Globe has 2nd or 6th warmest February on record; Fiji hard-hit by Tomas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:51 PM GMT on March 18, 2010

Share this Blog
2
+

The globe recorded its sixth warmest February since record keeping began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Climatic Data Center. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated February 2010 the second warmest, behind 1998. The year-to-date period, January - February, is the 5th or 2nd warmest such period on record, according to NOAA and NASA, respectively. NOAA rated February 2010 global ocean temperatures as the 2nd warmest on record, next to 1998. February land temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere were the warmest on record, but in the Northern Hemisphere, they were the 26th warmest. The relatively cool Northern Hemisphere land temperatures were due in part to the much-above average amount of snow on the ground--February 2010 snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was the 3rd highest in the 44-year snow cover record. For the entire winter, the Northern Hemisphere had the 2nd greatest snow cover on record, the U.S. had its greatest snow cover, and Eurasia had its 4th most.


Figure 1. departure of surface temperature from average for the globe during February 2010. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the second warmest on record in February, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) groups. Both groups also rated the winter of 2009 - 2010 the 2nd warmest winter on record. The record warmest February and winter occurred 1998.

Moderate El Niño conditions continue
Moderate El Niño conditions continue over the tropical Eastern Pacific. Ocean temperatures in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", were at 1.2°C above average--in the middle of the 1.0°C - 1.5°C range for a moderate El Niño--on March 14, 2010, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The strength of El Niño has been roughly constant for all of February and the first two weeks of March. Anomalously strong westerly winds along the Equator that have helped maintain the current El Niño have weakened since March 1, but are probably strong enough to maintain the current moderate El Niño conditions through mid-April. Some slow weakening of El Niño is likely beginning in early April. It is highly uncertain what may happen to El Niño at that point, with the models split between predicting a weak El Niño, neutral conditions, or a La Niña by the height of hurricane season (August-September-October). It's worth noting that the last time we had a strong El Niño--the record-strength 1997 - 1998 event--El Niño conditions collapsed suddenly in May 1998, and a La Niña event rapidly developed during the summer of 1998. A similar chain of events is possible this year, as well. However, the El Niño of 1986 - 1987 maintained moderate strength through two consecutive hurricane seasons, and it is possible that this year's El Niño could pull a similar feat. We simply don't have the predictive skill to say what might happen to El Niño this summer.

February sea ice extent in the Arctic 4th lowest on record
February 2010 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the 4th lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979. Ice extent was lower than in 2009 and 2008, but greater than in 2005, 2006, and 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The weather pattern over the Arctic during much of February 2010 featured a strongly negative Arctic Oscillation (AO). This pattern tends to slow the winds that typically flush large amounts of sea ice out of the Arctic between Greenland and Iceland. In this way, a negative AO could help retain some the second- and third-year ice through the winter, and potentially rebuild some of the older, multi-year ice that has been lost over the past few years.

Heavy damage on Fiji from Tropical Cyclone Tomas
Communications are still out to most of the islands in the Fiji devastated by Tropical Cyclone Tomas, but it is apparent that the Category 3 storm caused "overwhelming damage" to the islands that received a direct hit, according to the Associated Press. Tomas, packing winds of up to 130 mph (205 kph) at its center, hit Fiji beginning late Friday. The Lau and Lomaiviti island groups and the northern coast of the second biggest island, Vanua Levu, took the brunt of the storm. Only one death has been reported thus far. Initial reports said 1500 homes were destroyed or damaged and up to 50 percent of facilities in the Lau Group were affected.

