La Niña by July?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:42 PM GMT on June 08, 2010

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El Niño rapidly dissipated in May, and we are now very close to entering into a La Niña event, according to the latest sea surface temperature (SST) data over the tropical Eastern Pacific. The weekly SST readings in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", fell to 0.4°C below average on June 7, a full 1°C drop in just one and a half months. This puts us very close to the -0.5°C threshold needed to be considered a La Niña event, according to NOAA's latest El Niño Discussion. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology showed conditions in the Niña 3.4 region were not quite that cool--0.2°C below average for the week ending June 6. Nevertheless, the speed of the collapse of El Niño makes it likely that a La Niña event is on its way this summer, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña watch. Ten of the 23 El Niño models (updated as of May 19) are predicting La Niña conditions for hurricane season. However, as NOAA's Climate Prediction Center commented in their June 3 advisory, a number of the more reliable models are now calling for La Niña to develop this summer. They comment, "there is an increasing confidence in these colder model forecasts, which is supported by recent observations that show cooling trends in the Pacific Ocean and signs of coupling with the atmospheric circulation." Historically, about 35 - 40% of El Niño events are followed by a La Niña within the same year.


Figure 1. Atlantic named storm, hurricane, and intense hurricane activity since the active hurricane period we are in began in 1995. Both La Niña and neutral years have shown similar levels of Atlantic hurricane activity, though the figures are somewhat skewed by the record-setting year of 2005. Background photo: Hurricane Dean, taken from the Space Shuttle.

It is interesting to note that the last time we had a strong El Niño event, in 1998, El Niño collapsed dramatically in May, and a strong La Niña event developed by hurricane season. History appears to be repeating itself, and I predict the emergence of La Niña by July. Since La Niña events tend to bring lower amounts of wind shear to the tropical Atlantic, we can expect a much more active Atlantic hurricane season than usual in 2010. Since 2010 is similar to 1998 in the behavior of the El Niño/La Niña cycle, it is possible that this year's hurricane season could resemble the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season. That year had about 40% above-average activity, with 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. The season was relatively late-starting, with only one named storm occurring before August 20. Once the season got going, six named storms affected the Gulf of Mexico, including two hurricanes, Earl and Georges, that passed directly over the location of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Figure 2. Tracks of all named storms for the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season.


Figure 3. Typical regional weather anomalies observed during June - August when La Niña conditions are present. The Caribbean tends to be cloudier and wetter than average, but there is typically little change to temperature and precipitations patterns over North America. Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Oil spill update
Light east, southeast, or south winds of 5 - 15 knots will blow today through Saturday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. These winds will keep oil near the beaches of Alabama, Mississippi, and the extreme western Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model are not predicting eastward-moving ocean currents along the Florida Panhandle coast this week, and it is unlikely that surface oil will affect areas of Florida east of Fort Walton Beach. Long range surface wind forecasts from the GFS model for the period 8 - 14 days from now show a southeasterly wind regime, which would prevent any further progress of the oil eastwards along the Florida Panhandle, and would tend to bring significant amounts of oil back to the shores of eastern Louisiana next week. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.


Figure 4. The oil spill on June 6, 2010 at 8:32pm EDT, as seen by Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed (COnstellation of small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) satellite. A large region of oil was a few miles offshore of Pensacola, Florida. Image credit: University of Miami Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
NOAA's fact sheet on Hurricanes and the Oil Spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Oil trajectory forecasts from NOAA
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

"Hurricane Haven" airing again this afternoon
The tropical Atlantic is quiet right now, with no models predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days. I'll talk about all this nothingness on my live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", at 4pm EDT today. Listeners will be able to call in and ask questions. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question in the comments area on Shaun Tanner's blog. Some topics I'll cover on the show:

1) What's going on in the tropics right now--is this typical?
2) New advancements in hurricane science presented at this month's AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology last month

Today's show, which will probably be just 1/2 hour, will be at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast, as last week's show was.

I may take a break from blogging Wednesday, as I've got some catching up to do on other duties.

Jeff Masters

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2841. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting xcool:
blo coming off Colombian hmmmm
what blow coming off colombian
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Quoting WaterWitch11:


this was meant for you jamesrainer.

how could you post a doom and gloom website for someone talking about what they saw on the webcam?


