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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1692. srada


Ha..I posted my first image!!Yeah!
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1691. IKE
non-tropical NAM run...
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Why is the Eastern Caribbean a so-called "dead zone" for tropical development?
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1688. Ossqss
edited :)
LOL
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1687. IKE
Quoting wxmobilejim:
3) The tropical wave approaching the islands is the first one from the African wave train that has started growing before reaching the islands. This may have a relatively far south southern track, but it still may get into the Gulf next week. Waves following should track a bit farther north as the month progresses.

4) 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


Yeah...but what part of the GOM...BOC?
Is it a possible threat to the underwater oil volcano?

Maybe it's too far in advance to know?
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Quoting SQUAWK:
It is a shame that there are so many people on here that have 0% sense of humor and cannot identify humor when it hits them in the face.


OUCH that hurts. What did I ever do to you. Oh wait, never mind. :)
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3) The tropical wave approaching the islands is the first one from the African wave train that has started growing before reaching the islands. This may have a relatively far south southern track, but it still may get into the Gulf next week. Waves following should track a bit farther north as the month progresses.

4) 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
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Quoting SQUAWK:
It is a shame that there are so many people on here that have 0% sense of humor and cannot identify humor when it hits them in the face.


POOF (just kidding, that was a joke...)
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Clearly, it has a 1.873% chance of development... or did nobody ever teach you about the use of significant figures?

The Trinidad blob looks pretty sheared, although not seared enough to fully inhibit development. There is one sinificant positive for development: A lot of the convection is WEST of the wave axis, which significantly improves chances of development. Wait a few days, and we'll see if it gets better organized.
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The longer the high shear stays in place, the warmer the SST's will become.

I actually hope we do have a few small tropical storms or even 1-2 Cat-1 hurricanes in June this year to take the heat out of the tropics, lowering the potential energy before the height of the season.

We are only 1-week into the season, but the longer we go without tropical systems, the worse will be the storms that follow due to more heat energy remaining in the tropics.
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Quoting 7544:
morning everyone this new island wave seems to be getting better organized imo could this be our next invest soon ?

not really
Member Since: April 7, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 347
1680. SQUAWK
It is a shame that there are so many people on here that have 0% sense of humor and cannot identify humor when it hits them in the face.
Member Since: December 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
Quoting DestinJeff:


I can't believe you would make such an observation when it is obvious that this is clearly a case of a 1% - 1.5% chance of development! What kind of basis do you have for your argument anyway, hmmm? You know people will read your entry and make life decisions based on it, so I find it reprehensible for you to make such a claim of 2% chance of development.

lol!
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1294
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I don't think Grothar or DesitanJeff should be making predictions for this particular event. Neither one is a Met.


where is your spirit of adventure?
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2585
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I don't think Grothar or DesitanJeff should be making predictions for this particular event. Neither one is a Met.


Clap it up for this guy. Grothar has been tracking storms for a long while now so next time, please think before you speak.
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I don't think Grothar or DesitanJeff should be making predictions for this particular event. Neither one is a Met.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Wave under high shear (20-30 kts)
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 259
1671. 7544
Quoting SQUAWK:

Here is the reason for the "near 0%" in the TWO. The NHC reads this blog and wanted to allay all the fears of the "blob watchers" in here. LOL


im a blob watcher lol but u cant say it dosent look like its trying to get better organized and blobs do turn in to something bigger . thats how the storms are born . so imo blob watching is ok on my end
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6872
Quoting hercj:

Thank you very much... I will follow up with this link.


-----------
http://www.keyshistory.org/35-hurr-war-dept.html

War Department letter summarizing hurricane data collected in the Keys,

"WAR DEPARTMENT
"UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE
"POST OFFICE BUILDING
"JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
"Refer to file no. P.E. 167.3
"March 30, 1939

-
"Subject: Hurricane data, Florida Keys - September 2, 1935.
-
"To: The Chief of Engineers S. Army, Washington, D. C.
-
"Copy to: The Division Engineer, South Atlantic Division, Richmond, Va.
-
"1. In compliance with instruction's contained in Division Engineers telegram of March 23 1939, additional data is herewith pertaining to barometer reading
barometers and estimate of accuracy of the instruments used during the hurricane of September 2, 1935, in the Florida Keys.