I'll have a new post on Friday, when I plan to discuss why the Red River at Fargo, ND is now experiencing a "10-year flood" once every 2.5 years, on average.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 170 - 120

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7Blog Index

170. GTcooliebai
10:28 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Tomas in the South Pacific and Tomas in the Atlantic would be very ironic.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
168. Grothar
10:27 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
What I think may be a good idea, is some night when the blog is a little slow, some of you who have been through severe storms should put in some tips of what people need. Things that might be overlooked, like some plywood for inside the house in case a window breaks or moving glass objects in the house that might fly around. Things like that. It could be very helpful to us all if we could get advice from the experienceoe of others.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 25986
167. Oskee
10:26 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Evening all. I read that there may be rain in the forecast for Haiti. Is there any hope of rain for Jamaica? There are terrible drought conditions here.
Member Since: July 16, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 11
166. Patrap
10:25 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Tarps and Blue roof materials are a excellent addition to ones Home supplies.





Most definitely Grothar,..I have 12 or so from Aviation Grade to FEMA Supplied from 05 here.


2010 Atlantic Hurricane Names


Alex
Bonnie
Colin
Danielle
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
Hermine
Igor
Julia
Karl
Lisa
Matthew
Nicole
Otto
Paula
Richard
Shary
Tomas
Virginie
Walter
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
165. Grothar
10:22 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
TO PATRAP AND OTHERS:

There is one item that many people do not include in their kits which I have found come in very handy. I always keep roof tarps and rope in my garage. In the event of roof damage, they come in handy. I had some minor roof damage with Wilma and it prevented a lot of leaks in further damage in the house. I had enough to give to a few neighbors, who had a lot of damage. They are very hard to get AFTER a storm. I just keep them in the plastic bags they came in and they stay fine.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 25986
164. Patrap
10:20 PM GMT on March 18, 2010


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
163. Levi32
10:20 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Very cold cloud tops continuing to explode upward over Ului's center. The storm is now becoming much smaller than it was before her weakening. The northwesterly shear is evident as all the upper clouds are streaming off to Ului's southeast, with clear skies in the NW quad. Ului is still in a fragile state, but conditions will gradually improve as she makes her turn westward. That turn looks to be a little delayed though, as Ului is currently tracking south of the JTWC forecast points. SSD AVN IR Floater Loop

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
162. Grothar
10:16 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Still trying to crack 80 down here in so. Fla.:

Local Text Forecast for
West Palm Beach, FL (33409)

Mar 18 Tonight
Scattered showers early...becoming clear after midnight. Low around 50F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Mar 19 Tomorrow
Mainly sunny. High 71F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
Mar 19 Tomorrow night
Clear skies. Low 56F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Mar 20 Saturday
Mainly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Mar 21 Sunday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Mar 22 Monday
Thundershowers. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
Mar 23 Tuesday
Mainly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Mar 24 Wednesday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Mar 25 Thursday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Mar 26 Friday
A few thunderstorms possible. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Mar 27 Saturday
Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.


Got to admit though, the evenings have been nice. No mosquitos even! Let us enjoy it before the hot, muggy days return.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 25986
161. Patrap
10:16 PM GMT on March 18, 2010


FEMA: Hurricane Preparation 2010
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
160. Patrap
10:13 PM GMT on March 18, 2010



Be Prepared
"Preventing the loss of life and minimizing the damage to property from hurricanes are responsibilities that are shared by all."




Hurricane Season: Are You Prepared?Throughout this Web site, information has been provided regarding actions that you can take based on specific hurricane hazards. The most important thing that you can do is to be informed and prepared. Disaster prevention includes both being prepared as well as reducing damages (mitigation).

Disaster Prevention should include:

* Developing a Family Plan
* Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
* Having a Place to Go
* Securing your Home
* Having a Pet Plan

One of the most important decisions you will have to make is "Should I Evacuate?"

If you are asked to evacuate, you should do so without delay. But unless you live in a coastal or low-lying area, an area that floods frequently, or in manufactured housing, it is unlikely that emergency managers will ask you to evacuate. That means that it is important for you and your family to HAVE A PLAN that makes you as safe as possible in your home.

Disaster prevention includes modifying your home to strengthen it against storms so that you can be as safe as possible. It also includes having the supplies on hand to weather the storm. The suggestions provided here are only guides. You should use common sense in your disaster prevention.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
159. Levi32
10:12 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi,that looks more troublesom than the previous update.


