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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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: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14076
Quoting Levi32:


My bee got stuck between my glasses and my eye....nasty situation. He panicked and stung my eyelid. Swelled nearly shut for 2 days.


ouch... If that were me it wouldn't be the bee panicking... man
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Quoting NRAamy:
TT....I love that crazy monkey avatar....


I figure it's better than my squashed head...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Temp: 86.1
Humidity: 65%
Dew Point: 72 F
Heat Index: 93

They say we might get to 94 today. We're supposed to hit 96 and 97 later in the week, but I won't be here anyway. PHEW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1837. Levi32
Quoting MississippiWx:


Sounds like the good life to me, Levi! It's not even 11:30 here yet, and it's already 86 degrees with a dew point of 72 degrees. You can imagine the humidity. Oh, by the way, our dew point a couple of nights ago was 82 degrees!


Wow, that's a lot of moisture. It's been pretty moist in the Gulf of Mexico lately.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
1835. Levi32
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Bee stings arn't pretty.I got stung in the finger,and chin.Ouch.


My bee got stuck between my glasses and my eye....nasty situation. He panicked and stung my eyelid. Swelled nearly shut for 2 days.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
Quoting hcubed:


Does this mean I can take another old JFV handle off of the ignore list? Got to make room for the next one.

What's really sad is the fact that there is a need for ban (either permanent or temp). Some people come on here to get the latest info "between the NHC forecasts", because they want to get a step ahead in their evac plans.

To have the same sad individuals keep bouncing back (not accepting the REASON they were banned), shows a need for psych attention.

Thank the admins for the minus key and the ignore function. Less posts to read through...


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.
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1833. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1831. NRAamy
TT....I love that crazy monkey avatar....
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Quoting Levi32:


Lol I know. 30% humidity too.


Sounds like the good life to me, Levi! It's not even 11:30 here yet, and it's already 86 degrees with a dew point of 72 degrees. You can imagine the humidity. Oh, by the way, our dew point a couple of nights ago was 82 degrees!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Eh I ignore that anymore. If they put yellow on it that means they're watching it. I don't care what percentage they give it.


I can't believe no one put it in those words yet lol. That's the perfect way to say it.
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1827. hcubed
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Already called it :) He really doesn't even try, does he?


Does this mean I can take another old JFV handle off of the ignore list? Got to make room for the next one.

What's really sad is the fact that there is a need for ban (either permanent or temp). Some people come on here to get the latest info "between the NHC forecasts", because they want to get a step ahead in their evac plans.

To have the same sad individuals keep bouncing back (not accepting the REASON they were banned), shows a need for psych attention.

Thank the admins for the minus key and the ignore function. Less posts to read through...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1826. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
NEAR 0
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Lol I know. 30% humidity too.


oh my haha

here is my weather:

Lawrenceville-Vincennes Intl Airport
Lat: 38.76 Lon: -87.6 Elev: 430
Last Update on Jun 9, 10:53 am CDT

Overcast

78 °F
(26 °C)
Humidity: 74 %
Wind Speed: W 10 MPH
Barometer: 29.92" (1012.9 mb)
Dewpoint: 69 °F (21 °C)
Heat Index: 80 °F (27 °C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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
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Quoting NRAamy:
A pair of geniuses... got to meet them both, they are astounding when it comes to their grasp of tropical weather.

CVC and JFV?


Easy, Lady... Dem's fightin' words! :-)
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1821. NRAamy
A pair of geniuses... got to meet them both, they are astounding when it comes to their grasp of tropical weather.

CVC and JFV?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:


Kinda remarkable, ain't it, Levi? It's relatively contradictory and oximoranic to see them mention something that has a 0% chance of developing. Therefore, why even bother in mentioning it? How is that scientifically rational? LOL, :0. Beats me.


Notice that it says NEAR 0%. It has a chance that is above 0 but is so low that it got rounded down to 0.. In other words, 1-4% chance.
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Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:


Kinda remarkable, ain't it, Levi? It's relatively contradictory and oximoranic to see them mention something that has a 0% chance of developing. Therefore, why even bother in mentioning it? How is that scientifically rational? LOL, :0. Beats me.


