able to withstand a 500mph impact with water (at anything above about 50mph, the water might as well be a wall of concrete), but also retain its ability to function correctly.
The maritime version of an EPIRB only needs to handle 30-40 mph impacts, and wave action.
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The maritime world uses EPIRB beacons to enhance search and rescue efforts

mine activates if the life raft deploys...it's amazing how many people still sail offshore without one....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The maritime world uses EPIRB beacons to enhance search and rescue efforts. These are activated either manually or by immersion in water and transmit a number identifying the vessel and the GPS coordinates. A similar device could be applied to aviation. It would continuously update and store its GPS position, but transmit to the satellite only upon activation by the flight crew or by any anomalous condition that would activate a cockpit alarm: excess velocity, equipment failure, etc. This would facilitate SAR in survivable cases and location of the FDR and CVR in fatal cases.
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Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit from 12:00pm eastern time 6-5-09
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
That new Two Point system Looks Like a Real Beauty ,..press.


Absolutely.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128259
hey ike, maybe we can get together and keep an eye out for potenetial donut systems. put out donut alert radios and recruit donut chasers. lol.
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Otay,..press.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128259

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About

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