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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3142. xcool
JLPR2 .:)
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3141. K8eCane
Quoting mrsalagranny:
You are so right k8e this is deffinately gonna be a very unusal season this year.


Well you stay safe! One good thing about hurricanes is that we usually have plenty of advance warning
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Well that vigorous wave that was near the Windwards went poof. :) The 40kt westerlies shredded that one. I don't expect this season will start ramping up until sometime in mid or late July. I do think we will see a TD or TS sometime in June. Looks like Cape Verde activity will start much earlier this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see a decent CV cane within the first week of July.
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3139. JLPR2
Quoting xcool:



ecmw


here cmc






It looks too similar :O
So we have a consensus of these two models, wont be convinced until I see more join in
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3137. xcool



ecmw


here cmc




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Quoting JLPR2:


Well looks promising, but lets wait till it reaches water
yep thats a pretty impressive wave
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You are so right k8e this is deffinately gonna be a very unusal season this year.
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TROPICAL UPDATE 6-10 WITH OIL GUSHER LIVE FEEDS


Go to the link with the live feed......It appears the PIPE may be clogged as the OIL is just streaming again...NO WAY ANYTHING IS BEING SUCKED UP NOW....NO WAY!
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To know it is updated

96 hours on this mornings run is Monday
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3132. xcool
cool water ..
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3131. JLPR2
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Updated through 96 hours and the Low is there again


yeah, had to do a little F5 XD
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3130. JLPR2


Well looks promising, but lets wait till it reaches water
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3129. xcool
ECMW ACT CRAZY TOO
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3128. xcool
Link

HERE FREE SITES..
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Quoting JLPR2:


its running, the 72hr frame hasn't updated yet, waiting for it to finish running :D


Updated through 96 hours and the Low is there again
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3126. K8eCane
But I am definitely not a professional nor a met
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It is showing it again by Sunday
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3124. JLPR2
Quoting xcool:
Hurricanes101 I GIVEUP ON http://raleighwx.easternuswx.com/


its running, the 72hr frame hasn't updated yet, waiting for it to finish running :D
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Thank you for your response.
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3122. K8eCane
Quoting mrsalagranny:
Isnt it too soon to have CV's in june that far out in the Atlantic. Im not saying there is one yet.Just curious.Thank you in advance.


Well Usually yes its too soon...but I cant shake the feeling that we will see strange stuff tis year that we just dont expect
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Im sorry i meant to say TC's.Im new here so please forgive me.
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Isnt it too soon to have CV's in june that far out in the Atlantic. Im not saying there is one yet.Just curious.Thank you in advance.
Climatologically yes it is too soon but with the right conditions and a strong tropical wave you may get something cooking
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3119. xcool
NEVER TOO too soon HAVE C;V STORMS
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Isnt it too soon to have CV's in june that far out in the Atlantic. Im not saying there is one yet.Just curious.Thank you in advance.
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3115. xcool
Hurricanes101 I GIVEUP ON http://raleighwx.easternuswx.com/
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3114. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
5:30 AM IST June 10 2010
=================================

The low pressure area over west central Bay of Bengal and neighborhood persists.
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Quoting xcool:
Link


ONETIME..




nope still not updated
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Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
what's it showing, folks?
It was yesterdays run todays run isnt out yet its running right now.
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3111. xcool
Link


ONETIME..


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3110. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
I remember when "pinhole" was a common word used here during cyclone season.
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3108. JLPR2
Quoting K8eCane:
K8e's Top 20 List Of Words Predicted To Be Used This Hurricane Season On This Site...

20.Bastardi
19.Shear
18.Pressure
17.Recon
16.Hebert
15.Carolinas
14.Gulf
13. Florida
12.Oilslick
11. Caster
10.Masters
9.Panic
8. JFV
7.Sorry
6.Crow
5.Recurve
4.Cat
3.Update
2. Iggy

And the Number 1 Word...
1. Poof!


Agreed.
I think I have said Poof twice this season :0)
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3107. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Central Pacific Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
8:00 PM HST June 9 2010
====================================

A weak surface trough located about 1175 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii is moving westward at almost 20 mph. Disorganized thunderstorms associated with this trough has become less active since yesterday. Strong upper level winds in the vicinity of the system are not conducive for any significant development.
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Is this what you guys are talking about??

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cyclonephase/cmc/fcst/archive/10061000/91.html

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3105. xcool
Hurricanes101 oh damm .i fix fix
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3104. JLPR2
Quoting Hurricanes101:


at 0 hours is says Thursday, which is the start of this mornings run

but as you go forward you will see

24 hours says Friday - that is this mornings run
48 hours says Saturday - that is this mornings run

but at 72 hours it also says Saturday, which makes it from yesterdays run


yeah, we got two 12's XD
its still running.
I really hope to see a clear CATL on this one ^^
Someone tell the waves its too early for them :P
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3103. xcool
my favorite word take it with a grain of salt.
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Quoting btwntx08:

hmmm sounds similar though its abit louder


They do in the wild. Google some audio. If not that then try Hoot Owl. Some reason or another they don't freak people out as much, maybe because they sound more like what one would expect an owl to sound like. Bunch of other owls out there but they don't usually call as frequently as what you are describing.

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Quoting xcool:
hurricanes101 how ??? help me out..


at 0 hours is says Thursday, which is the start of this mornings run

but as you go forward you will see

24 hours says Friday - that is this mornings run
48 hours says Saturday - that is this mornings run

but at 72 hours it also says Saturday, which makes it from yesterdays run
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"grain of salt" - I like that! :) Lolz
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3099. xcool


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3098. xcool
hurricanes101 how ??? help me out..
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3097. xcool
alex lmao..
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Quoting xcool:
Link



192hr cv storm ecmwf new

hmmm
Well its long range so take it with a grain of salt.
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Quoting xcool:
Link



192hr cv storm ecmwf new

hmmm


that is last nights run except for the 1st 48 hours
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3094. xcool
Link



192hr cv storm ecmwf new

hmmm
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Quoting K8eCane:
K8e's Top 20 List Of Words Predicted To Be Used This Hurricane Season On This Site...

20.Bastardi
19.Shear
18.Pressure
17.Recon
16.Hebert
15.Carolinas
14.Gulf
13. Florida
12.Oilslick
11. Caster
10.Masters
9.Panic
8. JFV
7.Sorry
6.Crow
5.Recurve
4.Cat
3.Update
2. Iggy

And the Number 1 Word...
1. Poof!

Oh Don't forget Alex!
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Quoting WaterWitch11:
tampa i can see cnn's feed and it shows it flowing. i'm limited on places i can see it. i can't view from bp site, i don't have the right apps.


Go to my blog and follow the links!
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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.