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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there's nothing going on out there. that gfs modle jumps around too much. nothing going to form out there anytime soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
390. xcool
oh man
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
55-
Quoting sebastianflorida:

A storm forms June 21 stays TS Yucatan issue; B Storm gains Cat 1 status on July 2 recurves; C storm gains Cat 3 Status July 7th makes Florida prepare over the 4th of July and hits between Miami and WPB; D Storm Cat 2 status July 19 a Cuba issue; E Storm Cat 1 recurves; Aug F, G Storms on the 1st both Cat 3 and 4 have Florida written all over them and are Charley like storms one affecting the same area, the other affecting Tampa both between the 2 and 5th; H will be everyones headache as it rides up the East coast of Florida to VA as a TS lots of rain between the 9th and 14th; I will bring a Cat 1 to LA/TX line on the 12th; On the 21st we get to back to backs Cat 2 and Cat 3 both J & K one visits GA the other MS; to round out Aug on the 29th L harmlessly recurves; Sept brings M, N, O, P, R, S, and T, 2 will recurve, 2 remain TS and are Carrib issues and one of the three US landfalls hits TX, the other two Florida east coast. V and W are issues for the Keys and are strong TS or Cat 1 Hurricanes. So I guess 21 named systems in my hypathetical situation.


that's great, i will save that and repost december 1.

301-
Quoting DestinJeff:
I think we all have a tendency to feel a sense of relief when nothing is brewing out there anytime past June 1. Then the further into June we get some begin to question the ativity forecasts ..

but then ... seemingly overnight "things change" and we have the Season on our hands. it is a little like watching grass grow, waiting for that first system. you know the grass is growing, but you sure don't notice until it is time to cut it.


saving that as well, last line is a great quote.

(I wish the quoting feature included post numbers...)
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1762
Quoting CatastrophicDL:

It's nice to be missed :o) Has the oil come your way yet or are you too far south?


They say it's 150 miles to the west of Tampa. We should be good for a while.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
GFS shows development in the Eastern Atlantic as early as 72-84 hours
I think the gfs is out to lunch on that run not yet if we get any sort of development it will be in the caribbean.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Quoting smarterthanyou:


that would
solve
a lot of
problems


Really? How so?
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Quoting IKE:


That link someone above supplied is the Whale's Tail at Seascape.

True story...my grandparents use to own that land...beach front to Choctawhatchee Bay...years ago.


That must have been nice to live on. I'll have to try again later to see what it looks like now.
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Quoting ElConando:
A simple solution to Florida's Hurricane problems from our good friend Bugs Bunny.



that would
solve
a lot of
problems
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Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19606
Quoting IKE:


(1)Basement

or...

(2)Gassing up his crop-duster.
I'm going to need a new workstation before the day is over...lol
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GFS shows development in the Eastern Atlantic as early as 72-84 hours
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
377. IKE
Quoting NRAamy:
where's STORMTOP?!


(1)Basement

or...

(2)Gassing up his crop-duster.
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Are there certain bloggers I need to look out for this year. I know some can blow things out of proportion and have a lot of people confused.I dont want to be the one it happens to.I take my weather very seriously especially durine cane season.So please if you will give me the heads up.

JFV also know as WEATHER STUDENT is the first one on my mind
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Quoting ElConando:
A simple solution to Florida's Hurricane problems from our good friend Bugs Bunny.



Also known as the Lorena Bobbitt Idea lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting IKE:


I don't remember. I'm 52...my mind isn't as sharp.

***Best excuse I can come up with***
Thats okay i was just asking cause i remember that name But cant remember why he was infamous
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
373. IKE
Quoting Makoto1:


Hm, maybe it's just not working for me. I actually thought there was some kind of joke because it wasn't working or something, LOL. Sorry about that.


That link someone above supplied is the Whale's Tail at Seascape.

True story...my grandparents use to own that land...beach front to Choctawhatchee Bay...years ago.
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where's STORMTOP?!
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371. IKE
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Wasnt Alexking a major wishcaster?


I don't remember. I'm 52...my mind isn't as sharp.

***Best excuse I can come up with***
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Quoting IKE:


Oops....try again...

Link


Hm, maybe it's just not working for me. I actually thought there was some kind of joke because it wasn't working or something, LOL. Sorry about that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
cchsvweatherman was a troll that copied cchsweatherman's(without the 'v') handle. cchsweatherman is actually a good dude....and pretty knowledgable for his age.
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A simple solution to Florida's Hurricane problems from our good friend Bugs Bunny.

