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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1292. SLU
Quoting Grothar:


Don't you remember pot, you said the same thing in November 11, 1911?


lol
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Quoting Levi32:


But watch out on the other side. Great ventilation over the western Caribbean once the wave gets over there.


1: What is this plot of? Winds for when?
2: Why are the barbs of the southern hemisphere style? With the flags pointed opposite of the usual?
nevermind...they are normal...
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1290. JLPR2
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey uys check out that vort (850) in the E Atlantic



it has weakened quite a bit
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1289. Grothar
Quoting pottery:
I checked the time a few minutes ago. It was 11:11 pm.
So what happens at 11:11, on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century??
We may not make it to 2012, is what I'm thinking.
I mean, that line-up of ominous digits is BOUND to cause something or other.
11:11/11/11/11


Don't you remember pot, you said the same thing in November 11, 1911?
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1288. pottery
Quoting TampaSpin:
Was watching bits and pieces of Fox News tonite and did i hear it correctly that another Oil Rig is also leaking Oil also as they was trying to hide this to be true.

I think that there is little doubt that thousands of barrels of oil leak into the GOM every year (and in all other places with offshore oil installations).
They go mostly un-noticed.
Except by the marine life, and people that eat a lot of sea food.
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1287. Levi32
Quoting beell:
1240.



Base of the TUTT, meet 50W wave.


But watch out on the other side. Great ventilation over the western Caribbean once the wave gets over there.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26454
1286. pottery
I checked the time a few minutes ago. It was 11:11 pm.
So what happens at 11:11, on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century??
We may not make it to 2012, is what I'm thinking.
I mean, that line-up of ominous digits is BOUND to cause something or other.
11:11/11/11/11
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey uys check out that vort (850) in the E Atlantic

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1284. beell
1240.

Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Base of the TUTT, meet 50W wave.
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1283. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

Why, yes, actually, I can.
1: you make it a little on the easy side
2: I say, that Levi, he's a sharp boy


Gosh, atmo, I can always count on you to stick up for me.
Yes, we are fortunate to have Levi and many others like him on here. I really mean it. We tease with you all, but some of the younger bloggers on here really provide us good information and graphics. We all appreciate it.
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Was watching bits and pieces of Fox News tonite and did i hear it correctly that another Oil Rig is also leaking Oil also as they was trying to hide this to be true.
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The NHC page has changed a lot over the years.

Photobucket
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Quoting pottery:

I was already old.............


beats the alternative
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1279. pottery
Quoting Grothar:


Not if they are Banana Boat shoes, they won't.
OHOHOHOHOHO!!!
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1278. Greyelf
Quoting 850Realtor:
Good Evening All. Haven't been on today...did I miss anything? Read back a few posts and am wondering if CycloneOz got banned today? I always miss the shenanigans :)


Yes he did, and apparently TropicalWave did as well. There were also possibly a few others, but I don't know who.

And I'm out for the night. Sleep well all.
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1277. JLPR2
Quoting CaribBoy:


Impressive hurricane Lenny at peak intensity on november 17th 1999!


Now that one was a crazy one, I vaguely remember hearing of Lenny on the news, I guess I was 9 by then. :D
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1276. Grothar
Quoting pottery:

Thanks, Gro.
And the thing is, I have loads of Bananas right now.
Shoes are gonna be looking GOOD.
Smelling strange, but looking good is fine....


Not if they are Banana Boat shoes, they won't.
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Good Evening All. Haven't been on today...did I miss anything? Read back a few posts and am wondering if CycloneOz got banned today? I always miss the shenanigans :)
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Quoting Grothar:


Levi got me atmo! Can you believe it?

Why, yes, actually, I can.
1: you make it a little on the easy side
2: I say, that Levi, he's a sharp boy
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Impressive hurricane Lenny at peak intensity on november 17th 1999!
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Quoting pottery:

I was already old.............


LOL! Don't worry. I will be there one day.
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1271. pottery
JLPR2,-- LOL.
Atmo,-- Bah!
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1270. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

Zing!


Levi got me atmo! Can you believe it?
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Quoting pottery:

.... and that was 15 years ago.
Which makes me, what?

(it's a hypothetical question. No need to answer that)

a fifteen-old?

Oh, hypothetical.
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1268. JLPR2
Quoting pottery:

.... and that was 15 years ago.
Which makes me, what?

(it's a hypothetical question. No need to answer that)


haha!
*uncomfortable silence*
XD
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1267. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting SLU:
1995 was the craziest season i've ever seen. I rate it above 2005 in terms of it being a "perfect hurricane season". No SAL, La Nina, warm SSTs, little wind shear, widespread upward motion, countless disturbances threatening to develop and the most active wave train i've seen even up to now (maybe 2010 might match it). The last 10 days of August 1995 when the MJO pulse arrive resulted in one of the most spectacular outbreaks of hurricane activity in Atlantic recorded history. Not one, not two but FIVE simultaneous cyclones roaming the waters of the Atlantic! Not even 2005 could match that.
yep the most hectic tracking time ever seen some in here would proablly not keep up
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Hey guys so whats going on?
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
1265. pottery
Quoting pottery:

I was already old.............

.... and that was 15 years ago.
Which makes me, what?

