Winter forecast for the U.S.; Typhoon Mirinae threatens the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:18 PM GMT on October 28, 2009

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Expect a warmer than average winter in the north central U.S., and cooler than average over the Southeast U.S., according the latest winter forecast issued last Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Wetter than average conditions are likely from Texas across the Gulf Coast and across the Southeastern U.S., with California also more likely than not to get increased precipitation. Those are the temperature patterns observed about 60% of the time in the U.S. during an El Niño event. As I discussed in yesterday's post, El Niño--the periodic warming of the equatorial Eastern Pacific Ocean that occurs every 2 - 7 years--has just crossed the threshold from weak to moderate, meaning that that ocean temperatures are 1.0 - 1.5°C above average along the Equator off the Pacific coast of South America. Moderate El Niño conditions are expected to continue through the winter months of December - February, with some climate forecast models predicting intensification into a strong El Niño. The presence of all that warm water alters the path of the jet stream, affecting the winter weather across a large portion of the globe. In particular, the southern branch of the jet stream--called the subtropical jet--is expected to intensify, bringing increased cloudiness and storminess along its usual path, from south Texas, across the Gulf Coast, through Florida, and into South and North Carolina. The increased cloudiness typically leads to cooler temperatures and more rainfall across the entire Southeastern U.S., especially Florida and South Texas. This should give significant drought relief to the South Texas.

The heat in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during an El Niño winter makes for more intense mid-latitude low pressure systems off the U.S. west coast. As a result, these storms are able to pump abnormally warm air into western Canada, Alaska and the extreme northern portion of the contiguous United States. With this warm air typically comes drier than normal conditions. With the forecast for Vancouver, Canada--home to the February 12 - 28 2010 Winter Olympics this winter--calling for warmer and drier conditions than average, lack of snow may be a problem for some of the venues. If the El Niño manages to strengthen to the strong category (greater than 1.5°C), California will most likely experience much increased precipitation, and the North Central U.S. will see winter temperatures 3 - 6°F above average. NOAA maintains a web page that shows the typical U.S. temperature and precipitation patterns for any season for historical EL Niño and La Niña events. Golden Gate Weather takes the idea a step further, and separates the effects by whether it is a weak, moderate, or strong El Niño.

How good is this forecast?
Not all El Niño winters follow the usual pattern. For instance, the El Niño winter of 2004 - 2005 had above-average temperatures over the entire U.S., and drier than average conditions across Florida, which are the opposite of the typical pattern observed during most El Niño winters (Figures 1 and 2). There are other natural variations in the weather and climate, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that can act to counteract or re-enforce the typical El Niño pattern. In addition, the climate is changing due to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases, and its possible that what we've come to expect an El Niño winter to be like based on past history will no longer be true as often. It is likely the dramatic loss of arctic sea ice in recent years is already significantly affecting precipitation and temperature patterns during winter, and that the patterns we expect to see during El Niño winters are now changing to a new mode. I'll discuss the possibilities in a future post.


Figure 1. Wintertime (December - February) temperatures for the U.S. over the past nine years. The past three winters with El Niño conditions (yellow highlighted years) were 2003, 2005, and 2007. The 2003 El Niño was moderate strength, and 2005 and 2007 were weak. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

Figure 2. Wintertime (December - February) precipitation for the U.S. over the past nine years. The past three winters with El Niño conditions (yellow highlighted years) were 2003, 2005, and 2007. The 2003 El Niño was moderate strength, and 2005 and 2007 were weak. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

Philippines prepare for Typhoon Mirinae
Category 2 Typhoon Mirinae continues to trek westward towards the Philippine Islands, but appears to have leveled out in intensity. Latest infrared satellite loops show a large, well organized cloud pattern, but an eye is not evident, and the areal extent, organization, and temperature of the cloud tops has not changed much over the past six hours. Satellite estimates of Mirinae's intensity have held steady over the past twelve hours. 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. With wind shear expected to remain in the low to moderate range over the next three days, intensification of Mirinae into a major Category 3 or higher typhoon before its expected landfall at 06 UTC October 31 on Luzon Island is a good possibility.


Figure 4. Mirinae on October 27, 2009, as a tropical storm with 55 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss, and the the Caribbean is dominated by dry air and high wind shear. However, the extreme Southwestern Caribbean near the coast of Panama is expected to gradually moisten early next week, and several recent runs of the GFS and NOGAPS models suggested that a tropical depression could form in the Southwest Caribbean off the coast of Panama 7 - 8 days from now.

