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 hurricanelover236:
amen to that sleetman. yeah maybe i am taking it over the top by saying it will be a bust. But nothing above average and certainly nothing devastating.
My goodness. It seems like you and sleetman are the only two that are thinking that this will be an unactive season. Where are your facts? Shear is WAY below average for this time of the year. What convinces you that we will not have an above normal season?
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Looks just like the EuroSip is forecasting. Big broad high @ 1024mb in that location makes me cringe.

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1988. NRAamy
where's STORMTOP?
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pottery 6:48 AM EDT on June 09, 2010

Quoting pottery:
Good Morning!
A wet, drippy one here. Overcast right now.
Going to be a bumpy ride to Tobago at 7000 feet or so.
Will check you all tonight....





...methinks Pottery will be ready for a "double", (or more) when he checks in this evenig!

CRS
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Going good, you?

Good just over in san antonio visiting my mother before i ship out to boot camp
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting sleetman1:
i agree with some guys on here i think we will not have our first storm until july 4...this will be a patriotic year..


If we have our first named storm on July 4th we will be above average

Check da chart
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Im still here
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Going good, you?

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and BAM the blog's dead.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.
Hey cyberteddy hows it going
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.
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Quoting Levi32:
Chances upped to 10%, for what it's worth:



000
ABNT20 KNHC 091732
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

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

A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS 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 CURRENTLY FAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT.
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 AVILA/LANDSEA



I'm sure its very happy about itself.
Member Since: September 6, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 3784
GOM remains cloud free and optimal for heating. Yikes:

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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


Right...And I'm a magic cookie.
Yea. I think that he is WAYY under forecasting...and i'm a skeptic. at most 15??? give me a break. i say anywhere from 16-19. Thats a safe prediction and i'm going through. :D Just saying.
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1973. SLU
Current conditions at my location:

Overcast with heavy showers & thunderstorms
Wind E - ES @ 10 - 15 mph

We had gusts of 35 - 40mph earlier on this morning.

Strongest wave in the Windwards since July 20th last year.
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Which its normal guys it is june!!!!!!!! i dont know how many times we have to say this how can you predict a season when its only june 9th june is known for lack of tropical activity so get off your ego trips and just watch wait and when we do get storms track and analyze! (this does not pertain to you hurricaneswirl)


Yep, and even if it is wobbling or rising or falling or w/e the heck it's doing, all areas are still remarkably below average.
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Quoting Levi32:
Chances upped to 10%, for what it's worth:



000
ABNT20 KNHC 091732
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

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

A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS 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 CURRENTLY FAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT.
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 AVILA/LANDSEA



This little thing might be designated 92L, considering the highest chance 91L ever had was 10%.
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FYI

baking soda paste makes bee stings go away instantly.

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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Looks like it's just wobbling back and forth in the GOM and Caribbean, but yeah it's going steadily upwards in the Tropical Atlantic.
Which its normal guys it is june!!!!!!!! i dont know how many times we have to say this how can you predict a season when its only june 9th june is known for lack of tropical activity so get off your ego trips and just watch wait and when we do get storms track and analyze! (this does not pertain to you hurricaneswirl)
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Its pretty funny how some of you are freaking out because we're nine days into the season and we haven't seen a storm yet.

Just blatantly shows how little you know...

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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
0-10 = Below-Average Season

11 = Average season

12-15 = Above-Average Season

16/16+ = Hyper-active Season



I agree with that but a hyperactive season is determined by ACE.. and if you try to relate it to named storms I think 16 is a tad low. The average is usually around 10. 175% of 10 is 17.5, round up to 18. But ACE doesn't equal named storms anyway so...
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1965. Levi32
Chances upped to 10%, for what it's worth:



000
ABNT20 KNHC 091732
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

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

A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS 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 CURRENTLY FAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT.
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 AVILA/LANDSEA

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
1962. Levi32
Quoting StormW:
Here ya go...this should 'splain:



Yup.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
Quoting cyclonekid:
Are you kidding me??? Seriously???


Yes, NHC is bored out of their minds. First 91L now this, will probably be 92L shortly.
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Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
Shear is creeping up, Levi.


Looks like it's just wobbling back and forth in the GOM and Caribbean, but yeah it's going steadily upwards in the Tropical Atlantic.
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Are you kidding me??? Seriously???

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Quoting hurricanelover236:
Its not that we have no liefe but its a comical part of life to come on here and read posts about how drastic a hurricane season its going to be and then watch nothing happen lmao.
You have some ego I have an idea check the shear charts right now and i gurantee that your arguement about a slow season will be dashed.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Mother Nature has
a switch. Not one for on/off
but to whoop behinds...
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1951. gator23
Quoting sleetman1:
you are so right hurricane lover amen to that...


OMG SLEETMAN AND HURRICANELOVER are the SAME GUY!!
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Quoting gator23:

you profess to be stating the facts but YOU have no facts to back up this statement. You can say its a slow year if you wish but to say it wont be bad? Thats nuts! Andrew happened on a slow year and it was TERRIBLE.


Yeah, in fact Levi and many, many others have posted many, many graphics disproving his supposed "facts" and he just ignores all of them and continues with his "I'm always right"/"Holier than thou" mix attitude.
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Quoting hurricanelover236:
Thank you sleetman!. Finally someone with a brain and not an alarmist. And im not criticizing the blog but rather NOAA and Joe Bastardi. 23 storm i mean give me a break. At this rate the possible most is 15.



so let me get this right,you can name how many storms w/form but some of the smartest mets in the world agree that it w/be a active TC season and we should believe you because your who?????a anonomous blogger making random statements????15 named storms is above average,DUHHHH!!!
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Quoting hurricanelover236:
and sleetman i agree. It will be completely tolerable whatever happens. nothing devastating and thank the Lord because we dont need it.


You know, I agree with this statement except with the part that you think your 100% correct that this season will be a total 'dud'. We don't need another disaster, but you need to look at the facts instead of bashing NOAA and the NHC. Look at the data dude instead of ignoring it.. Levi just posted that shear is below average and has been for awhile, TCHP and SST's across the entire Atlantic are record breaking high, pressures across the Atlantic are below normal, Africa spitting out waves with 1008 mb lows in early June, El Nino gone.

Your not posting facts, your posting trollish remarks with nothing to back them up what so ever. You've not shown so much as a single link to prove me wrong, yet you continue to think the ones with the PhDs are wrong? Really?
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1944. gator23
Quoting hurricanelover236:
and sleetman i agree. It will be completely tolerable whatever happens. nothing devastating and thank the Lord because we dont need it.

you profess to be stating the facts but YOU have no facts to back up this statement. You can say its a slow year if you wish but to say it wont be bad? Thats nuts! Andrew happened on a slow year and it was TERRIBLE.
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Its not that we have no liefe but its a comical part of life to come on here and read posts about how drastic a hurricane season its going to be and then watch nothing happen lmao.
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Quoting gator23:

Schools out.


Oh... right.. I forgot there would be a surge in mid June because where I live school gets out mid May. Dang :(
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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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