Yes, the Euro's March forecasts are scarier than February's.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
158. Grothar
10:11 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting NRAamy:
yo Groth!


Yo Amy. Looks like an active season ahead. Don't you wish you lived near the tropics instead of C?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 25986
157. Tropicsweatherpr
10:07 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Levi,that looks more troublesom than the previous update.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14210
156. Patrap
10:04 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Why We Should Keep Flying the Space Shuttle

By Buzz Aldrin

Instead of planning the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, America should be preparing the shuttles for their next step in space: evolving, not shutting them down and laying off thousands of people. You know the very people whose experience we will need in the years ahead. Except if you lay them off now, they won't be around in the next decade. Today's Shuttle operation is made up of five elements. Here's how we can put them all to use in a whole new space program. America, extend and transform the Shuttle, don't end 'em.

Those five elements of a Shuttle extension - the four segment solid booster motors, the big orange External Fuel tank, the trio of liquid Shuttle main engines, the vast existing Shuttle facilities like hangars and launching pads, and above all the skilled and experienced work force that has been operating the Shuttle fleet for nearly 30 years, can be the foundation of a whole new space goal.

We need to start thinking like our friends in the Russian space program. The first launch of the Soyuz rocket that is used today for taxi flights to the International Space Station had its first flight in November 1963 -- the same month President Kennedy was assassinated! But while the rocket and capsule look the same as the one that flew first in 1963, there have been many changes, some subtle and some more obvious. Newer and more powerful engines, a new upper stage, and advanced spaceship controls and systems mark today's Soyuz. In fact, the Soyuz itself is a more advanced version of the R-7 ICBM that Russia developed in the late 1950s and which first lofted spaceman Yuri Gagarin in 1961. Instead of abandoning the system for something entirely new -- which is what the U.S. intends to do after the Shuttle -- Russia has made incremental improvements to Soyuz, basically building an entire space program around that space-going workhorse.

See any lessons here?

America has invested 30 years in the Shuttle system. Instead of retiring it and beginning with a new "clean sheet of paper" approach that will take extra time and money, I propose we follow the Russian example and make the basic Shuttle the foundation of a space program that can take us literally to Mars. Use the boosters, engines and big tank as the backbone of a new heavy lift rocket. Fly that rocket from the same facilities as the current Shuttles use. Keep much of the existing workforce working, because the only thing you will change is older designs and engines, making way for a heavy lift launcher derived from the Shuttle basics and capable of carrying large new spacecraft to the station or destinations beyond.

You may ask -- how do we get from here to there?

By continuing to fly the existing Shuttles until a commercial crew-carrying cousin comes available after testing, or until the all-cargo ships start flying. On my evolution chart, I see these cargo Shuttles evolving, too, until they become a truly huge heavy lift rocket that can fly elements of an interplanetary spaceship aloft and link them together, using the space station as the testing ground.

But I also have a place for a space capsule in this plan. An Orion-like capsule can be docked to the interplanetary ship and provide aero braking tests as we advance further and further into the solar system, headed in the direction of Mars.

What's aero braking? That's a way to use the gravity and upper atmosphere of Earth to sling shot a ship out either deeper into space, or slow it down to be "captured" by Earth's gravity. It flies in a series of ever-widening spirals. What's the big deal? Because aero braking doesn't need a heavy and expensive rocket stage to muscle our ships around in space. It's a technique we have used successfully in robotic missions to Mars. If we truly want to make humans on Mars a national objective without sending the money -- printing presses into overtime, that's one way to get us there.

But none of this is possible if we abandon the Space Shuttle, and the many decades of experience in flying a winged craft into space and safely back to a runway. They call 'em a runway lander.