...


"7. Low barometer reading at Craig, Milepost 451, the storm center as it passed over the keys, September 2, 1935, 8:20 to 9:25 p.m., 26.40 inches: Observers, Capt. Ivar Olsen, R. W. Craig and R. C. Jackson. This barometer was located by employees of this office and Capt. Olsen, the owner, agreed to turn it over to us for calibration. It was turned over to the Miami Weather Bureau for test readings. The Miami Weather Bureau corrected the reading to 26.38 inches, then sent it to the Weather Bureau at Washington, for further test. The Weather Bureau at Washington found the corrected reading to be 26.35 inches. As these men were exposed and in the open, no recording were made of readings, but the low point reached by the barometer pointer was marked on the barometer case.

Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6064
1669. Ossqss
Howdy, here is a nice interactive cool tool if anyone is interested :) L8R

http://www.stormpulse.com/
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1668. Grothar
Quoting DestinJeff:


I can't believe you would make such an observation when it is obvious that this is clearly a case of a 1% - 1.5% chance of development! What kind of basis do you have for your argument anyway, hmmm? You know people will read your entry and make life decisions based on it, so I find it reprehensible for you to make such a claim of 2% chance of development.



OK, I'll back down. I'll go with 1.5% for the time being, but you better be right.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26856
Hurricane forecast: "Nuttin"
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1666. SQUAWK
Quoting 7544:
morning everyone this new island wave seems to be getting better organized imo could this be our next invest soon ?

Here is the reason for the "near 0%" in the TWO. The NHC reads this blog and wanted to allay all the fears of the "blob watchers" in here. LOL
Member Since: December 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
yesterday the conditions in the Caribbean was just right for development and would be for a while. what happened? what has changed from yesterday that would make it impossible for this wave to develop? if it is a wave, isn't it already tropical? not being sarcastic, just don't know too much about weather. only what i read on here. i also don't see any of the people on here that said that right now. I'm just wondering what has changed so much since yesterday, and why would this tropical wave that has come all the way from Africa not be able to form in a virtual hot tub of a Caribbean? thanks in advance!
Member Since: September 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1294
Quoting DestinJeff:


I can't believe you would make such an observation when it is obvious that this is clearly a case of a 1% - 1.5% chance of development! What kind of basis do you have for your argument anyway, hmmm? You know people will read your entry and make life decisions based on it, so I find it reprehensible for you to make such a claim of 2% chance of development.


I recommend folks copy and save this for later in the season. Then all that would be needed is to cut and paste numbers appropriate for the event at hand.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting DestinJeff:


I can't believe you would make such an observation when it is obvious that this is clearly a case of a 1% - 1.5% chance of development! What kind of basis do you have for your argument anyway, hmmm? You know people will read your entry and make life decisions based on it, so I find it reprehensible for you to make such a claim of 2% chance of development.


I prefer you do not round off your numbers to just one decimal place. You should include at least 10, because this is a life or death situation.
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1662. BDAwx
so the cold front passed yesterday. After bringing us almost a week of 80s it dropped our temperatures to a record breaking 65F and gave us a needed 0.10-0.33" of rain. :)
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1661. hydrus
Quoting Grothar:


That is outrageous, Jeff, anyone can see it is a 2%. LOL.
Now watch it grow to a cat-3 when the shear is gone.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21751
Quoting DestinJeff:
Many people are asking about the 0% thing ...

as several here have mentioned previously, but it is worth reiterating: check out the context of the 0% statement, "NEAR" and "WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS"

really nothing to be overly quizzical about. NHC has your back!


tell them to give it back, i want to be able to move around
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
1658. hercj
Quoting indianrivguy:


edit; caicos.. well done sir!! same Jerry Wilkinson!

Thank you very much. There is a multitude of things that happened with this storm, not the least of which is that it for all intents and purposes ended Henry Flagler. I will follow up with this link.
Member Since: September 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 319
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
hercj



This is a poor photo of the Ivan Olsen boat in which a number of people from the Craig area just below the ferry landing rode out the hurricane. More important, it was Olsen's barometer that establish the still record low barometric pressure of 26.35 inches ever recorded over land in North America. The indicator was off the scale and Captain Olsen scratched marks along the brass rim which were later calibrated.