You mean how could I post a link to a perfectly valid internet thread where he or others might find answers to their oil leak webcam questions because the people there have a 24/7 webcam watch going? Because although I haven't been following that thread I know it exists and thought people going omg lava, fire, might find that other more knowledgeable people watching weren't freaking out.
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2839. hydrus
Quoting pottery:

No. The Alma that passed over Trinidad as a TS was not in 1970.
And Flora passed over Tobago in 1963 as a Cat 3, becoming a 4 before it killed 8000 (estimated) in Haiti.
(I still cannot find the year of TS Alma over Trinidad!)
SLU has it on that sat pic. It is dated 1974.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 were furthest west. Whoa take that back about what I said about the El Nino-La Nina idea, or I need to change my thinking.

Okay, let me think. 1987, 1992, 2002 were El Nino years, and 2007 was a La Nina year, but the atmosphere resembled El Nino due to an enhanced southeastern asian monsoon. In years of higher shear (El Nino years), the tropical cyclones are shallower after they get sheared, which means a more westward track when they follow the low-level trade winds.

In lower shear (ENSO nuetral or La Nina years), tropical cyclones stay more vertically coupled, which means they can recurve with upper troughs and hence take more eastward tracks (that would explain 1986, 1996, 2001). I know their was El Nino in 1991 and 2006.

I don't know, this is an interesting observation.
If you look at my plots you can easily gauge the strength of the atlantic high by the curvature of the avg line.... I'm fairly sure the high just strengthens and weakens on a five year cycle. If anyone has ever noticed this before, I don't know, but it looks to me from this data that it does.

Please someone... input on this?
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2837. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2836. hercj
Quoting hydrus:
I have been to the monument they have down there on Islamorada. I have been going to the keys for a long time. I know quite a bit about the Florida storms from talking to the old timers. They have some scary stories to say the least.

It still appears to me that the principle pieces of atmospheric evidence as to the strength of this monster lays in the Barometer on Capt Olsons boat and The most unbelievable Hemingway barometer which was 75 miles away from the landfall. This must truly have been one for history.
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2835. pottery
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Alma was in 1970, actually. :)

No. The Alma that passed over Trinidad as a TS was not in 1970.
And Flora passed over Tobago in 1963 as a Cat 3, becoming a 4 before it killed 8000 (estimated) in Haiti.
(I still cannot find the year of TS Alma over Trinidad!)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 were furthest west. Whoa take that back about what I said about the El Nino-La Nina idea, or I need to change my thinking.

Okay, let me think. 1987, 1992, 2002 were El Nino years, and 2007 was a La Nina year, but the atmosphere resembled El Nino due to an enhanced southeastern asian monsoon. In years of higher shear (El Nino years), the tropical cyclones are shallower after they get sheared, which means a more westward track when they follow the low-level trade winds.

In lower shear (ENSO nuetral or La Nina years), tropical cyclones stay more vertically coupled, which means they can recurve with upper troughs and hence take more eastward tracks (that would explain 1986, 1996, 2001). I know their was El Nino in 1991 and 2006.

I don't know, this is an interesting observation.
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Quoting hydrus:
I have been to the monument they have down there on Islamorada. I have been going to the keys for a long time. I know quite a bit about the Florida storms from talking to the old timers. They have some scary stories to say the least.


Hydrus,
Where r u from?
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 201
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hey aussie.

Hey.
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Quoting xcool:




Look at the vorticity near Labrador and in the Bay of Biscay. Circulation patterns such as this could have an impact on the tracks of Atlantic hurricanes this year.
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2829. SLU
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Here are the results:

It's a five year cycle from West to East with the furthest west year being labeled the "A" year, and the furthest East year labeled the "E" year.

1995, A "D" year:


We see that in 1996, the "E" year, the average track has shifted slightly to the east.


In 1997, the cycle begins at an "A" year. The track resets to the west.


In 1998, the track does bulge further west than in 1997, but if the line were to be smoothed you would notice the average is in fact further east. This is a "B" year.


In 1999 we see that the track shifts to the east. A "C" year.


In 2000, the track continues to shift east slightly. A "D" year.


In 2001, the track reaches the end of its eastward trek. An "E" year.


It all starts over again in 2002 with an "A" year. Notice how far west the average track has gone.


Back to the east a little in '03. "B" year.


A little more to the east in 2004. "C" year.