And the story of why we need that instead of a spaceship-turned-boat space capsule as our space taxis is the subject of my next blog. Along with ideas on using that big orange fuel tank so familiar to those who have watched Shuttle launchings in a new role: a spaceship itself. More on those ideas soon.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
155. Levi32
9:52 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Does anyone knows the latest forecast from ECMWF of the MSLP in the Atlantic?


June-July-August MSLP forecast:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
154. Tropicsweatherpr
9:51 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Does anyone knows the latest forecast from ECMWF of the MSLP in the Atlantic?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14210
153. Levi32
9:48 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
And the sun rises....

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
152. Levi32
9:44 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Ok, so NOW Ului is being affected by wind shear. The beef I have with the JTWC is that there was no wind shear before now. A few days ago back when Ului had just fallen off its Cat 5 peak, I explained why the storm looked sheared even though it clearly wasn't being affected by vertical wind shear. Now real shear actually exists, and I'll explain why:

For most of Ului's mature life, she has had a nice upper anticyclone (high) over the top of her, remember how perfect her outflow was as a Cat 5? Well that was due to the upper high, and Ului has had it over her this whole time, until now. When Ului upwelled cold water and weakened herself all the way down to a Cat 1, she lost most of her deep convection. When this happened, she stopped warming the environment above her, and eventually was unable to produce enough heat to sustain high pressure in the upper levels. Because of this, the upper anticyclone has de-coupled with Ului, and now exists to her northwest, labeled in the image below.

This image also shows the large-scale sub-equatorial ridge to Ului's northeast, which has been responsible for cutting off her outflow in that direction and was also part of what punched a bunch of dry air into her circulation a couple days ago. Now that the upper anticyclone over Ului has moved away, a northwesterly flow aloft has developed over her on the southwest side of this ridge, resulting in moderate northwesterly wind shear. If Ului is successful in restrengthening over warmer waters, deep thunderstorms activity will resume (it has already begun to), thereby re-heating the atmosphere above her, and enabling her to attract the upper anticyclone back over herself, or she may just develop a new one, like most strengthening hurricanes do.

So NOW there is shear, before there wasn't, and this shear will lessen as time goes on. The problem before was dry air entrainment and upwelling of cold water. The Australians picked up on this long before the JTWC.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
151. GeoffreyWPB
9:34 PM GMT on March 18, 2010
Still trying to crack 80 down here in so. Fla.:

Local Text Forecast for
West Palm Beach, FL (33409)

Mar 18 Tonight
Scattered showers early...becoming clear after midnight. Low around 50F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Mar 19 Tomorrow
Mainly sunny. High 71F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
Mar 19 Tomorrow night
Clear skies. Low 56F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Mar 20 Saturday
Mainly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Mar 21 Sunday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Mar 22 Monday
Thundershowers. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
Mar 23 Tuesday
Mainly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Mar 24 Wednesday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Mar 25 Thursday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Mar 26 Friday
A few thunderstorms possible. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Mar 27 Saturday
Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11102
yo Groth!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
okay, it can start to warm up and stay warm in florida now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I just post um Grothar ,,dat one I didnt write

Sarcasm..?

Me?

Do tell...LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Quoting Patrap:


Purdy, ain’t she? So blue. And green. And yellow. And green and yellow in such organized bands across the globe.

Start from the equator and look northward. Green, then yellow, then green again. Start from the equator and look southward. Green, then yellow, then green again. Why so organized? I'll tell you, homes, it's all about atmospheric circulation!

We live on a spherical planet and as such the most bulgy part of the world gets the most heat. Air at the equator is warmed up by solar energy and starts to rise. Convection takes over at this point and that warm air travels poleward while cooler air at the poles descends towards the equator. Simple enough, but not only is our planet spherical it rotates as well. The rotation of our planet sets in motion a very sneaky character that we now have to consider – the Coriolis effect.