THE NATURAL HISTORY ROOM
The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane
Page 10

http://www.keyshistory.org/shelf1935hurrpage10.html


A reanalysis paper has this:

"Captain Olson's boat weathered the storm by being fastened on the north side of the railroad embankment at Craig, near the north end of Long Key. The ships barometer was tested in Washington and showed it to be exceptionally responsive and reliable. It recorded a low pressure of 892 mb near 00 UTC" (MWR).
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


That wave that is coming off of Africa at 48 hours also looks interesting.


Yes it does. However, the GFS weakens it shortly afterwards.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting 7544:
morning everyone this new island wave seems to be getting better organized imo could this be our next invest soon ?


The TWO says it all...mostly likely it won't.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1654. Grothar
Quoting DestinJeff:


2%? are you NUTS? NHC will not be that aggressive, I say 1.5% at most as it enters the Carribbean! But the may stick with 1% so as not to alarm anyone unecessarily.



That is outrageous, Jeff, anyone can see it is a 2%. LOL.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26856
Quoting extreme236:
Disturbance forms at 48 hours:


More impressive at 120 hours:


That wave that is coming off of Africa at 48 hours also looks interesting.
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1652. hydrus
Quoting hercj:

Thanks, I'm moving in the right direction now.
The Labor Day Storm was a tragedy that is hard to describe. There was 61 people in the Russell family. There were only 11 after the storm. Heart-wrenching events like this in small and peaceful communities that made a living from the ocean.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21751
1651. AussieStorm
2:16 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
ENSO Wrap-Up: Tropical Pacific Remains Neutral. Increased chance of La Nia in 2010. Link

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1648. 7544
2:13 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
morning everyone this new island wave seems to be getting better organized imo could this be our next invest soon ?
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6872
1647. indianrivguy
2:13 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
Quoting indianrivguy:
herci... There is a fella, Jerry Wilkinson, retired, in his 80's, that is a historical authority on the Florida Keys.. especially the upper keys. He has put together a web page about the '35 'cane in honor/memorium of the 75th anniversary.

The Homepage for the 75th Anniversary of the 1935 Hurricane -


He has multiple links, two videos and much information. I have corresponded with him a number of times and he is generous with his knowledge and sources. If you were to pose your questions to him he might be a valuable source if he knows the answer.. and a bulldog for learning more if he doesn't. "I" would be interested in reading anything you might discover too. Good luck!


edit; caicos.. well done sir!! same Jerry Wilkinson!
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2585
1646. Chucktown
2:12 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
Quoting Chucktown:


It aint happening. Shear over the eastern Caribbean is over 40 knots. Just some gusty showers for the Winward islands.


Sorry - Windward.
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1776
1645. serialteg
2:12 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
Quoting sarahjola:
i think the nhc will be eating crow on that prediction. i said it last night that we would be watching something this weekend. forget model predictions- just use your intuition for this question- do you think this wave has a chance for development. the water are boiling out there. people on this blog have been saying for days now that the conditions are ripe for development in the Caribbean. so any predictions on if and when this wave will take shape and possibly be named?


if ur talkin about the caribbean wave - besides the nhc giving near 0 chance - theres shear
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
1644. SQUAWK
2:11 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
Quoting MrsOsa:


See and this is the memory of Katrina that angers the people of MS. Because of the levees and NO flooding everyone forgets that MS was DEVESTATED by Katrina's storm surge and we didn't have levees that broke that shouldn't. It was alllll storm. My house was one of many.


But all the whiners are in NO
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1643. hercj
2:11 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
Quoting hydrus:
Texas.

He is running the NWS in San Angelo
Member Since: September 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 319
1642. Chucktown
2:11 PM GMT on June 09, 2010
Quoting sarahjola:
i think the nhc will be eating crow on that prediction. i said it last night that we would be watching something this weekend. forget model predictions- just use your intuition for this question- do you think this wave has a chance for development. the water are boiling out there. people on this blog have been saying for days now that the conditions are ripe for development in the Caribbean. so any predictions on if and when this wave will take shape and possibly be named?


It aint happening. Shear over the eastern Caribbean is over 40 knots. Just some gusty showers for the Winward islands.
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1776

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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.