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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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.

but even cooler weatherunderound is on facebook!
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TUTTs go hand-in-hand with tropical waves. Tropical waves interacting with these features is actually a wave model in its self (the other two being inverted-v wave model and african wave model). It is this interaction that brings rains and weather to the Caribbean islands. They are important to our rainy season.
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


I really do not want to sound stupid but why would it change from NE quad to SE quad?


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.
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2786. txjac
Quoting F5Tornado:
Who would ban him I wonder, sounds like a politician leaked into this site as a secret moderator!


Will he still be available on the extremehurricane website? Really enjoyed taking the roadtrip with he and Amy not too long ago
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2785. hercj
Quoting BtnTx:
Adios to permanently banned Cyclone Oz. I will miss him on this blog. He tested "pushing Admin" and lost. I guess you can say he asked for it. Oh well :(

what happened to OZ?
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Why did OZ get banned?
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Quoting BtnTx:
Adios to permanently banned Cyclone Oz. I will miss him on this blog. He tested "pushing Admin" and lost. I guess you can say he asked for it. Oh well :(


I missed it, what happened?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
It looks like the tropical wave is getting sheared, and is not getting enough moisture.... personally, I think that this storm is a goner!
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Quoting atmoaggie:

This still shows the orange colors, has the current time: http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_respons e/STAGING/loc al_assets/html/Skandi_ROV1.html

What are you guys looking at?


Looks like flames, upper right corner of rov feed, but can't be unless there is 02 a mile down. I suppose they could be welding something onto the so called cap, but I doubt it. Sure is curious though.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


The south west would then be the worst quad and still remain off shore.


If a hurricane was tracking northbound up the west Florida coast, the eastern side is the strongest. But (in the rare event) it is tracking southwrad along the Florida west coast, then the western side is strongest and stays offshore.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


The south west would then be the worst quad and still remain off shore.


I really do not want to sound stupid but why would it change from NE quad to SW quad?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


The south west would then be the worst quad and still remain off shore.


I could be wrong, the direction of travel would make a difference.
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Quoting Weather456:
When you get a chance, check out this blog article I posted early last month....Other Modulators of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

It states that the QBO, one of the modulators of hurricane activity has lost some credence over the past 15 years due the active period we are in. However, while the QBO and overall numbers are not related, the QBO has an effect on the number of storms forming east of 50W and south of 20N.

The two easterly phases of the QBO occurred in 2005 and 2007, both bad years for cape verde systems (Tds, ts h, and mh)....

On the other hand, we notice some infamous years such as 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009, all active cape verde years during the westerly phase of QBO.

The last paragraph stated:

The 30 mb zonal wind regime over the equator during January-April 2010 was easterly which would imply fewer storms in the deep tropics. This is a true possibility but a small one since all other modulators favor an above average hurricane season. This is something 2010 and 2005 have in common again, an easterly phase in the QBO. Though the possibility maybe small, don't be surprise that we end up with a season like 2005 rather than 2008 in terms of origins of storms. Remember the three big ones of 2005 - Katrina, Rita and Wilma formed west of 50W.

Since 2002, Dr. Gray and his team has discontinued using the QBO has a modulator in their December forecast. From since the December of 2003, they have put less emphasis on the QBO, along with West African Rainfall.




Excellent research there! I have often seen work on the QBO affecting seasonal numbers but according to your research, not every modulator will work on decadal and multi-decadal scales.
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2775. SLU
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Looks like we could have a june storm.My time frame for our first storm was mid-late june.Look like it may happen with this wave,but agian it's still over africa.


I would be very surprised if we ended the month still with zero named storms based on the overall pattern.
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2774. xcool
heyCapeVerdeCanes
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Who would ban him I wonder, sounds like a politician leaked into this site as a secret moderator!
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Thanks to you also NC.
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2771. xcool
The tropical wave approaching the islands is the first one from the African wave train that has started growing before reaching the islands. This may have a relatively far south southern track, but it still may get into the Gulf next week. Waves following should track a bit farther north as the month progresses.

4) A significant burst of west wind is interrupting the La Nina onslaught and this is a sign that the MJO is alive and kicking. Forecasted pressures in the SOI determination area are reversing later this week, but something significant is moving through there and its effect on the tropics may be something to deal with in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading. Ciao for now.
by joe
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
2769. Ossqss
Quoting BtnTx:
Adios to permanently banned Cyclone Oz. I will miss him on this blog. He tested "pushing Admin" and lost. I guess you can say he asked for it. Oh well :(


You can thank some of those bloggers/moderators who are MIA for the loss! He brought more here than most realize....... apparently, that is how it works now!
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Hey guys, I'm back! Decided to come back now, it's been a very long time since I have shown up, and a whole lot of things have happened, including, unfortunatly, Cyclone Oz getting banned and all, it sure will feel a little less a good blog without him.

Well, onto looking at the water vap. maps.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Found an article for ya on the quads of a cane.

Thanks for the link!! It reminded me that I mixed up the North east quadrant with the north west one. Lol
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2766. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


dumb question....What if it is headed up the west coast of Fla?


