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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Good morning everyone.

Tropical Tidbit for Tuesday, June 8th
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Link. NOGAPS has a system moving all the way across the Caribbean.
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Here it comes....

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This season will probably end up being more sever than 1998. If we look at the sea level pressure anomalies from the EUROSIP muli-model forecast we can see the expanse of the below normal pressures around the Greater Antilles, Bahamas and the GOM region.




In 1998 we can see the GOM and the northeast was the primary focus of the below average MSLP. We saw storms form in the GOM that year, some off the eastern seaboard and then some in the subtropical alantic.




We are more likely to see the focus of tracks advect further westward as we have La Nina negative NAO combo.
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So, little chance for rain today in Pinellas county.. .we need those POPS to bump up a little bit...
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Ain't nobody know
Where da storm gonna go...

I have prepared for this season on the blog same as I always do with one exception...I have graduated from popcorn and Coca Cola to popcorn and Red Bull...
And Ike I agree with ya that Joran Van der Sloot should take a long walk off a short pier during a cat 5 hurricane (just to keep it weather related)
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Quoting dagaleaa:
I am just saying hello. I've been reading the forums here off and on for almost 2 years. I don't understand all the weather terms, but I have learned many things here. Two years ago I was in a Publix grocery store and overheard two men talking about this site on the internet. I came home and looked it up, and have been reading it since---especially when hurricane season arrives. I live in Naples, FL. I grew up in Miami, FL.


Cool story!

Welcome to the blog!
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Quoting srada:


Hi

Im still learning but what exactly pulls or curves the storm when its strong..is that a trough, front or high..I thought the more powerful a storm the more its pulled by the high or trough?


Storms naturally want to move poleward. It's the system of highs and lows that drive them. Stronger storms reach higher into the atmosphere where the steering is more complex and where the driving force of the majority of summertime troughs reside. Which is why a weaker storm will tend to go more west with the more normalized lower atmospheric flow around the Bermuda / Azores high.

With your bigger storms, steering can get quite complex, like IKE in 08. Ike was steered south westwards by a tag team of high pressure systems, one residing in the far north east Atlantic. I have to say I missed that one but, Storm W was on it to catch that SW move.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259


AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Quoting stillwaiting:
Looks like a ENE flow setting up for the peninsula today,will it fianally storm along florida's SW coastline,today could begin the start of our rainy season from tpa south,IMO;)
The pattern is right but there isn't as much potential for storms today as there has been the past week. Hopefully we'll keep today's pattern for a time when there's more available moisture.
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the name of the rig with the oil leak is Ocean Saratoga.They said it is 15 miles off of Louisiana Coast.
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Quoting dagaleaa:
I am just saying hello. I've been reading the forums here off and on for almost 2 years. I don't understand all the weather terms, but I have learned many things here. Two years ago I was in a Publix grocery store and overheard two men talking about this site on the internet. I came home and looked it up, and have been reading it since---especially when hurricane season arrives. I live in Naples, FL. I grew up in Miami, FL.


Welcome to the blog!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
I am just saying hello. I've been reading the forums here off and on for almost 2 years. I don't understand all the weather terms, but I have learned many things here. Two years ago I was in a Publix grocery store and overheard two men talking about this site on the internet. I came home and looked it up, and have been reading it since---especially when hurricane season arrives. I live in Naples, FL. I grew up in Miami, FL.
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Oh my just heard on the Weather Channel another oil rig developed a slow leak.Has been going on since April 30.
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Looks like a ENE flow setting up for the peninsula today,will it fianally storm along florida's SW coastline,today could begin the start of our rainy season from tpa south,IMO;)
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Quoting Floodman:


IT's a good start, but there are a great many other factors involved as well: MJO presence or absence, SAL levels, condition and position of the AB high (though that has more to with track than intensity) etc.

How are you doing this morning, Dak?


Better and good... Thanks. You?

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Quoting CycloneOz:


How much you willing to pay for that unnecessary service?


the same as you're willing to pay for my services...
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Living on the Gulf Coast we pray every year for high windshear in the Gulf. Rightfully so this year.But knowing we are going into a La-Nina effect we know the winds will subside.Doesnt hurt to hope and pray for strong wind shear.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Ah...incredible how we sort of become like brothers in a family. The military sure is thorough in its training.

And I should have been a Marine as tough as I was, but the Air Force said I was way smart. The compliment they paid me changed my life.


Silly me, I always thought modesty was your best trait! LOL!
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"The Crazy Avatar Blog Challenge"

The next time Doc Masters updates his blog, there will be this challenge:

Be the first to change your avatar. The crazier, the better.

