La Niña by July?

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

Share this Blog
3
+

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

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: 2542 - 2492

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66Blog Index

2542. Greyelf
Quoting atmoaggie:

Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that meeting...


Maybe Patrap is bringing he who shall not be named a new shower curtain that has new technology imbedded in it to record all of his user names.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
The SW Caribbean is cooking tonight.
As expected....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The SW Caribbean is cooking tonight.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2537. Fluid
Link: http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/incident_response/STAGING/loca l_assets/html/Skandi_ROV1.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2536. scott39
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
You've must've missed alot of education.I hope you all were able to learn what you missed it at one point in the school year.
yea we had to make it up
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
2535. Fluid
ALERT!

What is going on with this oil leak????

Is that lava???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2534. gator23
Quoting Weather456:
Good evening all


evening WEATHER456! your avatar makes me laugh everytime i see it, your so happy in it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

Yeah. Embarasing too.... mistakes like that. and twice in an hour....


Maybe your brain is a little addled from turbulence on your flight.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
2532. DDR
Quoting pottery:

Well, it WAS 15 years before my time.
heheheheh

Hehe
Do you remeber what Ts Alma was like?(1974)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2530. gator23
Quoting spathy:
OMG FAY!
Fay had a vendetta against Florida.


hitting us 4 times!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
Good evening all
Good evening!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting spathy:
Atmo
I guess that dot may actually be 100 mi off coast.
It just stuck out to me.

Assuming everything there is mapped correctly, anyway...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Good evening all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2524. pottery
Quoting DDR:
SLU
Wikipedia says 13th deaths were associted with hurricane 2(1933)here in trinidad,it actually made landfall in NE venezuela.

Well, it WAS 15 years before my time.
heheheheh
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24909
2523. aquak9
Quoting gator23:


well... unless you count Fay


nope, I don't count Faye...Dora brought hurricane force winds, Faye didn't. That's the only reason why.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2520. pottery
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That's a big difference, lol.

Yeah. Embarasing too.... mistakes like that. and twice in an hour....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24909
when do we send JFV in his row boat
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2518. DDR
SLU
Wikipedia says 13th deaths were associted with hurricane 2(1933)here in trinidad,it actually made landfall in NE venezuela.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2517. gator23
Quoting CaneWarning:


He's going to visit the one that shall not be named.

Marco Rubio? hahah
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


He's going to visit the one that shall not be named.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that meeting...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
2514. gator23
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
How are ya

good, sup with you?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
from john seach:

Saturday 5th June 2010
Yasur volcano, Vanuatu
High level activity continues at Yasur volcano, Vanuatu. Explosive eruption have sent lava bombs several hundred metres from the crater. Ashfall is affecting areas surrounding the volcano and trade winds are blowing ash northwest towards middle bush. The eruptions have not disrupted flights in Vanuatu, although some domestic flights in New Caledonia have been affected.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2512. SLU
Quoting KoritheMan:


It should also be noted that the 1979 season produced nearly 30 tropical depressions. I'd wager that quite a number of those depressions, particularly those that remained out at sea, achieved tropical storm status, due to lack of QuikSCAT during that era. So that would bring the overall storm total to above average.


agreed
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
Patrap - Where are you going in Florida? South Florida perhaps?



He's going to visit the one that shall not be named.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2510. scott39
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Been 31 years.Wow.
Yea, I was 10 years old. I was terrified and excited at the same time. Weve had hurricanes skirt all around us since then, but nothing like Fredrick. Power was out for 3 weeks! School was out just as long! When your a 5th grader that was yahooo. Being an adult now im sure it will be alot different feeling. LOL
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
2509. gator23
Quoting aquak9:


been since 1964 for Jacksonville...


well... unless you count Fay
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting spathy:
StormCH
Do you see that blue dot 50 miles off Louisiana?
Is that a reflection oil effect?
Seems like a strange blue dot in a questionable area!

I don't *think* so. Is off to the SW of the well site. And we haven't had any NE wins lately...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
2507. JLPR2
Quoting aquak9:


been since 1964 for Jacksonville...


And I thought I was overdue. XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2506. pottery
WOWZA!!
The temperature has plunged to 79F here this evening.
Need to get a shirt...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24909
2504. aquak9
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Been 31 years.Wow.


been since 1964 for Jacksonville...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


It should also be noted that the 1979 season produced nearly 30 tropical depressions. I'd wager that quite a number of those depressions, particularly those that remained out at sea, achieved tropical storm status, due to lack of QuikSCAT during that era. So that would bring the overall storm total to above average.

I think I'd take that bet, too.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting scott39:
Goes to show it doesnt take 20 storms to make a hell of a season!


It should also be noted that the 1979 season produced nearly 30 tropical depressions. I'd wager that quite a number of those depressions, particularly those that remained out at sea, achieved tropical storm status, due to lack of QuikSCAT during that era. So that would bring the overall storm total to above average.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scott39:
Thanks, That must be why the NHC is giving it a 10% chance because of the anticyclone.
Probably, without it, this AOI doesn't stand a chance.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Dang...
2005 to 2010
I'm surprised to see the Atlantic tripole so much warmer. Other than that, the GOM is steaming along with the Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2496. scott39
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Shear rips apart anything tropical, including a COC or convection. If the anticyclone does not move aloft to this area of showers and thunderstorms development will be almost "impossible". 30 knots of shear is pretty strong.

Thanks, That must be why the NHC is giving it a 10% chance because of the anticyclone.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6912
Dang...
2005 to 2010
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15950
Quoting pottery:


Correction again
over 2000 people were killed by Frederick.
None by David.
That's a big difference, lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2493. pottery
Quoting pottery:

Nine, including David and Frederick.
Between them they killed over 5000 people!


Correction again
over 2000 people were killed by Frederick.
None by David.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24909

Viewing: 2542 - 2492

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66Blog 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.

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron