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 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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Quoting caneswatch:


Surprisingly, I am still awake lol. I haven't gotten good sleep lately, so chances are, I might be up until 5.
Well you ae out of school so you can go to bed whenever.
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Quoting WaterWitch11:
i will be the first to admit that i have become pretty "crazy" about the oil spill. i notice that i get flipped out about it very easily. i don't mean to. today i saw the webcam and it didn't look right. i had glowing orange in the middle and red streaks at the bottom. i have now convinced myself that the red streaks were a ribbon but the orange glowing in the middle of the plume i can't figure out and it's driving me crazy. i found this on youtube it's from last saturday and it's not as crazy looking as what i saw today around 5pm.

can someone tell me what the orange is?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nb2ifKX9oM&feature=related


According to another site dedicated to this the top of the cap is yellow and I think it appears red when a certain density of the blow out passes in front of it. As they explained it similar effect to an electric fire log.
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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.
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3087. Walshy
Im keeping my eyes on you all.

o.0
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Nope im here


Surprisingly, I am still awake lol. I haven't gotten good sleep lately, so chances are, I might be up until 5.
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Quoting WaterWitch11:
i will be the first to admit that i have become pretty "crazy" about the oil spill. i notice that i get flipped out about it very easily. i don't mean to. today i saw the webcam and it didn't look right. i had glowing orange in the middle and red streaks at the bottom. i have now convinced myself that the red streaks were a ribbon but the orange glowing in the middle of the plume i can't figure out and it's driving me crazy. i found this on youtube it's from last saturday and it's not as crazy looking as what i saw today around 5pm.

can someone tell me what the orange is?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nb2ifKX9oM&feature=related


Have you seen the latest live feed.....looks like the thing is clogged and nothing is going up the pipe now...
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3084. xcool
meto
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Quoting WaterWitch11:
everybody sleeping?
Nope im here
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3081. xcool
6min to ecmwf
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everybody sleeping?
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i will be the first to admit that i have become pretty "crazy" about the oil spill. i notice that i get flipped out about it very easily. i don't mean to. today i saw the webcam and it didn't look right. i had glowing orange in the middle and red streaks at the bottom. i have now convinced myself that the red streaks were a ribbon but the orange glowing in the middle of the plume i can't figure out and it's driving me crazy. i found this on youtube it's from last saturday and it's not as crazy looking as what i saw today around 5pm.

can someone tell me what the orange is?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nb2ifKX9oM&feature=related
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3078. xcool
:)
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Quoting xcool:


oh wow.



Well we all know what the cmc is known for but if the ecm shows it too i will be a little interested but im still skepticall about a storm originating out there in the atlantic in june.
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Quoting btwntx08:
hmmm it sounds like an animal i belive after hearing it numerous times
\

Check this out. Link
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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!


I would add a 3 word phrase also......"LISTEN HEAR BIT_H!"
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Quoting btwntx08:

maybe some bug or bird or something lol it makes noise every few minutes



Screech owl most likely. Always freaks out the city slickers.
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3071. 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!
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3222
3070. xcool
so cmc and ecmwf.cv
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3069. xcool


oh wow.



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Quoting KoritheMan:


Bigfoot, obviously.


No... Its the Honey Island Swamp Monster.
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3067. xcool
oooh noo bigfoot run
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Quoting btwntx08:
there is some freaking noise outside my uncles house its really strange


Bigfoot, obviously.
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I wish DestinJeff was up. lol
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3063. xcool
SouthALWX lmao
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Quoting xcool:
SouthALWX opps i mean 2 hr

Lol thats pretty darn close.
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3061. xcool
SouthALWX opps i mean 2 hr
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3060. xcool
btwntx08 run run
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Quoting xcool:
SouthALWX nope 3hr way.

no it's not .... Its around 2 hours.
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Quoting btwntx08:
there is some freaking noise outside my uncles house its really strange
whats it sound like?
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


I was in Bed Bath and Beyond today and I saw one that I really liked. It had all kinds of Sea Creatures all over it. The tag said it built to handle 175mph winds.


Oh God lol. No wonder I enjoy this blog, you guys are great.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


I was in Bed Bath and Beyond today and I saw one that I really liked. It had all kinds of Sea Creatures all over it. The tag said it built to handle 175mph winds.


lmao
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3054. xcool
SouthALWX nope 3hr way.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Better get on that!