The south west would then be the worst quad and still remain off shore.
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2763. Fluid
Ya the cam I am watching now has pulled back little, and it does look like plastic now. Still, the 'vortex' from which it seems to arise seems to appear and disappear.

Wild optical illusion, if that is what it is.
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2761. txjac
Quoting BtnTx:
Adios to permanently banned Cyclone Oz. I will miss him on this blog. He tested "pushing Admin" and lost. I guess you can say he asked for it. Oh well :(


What happened to cycloneOZ ...I've been MIA for a few days
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


No, the north east quad is the worst and would remain offshore.


dumb question....What if it is headed up the west coast of Fla?
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:
I have a question. Would a hurricane's effects be worse on an area if it stays just off shore and passes by since they would get hit by the front right quadrant?


Yes, from what I understand, if you get pounded by the northeastern eye wall (if the storm track is northwestward), then it is worse than getting a track through the eye.

The storm direction is also important, if the storm track is directly westward, the northern eye wall has the strongest winds. If the storm track is eastward, the southern eye wall has the strongest winds. If the storm track is southward, then the western eye wall has the strongest winds, etc.
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Quoting AllStar17:
gosh those are good
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Quoting WaterWitch11:

and you know what there is people discussing the feeds here too.
see how dr master's has all the links concerning the oil spill?



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?
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2755. xcool
hey
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
2754. BtnTx
Adios to permanently banned Cyclone Oz. I will miss him on this blog. He tested "pushing Admin" and lost. I guess you can say he asked for it. Oh well :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherwatcher12:
I have a question. Would a hurricanes effects be worse on an area if it stays just off shore and passes by since they would get hit by the front right quadrant?


No, the north east quad is the worst and would remain offshore.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
When you get a chance, check out this blog article I posted early last month....Other Modulators of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

It states that the QBO, one of the modulators of hurricane activity has lost some credence over the past 15 years due the active period we are in. However, while the QBO and overall numbers are not related, the QBO has an effect on the number of storms forming east of 50W and south of 20N.

The two easterly phases of the QBO occurred in 2005 and 2007, both bad years for cape verde systems (Tds, ts h, and mh)....

On the other hand, we notice some infamous years such as 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009, all active cape verde years during the westerly phase of QBO.

The last paragraph stated:

The 30 mb zonal wind regime over the equator during January-April 2010 was easterly which would imply fewer storms in the deep tropics. This is a true possibility but a small one since all other modulators favor an above average hurricane season. This is something 2010 and 2005 have in common again, an easterly phase in the QBO. Though the possibility maybe small, don't be surprise that we end up with a season like 2005 rather than 2008 in terms of origins of storms. Remember the three big ones of 2005 - Katrina, Rita and Wilma formed west of 50W.

Since 2002, Dr. Gray and his team has discontinued using the QBO has a modulator in their December forecast. From since the December of 2003, they have put less emphasis on the QBO, along with West African Rainfall.


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2751. hydrus
Quoting pottery:

Yeah! I remember Alma well. Lots of damage in south.
And I remember going to Tobago the week after Flora. Massive!
1966 Alma? The one that had 130 mph sustained winds in early June? Monster Flora killed thousands.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I worked on something interesting today.

I calculated an average hurricane track for each season going back 30 years.

I found that the average track is on a five year cycle, oscillating west to east then resetting far west.

In 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, the average hurricane track is the furthest west (brushing up the west coast of Fl).

The year after each of those years the average moved about 100 miles east.

The years after that, another 100 miles east, etc.

The years with the tracks occurring on average furthest to the east were 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006. These years are the final years of the five year cycle.

2010 is the fourth year in the five year cycle, so we can expect an average track similar to 1995, 2000, 2005. Those years all features an average track starting all the way near Africa, bending north to barely avoid the windward and leeward islands, and following the east coast of the US about 100 miles offshore.

If anyone has heard of this cycle at all, let me know, because I never had and didn't really expect to find a cycle when going through the data.

I imagine this has a lot to do with the strength of the highs in the Atlantic... they must be cyclical.


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.
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I have a question. Would a hurricane's effects be worse on an area if it stays just off shore and passes by since they would get hit by the front right quadrant?
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2747. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2733

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite on August 15, 2005, at 1:43 a.m. EDT (05:43 UTC), shows Irene just after it became a hurricane
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53308
Quoting pottery:

What an interesting observation.
It would be good to hear the views of 456, StormW, Levi, Drak etc on this.
I have scanned the maps I plotted the average tracks on if anyone would like them in email. You can clearly see how the average track cycles every 5 years.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Isidore 1990, which holds the record for the southernmost development in the Atlantic Basin at 7.2N


456 was probably a little young to track that one. I wish I could half his knowledge today!
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Quoting Weather456:


lol, I tracked both of those storms....they stick in ur head for future references...

Also Lisa 2004


I have to say, it's been a long time since I've seen a high like that coming with an AEW.
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and you know what there is people discussing the feeds here too.
see how dr master's has all the links concerning the oil spill?
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here is a link to let you see the oil leak that looks like its on FIRE give me your thoughts...

http://mfile.akamai.com/97892/live/reflector:45685.asx?bkup=49182

Link
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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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