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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Quoting Levi32:


I just dabble with paint.net. I can't afford to pay for photo editing programs.
Thanks!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Should reach 30˚C in about 2 months.


Won't be that long. I'll give it a month, if that. An intense heat wave will encompass the entire South for at least the next 2 weeks. We are supposed to have highs in the mid 90s for at least the next week here in South Mississippi.
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1040. Levi32
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Levi32, I was looking at your blog and I noticed a very nice graph. I was wondering what website or software you use to design it?



I just dabble with paint.net. I can't afford to pay for photo editing programs.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26681
Quoting Chicklit:

Anomaly means different than normal.
Right now SST's are higher than normal.
He expects them to be normal by July.


Unless Dr. Masters changed his opinion on SST's from his personal hurricane season forecast, then he didn't mean the anomalies would become "normal." What he said was that the anomalies would come down from their record breaking level that they are now. He also mentioned that they should stay on par with 2005, rather than be above the 2005 level. Almost 100% positive he said nothing about the SST dropping to normal anomalies.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Levi32, I was looking at your blog and I noticed a very nice graph. I was wondering what website or software you use to design it?

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1009 Chicklit "Also a woman called in with about 20 shrimp trawlers, including her sons', complaining about the lack of cooperation regarding getting fitted masks for the fishermen. At present there isn't even anyone measuring the level of toxins at boat level. She's called the EPA, NOAA, OSHA, BP, and they're all passing the buck..

The bureaucratese acronym is CYA (for CoverYourA**). As long as a bureaucrat doesn't do anything, s/he can't be held responsible for anything... such as "The fishermen are complaining of headaches, nausea, vomiting...some are ending up at the hospital. And still no masks."
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Quoting Levi32:
Timeseries of Gulf of Mexico average sea surface temperature (From 80W-98W, 20N-30N) from April 1st to June 6th:

Should reach 30˚C in about 2 months.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting CaneWarning:


I don't like the idea of using anything other than Safari on my Mac. I am very particular about my Apple stuff! :)
Oh I see, :).
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Next upward motion MJO pulse should arrive to our basin (octave 1 & 8) on about June 29th.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1033. Levi32
Timeseries of Gulf of Mexico average sea surface temperature (From 80W-98W, 20N-30N) from April 1st to June 6th:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26681
Quoting HurricaneKyle:


I think its not so much as another 2005 can't happen in the Dr's opinion, but as much as it happening so quickly after 2005, only 5 years.

Hi Kyle, listen to the podcast or wait for one of the technowizards to clarify, but because of La Nina, tradewinds, the Atlantic will be able to cool better and the high SST anomalies as we've seen for the past couple of months, are coming to an end. At least that's what I got from it.
Then there's also the matter of the hurricane hunters deciding to study rapid intensification, and typically, when scientists decide to study something climatologically, Mother Nature won't show her stuff...so that may be another reason why we won't see as active a season as 2005, LOL.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Why? I'm running Firefox on my Mac right now.


I don't like the idea of using anything other than Safari on my Mac. I am very particular about my Apple stuff! :)
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Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Belize,
Looks like you're too far north (it's headed west).
I see some turning to the west of me and thought it might pull up some moister from Honduras as the rotation seems quite large
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I figured. I don't want to put Firefox on my Mac though.


because?
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting Chicklit:

Anomaly means different than normal.
Right now SST's are higher than normal.
He expects them to be normal by July.
Oh I get it. Thanks!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting CaneWarning:


I figured. I don't want to put Firefox on my Mac though.
Why? I'm running Firefox on my Mac right now.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Did you mean that the SSTs are at temperatures like late July? And if you didn't I don't know what you were saying, lol.

Anomaly means different than normal.
Right now SST's are higher than normal.
He expects them to be normal by July.
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Quoting Chicklit:

Right, and it never happened again.


I think its not so much as another 2005 can't happen in the Dr's opinion, but as much as it happening so quickly after 2005, only 5 years.
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


If you use Firefox. The Bold and italics feature works.


I figured. I don't want to put Firefox on my Mac though.
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Hi Belize,
Looks like you're too far north (it's headed west).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:
Dr. Masters said today that the SST anomalies should end by July.
Did you mean that the SSTs are at temperatures like late July? And if you didn't I don't know what you were saying, lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting aspectre:
Chicklet "...Dr. Masters' podcast today...He doesn't expect another 2005 this year either..."

Nobody expects... the Spanish Inquisition!


Right, and it never happened again.
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Can anyone tell me how this cyclone or turning of clouds will afect my weather tonight i am due east of it our the system is due west of Belize Link
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Dr. Masters said today that the SST anomalies should end by July, I think. You can listen to the show by going to the link above (in his blog).
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
On this day in 2004 the high temp for the day was 89F. Today was 92F. The heat is unbearable.
This day in 2005, tropical storm Arlene developed too.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Chicklet "...Dr. Masters' podcast today...He doesn't expect another 2005 this year either..."

Nobody expects... the Spanish Inquisition!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ok. Out of lurking mode now.

If anyone is interested I updated my blog.

Hurricane Season Blog #16: Daily Update - Tropical Update -
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1015. beell
Quoting PcolaDan:


Isn't that out into the thick of the oil? I wonder if it's possible that has an effect, either real or on the sensor.


EDIT
It is about 32nm to the NNE of the leak site (11° true).
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


Wasn't even that warm at this time in '05.
On this day in 2004 the high temp for the day was 89F. Today was 92F. The heat is unbearable.
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1013. IKE
Quoting PcolaDan:


Isn't that out into the thick of the oil? I wonder if it's possible that has an effect, either real or on the sensor.


