El Niño intensifies from weak to moderate; Phillippines under the gun again

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:57 PM GMT on October 27, 2009

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El Niño conditions have strengthened in recent weeks, crossing the threshold from "weak" to "moderate", according to data compiled by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. NOAA defines "moderate" El Niño conditions as existing when sea surface temperature (SST) departure from average in the equatorial Eastern Pacific (the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region") warms above 1.0°C. According to the latest time-series plot of "Niña 3.4 region" SSTs (Figure 1), we crossed that threshold last week. Monthly average SSTs will have to remain above 1.0°C for five consecutive months in order for this to be considered a "moderate" El Niño event. The ongoing intensification of El Niño could have major impacts on this winter's weather.


Figure 1. Departure of sea surface temperature (SST) from average for the past two years along the equatorial Eastern Pacific (the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region"). Moderate strength El Niño conditions occur when the Niña 3.4 anomaly exceeds 1.0°C, which occurred last week (red arrow). Weak El Niño conditions (Niña 3.4 anomaly between 0.5 - 1.0°C) were present from early June to mid-October. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

The intensification of El Niño is due to a combination of events in the ocean and the atmosphere. In the ocean, a slow-moving wave of water more than 5°C (9°F) warmer than average is progressing from west to east along the Equator (Figure 2). This wave, known as a "Kelvin" wave, is focused at a depth of 150 meters, but also affects surface waters. The Kelvin wave was at 175W on October 1, and is now near 140W, so it is traveling east at about 4 mph (100 miles/day). At the ocean surface, a burst of west-to-east winds near the Date Line has weakened the trade winds (Figure 3), which blow the opposite direction--east to west. The trade winds have weakened by 1 - 2 m/s over the past few weeks, allowing the Kelvin wave to push warm water eastward towards South America. The result of this interplay between ocean and air is an intensification of El Niño conditions from weak to moderate.


Figure 2. Animation of the ocean temperatures (top) and departure of ocean temperatures from average (bottom) as a function of depth along the Equator in the equatorial Eastern Pacific. The left side of the image is near Australia, and the right side is near the coast of South America. At the beginning frame in the bottom image on October 5, an ocean Kelvin wave is apparent at a depth of 150 meters, where the ocean temperature is up to 3°C above average (yellow colors). The wave travels eastwards at about 100 miles/day. By the final frame (October 25), the Kelvin wave has warmed to a temperature 5°C above average (orange colors). The Kelvin wave is helping to push the warm water at the surface to the east, as seen in the progression of the red and orange colors eastwards in the top image. I constructed the animation using the free ImageMagick package on a Linux machine, using data plotted up from the NOAA's Tropical Atmospheric Ocean (TAO) project web page.


Figure 3. Top: Sea Surface temperatures (colors) along the Equator between New Guinea and South America, with surface wind vectors overlaid. Note that there is a burst of westerly winds near the Date Line, 180W. This westerly wind burst is weakening the trade winds, which blow the opposite direction, east-to-west, over the ocean between the Date Line and the coast of South America. Bottom: Departure of wind speed from average along the Equator shows the effect of the westerly wind burst, which has weakened the trade winds at the surface by 1 - 2 m/s along a large swath of ocean near the Equator. The reduction in trade winds allows the warm water to the west to slosh eastwards, intensifying El Niño. Image credit: NOAA's Tropical Atmospheric Ocean (TAO) project web page.

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss, and none of the computer models is calling for tropical storm formation over the next seven days. This should be a quiet week in the region we need to be most concerned about for a late-season hurricane, the Western Caribbean. Wind shear is forecast to be marginal for tropical storm development this week, and most of the Caribbean is very dry at present. One possible area of concern early next week may be near Bermuda, where the models indicate a large non-tropical low may cut off from the jet stream 6 - 7 days from now. This low could potentially remain over warm waters long enough to acquire tropical characteristics and become Subtropical Storm Ida. Such a storm would only be a threat to Bermuda.

Philippines under the gun yet again
The typhoon-weary Philippine Islands have a new worry--Tropical Storm Mirinae is strengthening quickly east of the islands, and could be a typhoon later today. Latest infrared satellite loops show a large and expanding region of intense thunderstorms with very cold cloud tops, with well-developed spiral banding and excellent upper-level outflow developing. Wind shear is a moderate 15 knots, and the ocean temperatures are very warm, 29°C. These warm waters extend to great depth, and the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP) is 80 - 100 kJ/cm^2 along Mirinae's entire path to the Philippines. Values of TCHP in excess of 90 kJ/cm^2 are frequently associated with rapid intensification, and I expect Mirinae will be a major Category 3 or higher typhoon by Thursday. Mirinae is expected to track westward and hit the Philippines' Luzon Island on Saturday. With wind shear expected to remain in the low to moderate range, the models fairly united about a westward track over the Philippines, and plenty of ocean heat to feed off, the odds certainly favor a strike by Mirinae at Category 1 or higher strength on hard-hit Luzon.