Next post
In tomorrow's port, I'll discuss the impact of El Niño on wintertime tornado activity in Florida, plus have an update on the Philippines typhoon, and the latest model predictions of a possible tropical depression in the Caribbean next week.

Jeff Masters

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ARES-1X loaded for 15:30..

Range Clear to Launch

..Lets slice her thin today.



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Quoting Bryant193wx:
What is This?!

- Bryant

384 hours out.

Models are pretty much worthless for specific systems more than 7 days out.
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were green
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#36 Florida is the most over-rated state in the USA. It never changes, always the same, I left there too. Space launch?? A waste of $$$$$.
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RESUME T IN 3:40


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RCO GREEN FOR LAUNCH
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!!!!!!!!!!!WE GREEN FOR WEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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weather... MC we are nearly green for launch. Aircraft estimates 10 minute window

MC... roger

weather... could be a longer window but we are comfortable to say 10 min
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sounds like they are going to thread a needle if they actually do launch this time.

lets keep our fingers crossed
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weather... aircraft said 5 minutes to green! No approx for duration

MC... we need a duration time

weather... aircraft simply can't, to dynamic

MC... roger

MC... RCO did you copy aswell?

RCO... roger
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Link

Here is a great link for the countdown. You may already have it.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
weather... approx green for T Zero

MC... how long of a window

weather... dynamic, hit or miss for T Zero
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Quoting Grothar:


Don't know if you saw my question last night, but do the Philippines use the Australian Cyclone scale or the Saffir-Simpson scale on the Typhoon categories?

I'll see if i can find out any info and will let you know.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
RCO pickup at 15:30z T Zero
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weather just checked in... aprox eight minutes to green

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Thanks for the great information DR. Masters.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Yeah. I wish for only a Cat 1 or a TS, but they have started to evac which is a great sign even thought PAGASA hasn't issued any bulletins for it yet.


Don't know if you saw my question last night, but do the Philippines use the Australian Cyclone scale or the Saffir-Simpson scale on the Typhoon categories?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
yes just heard about the erosion they are no making a t zero for 11:20 to shoot it into the hole

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Quoting Grothar:
Hey Aussie, Looks as if Mirinae could hit the Philippines as a CAT 3 yet.

Yeah. I wish for only a Cat 1 or a TS, but they have started to evac which is a great sign even thought PAGASA hasn't issued any bulletins for it yet.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting P451:

can say emphatically that I will never again trade in the chance to experience changing seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. I have them all in NJ. In Florida it was Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer.

I have to disagree with that statement. Our actual weather is Summer, Near Summer, almost Summer and like Summer. See, we do have seasons!

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
Quoting Bonedog:
Pat did you see the conditions screen in the one feed Red range marginal all others. Hopefully we catch that break


There is a Hole in the scud,..so they will try for it as the Range is expected to Go Green momentarily..maybe.

But not at :08..seems more like 11:30
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Pat did you see the conditions screen in the one feed Red range marginal all others. Hopefully we catch that break
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Hey Aussie, Looks as if Mirinae could hit the Philippines as a CAT 3 yet.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
Recycled for a New T-0 at 15:08

Pick up the count at 11:04 EDT ..with a Launch at 11:08 EDT


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lets keep our fingers crossed for weather to give a green.

weather says 14 miles away so time is another 10 to 15 minutes away. So hopefully we get a go!
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Polling Begins; Range "Red" Once More Due to Weather
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Good evening one and all.









Scale -
Intensity Strong
Center position N16°10'(16.2°)
E135°30'(135.5°)
Direction and speed of movement W 25km/h(14kt)
Central pressure 955hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center 40m/s(80kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 60m/s(115kt)
Area of 50kt winds or more Wide 130km(70NM)
Area of 30kt winds or more N410km(220NM)
S260km(140NM)

Intensity:Strong
Center position of probability circle N15°55'(15.9°)
E130°20'(130.3°)
Direction and speed of movement W 25km/h(13kt)
Central pressure:945hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center:40m/s(80kt)
Maximum wind gust speed :60m/s(115kt)
Radius of probability circle:140km(75NM)
Storm warning area:Wide 300km(160NM)

