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 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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Quoting IKE:
Fresh Water Canal Locks,LA.....

Wind Direction (WDIR): SE ( 140 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 8.0 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 11.1 kts
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.96 in
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 85.1 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 88.3 °F


Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15891
Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


Good evening. I use Seafoam. Bought it at Advanced Auto Parts. Had gas from 3 years ago and treated it with Seafoam and put it in my boat. Ran great!


Another good product. There are a lot of good diesel fuel supplements as well. (seafoam is one of them too)
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989. beell
Quoting Hurricanes101:


no I am talking about the area in the EATL


Oh! My mistake. Short term trend in the the GFS has been to move this first set of well-defined waves up out of the ITCZ. It has not happened yet-west they go. But I bet it will happen sooner or later!

But you are correct, imo. Certainly the best modeled presentation of something coming off the African coast this year. We'll see.
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Quoting aspectre:
Am I the only one who attempts to read the entirety of the conversation here?
Or can I safely assume that the rest of you are sane?


? I read it all. What are we missing?
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987. IKE
At least mid 80's in the western Caribbean. Fuel for the fire.
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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?
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Am I the only one who attempts to read the entirety of the conversation here?
Or can I safely assume that the rest of you are sane?
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984. IKE
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Don't even go there. Its not like I am going to leave anyway.


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

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


Stabil is no snake oil... Works great. Although I prefer to rotate my fuel supplies anyways. Now you all have reminded me I need go fire up the generator to make sure it is working and put some more stabil and fresh fuel in.

I use it every once in a while to heat my hot water up. (got to put a load on a generator - not good to just let them idle that is how they "gunk up".) I let it burn about a gallon off and then put a fresh gallon in. hate to spend time to do it, but I would like it to start when I really need it.


Good evening. I use Seafoam. Bought it at Advanced Auto Parts. Had gas from 3 years ago and treated it with Seafoam and put it in my boat. Ran great!
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Quoting IKE:


It's not even summer yet. Can you imagine a cat 2-3-4...going over that?


Don't even go there. Its not like I am going to leave anyway.
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Quoting IKE:


It's not even summer yet. Can you imagine a cat 2-3-4...going over that?


No one can imagine.. that's just stunning.
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Quoting Dakster:


Stabil is no snake oil... Works great. Although I prefer to rotate my fuel supplies anyways. Now you all have reminded me I need go fire up the generator to make sure it is working and put some more stabil and fresh fuel in.

I use it every once in a while to heat my hot water up. (got to put a load on a generator - not good to just let them idle that is how they "gunk up".) I let it burn about a gallon off and then put a fresh gallon in. hate to spend time to do it, but I would like it to start when I really need it.


Definitely not snake oil in my opinion. The stuff has been around for decades and it really works.
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979. IKE
Fresh Water Canal Locks,LA.....

Wind Direction (WDIR): SE ( 140 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 8.0 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 11.1 kts
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.96 in
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 85.1 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 88.3 °F
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It'll get ugly if a system ever decides to form.
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Quoting JamesSA:
"Stabil" is one that comes to mind.


Stabil is no snake oil... Works great. Although I prefer to rotate my fuel supplies anyways. Now you all have reminded me I need go fire up the generator to make sure it is working and put some more stabil and fresh fuel in.

I use it every once in a while to heat my hot water up. (got to put a load on a generator - not good to just let them idle that is how they "gunk up".) I let it burn about a gallon off and then put a fresh gallon in. hate to spend time to do it, but I would like it to start when I really need it.
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975. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


Clearwater Beach has a water temp of 89 and Key West is about 91.


Someone is going to pay a big price....unfortunately.
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974. IKE
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Ike, that's amazing 87 degree water temps in early June?


It's not even summer yet. Can you imagine a cat 2-3-4...going over that?
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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"


Clearwater Beach has a water temp of 89 and Key West is about 91.
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Quoting NttyGrtty:
There's no such thing as a generator that's never been fired up. The manufacturer fired it up and probably the dealer too. You probably have glue in your fuel lines if not in your tank. Fill the tank and yank it until it starts. Also, PATRAP has a great season prep primer that talks about generator guidelines....


Starting fluid and carb. cleaner will help to dissolve the gum / varnish and other deposits. I eould try a small amount of 92 octane gas and then try the different cleaners. May need starting fluid in teh carb to get it to fire up. Might want to check the plug and plug gap too. It wouldn't eb the first time a generator shipped with no plug gap.
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Quoting HurricaneObserver:
Anyone have any idea what the bright yellow substance is that intermittently appears in the ROV feed. I watching Skandi ROV1 from this site BP Feed

That is the dispersant chemical.
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Ike, that's amazing 87 degree water temps in early June?
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


I can't remember the brand name I used to use but it is stuff one adds to gasoline being stored to keep it from deteriorating. I'm no chemist so don't know how or if it really works. They sell it with all the other "magic snake oils" in the automotive section or at an auto parts supply. Lows probably carries something.
"Stabil" is one that comes to mind.
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968. 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"
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I'm here.. just being bored is all. I doubt what the GFS is predicting will actually come to actuality unless it continues to show model support for about 4-5 days and other models pick up on it.. then I give it merit.
I really don't consider the GFS as a "forecaster" but more a "guesser". It guesses systems and rarely is right.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Anyone have any idea what the bright yellow substance is that intermittently appears in the ROV feed. I watching Skandi ROV1 from this site BP Feed
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Wow the blog is really dead, none of the regulars are on (Patrap, Pottery, Grothar, etc...).


