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 Caribbeanislands101:

Does anyone remember Hugo?

Yeah, I was near Charlotte, NC for that storm. We were really not prepared for a storm that strong, so far inland. No power for a week, and we were lucky to get it back so quickly.
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2141. JLPR2
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:

True, but Georges wasn't a category 4 or 5, it could have been worse.


agreed ^^ But it did make lots of landfalls in the Caribbean, Hugo went over NE PR and off to NC I believe
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Okay every one, i'm signing off, take care, watch the waves coming off the African coast!
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2139. JLPR2
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:

yeah, it was back in 1989, Jeff Masters has very good story of Hugo back from when he was with the Hurricane Hunters, they almost didn't make it out of that storm.


yeah scary one and to think PR hasn't had a Cat 5 since 1928, its scary to think what a hurricane of that magnitude could to do us here -.-
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if that area of wx over east tex was over some warm waters it would likely be a developing TC,simular scenerio as about a week and a half ago....looks darn good on the visible loop,another area for possible TC development would be the area around the central/north bahamas!!!!
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2137. hydrus
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:

yeah, it was back in 1989, Jeff Masters has very good story of Hugo back from when he was with the Hurricane Hunters, they almost didn't make it out of that storm.
That depiction of Hugo looks like it is spinning clockwise.
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2136. BVI
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:


True, i meant the northern islands, but ivan was very bad ;-) in the south


Ok, where are you at, i am in the British Virgin Islands
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Quoting JLPR2:


Georges wrecked most of the Caribbean in 98

True, but Georges wasn't a category 4 or 5, it could have been worse.
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Quoting winter123:


So, slight decrease in number if the first one forms later, but it's negligable IMO. You have big jumps in that graph. It would also help if you had a larger sample set, like perhaps 1959-2009. If anyone wants to do a graph of that i'd appreciate it!

WU Mail me the data or post it on here and I'll make another graph. Only took 2 min to make that one. And the data doen't have to be in a table, but seperate lines for each year makes it very easy to import to Excel.
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Quoting BVI:


What about hurricane Ivan in 2004, devastated Grenada


True, i meant the northern islands, but ivan was very bad ;-) in the south
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Quoting JLPR2:


yeah I remember, but I didn't exist back then, I wasn't even planned yet.XD

yeah, it was back in 1989, Jeff Masters has very good story of Hugo back from when he was with the Hurricane Hunters, they almost didn't make it out of that storm.
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What about Ivan in 2004?
Dean and Felix in 2007?

Omar and Paloma in 2008?
Gustav in 2008?

What about Jeanne in 2004?

Caribbean has had plenty more storms since the 90s
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2130. scott39
If the potential disturbance can hold together past 70W it will blow up! IMO Although it does have a rather tough gauntlet of wind shear before then.
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March 2, 2010 7:45 p.m. EST
(CNN) -- The massive earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday may have shifted Earth's axis and created shorter days, scientists at NASA say.

so will the sun daggers go through the middle of the spiral hyroglifics at the Hopi Indians Reservation?

summer solstice june 21
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Quoting TampaTom:


Muy Calliente!



So, slight decrease in number if the first one forms later, but it's negligable IMO. You have big jumps in that graph. It would also help if you had a larger sample set, like perhaps 1959-2009. If anyone wants to do a graph of that i'd appreciate it!
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2127. hcubed
Not quoting the trolls, but:

The psychs say you have a serious problem whenever you talk to youself.

Sleetman1/Hurricanelover236.

Split personality. Kinda like a demented ventriloquist. Everything's OK till the dummy disagrees with him.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Good, everything is going smoothly, well... almost everything XD
How about you?


same here, just enjoying the summer!
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2125. BVI
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:
It's been years since the Caribbean has had a storm of that magnitude, in 1995 Luis came in pretty close, and then Lenny in 1999


What about hurricane Ivan in 2004, devastated Grenada
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Quoting tornadodude:


oh wow, thats cool

I remember my first encounter with a hurricane in 1960 hurricane Donna. I was only 18 years old working construction to help my parents. I was working for a guy by the name of James Robert who was the same guy who was a part builder of the Orange Bowl Stadium when it opened in 1937. During hurricane Donna we were working at renovating what is now La Concha Hotel in Key West. To make a long story short, Mr. Roberts would not let me go home during the storm because he wanted me to stay around guarding the construction site. He did tell me that if I went home I would not have a job and he would not pay me for the last week of work. I had no choice other than to stay and ride out the storm inside a big metal tool cabinet that we had at the site. I think that was scariest day of my life.
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2123. JLPR2
Quoting tornadodude:


yeah same here haha

how you been?