(it's a hypothetical question. No need to answer that)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1264. JLPR2

It has been awhile since this has happened to PR and I'm sure that when it happens people will probably downplay it, it has been 11 almost 12 years since a hurricane crossed PR and people get too confident so they dont prepare, yep...sad.
The, ''its not coming here'' phrase should be used with caution.
We are rusty in PR.
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1263. pottery
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Dude, I was only 1. lol

I was already old.............
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1262. SLU
Quoting Levi32:
Well, I don't remember Karen....I was only 3 lol.



There were some pretty impressive Fujiwara interactions which occured that year with Hurricane Iris and Tropical Storm Karen and then Iris and Hurricane Luis since they were so close to each other.
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Quoting Levi32:
Well, I don't remember Karen....I was only 3 lol.



Dude, I was only 1. lol
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From left to right : Jerry, Iris, Humberto, Pre-KAREN (lol)
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1259. SLU
1995 was the craziest season i've ever seen. I rate it above 2005 in terms of it being a "perfect hurricane season". No SAL, La Nina, warm SSTs, little wind shear, widespread upward motion, countless disturbances threatening to develop and the most active wave train i've seen even up to now (maybe 2010 might match it). The last 10 days of August 1995 when the MJO pulse arrived resulted in one of the most spectacular outbreaks of hurricane activity in Atlantic recorded history. Not one, not two but FIVE simultaneous cyclones roaming the waters of the Atlantic! Not even 2005 could match that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1258. pottery
Quoting Grothar:


This link is for pot and pot only. I have got to send this to Snake.

Link

Thanks, Gro.
And the thing is, I have loads of Bananas right now.
Shoes are gonna be looking GOOD.
Smelling strange, but looking good is fine....
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1257. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:
Well, I don't remember Karen....I was only 3 lol.



Ha! I was four XD
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Quoting Levi32:


Hey, Gro, yo, don't forget you were trying to tell us that you've seen the turn of two centuries...lol.

Zing!
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1255. Levi32
Quoting Grothar:



3?????


Hey, Gro, yo, don't forget you were trying to tell us that you've seen the turn of two centuries...lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26454
Quoting atmoaggie:

Doesn't seem like there should be much all that memorable about Karen...

Big, wide A'd Bertha was another story...lol.
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1253. Levi32
Quoting atmoaggie:

Doesn't seem like there should be much all that memorable about Karen...


Apparently there must be something....I hear jokes about her constantly. Perhaps she was under 50-knot shear the whole time or something.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26454
1252. Grothar
Quoting Levi32:
Well, I don't remember Karen....I was only 3 lol.




3?????
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Quoting Levi32:
Well, I don't remember Karen....I was only 3 lol.


Doesn't seem like there should be much all that memorable about that Karen...
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1250. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1249. JLPR2
Quoting Greyelf:
hehe..me too. I pay more attention to photos here than anything else.


yep, there are many nice ones ^^
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Quoting Levi32:
Well, I don't remember Karen....I was only 3 lol.



not that Karen lol

the one from 2007 that wouldnt go away
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1247. JLPR2
Quoting SevereHurricane:


I disagree. 96L in 2007; the little invest that could.


I actually have a picture of it, I would name it, the dry invest XD
Poor little thing was eaten up by SAL, no?


It was one of the first invests I actually tracked.
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1246. xcool
hey
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1245. Grothar
Quoting pottery:
SLU, post 1199.
Good one, Man!


This link is for pot and pot only. I have got to send this to Snake.

Link
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omg...the eggplant was sinful. far too good!
anyway, back to business:

1. Expected Activity- 70% chance above normal, 20% chance near normal, 10% chance below normal

An important measure of the total seasonal activity is NOAA%u2019s Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, which accounts for the collective intensity and duration of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes during a given hurricane season. The ACE index is also used to define above-, near-, and below-normal hurricane seasons (see Background Information). A value of 117% of the median (Median value is 87.5) corresponds to the lower boundary for an above-normal season.

For the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season the ACE index is expected to be in the range of 120%-190% of the median. The outlook also calls for 12-15 tropical storms, with 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3-5 of these becoming major hurricanes [categories 3-4-5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale]. While it is reasonable to expect this range of tropical storms and hurricanes, the total seasonal activity measured by the ACE index can certainly be in the predicted range without all three of these criteria being met.

2005 Hurricane Season Discussion NOAA

1. Expected 2010 activity

Known climate signals and evolving oceanic and atmospheric conditions, combined with dynamical model forecasts, indicate a high likelihood of above normal activity during the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. This outlook calls for an 85% chance of an above-normal season, only a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and a 5% chance of a below normal season.

An important measure of the total overall seasonal activity is the NOAA Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, which accounts for the intensity and duration of named storms and hurricanes during the season. We estimate a 70% chance that the 2010 seasonal ACE range will be 155%-270% of the median. According to NOAA%u2019s hurricane season classifications, an ACE value above 117% of the 1950-2000 median reflects an above-normal season. An ACE value above 175% of the median reflects an exceptionally active (or hyperactive) season.

2010 Hurricane Season Discussion NOAA
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys I need updates on tropics any updated between 12 and now and I need rain


I need it too, trees are not happy at all. They haven't got a drop since.... may 29. Northern leewards islands are dry & hot.
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1242. SLU
Quoting JLPR2:


Ah no, I meant, its the only hurricane I have experienced and have memory of it :P


o ok .. now i understand
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.