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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364. xcool
snow ;)
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A stunning image of todays Maiden flight of the Ares I!!
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362. xcool



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Pcola

The ship came to rest lying upright, as was hoped. The flight deck was at a depth of 135 ft (41 m), and its island rose to 70 ft (21 m).[6] Following Hurricane Gustav, the ship shifted 10 feet deeper leaving the flight deck at 145 feet (44 m).[7] The island structure is accessible to recreational divers, but the flight deck will require additional training and equipment.[7] It is now popularly known as the "Great Carrier Reef"[8], a reference to Australia's Great Barrier Reef.



The deck is now 145 feet max depth for recreational diving is at 130 feet. Now you have to be a technical diver with diffrent equipment and gas mixtures and dive computers to dive below 130 feet.
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360. xcool


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Quoting eyesontheweather:
I had met the guy who was in charge of imploding it so it would sink and land at the correct place and on the correct side etc. At the time I had no idea how much detail there was to sink that thing.

Based on this quote "Because the Oriskany is in deep water and can be affected by strong water currents, divers are strongly encouraged to use extreme caution when diving this reef" it sounds like it's not attached to anything but sand.

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Quoting Bonedog:
NJ tornadodude dont get many chases but a few. Mostly catch the Nor'Easters, remanant tropical systems and blizzards.


oh ok, well I tend to get a few more chances than you since I'm in Indiana
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting PcolaDan:


That would be the Oriskany, which was supposed to be sunk in June but EPA was slow so it went back to Texas in June for that very reason. Finally sunk it in '06. If I remember correctly, it sank more after hurricane Dennis, or maybe when Katrina passed by. This evidently changed diving since it was right at a certain depth before it became necessary to surface with no stops, or something like that. (Obviously I don't dive) I do know there are different certifications for deeper dives and part is now in that realm. (any divers? correct me if I wrong)

is it anchored in place or is it possible for it to get pushed from currents.
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
Quoting PcolaDan:


That would be the Oriskany, which was supposed to be sunk in June but EPA was slow so it went back to Texas in June for that very reason. Finally sunk it in '06. If I remember correctly, it sank more after hurricane Dennis, or maybe when Katrina passed by. This evidently changed diving since it was right at a certain depth before it became necessary to surface with no stops, or something like that. (Obviously I don't dive) I do know there are different certifications for deeper dives and part is now in that realm. (any divers? correct me if I wrong)

I had met the guy who was in charge of imploding it so it would sink and land at the correct place and on the correct side etc. At the time I had no idea how much detail there was to sink that thing.
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
NJ tornadodude dont get many chases but a few. Mostly catch the Nor'Easters, remanant tropical systems and blizzards.
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Quoting eyesontheweather:

I remember there was a ship they were going to sink for an artificial reef and it was still in harbor when there was a weak hurricane in june of 05. At that time I was not there but I remember hearing concern about it getting blown into downtown if that hurricane was stronger. Obviously that did not happen but was there any scare from it?


That would be the Oriskany, which was supposed to be sunk in June but EPA was slow so it went back to Texas in June for that very reason. Finally sunk it in '06. If I remember correctly, it sank more after hurricane Dennis, or maybe when Katrina passed by. This evidently changed diving since it was right at a certain depth before it became necessary to surface with no stops, or something like that. (Obviously I don't dive) I do know there are different certifications for deeper dives and part is now in that realm. (any divers? correct me if I wrong)

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oh even better now the scientists research truck was stolen and they are using the governments get this.... special antitheft locator becon... why not just say LoJack or better yet car gps
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Quoting Bonedog:
sounds cool tornadodude. Was actually funny on my recent honeymoon to cancun I was on an unexpected chase actually. Nasty storm blew up off our hotel's beach and several funnels dropped and a few waterspouts. Had the tourists running around screaming. Me and about 4 or 5 couples that were from the midwest ran got out camera gear and started video and stills. I am awaiting the video from a few of them and I am still uploading the stills from my gear. My wife just rolled her eyes and ordered another mojito. sometimes you go to the chase sometimes the chase comes to you


haha yeah, I love a good chase, where are you from?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
yea tornadodude the movie is set in seattle. It just gets better and better. Awaiting the special ray gun to come out and kill the storms or the huge mega bomb to go off and save the world LOL
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I guess NRAamy is either writing the history (weather incl) or has forgotten.... Was really lookin forward to it too.
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
sounds cool tornadodude. Was actually funny on my recent honeymoon to cancun I was on an unexpected chase actually. Nasty storm blew up off our hotel's beach and several funnels dropped and a few waterspouts. Had the tourists running around screaming. Me and about 4 or 5 couples that were from the midwest ran got out camera gear and started video and stills. I am awaiting the video from a few of them and I am still uploading the stills from my gear. My wife just rolled her eyes and ordered another mojito. sometimes you go to the chase sometimes the chase comes to you
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Quoting Bonedog:
LOL that stupid movie just said catagory 4 tornado not ef or f tornado. man I would love to meet the consultants for this movie. mixing their tropical scales and tornado scales.

Now there are hotspots in the atmosphere LOL this gets better and better, now I come to find out its taking place in Seattle


Seattle???? haha wow, this movie is messed up
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting PcolaDan:


Didn't sound rude, but I guess I was kinda curt with the answer. And I didn't add a or something like I often do.
And no, this place changes at a snails pace. Cleaned up but otherwise same ship different day. Bubba politics as usual.

I remember there was a ship they were going to sink for an artificial reef and it was still in harbor when there was a weak hurricane in june of 05. At that time I was not there but I remember hearing concern about it getting blown into downtown if that hurricane was stronger. Obviously that did not happen but was there any scare from it?
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
LOL that stupid movie just said catagory 4 tornado not ef or f tornado. man I would love to meet the consultants for this movie. mixing their tropical scales and tornado scales.