Intensity:Very Strong
Center position of probability circle N15°35'(15.6°)
E125°25'(125.4°)
Direction and speed of movement:W 20km/h(12kt)
Central pressure: 935hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center: 45m/s(85kt)
Maximum wind gust speed:60m/s(120kt)
Radius of probability circle:260km(140NM)
Storm warning area:Wide 440km(240NM)

Intensity:Strong
Center position of probability circle: N15°55'(15.9°)
E120°10'(120.2°)
Direction and speed of movement W 25km/h(13kt)
Central pressure:950hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center: 40m/s(80kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 60m/s(115kt)
Radius of probability circle: 390km(210NM)
Storm warning area: Wide 540km(290NM)


FOR: TROPICAL STORM (MIRINAE)
Issued at 11:00 a.m., 28 October 2009
The Tropical Storm (MIRINAE) over the Pacific Ocean was estimated at 1,520 km East of Central Luzon (16.2°N 138.5°E) with maximum sustained winds of 105 kph and gustiness of up to 135 kph. It is forecast to move West Northwest at 30 kph. This weather disturbance is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tonight. It will not affect any part of the country within the next 36 hours.

Meanwhile, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) will continue to affect most parts of Mindanao which will bring scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.

The next update in this weather disturbance will be incorporated on the regular issuance of Public Weather Forecast at 5:00 PM today.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
from 10 min ago..

Countdown Update
Wed, 28 Oct 2009 08:35:05 AM CST

Engineering teams for the rocket's various subsystems are reporting they are "go" to release the hold and press toward launch. Soon they'll report their status to Launch Director Ed Mango. The Eastern Range also will have to give its concurrence, but it looks like we will have a good opportunity to launch at 11 a.m. EDT. There are 22 minutes remaining in the T-4 minute hold. At this time we're set to pick up the count at 10:56 a.m.
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How lucky we have been without one of these!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
Quoting P451:
LOL @ NJ being above normal. Since the end of last March we have been wetter and colder than normal every single week if not every single day and it has continued that way.

Please explain how NJ will somehow be above normal while every other state, not to mention the actual temperatures we've experienced the last 7 months, will be below normal.

I'd love to hear this explanation.

Did they relocate the Newark NJ station into the center of the Newark Airport runway complex?

It wouldn't surprise me.



The maps are for December, January and February. You stated since last March.....
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I will be very grateful for a cool winter. I don't mind the 70s, but am tired of the hot and humid 80s.
Today Chance Tstms Hi 88 °F
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Thank You for the update, Dr. Masters
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Not all El Niño winters follow the usual pattern.

Dr. Masters nice update....how true is this qoute from you above. After looking at the graphics, one cannot not truly see a pattern too much. Even more confusing after looking at all the years of ElNino, LaNina, and Neutral years...so who really knows what is coming.



Couldn't have said it better myself.

Hope ya'll are taking notes because I feel were forging a new path here. What was isn't what's going to be, IMO.
24. IKE
Quoting tacoman:
IKE THE SHEAR TOOK OVER BECAUSE OF THE STRONG ELNINO...IKE WAKE UP AND LEAVE THE BOTTLE ALONE CONCENTRATE MAN THIS I GOING TO BE AND ALL TIME RECORD BREAKING WINTER IN THE DEEP SOUTH PAL...TACOMAN


I don't drink, but thanks for the laughs.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
NASA TV


New Launch Time: 11 a.m. EDT
Wed, 28 Oct 2009 07:56:02 AM CST

Launch of the Ares I-X rocket now is set for 11 a.m. EDT, affording the launch team the best opportunity in terms of weather. The vehicle is poised for flight at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B, and there are no technical issues at this time that would interfere with launch this morning. This extra delay will allow time for the weather to clear. Chance of weather violating the launch commit criteria at 11 a.m. is only 20 percent.

So with launch now targeted for 11 a.m., we'll expect to resume the countdown at 10:56 a.m. at T-4 minutes.

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Typhoon Mirinae should be renamed typhoon "Misery". Those poor folks in the Philippines need a break. Reminds me a bit of how I felt in 2004.

