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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164. DDR
As we say here in Trini, 'rel rain falling'

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do they actually call themselves that? the Flat Earth Society??
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Quoting Grothar:


I am really surprised at you press, if the Earth wasn't flat, We would be walking around in circles. Everybody knows that.


wait a minute, the earth isnt flat???

news to me :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting presslord:
Jeff Masters: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'm pretty surprised that hasn't attracted scorn from the Flat Earth crowd...


I am really surprised at you press, if the Earth wasn't flat, We would be walking around in circles. Everybody knows that.
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157. now, was that really necessary? LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting Grothar:


Anonimity is a wonderful thing, isn't it?


I would love a free pass haha (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Grothar...I'm not all that anonymous...my photo is on my blog!

;)
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Jeff Masters: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'm pretty surprised that hasn't attracted scorn from the Flat Earth crowd...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
Quoting NRAamy:
Grothar.....yeah, I'm not a kid either...I just portray one on WU....

;)



Anonimity is a wonderful thing, isn't it?
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Quoting Grothar:


If that were allowed, we would not have to worry about being "banned" the word "exiled" comes to mind. Could you imagine if PcolaDan, Flood, TampaSpin and tornadodude had a free pass?


Grothar!!!!
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giggle....


;)
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hmm, i think ill pass on the ban for now ;)
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Grothar, if I had a free pass, my head would explode in excitement....

;)
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Grothar.....yeah, I'm not a kid either...I just portray one on WU....

;)

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Quoting P451:


Time for another banning for me... eh, it's worth it LOL.



That is one ugly looking south Florida... LOL But I hear theres a shower curtain moving in from the east. If the Blog and shower curtain run into each other it will form the super storm of the century, which will produce lots of HOT air for the state.
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Quoting NRAamy:
BTW, I think I'm going to ask Doc/WU for a amnesty day where we can all post our banning stories/pictures.

I am soooooo there.....

;)


If that were allowed, we would not have to worry about being "banned" the word "exiled" comes to mind. Could you imagine if PcolaDan, Flood, TampaSpin and tornadodude had a free pass?
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
HI KIDS! And Grothar :) (:
Oh believe me, so far I think Amy WINS the award for the best banning story. And totally worth it!
Until I just saw that Blog headed towards our friend of the fishie curtain, ban TBD.
Admit it, we kinda' miss him. I wonder if CI has heard from him lately.

Thank you for sending me off to my civic duty with a huge laugh!!!

BTW, I think I'm going to ask Doc/WU for a amnesty day where we can all post our banning stories/pictures. Maybe on Orca's humor blog if not on the main blog? Nothing really mean-spirited or XXX-rated acceptable, except who would screen them? Not I, with my dormitory-humor brain!!

Thanks again for sending me off smiling, once again, ya'll.


Hey, Awake, what's with "Hi kids, and Grothar", how old do you think I am that I have to be placed in a separate category??? lol

Have a good day. come back soon.
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BTW, I think I'm going to ask Doc/WU for a amnesty day where we can all post our banning stories/pictures.

I am soooooo there.....

;)
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Add-on: How about an amnesty ban-free day on Black Friday? Write in to the admins!????
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
HI KIDS! And Grothar :) (:
Oh believe me, so far I think Amy WINS the award for the best banning story. And totally worth it!
Until I just saw that Blog headed towards our friend of the fishie curtain, ban TBD.
Admit it, we kinda' miss him. I wonder if CI has heard from him lately.

Thank you for sending me off to my civic duty with a huge laugh!!!

BTW, I think I'm going to ask Doc/WU for a amnesty day where we can all post our banning stories/pictures. Maybe on Orca's humor blog if not on the main blog? Nothing really mean-spirited or XXX-rated acceptable, except who would screen them? Not I, with my dormitory-humor brain!!

Thanks again for sending me off smiling, once again, ya'll.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
yeah, but, where's the shower curtain over Florida?
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Quoting P451:


Time for another banning for me... eh, it's worth it LOL.


LMAO that is awesome!!!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
P451....finally! Someone besides myself is gonna get a ban!!!!!!


;)

it is funny though....
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Hello everyone, I wanted to pass this along for all who follow & support Portlight!!

Paul Timmons (Presslord) will be a guest Thursday night @ 8P EDT on the barometer bob show! That is tomorrow night! He will be discussing the upcoming honor walk and more..

www.barometerbobshow.com

Thanks!
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We'll defend you on this one P451! Hey, it's Halloween soon. The admin should allow for a little trick or treat. Helps keep the blog civil.
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actually, I was a good kid in school...never made a peep....I came out of my shell much later in life....

;)

I blame it all on the purple hippo...
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Hey, Awake!! Got your message. How are things going at the spritz clinic? You have to do what you can to turn those red states blue on the Flu map!!
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Quoting NRAamy:
No he was just "banned" from the park for 18 hours.

that's not bad....my bans are up to 95 hours....


The teachers must have loved you when you were in school. What could you possibly have done to accumulate 95 hours? I've never seen anything in yours posts to warrant that. Wait, perhaps you better not tell. Might get things rolling again.
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The Southwest, from California to Texas, will have gusty winds

yep! My hair is a mess....
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Hey there Nana (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Just popping in for a very quick "hello." Glad launch went well.