Now there are hotspots in the atmosphere LOL this gets better and better, now I come to find out its taking place in Seattle
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Quoting Bonedog:
a few weeks after the movie came out I had a tour booked in the midwest already so it was kinda cool. Forget the tour company only used them once. We were in Kan,OK,NB one week tour but was cool. Saw some funnels and one F1 yes F1 back then it wasnt EF LOL ;)



haha sounds fun! I am planning on doing dome chasing this spring/summer with some fellow Meteorology students
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
344. JLPR
Quoting tornadodude:


hey! how are you?


all good :P
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a few weeks after the movie came out I had a tour booked in the midwest already so it was kinda cool. Forget the tour company only used them once. We were in Kan,OK,NB one week tour but was cool. Saw some funnels and one F1 yes F1 back then it wasnt EF LOL ;)

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Quoting JLPR:
Hey guys
its been a while :P


hey! how are you?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting eyesontheweather:
Understood.I should have added j/k. cause they are great photos. I was looking to see if p-cola had changed much since Ivan. did not mean to be rude, sorry.


Didn't sound rude, but I guess I was kinda curt with the answer. And I didn't add a or something like I often do.
And no, this place changes at a snails pace. Cleaned up but otherwise same ship different day. Bubba politics as usual.
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340. JLPR
Hey guys
its been a while :P
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Quoting Bonedog:
LOL very true. I did that with Twister LOL But took her ona real chase instead of just looking smart LOL


haha yeah, were do you go chase?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
338. xcool
tornadodude .thank All That I Can Do"
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Quoting xcool:
tornadodude i have 3 jobs


keep up the good work man
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
LOL very true. I did that with Twister LOL But took her ona real chase instead of just looking smart LOL
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Quoting Bonedog:
tornado it is a funny one I tell you. For me it a comedy but according to the channel guide its a sci-drama. I guess instead of saying scifi- drama they drop the fiction to make folks believe its real. I bet twords the end of the movie will be some stupid disclaimer about AGW


haha sounds like it would be a good movie to watch with a date, and then explain to her how these things arent realistic, make yourself seem really smart, you know? ;)
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
334. xcool
tornadodude i have 3 jobs
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tornado it is a funny one I tell you. For me it a comedy but according to the channel guide its a sci-drama. I guess instead of saying scifi- drama they drop the fiction to make folks believe its real. I bet twords the end of the movie will be some stupid disclaimer about AGW
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Quoting PcolaDan:

Cause that's where I've been, not where I am.
Understood.I should have added j/k. cause they are great photos. I was looking to see if p-cola had changed much since Ivan. did not mean to be rude, sorry.
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
Quoting xcool:
tornadodude .Bad Thing i have Baby On The Way.!!


just keep working man, you'll make it through
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
330. xcool
tornadodude .Bad Thing i have Baby On The Way.!!
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LOL now they have helecopters "sampling" funnel clouds to get better data for the supercomputer.

I get a kick out of these shows especially because people believe this is what storm chasing and or meteorology in general is all about. Also people belive these are real situations.
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Quoting xcool:
tornadodude yeah .a hard time in 2009!!


no doubt
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting Bonedog:
LOL I am watching a made for TV movie Storm Cell. About severe weather and all but the graphics and weather are hilarious. Talking about supercells and showing a sat image of a hurricane in the midwest. Another showed as the tornado was touching down another sat loop of an eye forming inside a cloud. Hail the size of basketballs but no window damage. Also the "weather" program they are using to track storms would be awsome if it were true. It takes a radar image anaylisis it and instantly shows when where and the severity of the tornado even before one has formed. Looked like a hurricane season track map overlayed on Google Earth colored by crayon LOL


haha that sounds more like a comedy!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting eyesontheweather:
Cool. I was there for a long time following hurricane Ivan. I was looking at your photos and found none from P-Cola only foreign photos

Cause that's where I've been, not where I am.
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325. xcool
tornadodude yeah .a hard time in 2009!!
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
And please remeber to tell us what the weather was like at the time of this history


and if you were 50% below sea level
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
LOL I am watching a made for TV movie Storm Cell. About severe weather and all but the graphics and weather are hilarious. Talking about supercells and showing a sat image of a hurricane in the midwest. Another showed as the tornado was touching down another sat loop of an eye forming inside a cloud. Hail the size of basketballs but no window damage. Also the "weather" program they are using to track storms would be awsome if it were true. It takes a radar image anaylisis it and instantly shows when where and the severity of the tornado even before one has formed. Looked like a hurricane season track map overlayed on Google Earth colored by crayon LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


I thought his handle was he like PepsiCola.


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Quoting NRAamy:
seriously...you're killing me with the black cat...don't you know my history?????
And please remeber to tell us what the weather was like at the time of this history
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
Quoting NRAamy:
seriously...you're killing me with the black cat...don't you know my history?????


yeah, I fixed it for ya :p
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting NRAamy:
seriously...you're killing me with the black cat...don't you know my history?????
I'll bite! NO NRAamy what is your history?
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318. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Amy:

F E L I X

Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45731
Quoting xcool:
tornadodude not me all i do is pay bills


yeah, I think we can all feel you on that one
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Quoting PcolaDan:

Cool. I was there for a long time following hurricane Ivan. I was looking at your photos and found none from P-Cola only foreign photos
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
seriously...you're killing me with the black cat...don't you know my history?????
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
314. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
you're welcome

ya the wind speed is low for a T5.0 system which should be around 90-95 kts
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45731

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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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