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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Quoting NRAamy:
me? why would I be banned?????

I haven't posted any photos today!!!!

...sittin' on the dock of the bay...
ST-RIKE!

I mean you hit a homer! Shoot, I don't know what I mean. Leave the sports analogies to the guys, e.g., "set up the tee"

I was laughing too hard.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
213. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
believe PAGASA stated that if a cyclone got a local name people would be more alerted to take precautions

PAGASA also names Tropical Depression that JMA would not assign a name to
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me? why would I be banned?????

I haven't posted any photos today!!!!
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Choking on quick lunch...
On way out the door...
LOL LOL LMAO ROFLMAO lunch almost on lap, floor, canines.

I'm so glad I checked back in before so many good WU folk disappeared.

Amy! 451! T-Dude! Bye, maybe, hope not. Totally Worth It, The Sequel!!


hahaha totally a good day on here (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
Choking on quick lunch...
On way out the door...
LOL LOL LMAO ROFLMAO lunch almost on lap, floor, canines.

I'm so glad I checked back in before so many good WU folk disappeared.

Amy! 451! T-Dude! Bye, maybe, hope not. Totally Worth It, The Sequel!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
where is our poster boy anyways? did he get banned himself?
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
HAHA I'm totally getting banned (;
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
205. oh, my! LOL...now i've started it again! hehehe
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
HAHAHAHA!!!!!!

:)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
removed due to potential banning (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
202. LOL! the gator lynch-mob is coming for you! :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
press...I couldn't help myself!!! I'm on the Atkins diet!!!!!!

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting pearlandaggie:
199. nope...not it! LOL...i think you conflated a couple of universities in Florida and one set of fans may take offense :)

(hint: go check again what university released the plan! LOL...just giving ya a hard time!)


Oops ya i see now Need to take that south out of the sentence.


Sorry USF, it was University of Florida, Im scared now I work on USF campus, there coming to get me now.
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oh wow, the blog has been a lot of fun today, just awaiting my ban :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
199. nope...not it! LOL...i think you conflated a couple of universities in Florida and one set of fans may take offense :)

(hint: go check again what university released the plan! LOL...just giving ya a hard time!)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting pearlandaggie:
188. that's not what you need to be apologizing for! LOL


Sorry for posting non-weather related stuff on WU blog, is that better.
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Does anybody know why they rename Typhoons before they hit the Philippines?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26037
Quoting presslord:


Oh, for Gods' sake...please don't ever tee it up like that again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


LOL no kidding!!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
Quoting NRAamy:
yeah, but why does tdude have all the fun? I wanna sit on something!!!!


Oh, for Gods' sake...please don't ever tee it up like that again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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188. that's not what you need to be apologizing for! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting tornadodude:


woot! :P



totally worth it


Hopefully the weather is slow enough to refrain from banning.
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Quoting NRAamy:
you're learning, tdude!!!!!

;)


woot! :P

Quoting StormChaser81:
I have a feeling bans are going to be handed out like candy on Halloween real soon, Ill have my plastic pumpkin ready for my surprise...


totally worth it
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
Quoting lizrod43:
#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 $$$$$.

You can thank the space program for the computer you're using for this blog....
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I have a feeling bans are going to be handed out like candy on Halloween real soon, Ill have my plastic pumpkin ready for my surprise...
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you're learning, tdude!!!!!

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting NRAamy:
yeah, but why does tdude have all the fun? I wanna sit on something!!!!


LOL I will refrain from making a joke
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
I apologize for spreading awareness of a zombie attack.
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ZOMBIE ATTACK
Disaster Preparedness Simulation Exercise #5 (DR5)



Purpose
The purpose of this exercise is to discern appropriate strategies for responding to a zombie attack and/or
infection that might affect the University of Florida campus.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
yeah, but why does tdude have all the fun? I wanna sit on something!!!!
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

;)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting Grothar:


Yes, and after they erect a statue in his honor for expressing freedom on the blog, We can take a picture of tornadodude sitting on it.


hahahaha
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
Quoting NRAamy:
180. presslord 10:17 AM PDT on October 28, 2009
...it's truly noble of P451 to take one for the team like that...