In 2005 the track stays in about the same place, but with more storms occurring further east than in 2004. (This is the only outlier in the set, and it's not even very far off at all.) "D" year.


In 2006, it's hard over to the east again. An "E" year.


In 2007 is restarts in the west. "A" year.


2008. "B" year.


2009. "C" year.


...which means this year we should be looking at an average track slightly to the east of last years :)


interesting .. i must say
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2828. xcool
blo coming off Colombian hmmmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2827. hcubed
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
baltimore, why do you care?


Any why would YOU care if someone wants to know the real name of a bothersome troll?

Since you're not JFV, it shouldn't concern you.
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2826. hydrus
Quoting hercj:

Thanks for your help this morning on the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. The more I look the worse this gets.
I have been to the monument they have down there on Islamorada. I have been going to the keys for a long time. I know quite a bit about the Florida storms from talking to the old timers. They have some scary stories to say the least.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


Pat's on vacation, Drak doesn't bother posting if there's nothing really going on.


Evening Valley Boy, hows it going
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2823. SLU
Quoting pottery:

Not 1966.
We are talking Trinidad&Tobago.
Alma was a tropical storm (cannot remember the year, maybe 1969?
And Flora hammered Tobago in ?? cant remember that either! But before Alma. I was a youngster then. In the 50's maybe.





Alma of 1974 - Aug 12 - 15.

Satellite pictures don't get much more vintage than this .....

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2822. txjac
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Ok...Out of lurking...Now back to lurking...

Now that is one awesome picture ...have no idea what all the colors mean but it is beautiful
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Good night!
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Quoting txjac:


So, it's just Oz that's been banned ..I dont see Patrap or Drak on here and they are usually around? And thanks for the info


Pat's on vacation, Drak doesn't bother posting if there's nothing really going on.
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Quoting hydrus:

I am learning too. I think practice is the answer. Did you check with keep or Flood?


I have not yet. Please do not take that the wrong way. You were a big help!
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 201
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
FLWeatherFreak91, did you say that 1997 and 2002 were years with tracks toward the west?
Yes. Labeled as "A" years in the series of maps I posted a few posts back.
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PM my Weather Underground blog, I have to go. See you guys!

P.S. Only cumulus and a lotof cirrus left, if that shear was gone, and I had time for a more..... timely analisis, then maybe that system would flourish... I think not his time though.
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2816. hydrus
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Alma was in 1970, actually. :)
Makes sense now that I think of it. They use to rotate the names every 4 years instead of six.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Anytime.

Bringing back Hurricane 101, lol. Had to jar the memory.


Hurricane 101.....now i feel really stupid!!
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2813. hercj
Quoting hydrus:

I am learning too. I think practice is the answer. Did you check with keep or Flood?

Thanks for your help this morning on the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. The more I look the worse this gets.
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2812. Ossqss
Interesting for those who can see it. Why was my post earlier on this blacked out to the general public? Really, why??? It is only news from another country. Are we edited?????????

Here is the link that paved the way for removal of my post by virtue of voting or admin. Why would that be?>>>??????? Please tell me why those who live in the US would not want to know why better technology was not used to help us!
............

Just sayin............... Don't let the minus from a few rule the site ...........

http://beforeitsnews.com/news/75/195/Why_Did_The_U.S._Refuse_International_Help_on_The_Gulf_Oil_Spi ll.html
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2811. hydrus

Quoting bystander:


Thank you for posting this. I tried posting this yesterday and could not figure out how (even with the help of hydrus).
I am learning too. I think practice is the answer. Did you check with keep or Flood?
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


Thanks man. I appreciate your time.


Anytime.

Bringing back Hurricane 101, lol. Had to jar the memory.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
FLWeatherFreak91, did you say that 1997 and 2002 were years with tracks toward the west?
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Ok...Out of lurking...Now back to lurking...

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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Quoting txjac:


So, it's just Oz that's been banned ..I dont see Patrap or Drak on here and they are usually around? And thanks for the info


i heard patrap is on vacation and drakeon i saw on here the other day.
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Quoting F5Tornado:
I don't know, probably.

I assune so, it's been a long while since I have been on his site, probably since hurricane Bill last year!