Good, everything is going smoothly, well... almost everything XD
How about you?
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SLU-

Gotcha, can't wait to go back there someday. Hope this hurricane season treats you all gently.
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Quoting JLPR2:


yeah I remember, but I didn't exist back then, I wasn't even planned yet.XD


yeah same here haha

how you been?
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2120. JLPR2
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:
It's been years since the Caribbean has had a storm of that magnitude, in 1995 Luis came in pretty close, and then Lenny in 1999


Georges wrecked most of the Caribbean in 98
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Weather 456, Were you in St.Kitts when Georges struck the area back in 1998?
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2118. JLPR2
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:

Does anyone remember Hugo?


yeah I remember, but I didn't exist back then, I wasn't even planned yet.XD
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It's been years since the Caribbean has had a storm of that magnitude, in 1995 Luis came in pretty close, and then Lenny in 1999
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Does anyone remember Hugo?
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how can they not know how much oil is coming out????how much was the rig collecting before the accident????,should be about the same amount+10% or so IMO.....
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Quoting aspectre:
"BP...captured about 15,000 barrels (630,000 gallons) of oil Tuesday...currently close to...its processing limit...
...the shuttle tanker in the Gulf of Mexico right now can process about 15,000 barrels of oil per day. BP is aiming to bring in new ships and equipment to bring that capacity up to 28,000 barrels (1.17 million gallons) per day."

so how many millions of gallons per day has it been leaking?
see the wave is "the first significant wave of the seaon" according to nhc. here's the short wave (blue) loop showing it is deepening.
Loop
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2113. scott39
Quoting rmbjoe1954:
I wonder if they will push that up to 20% at 8PM or by tomorrow morning?
That depends on what the wind shear does to it.
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"BP...captured about 15,000 barrels...of oil Tuesday...close to...its processing limit...
...the shuttle tanker in the Gulf of Mexico...can process about 15,000 barrels of oil per day.
BP...to bring in new ships and equipment to bring that capacity up to 28,000 barrels...per day."
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting scott39:
when is that suppossed to move out?




semi permenent feature during the TC season,it's positioning moves though thru out the season!!
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Quoting scott39:
Near 0% to 10%, thats a pretty moderate move in 8 hours.
I wonder if they will push that up to 20% at 8PM or by tomorrow morning?
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Quoting serialteg:
unweighted gpa wtf?Quoting serialteg:
unweighted gpa wtf?


Basically if you take an honors class it adds 0.4 to GPA, if you take any AP it adds 0.8 to gpa,
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2108. scott39
Quoting xcool:
Hurricanes101 hey .come on now 10% from nhc i feelgood kaboom lol
Near 0% to 10%, thats a pretty moderate move in 8 hours.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

wow i feel so dumb now thanks for the info
img src="" alt="" />

Well shear is high now, but it won't be later! That I can guarantee!
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2105. leo305
impressive amount of convection from that tropical wave..
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2104. xcool
Hurricanes101 true.
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The crude oil smell is the strongest yet today in Slidell...
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I wonder if the energy from the area in the SW Caribbean Sea will hang around long enough to be enhanced by this tropical wave

If so, that could very well spark some development
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Quoting WINDSMURF:

I am actually Cuban came to this country with my parents in 1956 before the castro era I was 14 at the time, I am now 68


oh wow, thats cool
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2100. scott39
Quoting stillwaiting:
TUTT low :
when is that suppossed to move out?
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2099. xcool
Hurricanes101 hey .come on now 10% from nhc i feelgood kaboom lol
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2098. Ossqss
Quoting NRAamy:
Oss.....I have a feeling I don't want to read that....

:(


You are right Amy. After just reading up on the Dutch and Belgian technology that was refused, I am disgusted. The Gulf suffers even more for all the wrong reasons :( out>
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting tornadodude:


so where are you from?

I am actually Cuban came to this country with my parents in 1956 before the castro era I was 14 at the time, I am now 68
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Quoting xcool:
i said from june 07 to 17 haha anyway hey all.


for what? nothing has developed yet
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2095. xcool
i said from june 07 to 17 haha anyway hey all.
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Quoting WINDSMURF:

I did, thank you it meant a lot to me


so where are you from?
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2093. xcool
see i iknow it
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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.