I'm here.. just being bored is all. I doubt what the GFS is predicting will actually come to actuality unless it continues to show model support for about 4-5 days and other models pick up on it.. then I give it merit.
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Afternoon all, sees the 18z GFS is trying to spin up something. Just got to wait and look for consistency. The GFS really needs that upgrade this year.
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Quoting twhcracker:


what is a stabilizer??


I can't remember the brand name I used to use but it is stuff one adds to gasoline being stored to keep it from deteriorating. I'm no chemist so don't know how or if it really works. They sell it with all the other "magic snake oils" in the automotive section or at an auto parts supply. Lows probably carries something.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687


12Z GFS at 90 hours
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7688
Quoting beell:


Are you talking about the surface low near Columbia at 48 hrs. Tracking along the Central American coast through 144 hrs on the 12z?


no I am talking about the area in the EATL
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7688
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, Miami! You want to see one of my Paintbrush ones?

Definitely.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I'm too oddball to be a 'regular' I guess. Or just too much ;)
Oh sorry, lol. Yes you are a "regular".
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
958. beell
Quoting Hurricanes101:


I disagree there

the 12Z showed closed isobars along with that "L" and more organized "convection" with it


Are you talking about the surface low near Columbia at 48 hrs. Tracking along the Central American coast through 144 hrs on the 12z?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Wow the blog is really dead, none of the regulars are on (Patrap, Pottery, Grothar, etc...).


Yo! All the ones you mentioned have to take naps you know! Simon and Tdude and PcolaDan can stay up longer.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Interesting area of convection by Central America. It's also showing a good amount of 850 MB vorticity.



Wave train.



Hey, Miami! You want to see one of my Paintbrush ones?

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Wow the blog is really dead, none of the regulars are on (Patrap, Pottery, Grothar, etc...).
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Blog Update

Hurricane Season Blog #16: Daily Update - Tropical Update -
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
I think these GFS runs should be considered as just hints at what could happen. Model support for development in the Caribbean is not strong, but the concern is there because that area will be favorable. Just a watch and see situation.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting beell:


Agree. Nothing onthe 12Z either.


I disagree there

the 12Z showed closed isobars along with that "L" and more organized "convection" with it
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7688
I see our Iceland friend is blowing its top againLink Link
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948. beell
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Just because it shows an "L" somewhere does not mean it is forecasting a system to develop there

The 18Z doesn't really develop anything at all on the run


Agree. Nothing on the 12Z either.
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Quoting twhcracker:
ok here is a question... bay county's potable water supply is not from ground water. it is from deer point lake. During Opal there was some saltwater intrusion into the lake but the system is designed to filter out certain things like salt water, and they treat things to kill viruses and bacteria etc. so If a hurricane blows oil into the lake, the system is not set up to filter oil and could clog things maybe and make it where it does not even filter viruses and bacteria. the potable water supply could be threatened maybe. right? I am wondering about this. I am on a well, but this would be like... HUGE devastating circumstance...


Very good question…and certainly a possibility…the water treatment facility website does not have an online communication method (imagine in this day and age…)

I will give them a call tomorrow to see if they have a plan just in case and post the response tomorrow.

Very Respectfully,

Jon
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Interesting area of convection by Central America. It's also showing a good amount of 850 MB vorticity.



Wave train.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting StormW:


Basically, yes.

From Dr. Masters post:

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


Thanks Stormw
So I read this as because the change from El-nino through neutral all the way to La-nina so quickly is indicative of more energy in the area, and therefore higher storm forcasts?
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The low the GFS has in the western Caribbean is not far-fetched. I've been voicing concern over building heat in that area between June 10th and 20th for a while now, and the model has been showing it well. The question is if we get something to spin up, and the chances are less now that the model has shifted the time-frame forward a bit, now using the front-running tropical wave to spark development, but the possibility of mischief is still there.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
943. DDR
Quoting Levi32:


That's great news for the drought conditions. The Caribbean was expected to see a rapid turn-around from a severe dry season to a wetter-than-normal rainy season.

Most of the precip has been over t&t and NE Venezuela,most of the islands are still in drought but according to the gfs it shouldnt last much longer.Forecasted precip...You can double or even tripple that
!
Member Since: April 27, 2007 Posts: 14 Comments: 1699
Quoting Drakoen:


Maybe be best to rely soley on the ECMWF and UKMET at this point with genesis.
I agree. I think you could also use the NOGAPS but not really "rely" on it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193

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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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