I agree...we should have a memorial for him....


Yes, and after they erect a statue in his honor for expressing freedom on the blog, We can take a picture of tornadodude sitting on it.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26037
180. presslord 10:17 AM PDT on October 28, 2009
...it's truly noble of P451 to take one for the team like that...


I agree...we should have a memorial for him....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting StormChaser81:
This is really funny University of South Florida has a Zombie Attack Disaster Preparedness Simulation Exercise #5 (DR5)

Zombie Attack Disaster Preparedness Simulation Exercise #5

Also heres some weather stuff:





i think you're gonna be in trouble for this....LOL....better correct it/apologize for it now or feel the wrath of the gators (:

Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
...it's truly noble of P451 to take one for the team like that...
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179. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
wow poor Florida.. first it's Hurricane Giygas (reference to Mother 1&2 - google it, LOL) and now one of our bloggers face

Florida never gets a break!! XD
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Quoting StormChaser81:
This is really funny University of South Florida has a Zombie Attack Disaster Preparedness Simulation Exercise #5 (DR5)

Zombie Attack Disaster Preparedness Simulation Exercise #5

Also heres some weather stuff:



haha here is what we do at Purdue: Human Vs. Zombies
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26037
Sorry for the Zombie topic. but hey its almost halloween.


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I don't know P451, looks like just another "Fish Storm" to me. By the way, it was nice having you on the blog, We are all going to miss you!!!!!!!!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26037
174. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

The Typhoon East of Central Luzon has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility and was named "SANTI".

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #1
===============================
At 11:00 PM PhST, Typhoon Santi (Mirinae) located at 16.3ºN 135.0ºE or 1,210 km east of Casiguran, Aurora has 10 minute sustained winds of 140 km/h (75 kts) with gustiness up to 170 km/h (90 kts).

Additional Information
======================
This disturbance will not affect any part of the country within the next 24 hours.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
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173. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #15
TYPHOON MIRINAE (T0921)
21:00 PM JST October 28 2009
================================

SUBJECT: Category Three Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 12:00 PM UTC, Typhoon Mirinae (955 hPa) located at 16.2N 135.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 115 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving west at 14 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T5.0

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

Gale-Force Winds
=================
220 NM from the center in north quadrant
140 NM from the center in south quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 15.9N 130.3E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
48 HRS: 15.6N 125.4E - 85 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 15.9N 120.2E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
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Quoting P451:
Annnndddd...I will probably talk to you all in about 24 hours.

LOL


LOL totally worth it!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
165. this blog isn't a good gravy or gumbo! LOL

....although there does seem to be a lot of hot air blowing around, especially in the original post.... LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting NRAamy:
do they actually call themselves that? the Flat Earth Society??


from their website:

Using the "round Earth" theory, setting an object on the earth would be like setting grains of sand on a beach ball. Certainly a few grains would stay - right around the top, the surface is nearly horizontal - but when you stray too far from the absolute top of the ball, the grains of sand start sliding off and falling onto the ground. The Earth, if round, should behave in exactly the same fashion. Because the top is a very localized region on a sphere, if the Earth were in fact round, there would be only a very small area of land that would be at all inhabitable. Stray to the outside fringes of the "safe zone", and you start walking at a tilt. The further out you go, the more you slant, until your very survival is determined by the tread on your boots. Reach a certain point, and you slide off the face of the planet entirely. Obviously, something is wrong.

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8312
Quoting NRAamy:
do they actually call themselves that? the Flat Earth Society??


Yes, you have never seen their website?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26037
166. DDR
p451..rflol..jfv over sfl
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...sometimes...ya just need to stir it up a bit...otherwise, it'll crust over...
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164. DDR
As we say here in Trini, 'rel rain falling'

img src="" alt="" />
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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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