Figure 2. Tropical Storm Mirinae, as it passed north of the Guam radar station last night.

Statisticians reject global cooling
An interesting exercise was conducted by the Associated Press (AP), who gave global average temperature data for the past 130 years to a group of independent statisticians, and told them to analyze the data without telling them what the data represented. These experts concluded that the data showed a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, and no significant drop in the past ten years. This is not too surprising, since no scientific studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals have supported the idea that the globe is cooling. The AP exercise was the lead story in this morning's on-line version of the MSNBC news. Dr. Ricky Rood's climate change blog has an interest analysis of global warming and cooling trends, and how natural variability over years or decades can mask long-term trends. With El Niño cranking up to moderate levels heading into 2010, there's at least a 50/50 chance that year will end up beating 2005/1998 as the warmest year on record, putting the "global cooling" hype to rest for a few years.

Second Annual Portlight Honor Walk
When:
Saturday, December 5, 2009 or Sunday, December 6, 2009

What:
A nationwide grassroots event to raise funds for and awareness of Portlight's ongoing efforts specifically aimed at providing Christmas presents for kids and families devastated by the recent Atlanta floods, South Carolina wildfires, American Samoa tsunami, and other disasters that may occur.

Why:
Un-served, underserved and forgotten people are depending on us.

How:
We need one hundred people across the country to commit to walking one mile on this day, and to raise at least $300.00 in sponsorship from friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Participants can choose where to walk--it can be the park, the mall the neighborhood--anywhere you choose. The first 100 participants to raise at least $300 will receive a commemorative T-Shirt.

To register, simply e-mail your intention to participate at paul@portlight.org

Check the Portlight featured Weather Underground Blog regularly for updates!

The Honor Walk Sponsor Form available here will help you keep track of funds and pledges:
http://www.portlight.org/images/walkerform.pdf

Portlight's Paul Timmons on the Barometer Bob Show Thursday night
Portlight's Paul Timmons will be appearing live this Thursday at 8pm EDT on the Barometer Bob Show, an Internet radio show that I have appeared on several times in the past. Be sure to catch his discussion of how Portlight got started, where they're going, and what's new!

Next post
I'll have a new post on Wednesday, when I'll discuss how the recent intensification of El Niño may affect winter in the U.S.

Jeff Masters

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Viewing: 299 - 249

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299. ElConando
10:01 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting stormpetrol:
2009 Hurricane Season is suffering from cyclosis which has been a good thing! Thanks to Weather456 & futuremet I'm always learning something new regarding weather terminology & weather in general.Hope everyone is having a great afternoon.
Regards,
Hank


jmo?
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
298. ElConando
9:59 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting futuremet:
Convection decreased...a little

...hopefully this front makes it across Florida intact

...I need this rain for my crops.





What you got?
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
297. stormpetrol
9:58 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
2009 Hurricane Season is suffering from cyclosis which has been a good thing! Thanks to Weather456 & futuremet I'm always learning something new regarding weather terminology & weather in general.Hope everyone is having a great afternoon.
Regards,
Hank
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7669
296. xcool
9:57 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15621
295. futuremet
9:57 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Convection decreased...a little

...hopefully this front makes it across Florida intact

...I need this rain for my crops.



Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
294. futuremet
9:53 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting CosmicEvents:
What's "frontolysis"?
Never saw that term.
Also, where's the Vulcano?


Decaying front...

opposite of frontogenesis...
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
293. Cavin Rawlins
9:52 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting CosmicEvents:
What's "frontolysis"?
Never saw that term.
Also, where's the Vulcano?


frontolysis is not a common used word and it refers to the weakening or decay of a frontal boundary.

The opposite is frontogensis which is the development or strengthening of a frontal boundary for example when two airmass of different temperature, humidity or density meet. A front can also be between two winds like the intertropical front (ITCZ).

It is similar to cyclogenesis and cyclosis; the latter of which we saw alot this year.

