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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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?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2391. gator23
Quoting Pipewhale:
I projected a hurricane tracking map on my classroom wall and painted it in with magnetic paint. I plan to track hurricanes all season for my students. Where can I get updated locations of tropical waves, invests and storms?



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.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2162
Quoting Pipewhale:
I projected a hurricane tracking map on my classroom wall and painted it in with magnetic paint. I plan to track hurricanes all season for my students. Where can I get updated locations of tropical waves, invests and storms?



Awesome! Amazing! I wish someone would do that in one of my classes, but I'm still in high school..
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
Quoting Drakoen:
Interesting ecmwf, we'll have to watchout in the tropical Atlantic for waves the come off the coast of Africa.


Ever think we would be saying that on June 8th? lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7367
2388. pottery
Quoting NRAamy:
A Hungry man, is an Angry man.

no, a Hungry Man is a TV dinner....feel free to pop one into the oven at anytime...make one for me too while you're at it....

OK! YOU win. I cant resist....
you like anchovies?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
A Hungry man, is an Angry man.

no, a Hungry Man is a TV dinner....feel free to pop one into the oven at anytime...make one for me too while you're at it....


salsbury steak.. mmm mmm

Pipewhale, that's awesome, where the heck did you find the magnetic paint?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If this were to happen, it would move right through the islands.


Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
2385. Drakoen
Interesting ecmwf, we'll have to watchout in the tropical Atlantic for waves the come off the coast of Africa.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29887
2383. pottery
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
NOGAPS 18z develops the African wave and one other system in the Caribbean.

84 hours.

Why are you- all picking on me?
I'm gonna go and hang out with Stormtop!
Sheesh!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2382. EricSFL
Quoting Pipewhale:
I projected a hurricane tracking map on my classroom wall and painted it in with magnetic paint. I plan to track hurricanes all season for my students. Where can I get updated locations of tropical waves, invests and storms?



At the National Hurricane Center webpage:
www.nhc.noaa.gov
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2381. NRAamy
A Hungry man, is an Angry man.

no, a Hungry Man is a TV dinner....feel free to pop one into the oven at anytime...make one for me too while you're at it....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2380. gator23
Quoting AllStar17:


how do you create this graphic?
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2162
Very large anticyclone is located over Africa close to the wave axis that we are discussing, also some good 850mb vorticity with it already around 8 West

shear is fairly high off of Africa, so a squeeze play could be on, will have to see how shear looks as the wave comes off the coast
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7367
Once the EURO starts developing systems, it's time to pay attention. Of course, now we have to look for consistency. Doesn't hurt the EURO's credibility to have another model (the NOGAPS) hinting at the same area of development in the Central Atlantic. Definitely something to watch the next few runs.
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2377. pottery
Quoting NRAamy:
yeah, and I keep tellin' you that I'm not the cook in this here relationship....what we have here is a failure to communicate...

i STILL cant hear you....
our communication channels are seriously compromised.
A Hungry man, is an Angry man.
This is getting untenable.
But, Love concours all.
grumblegrumblegrumblesigh...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I projected a hurricane tracking map on my classroom wall and painted it in with magnetic paint. I plan to track hurricanes all season for my students. Where can I get updated locations of tropical waves, invests and storms?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
NOGAPS 18z develops the African wave and one other system in the Caribbean.

84 hours.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2372. DDR
Quoting pottery:

Dengue Season!

Thats right,i dont want that.
you got 3 inches today?wow!
I'm out ttyl...
Member Since: April 27, 2007 Posts: 14 Comments: 1687
2371. EricSFL
JLPR2 you've got mail.
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Quoting ackee:
can I get a link to the ECMWF
Post 2357.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting antonio28:


Did you said ECMWF? Thats means WATCH OUT!!
You got that right.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2368. ackee
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
12z ECMWF develops the African wave into Alex.

Develops it at 96 hours...

Heres 168:
can I get a link to the ECMWF
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
12z ECMWF develops the African wave into Alex.

Develops it at 96 hours...

Heres 168:


Did you said ECMWF? Thats means WATCH OUT!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2366. NRAamy
yeah, and I keep tellin' you that I'm not the cook in this here relationship....what we have here is a failure to communicate...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2365. pottery
Quoting DDR:


Thats good
Looks like it fell to my east,rain fell around 12:30 today.Talk about mosquitoes,geeze!

