La Niña by July?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:42 PM GMT on June 08, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1892 - 1842

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66Blog Index

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......


yeah, and if anything does develop, its going to hit florida anyway, so no need for forecasts. :P lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1889. 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......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1887. juniort
Hey folks getting some heavy rains and winds here in Barabdos
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Good Afternoon Mr.Storm..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
Thats a good wave but no organization just one big mess.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
1882. Levi32
The 12z GFS still tries to wind something up in the Gulf of Honduras in about 5 days, taking it across the Yucatan into the very southern Bay of Campeche after that, which makes sense. Land interaction will be the huge limiting factor here. Otherwise conditions are favorable for mischief.

The long-range shows the Caribbean remaining very favorable for tropical mischief and heat build-up for the next 15 days.

120 hours:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
1879. 900MB
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Preety Breezeee in Barbados, Mon! 20mph fr the SSE, pressure droppin, Mon!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
Just had to point this out...

Thanks winteranalystwx13 thats a big anticyclone! good thing theres huge tropical wave beneath it or it would develop
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


LOL you guys are so bad!

Hey Matt, are you going to chase any storms with Oz or are you just strickly tornados?


;)

haha

um, well Im not sure yet, he and I are currently discussing it. he said it would be good to have someone else there and to have someone who can maintain contact at all times with the blog and the people on our website as well. so, I definitely hope I can chase hurricanes as well
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1871. Levi32
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
The Martinique radar animation page is not working correctly:


http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/antilles/pack-public/animation/animMOSAIC2.html

Does anybody have a link to a "single image" page?


It is not working today for some reason. Bad day to have it off too.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
1870. IKE
Quoting hcubed:


Well, being on the Gulf Coast (Biloxi, MS), I really have to watch whatever enters the GOM.

There are a few excellent non-professional posters here, that can really fill in the blanks. They have the expertise to back up their claims.

But to post just to draw attention to yourself, or to try to get others into an arguement, or to keep asking the same questions over and over - sheer lunacy.

I don't have to keep asking "when will the wave coming off of Africa develop into a cat 5 and wipe out my home". I've lurked and posted here enough to be able to READ the charts.

I just use the NHC for confirmation.


And...."""what's the ECMWF model saying?"""

There's a link of the tropical weather page!!!

It's just a way to get people to respond. Why is the question? Just download it and look for yourself.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1869. NRAamy
Yuo jsut dont giev up due yuo?


you guys are making my eyes cross!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1867. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Martinique radar animation page is not working correctly:


http://www.meteo.fr/temps/domtom/antilles/pack-public/animation/animMOSAIC2.html

Does anybody have a link to a "single image" page?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:
Pretty good upward motion coming to the caribbean lets see what happens.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
1863. hcubed
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


I don't ignore him, it's too entertaining. Then again, despite our governor declaring states of emergencies in our county for Frances and Jeanne, here in middle GA we're not very hurricane prone, so I can't imagine the frustration of having read through his posts when trying to make important decisions to protect my property and life.


Well, being on the Gulf Coast (Biloxi, MS), I really have to watch whatever enters the GOM.

There are a few excellent non-professional posters here, that can really fill in the blanks. They have the expertise to back up their claims.

But to post just to draw attention to yourself, or to try to get others into an arguement, or to keep asking the same questions over and over - sheer lunacy.

I don't have to keep asking "when will the wave coming off of Africa develop into a cat 5 and wipe out my home". I've lurked and posted here enough to be able to READ the charts.

I just use the NHC for confirmation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1862. IKE
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
Hello there, Ike! I agree, that's something else, ain't it? A 0 percent, what are the odds? ROFL.


Yuo jsut dont giev up due yuo?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1860. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
just a rain event and gusty winds not expecting much more than that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1858. IKE
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


That surprised me when I saw that map earlier. That may be when it gets going.

Latest NOGAPS model takes the wave approaching the islands into Central America...in about 4 days...Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1854. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
NEAR 0
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.


NEAR ZERO PERCENT CHANCE OF SOME ON THIS BLOG, BELIEVING IT.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1851. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1850. DDR
Quoting stoormfury:
the last hour st lucia has been experiencing heavy showers and gusty winds as a result of the stong tropical wave moving the windward islands. recent sat pics are showing a mid level circulation. the wave will continue to bring showers to the islands as the wave moves westward
I see your getting some much needed rainfall,too much rain for me (Trinidad)its pouring outside,i cant do much work....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


But that's all of them! :P


btu tahts all of tehm :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1848. Levi32
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi, someone posted earlier this by Joe B about ENSO. What is your take about what JB says?

A significant burst of west wind is interrupting the La Nina onslaught and this is a sign that the MJO is alive and kicking. Forecasted pressures in the SOI determination area are reversing later this week, but something significant is moving through there and its effect on the tropics may be something to deal with in a couple of weeks.

Joe B


He's talking about the SOI daily values, which have plummeted to -16 today. He's right about the MJO, it is certainly alive and healthy. He's saying that the negative SOI burst is indicative of the MJO pulses moving across, but La Nina will come on nonetheless. The strong pulse of westerlies coming across the Pacific right now will be hitting the Caribbean in a couple of weeks, which is why he says we will have to watch the tropics. I agree with that, as the MJO will be coming back over the Atlantic in 2-3 weeks which may be when the hurricane season really kicks off.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
1845. IKE
174 hour 12Z GFS shows high pressure over the eastern USA and the western Caribbean low in the BOC...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Temp rising rapidly. Already at 89.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1843. hcubed
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:





Looooooooooocy! If you don't stop wit your crazy scheme I'm gonna have to get darstic!


It wasn't me that was gonna get darstic!

It was one of JFV's handles (the one that couldn't spell right).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Levi, someone posted earlier this by Joe B about ENSO. What is your take about what JB says?

A significant burst of west wind is interrupting the La Nina onslaught and this is a sign that the MJO is alive and kicking. Forecasted pressures in the SOI determination area are reversing later this week, but something significant is moving through there and its effect on the tropics may be something to deal with in a couple of weeks.

Joe B
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1892 - 1842

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66Blog Index

Top of Page

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.