Hey,Patrap, nice summation, but I detected a note of sarcasm run through your explanation. That doesn't sound like you. LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 25986
Had to re-boot..Shaun and Tim doing a fine Job with the show though.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
145. RM706
Patrap, you left and missed the cargo shorts ...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
New Australian track forecast is south of the JTWC and much closer to my idea. They now analyze Ului's intensity as a minimal hurricane, barely, at 65 knots, which I agree with. They forecast strengthening up to 80 knots before landfall. They are apparently now seeing the potential here. The JTWC still hasn't, and continues to call for weakening up until landfall. I still think Ului will be a 90-knot Cat 2 at landfall (these are all Saffir-Simpson categories, btw, but the map below shows Australian categories).

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594


Purdy, ain’t she? So blue. And green. And yellow. And green and yellow in such organized bands across the globe.

Start from the equator and look northward. Green, then yellow, then green again. Start from the equator and look southward. Green, then yellow, then green again. Why so organized? I'll tell you, homes, it's all about atmospheric circulation!

We live on a spherical planet and as such the most bulgy part of the world gets the most heat. Air at the equator is warmed up by solar energy and starts to rise. Convection takes over at this point and that warm air travels poleward while cooler air at the poles descends towards the equator. Simple enough, but not only is our planet spherical it rotates as well. The rotation of our planet sets in motion a very sneaky character that we now have to consider – the Coriolis effect.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
These Mid-Major schools are kicking butt! If Murray State beats Vandy.......Stick a fork in most pools.......LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
141. MTWX
Quoting jeffs713:

Or you can go a couple of hundred miles south of there, and experience the same temps, but with 90% humidity, and a 20% chance of rain (that just makes it more muggy) every day!

We get the humidity here!! Temps stay 5-10 degrees cooler usually though...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
140. xcool




Technical ENSO Update
18 March 2010

> Current conditions
> Expected conditions

Current Conditions
As of mid-March 2010, SSTs are still well above-average throughout the central and most of the eastern equatorial Pacific, indicative of moderate El Nio conditions. Weak El Nio conditions emerged in mid-June and lasted until October, when they increased to moderate to strong levels due to the accumulated effects of intermittently strong westerly wind anomalies in the western and/or central Pacific. The traditional Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) became negative during October, and has remained negative since then. The equatorial SOI also became negative in October, returned to near-average during November and December, then becomame strongly negative in January and February. Positive convection anomalies were observed intermittently near and just west of the dateline between June and September, and became somewhat stronger and more persistent since October. Since late January, the convection anomalies became stronger and have been located near and just east of the dateline so as to efficiently influence the zonal and meridional atmospheric circulation patterns in the manner observed during previous moderate to strong El Nino episodes. Equatorial Pacific oceanic heat content had been above-average since early in 2009, and became more strongly so after October. During January and early February 2010 the heat content anomaly somewhat decreased, but since mid-February has not decreased further, remaining well above average. This pause in the depletion of anomalous sub-surface heat portends a likely continuation of positive SST anomalies during the remainder of March and possibly through much of April.

For February 2009, the SST anomaly in the NINO3.4 region was 1.23 C, sufficient to be classified as moderate El Nio conditions for this time of year. For the Dec-Jan-Feb season the anomaly was 1.54 degrees C. Currently the IRI's definition of El Nio conditions rests on an index of SST anomalies, averaged over the NINO3.4 region (5S-5N; 170W-120W), exceeding the warmest 25%-ile of the historical distribution, and similarly for La Nia relative to the 25%-ile coldest conditions in the historical distribution. The NINO3.4 anomaly necessary to qualify as La Nia or El Nio conditions for the Mar-Apr-May and the Apr-May-Jun seasons are approximately (-0.40C, 0.40) and (-0.45, 0.45), respectively.