What do ya think? Good, no good?
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I wonder is it possible that La Nina forming so quickly may actually decrease the number of storms this season compared to if it had stayed Neutral?
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I gotta get me one of those 8 balls too.
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area of wx just north of hispaniola looks interesting this morning.....
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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL UPDATE
Thank you StormW for a great update.I know I can always depend on you for a knowledgeable answer.
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


What a terrible way to lose a friend. Sorry for your loss. Mitch was a horribly devastating monster down there. A Cat 5 stationary spinner is never a good thing unless it's out to sea...


Irving used to own a music store in South Florida and he was a bit "crazy"...We all speculate that he was drinking, his mom probably was worried inside the house, and went outside to watch the "view" or inspect what was going on outside to let her know that things were going to be alright....He Will Always be remembered by his folks...A great Guy.
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Just had to poke it, didn't ya?


My finger tip is getting wore out. Maybe I should "troll" it down a little on my part. :(
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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.


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Quoting CycloneOz:


tehre will be many days of waiting to come. taht's just teh way it is right now.

but teh tropics may be laying down some tracks towards you tihs year...so always be ready to leave!


Just had to poke it, didn't ya?
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Whatever in Oct should be week!
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That is one hell of a Majic 8 Ball...... LOL.... :)
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
I lost a personal friend, Irving, in Hurricane Mitch in Honduras when he went down there to visit his Mother for a few weeks and he (but not his Mother) was washed away from the house durng a mudslide and his body was never found.


What a terrible way to lose a friend. Sorry for your loss. Mitch was a horribly devastating monster down there. A Cat 5 stationary spinner is never a good thing unless it's out to sea...
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Thank You Dr........Interesting note on the relatively late start of the 1998 season in spite of the La Nina conditions in place by the Summer. In accordance with Dr. Klotzenbach's recent paper on storm "clusters", we don't know when the first one this season will form, but once it does and even perhaps in July or August, then a quick succession of storms will start to flow from there in groups spread out over a few weeks (perhaps a cluster of a few in the Caribbean and Gulf in late July-early August, then, another cluster emerging from Africa during the peak of the CV season in late August through September).

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.
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Can you email that to me?


How much you willing to pay for that unnecessary service?
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Quoting TropicalWave:
anotehr boring day in the basin, good riddance, that'll change shortly, :(.


tehre will be many days of waiting to come. taht's just teh way it is right now.

but teh tropics may be laying down some tracks towards you tihs year...so always be ready to leave!
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Link The GEM model showing very active weather in the Western Caribbean this weekend. If you look closely you can see a cyclonic turning.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Ah...incredible how we sort of become like brothers in a family. The military sure is thorough in its training.

And I should have been a Marine as tough as I was, but the Air Force said I was way smart. The compliment they paid me changed my life.

How true my friend. I am with an Air Force unit now and I am constantly reminding them of my superiority. The CO of course thinks the whole place went to hell the minute I arrived. lol
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Quoting CycloneOz:


You need to make a lash rope.


Can you email that to me?
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Quoting hercj:

Yeah well Im a Marine. Its in our training


Ah...incredible how we sort of become like brothers in a family. The military sure is thorough in its training.

And I should have been a Marine as tough as I was, but the Air Force said I was way smart. The compliment they paid me changed my life.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


LOL...so true. I'm enjoying Bud in the bottle right now. Got 10 bottles of Glenfidich loaded and ready to go, however!

Amazing that you knew the correct sequence! :D

Yeah well Im a Marine. Its in our training
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Quoting hercj:

Oh hell OZ its only June, we don't break out the 12 year old til at least July. LOL


LOL...so true. I'm enjoying Bud in the bottle right now. Got 10 bottles of Glenfidich loaded and ready to go, however!

Amazing that you knew the correct sequence! :D
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Quoting aspectre:
11 hurricanejunky "Oz, ya changed the avatar! Who you calling punk?"

Read blog1501post1189thru1205
BTW, CycloneOz, that placement was totally random. I'd run across the photos earlier, and had been playing on&off with properly formatting them using PreviewComment to use as a first-page posting today.
Hadn't seen a refreshed page for a few hours, didn't know you were on, then accidentally hit PostComment instead of PreviewComment.
So the where my post appeared could be considered by some to be signs&portents, ifn ya know what I mean.


Golf balls from hell! Good thing I have a "tin cup." :) No worries.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Yo! I've noticed there's never enough Glenfidich in the bottle! :D

Oh hell OZ its only June, we don't break out the 12 year old til at least July. LOL
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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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