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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Quoting pottery:

Nine, including David and Frederick.
Between them they killed over 5000 people!
Whoa.Deadly storms wern't they.Since then tecnology has evoled,so more people can be saved.
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2491. scott39
Mobile hasnt taken a direct hit of a major hurricane since Fredrick in 1979! I hope were not "due"!
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Quoting gator23:

evening JFV


LOL.
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Blog Update!

Hurricane Season Blog #17: Daily Update - Antilles AOI And Outlook -
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting scott39:
How did you get so smart at 13? Sheesh! Anyway doesnt the shear strip the convection of a wave or does it just rip it apart altogether? When will we know if this one is going to survive?
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.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2487. gator23
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
Evening, all.

evening JFV
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
2486. SLU
Definitely one of the deadliest seasons in the that era. Remember it occured in during the period of low activity from 1970 - 1994. Only 9 storms in today's language would have been considered a botched hurricane season.
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Evening, all.
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Quoting scott39:
9

but 27 Tropical Depressions
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Quoting scott39:
Can a wave survive shear without convection?


As long as the wave axis remains in tact, it can survive. If it encounters favorable conditions, it can flare back up with convection.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2481. scott39
Quoting scott39:
9
Goes to show it doesnt take 20 storms to make a hell of a season!
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2480. pottery
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
How many storms did the 1979 season produce.

Nine, including David and Frederick.
Between them they killed over 5000 people!
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2479. scott39
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
How many storms did the 1979 season produce.
9
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2478. SLU
Quoting pottery:

As far as I recall, Anna did not cause any damage here, except for flooding in low-lying areas. I do not recall any winds...
Will need to go back and look at newspapers from that period.


I was actually referring to the 1933 hurricane as the last one to hit Trinidad. You got any info on what damaged it caused from an elderly persons who were around?
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2477. pottery
Quoting pottery:

As far as I recall, Anna did not cause any damage here, except for flooding in low-lying areas. I do not recall any winds...
Will need to go back and look at newspapers from that period.

SORRY!!
Got my stuff completely confused there.
Between Anna and the image of 1933 storm. LOL.
Anna was a long way north of here.
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Quoting SLU:


Here's what happened when the season reached it's peak. Cat 5 David slamming into Dominican Republic followed by Hurricane Frederick which hit the Gulf coast at cat. 4 strength and also Tropical Storm Elena roaming in the Gulf of Mexico.
How many storms did the 1979 season produce.
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2475. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
come over again and i will show you where you are this time post a hello
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
thanks but it didn't show you as being in baltimore and does the name Oksana ring a bell
What do you mean it didn't show me in baltimore???
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2473. SLU


Here's what happened when the season reached it's peak. Cat 5 David slamming into Dominican Republic followed by Hurricane Frederick which hit the Gulf coast at cat. 4 strength and also Tropical Storm Elena roaming in the Gulf of Mexico.
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2472. pottery
Quoting SLU:


The last hurricane to strike Trinidad if my memory still serves me correctly.

As far as I recall, Anna did not cause any damage here, except for flooding in low-lying areas. I do not recall any winds...
Will need to go back and look at newspapers from that period.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2470. Dakster
Patrap - Where are you going in Florida? South Florida perhaps?

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I don't understand.
I think he means if a wave lacks convection can it still survive in shear.
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Lest we forget, live video of the top hat that is capturing "virtually all" of the oil from DWH. Takes a few moments to buffer/load.

Oh Really?
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2467. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Very informative blog KOTG.
thanks but it didn't show you as being in baltimore and does the name Oksana ring a bell
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
2466. SLU
Quoting pottery:

Gee, Thanks!
heheheheh


The last hurricane to strike Trinidad if my memory still serves me correctly.
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2465. SLU


And here's Tropical Storm ANNA of 1979. Classical indicator of a terrifying season ... pre-August 1st named storm days east of 75W. And no I wasn't around to witness it. Didn't arrive until quite a while later.lol

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2464. scott39
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I don't understand.
How did you get so smart at 13? Sheesh! Anyway doesnt the shear strip the convection of a wave or does it just rip it apart altogether? When will we know if this one is going to survive?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
000
ABNT20 KNHC 092336
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS...AND THUNDERSTORMS MOVING
WESTWARD ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AND THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA IS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE. SURFACE PRESSURES REMAIN
HIGH AND UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE NOT FAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT
DEVELOPMENT AT THIS TIME. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/KIMBERLAIN
I don't expect development whatso ever.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
It was a 6.0.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2461. cg2916
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not really. Although it's under 30 knots of shear an anticyclone is forecasted to be placed aloft and deflect shear around the system which should allow for further intensification. I think it's possible to have an invest out of this, but for it to become a TD seems improvable. I think what we have to watch is the wave over Africa that should emerge in about 48-72 hours. It has good model support and the ECMWF is forecasting it to become a TS when it passes over the Antilles.