I have never seen Vulcano but I know of Vulcan, the Roman God of Fire.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
292. tornadodude
9:52 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
yay it is fixed (:

thanks PcolaDan
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
291. PcolaDan
9:52 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Mirinae

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
290. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
9:50 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #10
SEVERE TROPICAL STORM MIRINAE (T0921)
6:00 AM JST October 28 2009
================================

SUBJECT: Category Two Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 21:00 PM UTC, Severe Tropical Storm Mirinae (980 hPa) located at 16.1N 139.4E has 10 minute sustained winds of 55 knots with gusts of 80 knots. The storm is reported as moving west at 18 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity:

Storm-Force Winds
=====================
40 NM from the center

Gale-Force Winds
=================
150 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 15.9N 133.5E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
45 HRS: 16.0N 129.1E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
69 HRS: 15.5N 124.2E - 85 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)

---
here comes the rapid intensification
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44757
289. eyesontheweather
9:48 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting NRAamy:
I'm guessing you would like to go back because of the weather

yeah, that's it...i want to help out my hero, Al Gore, by spreading the news about Global Warming...yeah....


NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Al is one amazing guy!!!he has a carbon footprint that is in the top 10% of carbon usage per person in the US and he makes a movie telling everyone else to use less....Only in America.
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
288. CosmicEvents
9:48 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
What's "frontolysis"?
Never saw that term.
Also, where's the Vulcano?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5528
287. eyesontheweather
9:44 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting GBlet:
Boy, 1990 I was in Wichita Falls. The water lines in my new apartment froze on Christmas Eve. Presents were floating across the living room.
It was that way in Houston Too. It was Christmas time and lots of people in the neighborhood I lived had left to visit in-laws; Out-Laws etc. I was going around the hood shutting off peoples water when it started running out from under their doors
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
286. NRAamy
9:43 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
I'm guessing you would like to go back because of the weather

yeah, that's it...i want to help out my hero, Al Gore, by spreading the news about Global Warming...yeah....


NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
285. adb42
9:42 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Central Pacific system Neki is no more. Mirinae became a typhoon with the 2100Z update from JTWC and the Philippines are forecast a hit with winds near the centre of 100 kts.
Member Since: December 6, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 43
284. Yalahaman
9:42 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting BioChemist:


I remember October of 1997 all the way through December there was tons of rain in Bradenton. It would rain for a week straight. One notable occasion the Desoto Square mall was underwater for halloween
Quoting NEwxguy:
Winter of 1998 saw a very stormy pattern for Florida with a lot of tornadoes that year.
I watched, more like heard those tornadoes that hit Fla in 98.You could see them during flashes of lightening.The path of destruction was 25 to 40 miles long. These were no F1's! Lots of friends lost life and property.
Member Since: August 20, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 107
283. GBlet
9:40 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Boy, 1990 I was in Wichita Falls. The water lines in my new apartment froze on Christmas Eve. Presents were floating across the living room.
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 435
282. eyesontheweather
9:39 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting NRAamy:
If you have restore turned on you can go back to a previous time

can I go back to 1986?
I'm guessing you would like to go back because of the weather (think..no ban)
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
281. Cavin Rawlins
9:36 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Good afternoon

How is everyone
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
280. eyesontheweather
9:35 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting RitaEvac:
Need an arctic blast with el-nino overiding and snow over texas this year all the way to the gulf coast.
Remember the hard freeze in S. Texas (Houston Area) in early 90's, could el Nino produce something like that again?
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
279. PcolaDan
9:33 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting NRAamy:
If you have restore turned on you can go back to a previous time

can I go back to 1986?
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
278. ElConando
9:29 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
I knew a moderate el nino was coming, the conditions were just lagging behind the lack of activity.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3710
277. NRAamy
9:23 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
If you have restore turned on you can go back to a previous time

can I go back to 1986?
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
276. PcolaDan
9:22 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting tornadodude:
As soon as I click "display settings," this pops up "the currently selected graphics display driver can not be used. it was written for a previous version of windows, and is no longer compatible with this version of windows. the system has been started using the default VGA driver."


If you have restore turned on you can go back to a previous time.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
275. tornadodude
9:21 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
As soon as I click "display settings," this pops up "the currently selected graphics display driver can not be used. it was written for a previous version of windows, and is no longer compatible with this version of windows. the system has been started using the default VGA driver."
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
274. RitaEvac
9:18 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Need an arctic blast with el-nino overiding and snow over texas this year all the way to the gulf coast.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
273. tornadodude
9:18 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting NRAamy:
I did, then it said that my driver isnt up to date, and then that window froze on me

have you tried talking to it in a soothing tone?


first thing I did :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
272. NRAamy
9:16 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
I did, then it said that my driver isnt up to date, and then that window froze on me

have you tried talking to it in a soothing tone?
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
271. tornadodude
9:15 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting PcolaDan:


Try going thru control panel then, either using device manager or the display/personalization icon.


