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: 1542 - 1492

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 HurricaneSwirl:
06Z NAM has something pretty serious in the Eastern Caribbean within the next 3 days:

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/carib/nam/06/index_sl7_m_loop.shtml


The NAM isnt a tropical model. Or even a global model.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
What I don't understand is that 6 storms in 2005 - Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma - caused much of the death and destruction. Now when people say that this will not be a 2005, number-wise, does it really matter? I mean given the exceptional agreement in environmental conditions, most importantly ssts, I would say, we could have those 6 storms with the 18 named storms being predicted. The numbers of 2005 don't really matter to me, is the intensity of the individual storms this year and where they hit that does. Mitch 1998? So I find it strange when people downplay the potential of this season by using such phrases as "this is not going to be another 2005 of record breaking activity"


i so agree with you! there were so many but most of them honestly just cooled things off ad helped the drought. but my gosh those bad ones, its terrifying to think of even ONE katrina hitting anywhere. and katrina was so horrible it overshadowed the rest. I have a friend that was in wilma and he kept saying "everyone is talking about nothing but katrina and we are devastated here..."so just one storm of tjat caliber would be terrible and two magnified exponentially. I completely agreem it wasnt the number of storms in 2005 but the intensity of even one of the worst ones!
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 1448
06Z NAM has something pretty serious in the Eastern Caribbean within the next 3 days:

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/carib/nam/06/index_sl7_m_loop.shtml
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
1539. leo305
Quoting P451:


Well, that is the point isn't it. What will it do when it reaches more favorable conditions. Yet, will it be intact when it does is the question. Not too convinced it will be.

Alex will come one day...not convinced this is the one that will do it.


the shear isn't severe enough to completely rip it into shreds, but it's somewhat high, it will get through it in 24-36 hours.. then it will enter an area of very low to no shear in the central carribean and western carribean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:

0% in the next 48 hours. Keep in mind the 48 hours part.


I've actually been saying that for the past 3 posts before that, I was just acknowledging why people might think it was weird.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
1537. leo305
Quoting P451:


GFS last year had every wave off of Africa turning into a Hurricane last June and July.

Ghost storms...

To trust any models in June and early July in the tropics is more foolish than usual.

They seem to act as if it's the prime part of the season (like with 90 and 91 respectively, both becoming major Cat 2 systems on multiple models, and in reality one got halfway to being a gale center and the other was just a puff of T-Storms off of Belize).



I tend to trust the CMC, GFS I never trust anymore
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1536. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


XX/XX/XL
MARK
12.1n/58.2w
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Whoa, whoa, whoa....

Doesn't every disturbance out there right now have a 0% chance of forming?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow, that is one interesting TWO...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1530. gator23
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
Yeah I see why 0% is strange, with that logic just circle the entire basin right? (where is the stoopid circle?)

But they've already done it before this season, why is everyone surprised now haha.

NEAR 0% in the next 48 hours. Keep in mind the 48 hours part and the NEAR part.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:


Way to go out on a limb....

Maybe today.
Maybe tomorrow.
Maybe 96 hours later.
Maybe it will maybe it won't.


Too early in the season for this type of scrutiny.

IMO, of course.


Agreed. I have 100% confidence in that something or nothing may develop out of this wave.
Member Since: June 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1422
1526. leo305
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Veering north? Can you point me to a model that shows that? Like an Arlene type situation?


I think it was the GFS or nogaps.. it forces it W/ then WNW/NW into cuba.. but not as anything much, maybe a swirl. Still..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Good Evening all
Just had another nice shower. 1.3" for the day...so far.


i grew up on a bayou near panama city. we didnt have air conditioning. sometimes you would take a shower and dry off and never ever get really dry. the car didnt have ac either. you just went around all clammy. hair all flat and damp. sometimes i would take a shower and at the end make the water real cold so i could at least cool off a little. i dont know how we lived without ac, i couldnt do it now. amazing.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 1448
Quoting Tazmanian:
well all welcome too the 1st real wave too track of 2010 am all so forcasting 92L be for the day is out or by thursday or by the weekend


You mean the circled wave? Or the wave soon to come off of Africa?
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
Yeah I see why 0% is strange, with that logic just circle the entire basin right? (where is the stoopid circle?)