Oh, didn't know about the anti-cyclone.

I think if the wave can survive the trip from land to sea, the TUTT will be long gone, and then it'll have great conditions.
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Quoting scott39:
Can a wave survive shear without convection?
I don't understand.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting cg2916:


Oh! Stupid, stupid...

Sorry, I have no degree or educational background in the tropics or weather. Most of what I've learned has been from this blog.
Lol, I'm just 13, and everything or most of everything I learned is from this blog too. It's more like the energy from the land changes and it has to adapt to water, or something like that. Think of it as an afternoon shower here in Miami, it rains over land and then when it goes over the water it dies. Same thing happens here just in a larger scale.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2458. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting Patrap:


Im on Link-cation In Fla.


Good. Have fun. Don't step on any tar balls. At least with your heel.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
2456. cg2916
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Over 100 waves will come off of Africa this summer and about 10-12 will become storms. The waves that are fizzling now is pure climatology. Come July it will be a different story.


Yeah, everything changes in July and August.
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Quoting cg2916:


Surprised it's still at 10%, shear is starting to take its toll.
Not really. Although it's under 30 knots of shear an anticyclone is forecasted to be placed aloft and deflect shear around the system which should allow for further intensification. I think it's possible to have an invest out of this, but for it to become a TD seems improvable. I think what we have to watch is the wave over Africa that should emerge in about 48-72 hours. It has good model support and the ECMWF is forecasting it to become a TS when it passes over the Antilles.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2454. cg2916
Just saw this a couple minutes ago in the comment box:

Comments Limit Reached

This entry now contains the maximum number of comments and no more comments are allowed.


Dang, how many are we posting?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Because it needs to make the transition from land to water. It's simple stuff.


This.

Plus, a lot of the things you mentioned cq, are anomalously true, but still need a little more improvement overall.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2451. scott39
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
000
ABNT20 KNHC 092336
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS...AND THUNDERSTORMS MOVING
WESTWARD ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AND THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA IS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE. SURFACE PRESSURES REMAIN
HIGH AND UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE NOT FAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT
DEVELOPMENT AT THIS TIME. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/KIMBERLAIN
Can a wave survive shear without convection?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2450. cg2916
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Because it needs to make the transition from land to water. It's simple stuff.


Oh! Stupid, stupid...

Sorry, I have no degree or educational background in the tropics or weather. Most of what I've learned has been from this blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2449. SQUAWK
Quoting NRAamy:
No dear, just playing close to the chest. Can't let too many in on the good stuff.

( purple hippo bats eyes at seabird )

Red vines?

:)

Yup, and more.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2448. Patrap
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Anybody seen Pat? He usually throws up a link about this time of day.


Im on Link-cation In Fla.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2447. NRAamy
No dear, just playing close to the chest. Can't let too many in on the good stuff.

( purple hippo bats eyes at seabird )

Red vines?

:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2446. scott39
I was just wondering, how many times can you sign in and out under a different user name a day? Is it unlimited as long as you have a different E-mail address everytime?
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2445. pottery
Quoting SLU:


Hurricane #2 in 1933 was the other system apart from ANNA to form in the CATL in June.

Gee, Thanks!
heheheheh
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Quoting cg2916:
How come just about every wave that comes off of Africa seems to die?
Because it needs to make the transition from land to water. It's simple stuff.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2443. cg2916
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
000
ABNT20 KNHC 092336
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS...AND THUNDERSTORMS MOVING
WESTWARD ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AND THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA IS ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE. SURFACE PRESSURES REMAIN
HIGH AND UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE NOT FAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT
DEVELOPMENT AT THIS TIME. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/KIMBERLAIN


Surprised it's still at 10%, shear is starting to take its toll.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2442. SLU


Hurricane #2 in 1933 was the other system apart from ANNA to form in the CATL in June.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.