Expected Conditions
The most recent weekly SST anomaly in the NINO3.4 region is 1.2 C, indicating moderate El Nio conditions in the tropical Pacific, essentially unchanged from the 1.23 C level observed in February. What is the outlook for the ENSO status going forward? Although the spatial pattern of SST anomalies and subsurface temperature anomalies became similar to those reminiscent of El Nio events somewhat late in this ENSO cycle (January and February), they have done so with considerable anomaly magnitude, representing greater late-cycle endurance of the event than observed in some past events of similar strength. Postitive convection anomalies continue presently near and just east of the dateline. Owing to the air-sea coupling associated with this canonical configuration, the atmosphere has been acting as previously observed during moderate to strong El Nino events in terms of teleconnection patterns of climate both near and remote from the tropical Pacific.

March is the time of year when existing ENSO events are often in their waning phase, and typically either dissipate or persist for up to two subsequent months. For this event, it seems most likely that El Nio conditions will persist at least through April 2010, and, given the still moderately strong subsurface anomalies resulting from the strong westerly wind anomalies from late January through February, may endure through early or middle May. While persistence of El Nio conditions through a good portion of northern spring seems likely, a double-year event (such as what occurred in 1986-87-88) does not appear likely, as negative subsurface sea temperature anomalies reside in the western tropical Pacific, and the downwelling Kelvin wave associated with the above-mentioned zonal wind anomalies will have reached the South American coast by the end of May (still within the northern spring transition period), with no additional wind-induced pulses in view at present.

Presently, the models and observations taken together indicate probabilities of about 85% for maintaining El Nio conditions and about 14% for dissipation to ENSO-neutral conditions for the Mar-Apr-May season in progress. Going forward, probabilities for El Nio decrease to approximately 50% by Apr-May-Jun, falling to climatological probabilities of 25% by Jun-Jul-Aug. Probabilities for La Nia conditions are predicted to be negligible until May-Jun-Jul, when they rise to 10%. By Jul-Aug-Sep, the probability for La Nia begins exceeding that for El Nio, and during the later portion of 2010 the La Nia and El Nio probabilities become 30% and 20%, respectively.


The above assessment was made in part on the basis of an examination of the current forecasts of ENSO prediction models as well as the observed conditions. For purposes of this discussion, El Nio SST conditions are defined as SSTs in the NINO3.4 region being in the warmest 25% of their climatological distribution for the 3-month period in question over the 1950-present timeframe. The corresponding cutoff in terms of degrees C of SST anomaly varies seasonally, being close to 0.40 degrees C in boreal late-spring to early-summer season and as high as 0.75 degrees C in late boreal autumn. La Nia conditions are defined as NINO3.4 region SSTs being in the coolest 25% of the climatological distribution. Neutral conditions occupy the remaining 50% of the distribution. These definitions were developed such that the most commonly accepted El Nio and La Nia episodes are reproduced.

The models are in rough agreement in their ENSO forecasts through the first few seasons of the 10-month forecast period, but show large differences beginning in northern summer. The statistical and dynamical models agree in predicting weakening El Nio conditions during the next 1 to 3 months. However, the details of the timing and the rate of dissipation differ among models, and there is great disagreement in the outlook for the coming ENSO cycle from northern summer onward: Some models predict neutral ENSO, some La Nina, and some a second year of El Nino. For the current Mar-Apr-May season, 90% of the models are predicting El Nio conditions; none predict ENSO-neutral conditions. At lead times of 4 or more months into the future, statistical and dynamical models that incorporate information about the ocean's observed sub-surface thermal structure generally exhibit higher predictive skill than those that do not. Among models that do use sub-surface temperature information, 3 of 13 (23%) indicate El Nio conditions for the Jul-Aug-Sep season, 9 of 13 (69%) predict ENSO-neutral SSTs, and 1 of 13 (8%) predict La Nia conditions. (Note 1). Caution is advised in interpreting the distribution of model forecasts as the actual probabilities. At longer leads, the skill of the models degrades, and skill uncertainty must be convolved with the uncertainties from initial conditions and differing model physics, leading to more climatological probabilities in the long-lead ENSO Outlook than might be suggested by the suite of models. Furthermore, the expected skill of one model versus another has not been established using uniform validation procedures, which may cause a difference in the true probability distribution from that taken verbatim from the raw model predictions.


