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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2442. SLU


Hurricane #2 in 1933 was the other system apart from ANNA to form in the CATL in June.
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2441. cg2916
How come just about every wave that comes off of Africa seems to die?
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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
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting pottery:

Just spent the day. Came back this afternoon through some heavy weather. Found 3.2" in my guage and flooded roads ..


Yikes
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2437. pottery
Quoting AllStar17:

good one
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2435. pottery
Quoting MrstormX:


Pottery aren't you currently in Tobago?

Just spent the day. Came back this afternoon through some heavy weather. Found 3.2" in my guage and flooded roads ..
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Anybody seen Pat? He usually throws up a link about this time of day.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting cg2916:
In other news:

New wave coming off associated with a low, pretty far north, too:



Now, how come it looks like every wave that comes off Africa seems to die? I thought shear was low and SSTs are warm and the SAL is low.


The one behind it is what models are picking up on next week
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2432. SQUAWK
Quoting NRAamy:
2419. SQUAWK 4:27 PM PDT on June 09, 2010
MARCO!!!!!

Just so you know ----- I cook!! and I am very good at it, and proud of it!!!!



POLO!!!!

Damn, SQUAWK!! You've been holding out on me!


;)


No dear, just playing close to the chest. Can't let too many in on the good stuff.
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2431. pottery
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Hey Pottery. Not a whole lot to talk about with you hogging the yellow spot. Glad to see you had a successful trip.

Yeah! I have been trying to pass it on to anyone else who wants it.
Got no takers at all!
And now, they say they are sending another one....
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Quoting pottery:

Well, if the choice were Stink or you-know-who, I may choose the former. But it does'nt sound like I can have one without the other.
All things considered, I think I'll stay here.


Pottery aren't you currently in Tobago?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
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2428. NRAamy
2419. SQUAWK 4:27 PM PDT on June 09, 2010
MARCO!!!!!

Just so you know ----- I cook!! and I am very good at it, and proud of it!!!!



POLO!!!!

Damn, SQUAWK!! You've been holding out on me!


;)
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2427. SQUAWK
Quoting cg2916:


How are you at cooking crow, LOL.


Excellent! I have prepared it for many on this blog! LOL
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2426. pottery
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
I hope you know pottery that out houses stink.

Well, if the choice were Stink or you-know-who, I may choose the former. But it does'nt sound like I can have one without the other.
All things considered, I think I'll stay here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Pottery. Not a whole lot to talk about with you hogging the yellow spot. Glad to see you had a successful trip.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
2424. cg2916
Quoting SQUAWK:
MARCO!!!!!

Just so you know ----- I cook!! and I am very good at it, and proud of it!!!!


How are you at cooking crow, LOL.
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Quoting SQUAWK:
MARCO!!!!!

Just so you know ----- I cook!! and I am very good at it, and proud of it!!!!


Polo?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2422. cg2916
In other news:

New wave coming off associated with a low, pretty far north, too:



Now, how come it looks like every wave that comes off Africa seems to die? I thought shear was low and SSTs are warm and the SAL is low.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2421. pottery
Amy And Swirl!

CLASSICS
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Quoting cg2916:
Back!

Guys, I just don't think that this will develop. It'll be 4 days before shear lets up, and this is supposed to get into the Caribbean by the end of tomorrow. It's already being sheared a bit, as shown by satellite loops.

Now, if by some small chance, this thing doesn't totally die by the time the TUTT lifts, it might have a chance.


Which is why there is only a 10% chance of development, you are very right. There is an extremely small chance that this wave can make it through shear like that.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2419. SQUAWK
MARCO!!!!!

Just so you know ----- I cook!! and I am very good at it, and proud of it!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2417. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Baltimorebirds comon over to my blog for 5 minutes will ya
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
2416. pottery
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
You don't want to hang out with jfv pottery,or you'll be hated by all the bloggers.
LOL.
But actually, you notice how many fewer posts there are since 'he' is gone? Lots of people have nothing to say.
There is a serious love/hate thing going on. Very peculiar.
I'm gonna ask my Shrink about it.
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2415. scott39
Quoting antonio28:
I do the homework and the last storm to form in the CATL was 1979 Tropical storm Ana. 30 years ago.
Thats the year fredric hit Mobile, Al. Gulf Coast.
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2414. cg2916
Back!

Guys, I just don't think that this will develop. It'll be 4 days before shear lets up, and this is supposed to get into the Caribbean by the end of tomorrow. It's already being sheared a bit, as shown by satellite loops.

Now, if by some small chance, this thing doesn't totally die by the time the TUTT lifts, it might have a chance.
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Quoting pottery:

Oh, Dear Lord. See me through this....
Dread Thought!


Hey, look on the bright side! Maybe he'll show you where he got one of those bad*** shower curtains!
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
2412. NRAamy
What if Stormtop picks on you? Will you hang out with JFV? ;)

it's gonna get awfully crowded in that outhouse!!!
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Quoting antonio28:
I do the homework and the last storm to form in the CATL was 1979 Tropical storm Ana. 30 years ago.


Its the only storm to form in the CATL in June
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7367
I do the homework and the last storm to form in the CATL was 1979 Tropical storm Ana. 30 years ago.
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Why won't you be able to see it 2 weeks after today??


I'm vacationing and getting the heck out of this heat :)

Unfortunately it's with some relatives that don't have computer access whatsoever XD
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
2406. pottery
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


What if Stormtop picks on you? Will you hang out with JFV? ;)

Oh, Dear Lord. See me through this....
Dread Thought!
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Quoting gator23:


This is very cool i think its a great teaching tool

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/MIATWDAT.shtml

that link should take you to the Tropical outlook it includes coordinates of waves and cyclones.


Woot!! Thanks! Should be busy come the time school starts again.
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2403. pottery
Quoting NRAamy:
OK! YOU win. I cant resist....
you like anchovies?



hahahahahahahahahahaha!

( Purple Hippo chick lets out an evil laugh! )


;)

:):)
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Oh, look at the models. We may have something to watch soon enough.
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Quoting pottery:

especially when it's June 9 th.!!


doh you are right lol

either way
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7367
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Awesome! Amazing! I wish someone would do that in one of my classes, but I'm still in high school..


Thanks... My students were picking on me, but they still wanted help make little magnetic circles to mark the positions. :)
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Quoting pottery:

Why are you- all picking on me?
I'm gonna go and hang out with Stormtop!
Sheesh!


What if Stormtop picks on you? Will you hang out with JFV? ;)
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
2398. pottery
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
No don't go to the dark side.(reaches out hand)

Thanks. Hold my hand. The pull is strong.....
heheheh
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Quoting pottery:

especially when it's June 9 th.!!


lol
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
2396. NRAamy
OK! YOU win. I cant resist....
you like anchovies?



hahahahahahahahahahaha!

( Purple Hippo chick lets out an evil laugh! )


;)
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The fact that the ECMWF has latched on to this African wave means nothing but trouble.. Yesterday we asked for model support, today we got model support. I'm interested to see how this plays out, unfortunately I won't be able to see how it went for two weeks after today :(
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
2393. pottery
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Ever think we would be saying that on June 8th? lol

especially when it's June 9 th.!!
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2392. scott39
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
NOGAPS 18z develops the African wave and one other system in the Caribbean.

84 hours.
How does the wave entering the Carribean have a chance to survive the wind shear?
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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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