Actually, from what was explained to me, there is a percentage that is generated, but it's rounded to the nearest 10% mark... so, something with a 0% chance may have a 0 - 4% chance of development over the next 48 hours...
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1818. Levi32
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:


Kinda remarkable, ain't it, Levi? It's relatively contradictory and oximoranic to see them mention something that has a 0% chance of developing. Therefore, why even bother in mentioning it? How is that scientifically rational? LOL, :0. Beats me.


Eh I ignore that anymore. If they put yellow on it that means they're watching it. I don't care what percentage they give it.

In this cause I applaud the yellow circle because of potential down the road, but they are right that development chances are very low in the eastern Caribbean.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
1817. Levi32
Quoting tornadodude:


78..... :PP


Lol I know. 30% humidity too.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
Quoting Levi32:


Agree.
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Avila and Landsea are two of the best.


A pair of geniuses... got to meet them both, they are astounding when it comes to their grasp of tropical weather.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Ya when we hit 78 degrees in 2005, the record at my house. That was a cooker I gotta tell ya. We had a wildfire 1/4 mile from my house that day, and I got my first bee sting! Lol.


78..... :PP
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1811. Levi32
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Avila and Landsea are two of the best.


Agree.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
1809. Levi32
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Levit32, have you ever wished you had air conditioning?


Ya when we hit 78 degrees in 2005, the record at my house. That was a cooker I gotta tell ya. We had a wildfire 1/4 mile from my house that day, and I got my first bee sting! Lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
#1805 your point is?
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Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and officially ends on November 30th.
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Quoting Levi32:
Lol I did not see this:



CZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

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

1. A TROPICAL WAVE MOVING WESTWARD ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS
PRODUCING SHOWERS AND GUSTY WINDS. THIS WEATHER SYSTEM IS EXPECTED
TO CONTINUE WESTWARD ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN WITH NO
ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0
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
NNNN



Lol yup. There was quite a debate going on earlier this morning regarding whether 0% meant 0% or 1-4% and whether they circled it because they thought it had potential beyond 48 hours or not. Silly stuff like that.
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1798. Levi32
Lol I did not see this:



CZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT WED JUN 9 2010

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

1. A TROPICAL WAVE MOVING WESTWARD ACROSS THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS
PRODUCING SHOWERS AND GUSTY WINDS. THIS WEATHER SYSTEM IS EXPECTED
TO CONTINUE WESTWARD ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN WITH NO
ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0
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
NNNN

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
Quoting rmbjoe1954:


How did you know?


The senior chief said it all LOL
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Hey hurricaneswirl.Have things been good for you.


All is good. Actually I'm going on a two week trip out from the hot and muggy south to New York tomorrow. Wonder how many different handles of JFV there will be by the time I get back
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1794. Levi32
Quoting SQUAWK:


The official end of season is Nov, 30. The reality is that is does not end until after the last hurricane. 2005 season went into January. I don't know why they call it a season. Storms don't start when the season starts and don't stop when the season ends. Makes no sense to me.


It's simply a matter of defining the "season" during which tropical cyclones generally form. Outside of that season, they are much rarer.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26569
1793. Ossqss
Quoting Caribbeanislands101:
Good info!! Storm Shutters, we should get ready Link


Each manufacturer has an NOA applicable to their specific product and installation of such. If done correctly, you can get a free local inspection in Florida that will validate you installation method complies with what is required. Upon that being completed, you can get a wind mitigation inspection on your house geometry, protection etc. and your insurer must apply a discount to your homeowners insurance as dictated by the gov. I did it last year and they had to drop my premium by $900 bucks. Having the inspection also differentiates your home from others if you are selling it. If your house was built after 2005, you should already there :)

Here is a good resource if you need it for verification. They are the most stringent out there.

http://www.miamidade.gov/buildingcode/pc-search_app.asp?
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Quoting Levi32:


Yup pretty bright. 18 and a half hours of daylight now. We've been averaging temps in the 50s which has been nice...summer's in full swing. We even broke 60 a couple times last week.


haha wow, thats too much daylight for me, I like my nights. and I also enjoy my temps above 60 :p
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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.