An alternative way to assess the probabilities of the three possible ENSO conditions is to use the mean of the forecasts of all models, and to construct a standard error function centered on that mean. The standard error would be Gaussian in shape, and would have its width determined by an estimate of overall expected model skill for the season of the year and the lead time. Higher skill would result in a relatively narrower error distribution, while low skill would result in an error distribution with width approaching that of the historical observed distribution. This method shows probabilities for El Nio at about 92% and 50% for Mar-Apr-May and Apr-May-Jun, respectively, declining to 22% by Jun-Jul-Aug and 18% by Jul-Aug-Sep. Probabilities for La Nia increase to 20-30% from Jul-Aug-Sep onward through Nov-Dec-Jan 2010/11. The same cautions mentioned above for the distribution of model forecasts apply to this alternative method of inferring probabilities, due to differing model biases and skills. In particular, this approach considers only the mean of the predictions, and not the range across the models, nor the ensemble range within individual models.


The IRI's probabilistic ENSO forecast takes into account the indications of this set of models, the outcome of the standard error approach described above, and additional factors such as the very latest observations that may have developed after the initialization times of some of the models. It indicates an 85% probability for El Nio conditions in the Mar-Apr-May season in progress, decreasing to near 32% for May-Jun-Jul 2010 and to 20% by Aug-Sep-Oct and the seasons to follow, while La Nia probabilities rise to 30% beginning Sep-Oct-Nov, remaining there through the rest of 2010. Neutral ENSO conditions have at least 50% likelihood from May-Jun-Jul onward.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


Levi, what's going on with TC Ului? Do yo have a recent update? Latest satellite picture appears to be "messed up"!!


My post #104 on this page talks about what's happening right now. I will be continuing to watch Ului's progress. She is currently tracking south of the JTWC's forecasted path as well. That's one of the reasons my landfall forecast is not as far north as their's.

IR Floater Loop, turn on "Tropical Forecast Points" layer.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
Quoting TampaTom:


You musta picked the same teams I did...


I think it was the trapped CO2 gases that caused it. It must be GW the cause.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting SouthALWX:

You sure you're not talking about Mobile Alabama? =P

Well, kinda.

More like everywhere along the Gulf Coast. (specifically about Houston, TX, though)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


Yep lost that one and the Gator game.....BYU is a small team but, they can shoot the ball!


I was surprised the gators even made it in.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hahaguy:


So far I only lost Notre Dame lol.


Yep lost that one and the Gator game.....BYU is a small team but, they can shoot the ball!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting TampaSpin:
My March Madness bracket is already a bust....geesh!


You musta picked the same teams I did...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:

Or you can go a couple of hundred miles south of there, and experience the same temps, but with 90% humidity, and a 20% chance of rain (that just makes it more muggy) every day!

You sure you're not talking about Mobile Alabama? =P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
132. RM706
Radio show time ... http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:
My March Madness bracket is already a bust....geesh!


So far I only lost Notre Dame lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


PLEASE, don't be!! We have about 94 days of temps over 90F, about 16 of those days will be over 100F, usually between 100-107F.

We are at about 33N latitude. We sit right near the wonderful upper level High that parks over 30N latitude during the summer months. We have had as many as 56 days over 100F, back in 1998. And the rain almost becomes non-existent from mid Jun-early Sept every year!!

Or you can go a couple of hundred miles south of there, and experience the same temps, but with 90% humidity, and a 20% chance of rain (that just makes it more muggy) every day!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
My March Madness bracket is already a bust....geesh!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Ului seems to be consolidating its core again and regaining some structure

Will have to see from this point if it will intensify. The current forecast track looks good for now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Interesting little thingy....it's on the old frontal boundary extending down into the Caribbean, under a shortwave embedded in the subtropical jet. It might bring some rain to Haiti, which isn't great news.