Yeah....that's in the oil. I think Dr. Masters said the oil could cause an increase of about 2 degrees.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Thanks Good Ole Bud Sir...


If you use Firefox. The Bold and italics feature works.
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Quoting IKE:
64 NM south of Dauphin Island, Alabama...



"5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): E ( 100 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 5.8 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 7.8 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 1.3 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 4 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 4.3 sec
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 30.00 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.02 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 85.6 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 87.8 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 72.3 °F
5-day plot - Heat Index Heat Index (HEAT): 92.1 °F"


Isn't that out into the thick of the oil? I wonder if it's possible that has an effect, either real or on the sensor.
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Quoting aspectre:
988 CaneWarning "? I read it all. What are we missing?"

Nothing that I'm aware of. Just wanted to find out if anyone else shared my madness.


Yes, we are all crazy here. You are not alone.
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Hi Potts. Glad you're wet. I'm off to cook as well. Eggplant parmigiana!
Terrific numbers St. Simons Guy! Even a bit chilly for me. Enjoying the heat and sunshine on the old bones.
Just fed my goldfish a leaf of steamed organic spinach. Their first time and they are very excited! Every day I look at the wildlife around me and am sad for the devastation to populations in the Gulf. We are all mourning them, so much we don't want to look at the pictures or even talk about it.
Listened to a radio program yesterday on NPR. A woman called in who had worked on the Exxon Valdez spill. She said it will wipe out generation after generation as the oil travels through the food chains... Also a woman called in with about 20 shrimp trawlers, including her sons', complaining about the lack of cooperation regarding getting fitted masks for the fishermen. At present there isn't even anyone measuring the level of toxins at boat level. She's called the EPA, NOAA, OSHA, BP, and they're all passing the buck. The fishermen are complaining of headaches, nausea, vomiting...some are ending up at the hospital. And still no masks.
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1008. IKE
Quoting SevereHurricane:


There were lots of cloudiness and rainfall activity during that time period.


You're right. Now it's just...

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We was kicked by a big hurricane...the hurricane george in 1998.... what gonna hapen in the 2010?
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1006. pottery
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Wow the blog is really dead, none of the regulars are on (Patrap, Pottery, Grothar, etc...).

I have to say, that I am very 'regular' these days. But now I have to go and cook something. So that I can keep my energy up, to complain to Amy.
Back in a while.

It is WET here.........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24646
Quoting belizeit:
I see our Iceland friend is blowing its top againLink Link


What you probably saw was steam plumes. The cams have been mostly obscured for days (as they are now), so if you saw anything you were lucky. :)
My blog has the latest updates from the Iceland Met office. There has been sporadic activity, but all minor.

p.s. Before Grothar says anything, I had to find my teeth and trifocals again so I could respond to this. ;)
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1003. IKE
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Wasn't even that warm at this time in '05.


Not good.
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1002. IKE
Quoting CybrTeddy:


As of June 8th, 0-0-0

That's probably going to change in the next 4 weeks to along the lines of 3-1-0 with those SSTs and TCHP in the Atlantic.


Probably. It's just a matter of time.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


That may just be transient, it got up there about a week ago and cooled down.




There were lots of cloudiness and rainfall activity during that time period.
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988 CaneWarning "? I read it all. What are we missing?"

Nothing that I'm aware of. Just wanted to find out if anyone else shared my madness.
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


I wonder if I switch from Safari to Firefox it will work. I am gonna try. I will let you know.


Thanks Good Ole Bud Sir...
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998. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


That may just be transient, it got up there about a week ago and cooled down.




True, but the trend is slightly higher then a week ago.
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Good evening WUBIES.
It has cooled off a few degrees in ECFL tonight and is actually very pleasant! Nice seabreeze this afternoon, too. That plus a dip in Mom's pool and I'm feeling glad to be alive.
Anyway, not sure how many of you caught Dr. Masters' podcast today, but it was packed full of really good information.
One point of note is he expects the Atlantic anomalies to even out by July with the trades picking up and La Nina taking over where El Nino left off; this will result in the SSTs in the Atlantic returning to normal levels.
He doesn't expect another 2005 this year either, so this is the first good news I've heard in a while.
Also, the Hurricane Hunters are going on a record number of missions this year; they are particularly interested in rapid intensification, so I hope Skye Pony will be around to keep us all up to date and informed on those events.
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Quoting IKE:
At least mid 80's in the western Caribbean. Fuel for the fire.


As of June 8th, 0-0-0

That's probably going to change in the next 4 weeks to along the lines of 3-1-0 with those SSTs and TCHP in the Atlantic.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


My Mac does the same thing. It drives me nuts!


I wonder if I switch from Safari to Firefox it will work. I am gonna try. I will let you know.
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Quoting IKE:


I don't remember seeing water temps this warm in 2009 in early June.

Gulf is on fire...mid-upper 80's...near 90!


Wasn't even that warm at this time in '05.
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:
Need Help. I am using a Mac at home. When I go to post a comment, it does not give me the option for Bold, Italic, etc. Is there something I can do to change that?


My Mac does the same thing. It drives me nuts!
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Quoting IKE:


I don't remember seeing water temps this warm in 2009 in early June.

Gulf is on fire...mid-upper 80's...near 90!


That may just be transient, it got up there about a week ago and cooled down.


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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.

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