But they've already done it before this season, why is everyone surprised now haha.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
i think the nhc is doing some in new this year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1520. SBG
Quoting scott39:
Why does the NHC even give it a mention at all with such a low %? I know they changed the rules. Are they expecting a piece to get thru at a near 0% to form in the Western Carribean?


If they didn't they'd get a phone call every 5 minues saying, "Hello fine sir, when exactly will the eye of soon to be Alex pass right over my house?"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
well all welcome too the 1st real wave too track of 2010 am all so forcasting 92L be for the day is out or by thursday or by the weekend
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jeff9641:


GFS has this as Alex in the GOM heading to Mexico. Some models however veer this north once it moves to the western Caribbean. This will be one to watch.


Veering north? Can you point me to a model that shows that? Like an Arlene type situation?
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
LOL

0%
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
this wave may be are 1st name
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leo305:
the wave will move into favorable conditions when it gets into the carribean.. that's why they put the circle


Yup. My guess- they have a 40% chance of it forming at all. But that chance is outside the 48 hours so its irrelevant to the outlook.

If I'm right I like the way they're staying ahead of things
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
1512. SLU
Quoting ryang:


It has actually turned quite ''calm'' at the moment (very strange); however, earlier winds were gusting at 70 mph near showers (at my location)


wow .. your airport has been reporting tropical storm force wind gusts too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1510. leo305
well central carribean
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1509. leo305
the wave will move into favorable conditions when it gets into the carribean.. that's why they put the circle
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oh sorry, lol. Yes you are a "regular".


what are we the "irregulars"??
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 1448
LOL

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Notice that the outlook doesn't state any unfavorable conditions preventing it from developing. It almost always does when there is such a low chance.

The Tropical Weather Outlook only goes out 48 hours, so all they're saying is that there is a near 0% chance of it forming in the next 48 hours. I think they might just be giving it a circle to stay ahead of things; I think that they think it has more of a chance beyond 48 hours.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
I can only imagine the comments on here if the NHC didn't acknowledge it! lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scott39:
Why does the NHC even give it a mention at all with such a low %? I know they changed the rules. Are they expecting a piece to get thru at a near 0% to form in the Western Carribean?

Good morning, I was thinking the same thing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
NHC mentions the wave but has it at 0%.

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...

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


Wow. They think it has a chance. The only reason they would mention it and give it a near 0% chance is because they are somewhat concerned about what it may do beyond the 48 hours that the Tropical Weather Outlook covers.
Member Since: July 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 3237
1502. scott39
Why does the NHC even give it a mention at all with such a low %? I know they changed the rules. Are they expecting a piece to get thru at a near 0% to form in the Western Carribean?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1501. ryang
Quoting SLU:


how gusty are the winds?


It has actually turned quite ''calm'' at the moment (very strange); however, earlier winds were gusting at 70 mph near showers (at my location)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1500. scott39
Quoting StormW:


Not with that TUTT sitting there:

I should have put in my ignorance of weather opinion. IMIOWO! LOL Thanks Storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1499. SLU
Quoting ryang:
Strong thunderstorms here in Barbados at the moment (very gusty as well)...



how gusty are the winds?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1498. IKE
Quoting scott39:
What do you think Ike?-------- First name of the season??


It's possible. Not likely, but possible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1497. SLU
Quoting scott39:
What kind of wind shear is it running into?


Running straight into a reinforced concrete wall.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1496. gator23
Quoting yonzabam:
This is the complete and continuous GOES east satellite video for the whole of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with some great music playing. Runs for 9 minutes.





a href="" target="_blank">Link


This was created by one of our members. HIs name is CycloneOZ please thank him
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1495. scott39
Quoting IKE:


They may think it has a chance in a few days though.
What do you think Ike?-------- First name of the season??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1493. IKE
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
NHC mentions the wave but has it at 0%.

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...

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


They may think it has a chance in a few days though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1492. scott39
Quoting SLU:


at least it's getting an honourable mention
It also gets a yellow circle.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1542 - 1492

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.