I was in Bed Bath and Beyond today and I saw one that I really liked. It had all kinds of Sea Creatures all over it. The tag said it built to handle 175mph winds.
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2879 Orcasystems: "BP Again Changes Oil Containment Timeline ... BP has changed its tune once again on the precise timing of when it believes it will be able to contain the oil gushing from its blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP said on Wednesday it is dialing back a prediction by its chief operating officer that the leaking oil would be reduced to a "relative trickle" by next week. It now says it will take more time to reach that point
....."

Looks like I wrote a relevant commentary ahead of time (and didn't bother to post earlier cuz the conversation had drifted far away by the time I finished)

2112 aspectre "BP...captured about 15,000 barrels...of oil Tuesday...close to...its processing limit...
...the shuttle tanker in the Gulf of Mexico...can process about 15,000 barrels of oil per day.
BP...to bring in new ships and equipment to bring that capacity up to 28,000 barrels...per day."
2114 Chicklet "so how many millions of gallons per day has it been leaking?"

I think anybody who has been following what I've written on the topic will agree that I've been consistently conservative -- using official figures, giving the benefit of the doubt to those in charge of capping&cleanup, etc -- while expressing my doubts only subtly, ala posting the Ixtoc spill-rate along with the various official rates. I will continue to be conservative in my writings.
So first, a bit more from the same article.
Asked...whether the recovery effort...was collecting more oil than was leaking, [CoastGuard Admiral] Allen said "I certainly hope so" but added "I'm not going to declare victory on anything until we have absolute numbers [for the oil flow rate]."
Well, the article tells me several things have a HIGH probability of being true:

1) The spill rate was appreciably over 16,666barrels per day after the BlowOutPreventer's pipe was cut.
BritishPetroleum's ChiefExecutiveOfficer had set a capture goal of 90%. 15,000barrels is 90% of 16,666barrels.
Ordering in new equipment to handle more than 15,000barrels per day shows that BP accepts that the flow rate is appreciably more than 16,666barrels per day. ie The absolute minimum amount still spilling into the Gulf is appreciably more than 1666barrels per day.

2) The spill rate had been appreciably more than 13,888barrels per day before recovery began. Cutting the pipe near the BoP increased the flow rate by 20% or 1/5th. So the new flow rate became 6/5ths times the old flow rate. Conversely, the old flow rate is 5/6ths of the new flow rate.
The new flow rate is appreciably more than than 16,666 barrels per day,
so the old flow rate had been appreciably more than 5/6ths of 16,666barrels per day.

3) Assuming that BP is "coming loaded for bear" after having had to admit that the on-site containment&recovery ship is too small and being forced to hire a new one with larger recovery capacity, my (deliberately conservative) new estimates are:
The probable minimum presentday flow rate is between 18,666to21,500barrels per day.
Before the riser was cut, the probable minimum spill rate had been between 15,555to17,966barrels per day.
The flow rate minus what is being captured, ie the probable minimum presentday spill rate is between 3,666to6,500barrels per day.
Those are the minimums because I can't be sure that BP had intended to be "coming loaded for bear" when they hired the new 28,000barrels per day containment&recovery ship.

4) USGS admin obviously also lowballed their official estimate by averaging the surface survey team's 12,000to19,000barrels per day with the plume velocity team's 12,000to25,000barrels per day into just the lowest estimate... which is why I had earlier chosen to post both survey results rather than endorse the obviously wrong official "average".
ie Like the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Minerals Management, USGS is apparently being run by "revolving*door" career bureaucrats who put serving business interests FAR above serving the public.

* "revolving door" refers to shifting between private sector jobs in an industry to public sector jobs overseeing that industy, and vice versa. Repeat as often as necessary to bump up ones pay.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


Guess I better bring my handy shower curtains to protect me.


Better get on that!
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


Guess I better bring my handy shower curtains to protect me.
LMAO! you guys are too much tonight thanks for the comic humor.
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Quoting alexhurricane1991:
LOL! hey korithman hows it going this early thursday morning


Pretty good I guess. Very very bored, though. :/
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3048. xcool
TampaSpin .yeah :)
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Quoting xcool:
slidell la have no Murder,ilove it here.

you're not far away from me here in mobile :)
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Might want to brace for the impact of a Category 5.


Guess I better bring my handy shower curtains to protect me.
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Quoting xcool:
slidell la have no Murder,ilove it here.


I was in Slidell before Katrina......Nyphew got married at the big Church in the middle of town......very nice peaceful place!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Might want to brace for the impact of a Category 5.
LOL! hey korithman hows it going this early thursday morning
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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.

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