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 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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1930. HurricaneKyle

I don't have a problem with predicting anything you want, its the weather. I just don't like the "told you so" attitude.
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and sleetman i agree. It will be completely tolerable whatever happens. nothing devastating and thank the Lord because we dont need it.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


I agree 100%. What's with all the idiots today?!
There out of school and have no life so they just go on here and post ignorant posts.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Quoting HurricaneKyle:
nrt, how about this one he said in 2008 on his blog?

Posted by: hurricanelover236, 4:23 PM GMT on August 14, 2008
I am gonna stick to my original prediction for 92l. It will fizzle out and be absolutely nothing. The nhc is playing games with us. They have been saying this will develop for 2 weeks now. Im so sick of hearing it and i would actually like to see something happen with. They had better hope it does something because they are going to look like damn fools if it doesnt. Uh, im so over it and hope something else happens so we dont waste all our attention on this blob of nothing.

.. and
4. hurricanelover236 4:54 PM GMT on August 14, 2008
i highly doubt it will hit florida though. So dont worry about it.

The invest in question later became Tropical Storm Fay making a record landfall 4 times over Florida.

I've already sent a message to Dr. Masters regarding him.. he shouldn't be around much longer.


LMAO!!!
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Ur call us idiots?! wow lol At least we know the seaon is being blown way out of proportion.
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1935. gator23
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


I agree 100%. What's with all the idiots today?!

Schools out.
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Quoting HurricaneKyle:
nrt, how about this one he said in 2008 on his blog?

Posted by: hurricanelover236, 4:23 PM GMT on August 14, 2008
I am gonna stick to my original prediction for 92l. It will fizzle out and be absolutely nothing. The nhc is playing games with us. They have been saying this will develop for 2 weeks now. Im so sick of hearing it and i would actually like to see something happen with. They had better hope it does something because they are going to look like damn fools if it doesnt. Uh, im so over it and hope something else happens so we dont waste all our attention on this blob of nothing.

.. and
4. hurricanelover236 4:54 PM GMT on August 14, 2008
i highly doubt it will hit florida though. So dont worry about it.

The invest in question later became Tropical Storm Fay making a record landfall 4 times over Florida.
Epic fail!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Its just so hillarious why people call the season a bust when were only in june 9th! LMAO!


I agree 100%. What's with all the idiots today?!
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1931. gator23
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.


the official forecast is for 14-23 named storms from the NOAA so obviosly you agree with them since you think the most is 15.
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nrt, how about this one he said in 2008 on his blog?

Posted by: hurricanelover236, 4:23 PM GMT on August 14, 2008
I am gonna stick to my original prediction for 92l. It will fizzle out and be absolutely nothing. The nhc is playing games with us. They have been saying this will develop for 2 weeks now. Im so sick of hearing it and i would actually like to see something happen with. They had better hope it does something because they are going to look like damn fools if it doesnt. Uh, im so over it and hope something else happens so we dont waste all our attention on this blob of nothing.

.. and
4. hurricanelover236 4:54 PM GMT on August 14, 2008
i highly doubt it will hit florida though. So dont worry about it.

The invest in question later became Tropical Storm Fay making a record landfall 4 times over Florida.

I've already sent a message to Dr. Masters regarding him.. he shouldn't be around much longer.
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Quoting sleetman1:
i kind of agree with hurricane lover on the season however i dont think it will be a bust just a normal season nothing like you guys are predicting on here..
Its june 9th be patient it will be active just not 20 storms active.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
1928. gator23
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Its just so hillarious why people call the season a bust when were only in june 9th! LMAO!

I know Alex but as you know this is the norm here. Sigh.
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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.
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If anyone cares you can click on my avatar and view 3 photos of the mayan ruin in Santa Rita, Corozal, Belize.
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Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


The large Anticyclone over Africa (The counter-clockwise spin). If that were to catch up with an impressive tropical wave, we could see development.





counter clockwise is lower pressure and clockwise is high pressure in the northern hemisphere its the opposite in the southern hemisphere!!!!
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Quoting gator23:


Hey sarah, as we discussed yesterday just because a season does not start early does not mean it will not be busy. Also, you have to weed out certain people on the blog who dont really know what there talking about. Every year since the blog has been around people always and i mean ALWAYS say "this season will be a bust" at this same time year after year. Me,Levi,tornadodude,atmoaggie,stormw,drak,tampaspin,weather456 we will be able to help you shoul dyou have anyy questions.
Its just so hillarious why people call the season a bust when were only in june 9th! LMAO!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Quoting hurricanelover236:
Just like always so far im right. I can assure you this will not be a bad hurricane season in the slightest nor will florida be hit. I can gaurantee bth of these and I will be on hre at the end of the season reinforcing my ingenious predictions which never fail to come true.The reason for it all: extremely high wind shear. Once agin, NOAA and eveyone else will look like fools. And they wonder why no one takes them seriously lol.


748. hurricanelover236 4:58 PM EDT on May 27, 2010
I have to say its really funny to see NOAA once again make a fool of themselves and overyhype the forecast. Im telling you people wind shear is not gonna weaken. 10 storms at the max





822. hurricanelover236 7:02 PM EDT on June 01, 2010
At the end of the hurricane season im gonna be back on here saying I told you so once again. This hurricane season will not be half as active as forecast. At most 15 storms and most of these wil be steered out to sea. Dont panic because once again the season was hyped for nothing.