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WHERE'S WEATHERSTUDENT? :D
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Quoting muddertracker:
It's my work computer..no worries..lol


LOL!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting IKE:


There's an imposter of the real SN and the imposter is trouble.

Not sure about Alexking...maybe an imposter name too.
Wasnt Alexking a major wishcaster?
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Teh mind can olny taek so much.


snort giggle....

;)
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Quoting muddertracker:
It's my work computer..no worries..lol


LOL!

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Now the last La Nina had more long trek cape verde storms that went west. hmm...
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360. IKE
Quoting Makoto1:


Ah, the wonderful beaches of "Can not connect."


Oops....try again...

Link
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Quoting DestinJeff:


Wow, Ike. I tihnk you might have just had a fit of rage!


Jeff, I love your new avatar!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604

Quoting weatherbro:
I doubt that we'll see La Nina conditions by the Summer time(perhaps maybe by late Autumn). Here's why I don't think so.

We just had an episode from 2007-early 2009. And I have a feeling this past El Nino is reactionary to the previous ENSO episode. Plus this El Nino was nothing like the 1982 nor the 1998 episodes. And finally this El Nino was Mokiki.

Thus, I believe this hurricane season will feature more Neutral conditions. And if we do indeed see a La Nina surface, it'll most likely be weak and/or be more Central-Based.

have you looked at the anomalies for sub surface water as well as watched the SOI? LA NINA. and it's modoki btw. (not trying to be mean just didnt know what you meant at first)
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


Sorry! Send me the bill.
It's my work computer..no worries..lol
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356. IKE
Quoting muddertracker:
Does anyone remember Alexking or cchsvweatherman? I can't remember why they are on my ignore list. I usually don't have any :)


There's an imposter of the real SN and the imposter is trouble.

Not sure about Alexking...maybe an imposter name too.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


No don't. A Looong Longgg Time Ago took a spring break trip with a bunch of college buds. We went from a small Denominational school in the Shenandoah Valley all the way to Key West camping in State parks. Our main vices were staying in the sun too long and staying up too late playing guitars. Great memories.


i grew up near panama city beach. my main vices were saying i went to the library and driving as fast as I could to the Long beach hangout and having to throw up purple splotches of everclear mixed with welches grape juice called "purple passion" and flirting with georgia boys til their eyes crossed. but i too went to church every time the doors opened haha.
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Quoting indianrivguy:


Having read that and agreeing with it, I have witnessed those who said their own lives, and/or those they loved or knew were saved by paying attention "here." This blog and it's members have great value.

Don't forget ol' Neil Frank downcasting Ike and the idiot Mayor of Galveston Island listening to him... lots more would have died had Ike come in 20 miles south.


Any individual blogger bee can be way wrong. But the hive mind usually gets it as close to right as it comes.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Hold that thought if a stronger A/B High pushes storms more to the west, how come '95 and '98 had a lot of recurvatures?


Placement is the key, no matter the strength.

Supposed to be weaker & more south and west than average this year.
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Quoting IKE:


Amen....

0-0-0.

That link of the beaches of the Florida panhandle looks nice>>>Link


Ah, the wonderful beaches of "Can not connect."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Hold that thought if a stronger A/B High pushes storms more to the west, how come '95 and '98 had a lot of recurvatures?
Probably because there was a positive nao but not sure ask levi or others that know more than i do
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2570
Anyway, aside from the hilarious JFV/TropicalAmanda/1000windows/Presidential Election/WeatherStudent/FIU2010/TropicalWave comments.

I see that the GFS has shown some development in the eastern Atlantic for 2 runs in a row now.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Does anyone remember Alexking or cchsvweatherman? I can't remember why they are on my ignore list. I usually don't have any :)
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347. IKE
Quoting mrsalagranny:
LOL!!!!!! That is one name I have heard a lot about.But we will forget that name.Anyways I will just lurk so I dont bother anyone.You all have a lot of serious discussions to deal with.Thank you all for your GREAT WORK...


You're not bothering me.


Quoting DestinJeff:


Wow, Ike. I tihnk you might have just had a fit of rage!


Teh mind can olny taek so much.
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Hold that thought if a stronger A/B High pushes storms more to the west, how come '95 and '98 had a lot of recurvatures?
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm glad you are back!

It's nice to be missed :o) Has the oil come your way yet or are you too far south?
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Quoting muddertracker:
I just spit organge juice all over my screen...
Quoting SQUAWK:


OMG!!! Now we are in trouble!!!! ROTFLMAO


LOL!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
342. IKE
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
LOL! hey ike still0-0-0 out there love the sound of that


Amen....

0-0-0.

That link of the beaches of the Florida panhandle looks nice>>>Link
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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.