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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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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Quoting muddertracker:
I just spit organge juice all over my screen...


Sorry! Send me the bill.
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could it be 1995 all over again? I just took a look and they come in line with the current thinking from NOAA?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Don't use the weather information found here as your basis for life or death information. While the data presented on this blog should be correct, the data feed is not consistent enough to provide all of the data all of the time. More importantly, Your local National Weather Service office and/or NOAA weather radio is where you should get your important severe weather information. Use this blog for your enjoyment, but do not use it when making serious decisions. The information on this blog is gathered from other sources for information purposes only and is not intended for operational use


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.
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


you rang?


OMG!!! Now we are in trouble!!!! ROTFLMAO
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Quoting Jeff9641:


LA NINA means more US lansfalls as storms move much further west. This is not going to be a good year for US property insurance companies.


If it is a strong La Nina then storms are going to moove very west not necessarily affecting the US at all. 2007 for instance.
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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...
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Quoting IKE:


JFV...with whatever screen name he has.


Others......

JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV.


That about covers it!


you mean ' JFV, aka _______________' 10 times.
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Quoting IKE:


JFV...with whatever screen name he has.


Others......

JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV.


That about covers it!
LOL! hey ike still0-0-0 out there love the sound of that
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
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. The SOI Index has been falling since early May. 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.
I think 1995 or 1957-58 are great analogs.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.
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Quoting CatastrophicDL:
Flood, Cane! I'm doing good. Cane, I had a little too much going on with school, the family and work so I wasn't here much over the winter. But I'm ready to see how this season turns out!

Flood, how busy are you down there?


I'm glad you are back!
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Thank you keeper.I am sorry I sounded like I only pay attention to just the blog.I do indeed listen to my locals.
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327. IKE
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...with whatever screen name he has.


Others......

JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV
JFV.


That about covers it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


I would listen to Dr. Masters and then your local weather stations. The bloggers here are great, but I wouldn't trust anyone with my life.
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Quoting NRAamy:



I'm gonna pee my pants!!!!! hahahahahahaha!


I saw that too and chuckled
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


you rang?
I just spit organge juice all over my screen...
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Quoting CaneWarning:


We're working on moving the whole state:



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.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Flood, Cane! I'm doing good. Cane, I had a little too much going on with school, the family and work so I wasn't here much over the winter. But I'm ready to see how this season turns out!

Flood, how busy are you down there?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


Don't use the weather information found here as your basis for life or death information. While the data presented on this blog should be correct, the data feed is not consistent enough to provide all of the data all of the time. More importantly, Your local National Weather Service office and/or NOAA weather radio is where you should get your important severe weather information. Use this blog for your enjoyment, but do not use it when making serious decisions. The information on this blog is gathered from other sources for information purposes only and is not intended for operational use
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
How come neutral years tend to avg. more storms than La Nina years? Even if you throw out the anomaly of 2005, it still avgs. more.
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318. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Thank you SouthalWX for your response.You are very kind.
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316. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:



I'm gonna pee my pants!!!!! hahahahahahaha!


LOL!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting serialteg:
quiet for now



Notice the latitude of the next wave coming off Africa. Could be our first game player.
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
I live in Mobile Ala can anyone tell me if we are at a higher risk this year.

I live here as well. Everyone on the coast is at a higher risk this year. still slim chances any one specific place takes a hit, though.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
Quoting CaneWarning:


We're working on moving the whole state:

lol
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Thank you makoto1 for your response.I am curious with all this weather blogging.I find it to be very helpful especially if there is a TC to watch.
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Quoting GoodOleBudSir:


you rang?


omg Lol
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yes indeed.
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Quoting tornadodude:
i tihnk taht teher will be bans tdoay


You are probably correct, good sir bud.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
Flood, you've got mail.


Cane, so do you...LOL
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


don't you mean good old bud sir


you rang?
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Wow, it creates twin storms.
Whipping around each other?
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302. xcool
not for long
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
quiet for now

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Quoting sarahjola:
i have a stupid question- what is itcz?

ITCZ
Inter-Tropical-Convergence-Zone
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
i tihnk taht teher will be bans tdoay
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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I figured a more active season would mean everyone on the coast is at higher risk since it's really hard to predict where things will go until a storm's really already out there.
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Quoting IKE:
Latest NOGAPS run....


Wow, it creates twin storms.
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Quoting sarahjola:

do you think its going to be as bad as they say?


hard to say
but as we progress towards the end of june and come into early july things will pick up
how fast they will pick up remains to be seen
as we get to the end of july CV season will then come into play
the poss chance for an early start is high there
so lets say if we get dev in GOM with something popin in nw and sw carb
another in sw atlantic yet another east of the windwards and finally a monster out of the verdes
ya things have the potenial to get hectic real fast if everything plays out at the same time
the most i've seen and tracked at the same time in atlantic basin was 5 storms 3 of them were canes 2 storms iam hoping i don't see that this year but who knows i know it can and will get pretty crazy
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
293. IKE
Latest NOGAPS run....
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I live in Mobile Ala can anyone tell me if we are at a higher risk this year.
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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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