Which prediction? The one from May 27, the one from June 1 or do you have a new ingenious prediction ?
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1920. gator23
Quoting sarahjola:
you don't think the shear is going to get less over time? its just early June. as much as people were saying this season is going to be bad i would have expected a storm or something by now but just because we haven't seen anything yet doesn't mean we wont all season. mother nature does what she wants to do regardless of models and predictions.


Hey sarah, as we discussed yesterday just because a season does not start early does not mean it will not be busy. Also, you have to weed out certain people on the blog who dont really know what there talking about. Every year since the blog has been around people always and i mean ALWAYS say "this season will be a bust" at this same time year after year. Me,Levi,tornadodude,atmoaggie,stormw,drak,tampaspin,weather456 we will be able to help you shoul dyou have anyy questions.
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1918. Levi32
Quoting will45:
If you guys would stop quoting them they would go away


I agree. All you guys are doing is aiding the troll by quoting and yabbering on and on about it. Just shush and let it go....flag and ignore. Done.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Ted just ignore him.

Afternoon all, see's the trolls are out of school.
They don't actually believe what they say such as 'this seasons a bust' comments with hurricanelover, they do it only to provoke and make like miserable amongst the bloggers. The true definition of troll..
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1916. Levi32




Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting sarahjola:
you don't think the shear is going to get less over time? its just early June. as much as people were saying this season is going to be bad i would have expected a storm or something by now but just because we haven't seen anything yet doesn't mean we wont all season. mother nature does what she wants to do regardless of models and predictions.




the good doc masters actually mentioned that sheer associated with the sub-tropical jet stream could remain high in the begining of the TC season due to the lagging effects of el nino,August/sept should make up for the later start IMO and actually there's only a named storm in the atlantic basin for june, every 1 out of 2 years on average....
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1913. will45
If you guys would stop quoting them they would go away
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Wave by the windwards holding its own, looking slightly more organized to me , personally I think the SW Caribbean bears watching though nothing organized for now.
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1911. Levi32
12z NOGAPS 180-hour has a broad area of low pressure and heavy precipitation advecting northward off of central America and into the Gulf of Honduras.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting MahFL:
"I do not expect any further development of this wave."

I stopped reading after this lol. The season is a bust...too much shear......


Really? Prove it. It won't develop because its June 9th not August 28th. And actually, shear is well below climatological means too..
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1909. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting hurricanelover236:
Just like always so far im right. I can assure you this will not be a bad hurricane season in the slightest nor will florida be hit. I can gaurantee bth of these and I will be on hre at the end of the season reinforcing my ingenious predictions which never fail to come true.The reason for it all: extremely high wind shear. Once agin, NOAA and eveyone else will look like fools. And they wonder why no one takes them seriously lol.
i got to step away until all these day passes are used up
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I see someone here needs to really get over himself lol
I know does this kid even know that wind shear is below normal probably not LOL!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
1907. gator23
Quoting hurricanelover236:
Just like always so far im right. I can assure you this will not be a bad hurricane season in the slightest nor will florida be hit. I can gaurantee bth of these and I will be on hre at the end of the season reinforcing my ingenious predictions which never fail to come true.The reason for it all: extremely high wind shear. Once agin, NOAA and eveyone else will look like fools. And they wonder why no one takes them seriously lol.


Since you are right all the time please tell me what will happen politically in November, Will the Marlins make it to the post season, and when will fix the oil spill?
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1906. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I see someone here needs to really get over himself lol


Just flag him. He deliberately typed that up to get heat.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
1904. Levi32
Sea-level pressure anomalies for the past 30 days:

The only tropical basin in the northern hemisphere that has had below-normal pressures for the past month is the Atlantic. Everywhere else is above-normal.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting hurricanelover236:
Just like always so far im right. I can assure you this will not be a bad hurricane season in the slightest nor will florida be hit. I can gaurantee bth of these and I will be on hre at the end of the season reinforcing my ingenious predictions which never fail to come true.The reason for it all: extremely high wind shear. Once agin, NOAA and eveyone else will look like fools. And they wonder why no one takes them seriously lol.


I see someone here needs to really get over himself lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
1902. gator23
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
Levi, what would push it westard, as oppose to northward?

Just signed on to say. Hi JFV
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Quoting sarahjola:
you don't think the shear is going to get less over time? its just early June. as much as people were saying this season is going to be bad i would have expected a storm or something by now but just because we haven't seen anything yet doesn't mean we wont all season. mother nature does what she wants to do regardless of models and predictions.
Exactly its is just impatience setting in give it time it will happen.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
Just had to point this out...


Point what out? (Please explain for us ignorant people)
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that T wave near the antilles w/be shredded by the TUTT in 48-72hrs.....the time for development w/be upon us soon I'm thinking first named system of the year forming june25th in the central carib as the mojo rises;)!!!!!
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you don't think the shear is going to get less over time? its just early June. as much as people were saying this season is going to be bad i would have expected a storm or something by now but just because we haven't seen anything yet doesn't mean we wont all season. mother nature does what she wants to do regardless of models and predictions.
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1893. Levi32
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
Levi, what would push it westard, as oppose to northward?


Deep-layer ridge over the Gulf of Mexico.

GFS 144-hour 500mb:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455

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About JeffMasters

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