Dengue Season!
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
12z ECMWF develops the African wave into Alex.

Develops it at 96 hours...

Heres 168:
The time-frame seems reasonable considering that the wave should emerge in about 48 hours. It's currently over Central/East Africa.


Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2362. pottery
Quoting NRAamy:
Bumpy. Rain. Lightening and squalls there.


did ya hurl?

;)

No! Because noboddy has been feeding me.
I keep telling you....
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2361. DDR
Quoting pottery:

Bumpy. Rain. Lightening and squalls there.
Got everything done though.
The Captain of the aircraft came all the way down the coast to Maracas Bay before crossing. Big thunder-heads just east of that. Saw an American Airlines flight leave Piarco and turn south a bit, to go around them.
That was at about 3:30. Did the rain from that get to you?


Thats good
Looks like it fell to my east,rain fell around 12:30 today.Talk about mosquitoes,geeze!
Member Since: April 27, 2007 Posts: 14 Comments: 1687
2360. JLPR2
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Link


awesome, thank you!
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2359. NRAamy
Bumpy. Rain. Lightening and squalls there.


did ya hurl?

;)
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Quoting JLPR2:


got the link for that? I always loose some links in the off season =.=


Link
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
2356. pottery
Quoting ElConando:


Why Uncle has some business clients in the Antilles. Apparently have had their gardens ruined every few years from the amount of rain that can fall there.
A pretty regular occurence.
Gardens, as in food-crops?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SSTs have rapidly warmed over the past 9 days.

June 1, 2010



June 9, 2010
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2354. JLPR2
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
12z ECMWF develops the African wave into Alex.

Develops it at 96 hours...

Heres 168:


got the link for that? I always loose some links in the off season =.=
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


For those who may still be a little fuzzy on this, think of it like a stick. When you hold one end of the stick and place the other end on the ground, it is encountering higher pressure (like the north end of a tropical wave axis pointing into the Bermuda High). Now try dragging that end of the stick along the ground while applying some pressure. If you're dragging it behind you with the end that's touching the ground pointing back in the direction from which you came, then it's pretty easy to drag it along the ground. But if you now hold the stick pointing in front of you in the direction you are trying to go, with the end in the ground and try to push, it becomes very hard, and the stick will try to dig up some of the dirt underneath it.

This is very much like what happens with negatively-tilted troughs. Positively-tilted troughs can be thought of as getting "dragged" through the air flow, and thus there is little convergence because it is pretty easy to drag that stick when it's pointing behind you. If the trough becomes negatively-tilted, its axis is pointing into the high pressure (the ground) out in front of you, and that stick becomes harder to push and causes fierce resistence along it. For a trough, this resistance causes strong convergence along the axis which forces air to rise, much like the stick in the ground starts digging up dirt as you push it.

If that made no sense at all, I apologize.


Levi, that was awesome, thanks. I think I actually understand it now...sort of..
Member Since: May 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 30
12z ECMWF develops the African wave into Alex.

Develops it at 96 hours...

Heres 168:
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
2350. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Baltimorebirds you should drop by my blog some great info there and post a hello for me will ya
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2349. gator23
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
It's about 40-45 miles the most from d.c.Baltimore is a very historic city.You should go visit the harbor,and the aqurium.Nice place to be,especially for the kids.

It seems so nice on tv
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2162
2348. pottery
Quoting DDR:
How was your trip to our sister isle?

Bumpy. Rain. Lightening and squalls there.
Got everything done though.
The Captain of the aircraft came all the way down the coast to Maracas Bay before crossing. Big thunder-heads just east of that. Saw an American Airlines flight leave Piarco and turn south a bit, to go around them.
That was at about 3:30. Did the rain from that get to you?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If can stay healthy...

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting Levi32:
Out to play tennis on this very nice summer day here (51 degrees, yes that is shorts weather for me).

Later all.



Last time I was in sub 60 degree weather was early April.
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2345. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:
Out to play tennis on this very nice summer day here (51 degrees, yes that is shorts weather for me).

Later all.


51 is shorts weather? O_o?
I would be a ball off jackets with that temp, LOL!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ECMWF NAO

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15776
Quoting pottery:

WOW! I have had a touch over 5" in that timespan. But 3+" fell today!


Why Uncle has some business clients in the Antilles. Apparently have had their gardens ruined every few years from the amount of rain that can fall there.
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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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