Hoping typhoon Mirinae (or Misery) weakens or turns away.
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Yeah Ike, leave the bottle alone (roflmao!)...
biggest laugh I've had all day
Tacoman - you go girl! (No really, please)
Like me - I'm off to work, and outta here...
Catch ya'll later.
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SHORT RANGE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
431 AM EDT WED OCT 28 2009

VALID 12Z WED OCT 28 2009 - 00Z FRI OCT 30 2009

WHILE MOST AREAS EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER SHOULD CLEAR OUT BY
LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT...THE SAME WILL NOT HOLD TRUE FROM THE PLAINS
WESTWARD. A STRONG UPPER TROUGH HAS DESCENDED ALL THE WAY INTO THE
DESERT SOUTHWEST BRINGING A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM TO MUCH OF
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL CONTINUE ACROSS
THE CENTRAL ROCKIES AND UP INTO THE LARAMIES IN SOUTHEASTERN
WYOMING THROUGHOUT THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY. EVENTUALLY THE WINTRY
PRECIPITATION WILL SPREAD NORTHEASTWARD INTO NEBRASKA AND UP INTO
THE NORTHERN PLAINS. AS A PIECE OF ENERGY SPLITS OFF FROM THE
UPPER LOW OVER THE FOUR CORNERS REGION...THE FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL
BEGIN TO PUSH THROUGH THE CENTRAL PLAINS BY EARLY THURSDAY
MORNING. A COMMA-HEAD OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO
WRAP AROUND THE BACKSIDE OF THE SURFACE LOW CENTER WHICH WILL BE
ACCOMPANIED BY FAIRLY GUSTY WINDS. THIS IS FORECAST TO DROP
SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ACROSS THE DAKOTAS. THE COMBINATION OF
THE EXPECTATIONS OF HEAVY SNOWFALL WITH THE VAST WIND FIELD MAY
CREATE CONDITIONS HAZARDOUS FOR TRAVEL ACROSS THE REGION. BY
FRIDAY MORNING...THE WEATHER SYSTEM WILL HAVE REACHED THE
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND WILL THEREBY PUT AN END TO MUCH OF THE
PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE ROCKIES AND PLAINS. IN THE WAKE...EXPECT
THERE TO BE A DECENT SNOW COVER OVER THE REGION...ESPECIALLY
ACROSS THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS WHICH WILL GREATLY BENEFIT THE LOCAL
SKI RESORTS.

THE OTHER ASPECT OF THIS DYNAMIC SYSTEM IS THE HEAVY RAINFALL
ACROSS THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PLAINS. IN ADVANCE OF THIS FRONTAL
BOUNDARY...A RICH PLUME OF GULF MOISTURE WILL INTERACT WITH THE
APPROACHING COLD AIR MASS TO HELP PRODUCE MODERATE TO HEAVY
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. SOME OF THESE STORMS MAY TAKE ON A
SEVERE NATURE WITH THE BIGGEST THREAT ACROSS THE SOUTHERN PLAINS
THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING...AND SPREADING INTO THE LOWER
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BY THE FOLLOWING DAY. IN ADDITION TO THE SEVERE
POTENTIAL...HEAVY RAINFALL WHICH MAY INCLUDE LOCALIZED FLASH
FLOODING IS ALSO A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY. RAINFALL AMOUNTS ACROSS
THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND UP INTO THE OZARKS MAY PRODUCE
FLOODING ON THURSDAY AS DEPICTED BY THE HPC EXCESSIVE RAINFALL
FORECAST.

ELSEWHERE...AN UPPER TROUGH SWINGING NORTHEASTWARD THROUGH THE
TENNESSEE RIVER VALLEY IS HELPING PRODUCE WIDESPREAD RAIN SHOWERS
OVER MUCH OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND MID-ATLANTIC REGION. THE HIGHLY
PROGRESSIVE DISTURBANCE IS EXPECTED TO PUSH OFFSHORE BY LATE
WEDNESDAY WHICH WILL BRING AN END TO THE RAINFALL BY WEDNESDAY
NIGHT. A SURFACE RIDGE WILL THEN DOMINATE THE REMAINDER OF THE
WORK WEEK ACROSS THE EAST COAST WHICH WILL BRING TRANQUIL
CONDITIONS TO THE MUCH OF THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE NATION.


RUBIN-OSTER
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18. IKE
Dr. Master said...

Moderate El Niño conditions are expected to continue through the winter months of December - February, with some climate forecast models predicting intensification into a strong El Niño.

Good. That may hold back to the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
What is This?!

- Bryant
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GFS Long Range Model Forecast Animation

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As much wood that my wife has bought for the fireplace, she is either expecting a cold winter for tampa or we will have one heck of a block party wennie roast!
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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.