I just sent him a message on Facebook. I let you know what he says.
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 201
Quoting MrstormX:


Wow, hailstorms in Alaska?!
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I don't know, probably.
Quoting txjac:


Will he still be available on the extremehurricane website? Really enjoyed taking the roadtrip with he and Amy not too long ago


I assune so, it's been a long while since I have been on his site, probably since hurricane Bill last year!
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Quoting Chicklit:
irony at the gas pump...



Thank you for posting this. I tried posting this yesterday and could not figure out how (even with the help of hydrus).
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 201
Quoting pottery:

Not 1966.
We are talking Trinidad&Tobago.
Alma was a tropical storm (cannot remember the year, maybe 1969?
And Flora hammered Tobago in ?? cant remember that either! But before Alma. I was a youngster then. In the 50's maybe.


Flora was in 1963.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


My two cents on that is that this most of that is due to the regular period of the El Nino-La Nina oscillation. All the years you mention that the tracks are farthest east were El Nino years, and all the years the tracks are farthest west are La Nina years (except for 2002).

El Nino is a warmer Pacific Ocean, which leads to upper ridging over the Pacific. Relatively lower upper pressures to the east of the Pacific (i.e. in the Atlantic) implies a dominating upper trough pattern, and these upper troughs would keep storm tracks farthest east. La Nina is the exact opposite, and keeps tracks in the Atlantic farthest west.
This is a good hypothesis for sure. Check out what I just posted...
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When imagining this quadrant thing, I use some imagination that prevents me from getting confused about which quadrant is strongest.

If a tropical cyclone is stationary with a perfectly symmetrical isobaric pattern, in each quadrant the wind speed swirling into the center of low pressure is the same.

Now (in the northern hemipshere), I imagine the storm moving westward at 5 mph (the center of low pressure is moving at 5 mph). The circulation is counter-clockwise into the low pressure. On the north side, winds are moving westward while spiraling into the low pressure. With the low pressure center moving westward, the winds have to go 5 mph faster to rush into the low pressure center.
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Quoting pottery:

Not 1966.
We are talking Trinidad&Tobago.
Alma was a tropical storm (cannot remember the year, maybe 1969?
And Flora hammered Tobago in ?? cant remember that either! But before Alma. I was a youngster then. In the 50's maybe.
Alma was in 1970, actually. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here are the results:

It's a five year cycle from West to East with the furthest west year being labeled the "A" year, and the furthest East year labeled the "E" year.

1995, A "D" year:


We see that in 1996, the "E" year, the average track has shifted slightly to the east.


In 1997, the cycle begins at an "A" year. The track resets to the west.


In 1998, the track does bulge further west than in 1997, but if the line were to be smoothed you would notice the average is in fact further east. This is a "B" year.


In 1999 we see that the track shifts to the east. A "C" year.


In 2000, the track continues to shift east slightly. A "D" year.


In 2001, the track reaches the end of its eastward trek. An "E" year.


It all starts over again in 2002 with an "A" year. Notice how far west the average track has gone.


Back to the east a little in '03. "B" year.


A little more to the east in 2004. "C" year.


In 2005 the track stays in about the same place, but with more storms occurring further east than in 2004. (This is the only outlier in the set, and it's not even very far off at all.) "D" year.


In 2006, it's hard over to the east again. An "E" year.


In 2007 is restarts in the west. "A" year.


2008. "B" year.


2009. "C" year.


...which means this year we should be looking at an average track slightly to the east of last years :)
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2796. txjac
Quoting WaterWitch11:
oz being banned had something to do with the admin's on here. he did something they didn't like. but he's on facebook.


So, it's just Oz that's been banned ..I dont see Patrap or Drak on here and they are usually around? And thanks for the info
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irony at the gas pump...

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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


The heading of the hurricane. If talking about the west coast of FL, they are typically heading N to NE so I was wrong before, in that cast it would be the SE that was the strongest. Coming back to me now. It is always the east side that is stronger. Cane heading west, Northeast Quad, Cane heading east, Southeast Quad.


Thanks man. I appreciate your time.
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2793. pottery
Quoting hydrus:
1966 Alma? The one that had 130 mph sustained winds in early June? Monster Flora killed thousands.

Not 1966.
We are talking Trinidad&Tobago.
Alma was a tropical storm (cannot remember the year, maybe 1969?
And Flora hammered Tobago in ?? cant remember that either! But before Alma. I was a youngster then. In the 50's maybe.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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