Today's National Sit. report -- Poss. fire, sev. inches of rain other places, tornadoes, snow; aren't I a bearer of joy?

Will remants of Neki hit Orca, glub glub...?

National Weather

West:
The frontal system dropping out of the Rockies will continue to produce snow over much of that mountain range as it moves into the northwestern Plains. Snow accumulations of 1 to 4 inches are likely with more than a foot expected in higher terrain. Areas as far south as the Desert Southwest will see unseasonable snowfall in conjunction with this front. Some areas behind the front are experiencing temperatures more than 25 degrees below average for this time of year. The Southwest, from California to Texas, will have gusty winds. Sustained winds of 20 to 40 mph with gusts over 60 mph are possible across southern Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Fire danger will be high in the Desert Southwest, especially California and Arizona due to the strong winds and low relative humidity levels. A new storm system, containing the remnants of Hurricane Neki, will hit the Pacific Northwest tonight. The low pressure center will move into Canada, but the associated frontal system will pass through Washington and Oregon producing 3 to 5 inches of rain in coastal mountains.

Midwest:
The frontal system dropping out of the Rockies will produce a wintry mix of rain and snow is forecast from the Dakotas to Nebraska. The precipitation will spread southeastward throughout the day. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be transported into the storm enhancing the rain and snow over the Plains. Conditions elsewhere in the region will be dry, but sustained winds are forecast to be 10 to 15 mph with gusts over 25 mph.

South:
Under high pressure most of the region will get a brief respite from precipitation. The tail end of a cold front will produce scattered showers and thunderstorms over northern and central Florida. The southern Plains and Texas will have sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts over 40 mph by afternoon. The strongest winds are forecast in the mountains of southwest Texas and southern New Mexico, with sustained winds of 20 to 40 mph with gusts over 60 mph. Tonight the cold front will move into western Oklahoma and central Texas producing severe thunderstorms and the potential for isolated tornadoes. By tomorrow afternoon the front will move eastward into eastern Oklahoma, eastern Texas, western Arkansas and western Louisiana.

Northeast:
The low pressure system over the Mid-Atlantic will produce a large band of precipitation that will move across the region today. Widespread rainfall of 1 to 2 inches is possible from Virginia to New England by the time the storm moves off shore tonight.(NOAA’s National Weather Service, Various Media Sources)

Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
132. DDR
itcz over trinidad in a big way,yesss!!!
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yeah...but I deserved it...


;)
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Quoting NRAamy:
No he was just "banned" from the park for 18 hours.

that's not bad....my bans are up to 95 hours....


ouch... ive only been banned twice, still 24hr
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
No he was just "banned" from the park for 18 hours.

that's not bad....my bans are up to 95 hours....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
a field trip?? was this in High School?? did you get busted????



No he was just "banned" from the park for 18 hours.
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Quoting Grothar:


What happened to the "blog" in the Gulf? I heard it "disipitated".


still headed to Florida haha

probably will put much of the state 50% below sea level too!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting tornadodude:


yeah hahah it was for a field trip too! (:


What happened to the "blog" in the Gulf? I heard it "disipitated".
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Quoting NRAamy:
a field trip?? was this in High School?? did you get busted????



haha yeah, it was last year (my senior year) and no, no one really noticed, we kind of separated ourselves from the group for a little while ;)
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
a field trip?? was this in High School?? did you get busted????

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Quoting NRAamy:
tdude....hahahahahaha!


:)


yeah hahah it was for a field trip too! (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
119. edmac 9:10 AM PDT on October 28, 2009
His forecast are like a grain of salt



like sand thru the hourglass, so goes the days of WU....
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tdude....hahahahahaha!


:)
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119. edmac
His forecast are like a grain of salt
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Quoting Bryant193wx:
What is This?!

- Bryant


That Maybe TS Ida
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Quoting IKE:


Great...more Obama bashing.


Hey, Ike, if you look back in your history, he could have been indirectly responsible for the War of 1812, too!
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Quoting P451:


ROFL.

Yeah....during the 92-93 stint there was a front that came through and dropped us down to 40-ish in Melbourne.

I was in short sleeves loving life....and everyone in the apartment complex was in coats.

LOL.

I bet this one kid that I'd go swimming in the pool if it dropped to 40. He took me up on that.

Not thinking, the water was of course in the 60s but I guess those that live down there don't know of such things (That water wouldn't automatically cool to a one night temperature dip).

So I won 10 bucks. LOL.

My curse of course was when I decided to move back north I ended up driving through the March 93 superstorm. It turned a 15 hour high speed 1100 mile trip into 24 hours of death.

Pfffftttt....


I guess the WU wasn't around then to give you warning. Didn't you know that thing was coming??? If I remember correctly, not many people did. To what state where you going at the time?
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Already had it bookmarked,
Goodnight


have a good one Aussie!

¡ɹǝpun uʍop puǝıɹɟ ɹno ʇɥƃıupooƃ
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201

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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.