I did, then it said that my driver isnt up to date, and then that window froze on me
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
270. PcolaDan
9:14 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting tornadodude:


so as soon as I right-clicked my desktop, the entire desktop is not responding now. I can use the start button, and the bar with the links, etc. but nothing else :/ ugh

thanks for your help tho (:


Try going thru control panel then, either using device manager or the display/personalization icon.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
269. centralflaman
9:14 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
http://xtronics.com/reference/globalwarming.htm
Member Since: October 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
268. TheCaneWhisperer
9:12 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting futuremet:
Frontolysis is occurring as we speak, because the surface front is currently detached from the upper level jet. The upper level trough is severely eroded by that stagnant surface ridge over the eastern U.S. The front is now moving into a relatively capped environment, and it should start deteriorating tonight. It would probably deteriorated slower if it came inland during daytime today, because energy from daytime heating would make it more convenient to break the cap. I hope this weather pattern doesn't stay like this all winter....



It would make for a very bleak and dry one that's for sure. Chances are the pattern will break sometime soon, I hope.
267. pottery
9:12 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Post 212. Inyo. Good one.
Very well said there.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24038
266. tornadodude
9:12 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
257. i'm going home..will check back in an hour or two. WUmail me with the results and i'll see if i can come up with something else.....


so as soon as I right-clicked my desktop, the entire desktop is not responding now. I can use the start button, and the bar with the links, etc. but nothing else :/ ugh

thanks for your help tho (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
264. xcool
9:09 PM GMT on October 27, 2009








Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15621
263. PcolaDan
9:08 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
257. sorry...right click on desktop->properties->settings tab->advanced->adapter tab->properties->driver tab->rollback driver


In Vista it's right click on desktop then personalize...
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
262. Portlight
9:08 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
...ahem....
...just in case you missed this...

Portlight's Paul Timmons on the Barometer Bob Show Thursday night
Portlight's Paul Timmons will be appearing live this Thursday at 8pm EDT on the Barometer Bob Show, an Internet radio show that I have appeared on several times in the past. Be sure to catch his discussion of how Portlight got started, where they're going, and what's new!

Member Since: January 7, 2009 Posts: 119 Comments: 412
261. PcolaDan
9:07 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
257. sorry...right click on desktop->properties->settings tab->advanced->adapter tab->properties->driver tab->rollback driver


It's payback for typing upside down.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
260. pearlandaggie
9:06 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
257. i'm going home..will check back in an hour or two. WUmail me with the results and i'll see if i can come up with something else.....
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
259. futuremet
9:02 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Frontolysis is occurring as we speak, because the surface front is currently detached from the upper level jet. The upper level trough is severely eroded by that stagnant surface ridge over the eastern U.S. The front is now moving into a relatively capped environment, and it should start deteriorating tonight. It would probably deteriorated slower if it came inland during daytime today, because energy from daytime heating would make it more convenient to break the cap. I hope this weather pattern doesn't stay like this all winter....
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
258. pearlandaggie
9:02 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
257. sorry...right click on desktop->properties->settings tab->advanced->adapter tab->properties->driver tab->rollback driver
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
257. tornadodude
9:00 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
settings->advanced->adapter tab->properties->driver tab->rollback driver

try that to see if you can get your old driver back.


which settings?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
256. SWFLDigTek
9:00 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
NEW TOPIC POSTED:
South Florida StormWatch
(main site)
Member Since: August 31, 2008 Posts: 117 Comments: 398
255. pearlandaggie
8:58 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
settings->advanced->adapter tab->properties->driver tab->rollback driver

try that to see if you can get your old driver back.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
254. tornadodude
8:55 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
250. did you try CTRL ALT UP?


yeah :/ it wont even let me use a screen saver now, says my video card needs updated. worked fine until I hit those keys
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
253. CybrTeddy
8:55 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
Man that Ares I-X attempt was stressful! Lets hope for much better tomorrow!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23575
252. pearlandaggie
8:54 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
250. nevermind...
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
251. futuremet
8:53 PM GMT on October 27, 2009
I really don't expect more than half an inch of rain for those of you in eastern FL (especially SE FL). The squall line will start to weaken substantially tonight, and the overall front should be mostly dissipated within 36hrs.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
ok, yesterday I was messing around with the settings and I happen to do CTRL ALT DOWN and it messed with the video settings. Now there is an ERROR message "the currently selected graphics display driver can not be used. it was written for a previous version of windows, and is no longer compatible with this version of windows. the system has been started using the default VGA driver." In the settings I notice the default monitor option is gone and I cant get it to switch back. I tried updating the driver, updating with older driver, restart, and looking in device manager. what is up with my computer and how can I fix it?

Sorry for it not being weather related, but there are plenty of smart people on here who might be able to help (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
St. Petersburg / Clea

Humidity: 72 %
Wind Speed: S 18 G 28 MPH
Barometer: 29.90" (1012.5 mb)
Dewpoint: 73 °F (23 °C)
Heat Index: 89 °F (32 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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