Levi, what's going on with TC Ului? Do yo have a recent update? Latest satellite picture appears to be "messed up"!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaribBoy:
Interesting for march, there's a little disturbance S of hispaniola, headind slowly NNE. I watch it since yesterday as it was still over the northern cost of south america.


Interesting little thingy....it's on the old frontal boundary extending down into the Caribbean, under a shortwave embedded in the subtropical jet. It might bring some rain to Haiti, which isn't great news.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594
Quoting MTWX:

I'm Jealous!!!


PLEASE, don't be!! We have about 94 days of temps over 90F, about 16 of those days will be over 100F, usually between 100-107F.

We are at about 33N latitude. We sit right near the wonderful upper level High that parks over 30N latitude during the summer months. We have had as many as 56 days over 100F, back in 1998. And the rain almost becomes non-existent from mid Jun-early Sept every year!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
124. MTWX
Quoting Bordonaro:


Due to our lovely "Modiki El Nino", that just doesn't want to go away, at least just yet, I for see an early-Spring full of "roller-coaster" temps, with a dash a severe weather to go with it from time to time!!

I lived in the NYC Metro area, from birth in 1961, until 1979. Spring in NYC, NY is usually pretty chilly throughout almost all of Mar, into mid Apr, then temps warm up through the 60's by mid April, into the 70's to near 80F in June, into the mid 80's in July.

I now live in the DFW, TX area. Our normal high now is 69F, normal low is 48F. That will gradually warm through the 70's into early Apr, the 80's by early May, into the 90F range by Jun 10, then settling into the normal high of 96F, normal low of 75F, from mid July, through Aug 10th!

And living in Tornado Alley is VERY interesting!! Dallas/Tarrant Counties have a scattering of EF-1 through EF-2 tornadoes every spring, severe thunderstorms and hail! It is truly an adventure from late Mar-early June each and every year!!

I'm Jealous!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Indeed it got very cold and we got 4 feet of snow in 5 days here, but it has since been nice and sunny with warmer temps the last couple days. We're near normal right now at 31 degrees. The eastern United States is in for anther shot of winter next week before Spring moves in for good. Then we'll all warm up.


Due to our lovely "Modiki El Nino", that just doesn't want to go away, at least just yet, I for see an early-Spring full of "roller-coaster" temps, with a dash a severe weather to go with it from time to time!!

I lived in the NYC Metro area, from birth in 1961, until 1979. Spring in NYC, NY is usually pretty chilly throughout almost all of Mar, into mid Apr, then temps warm up through the 60's by mid April, into the 70's to near 80F in June, into the mid 80's in July.

I now live in the DFW, TX area. Our normal high now is 69F, normal low is 48F. That will gradually warm through the 70's into early Apr, the 80's by early May, into the 90F range by Jun 10, then settling into the normal high of 96F, normal low of 75F, from mid July, through Aug 10th!

And living in Tornado Alley is VERY interesting!! Dallas/Tarrant Counties have a scattering of EF-1 through EF-2 tornadoes every spring, severe thunderstorms and hail! It is truly an adventure from late Mar-early June each and every year!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaribBoy:
Interesting for march, there's a little disturbance S of hispaniola, heading slowly NNE. I watch it since yesterday as it was still over the northern cost of south america.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Interesting for march, there's a little disturbance S of hispaniola, headind slowly NNE. I watch it since yesterday as it was still over the northern cost of south america.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bordonaro:


Thanks Levi! I understand "winter" finally arrived in AK, just as spring has shown up in the lower 48! How cold is it in Homer, AK now? It is warmer today in New York City, NY, than in the Dallas-Ft Worth, TX area, 67F in NYC and 61F at the DFW AP!


Indeed it got very cold and we got 4 feet of snow in 5 days here, but it has since been nice and sunny with warmer temps the last couple days. We're near normal right now at 31 degrees. The eastern United States is in for anther shot of winter next week before Spring moves in for good. Then we'll all warm up.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26594

Viewing: 170 - 120

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7Blog Index

Top of Page

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.