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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GFS has the system too at 66 hours, kind of drops it at 72 which it does at times

we will see what it does as it goes further
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Anyone else see that storm complex over TX? If it was over water it would have been designated 10% chance by NHC lol. But seriously, amazing midlevel circulation (I think) that lasted all day.
Link (Wish i could get a longer loop)
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1802
2940. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
latest big picture as of 1159 pm edt jun9

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66 hrs 00 gfs.
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2938. Levi32
Quoting SouthALWX:
Dunno that I would call the ECMWTF conservative .. It performs well at times, other times it's overly aggressive.... yes it does interest me that it shows development, but not because I consider it conservative, but more because I see some agreement between models on the pattern


The ECMWF is conservative relative to the other models. Count how many developments have been shown this year by the GFS, CMC, and NOGAPS. More than I can count already....and the ECMWF has now shown two, with this being the 2nd. It's the more accurate model which is why it's more conservative.

I agree that if it continues to agree with the GFS on this possibility, it will be worth even more attention.
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Quoting xcool:
GFS SHOW SO COOL STUFF
Hey scott
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Dunno that I would call the ECMWTF conservative .. It performs well at times, other times it's overly aggressive.... yes it does interest me that it shows development, but not because I consider it conservative, but more because I see some agreement between models on the pattern
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
2935. xcool
GFS SHOW SO COOL STUFF
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2934. Levi32
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Does anyone have a link to the ECMWF model run?
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Woah just got on whats this about an african wave developing on the 12z ecmwf.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
2930. Levi32
Quoting CapeVerdeCanes:
hi levi, are you surprised to see the ECM deceloping this wave?


I was a bit...it's a conservative model. It will mean much more if it shows up on tonight's 0z run as well.
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2928. Levi32
Quoting sleetman1:
i will be looking for that famous african dust also could limit the activity off the african coast..we will just have to wait and see...sst are higher then last year though..


So far, crystal clear skies....no dust. Why? Because of anomalous surface westerlies over the eastern Atlantic and west Africa due to the negative NAO, which blows less dust off of the African continent.



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Quoting sleetman1:
i will be looking for that famous african dust also could limit the activity off the african coast..we will just have to wait and see...sst are higher then last year though..


SAL is well below average
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
2926. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2924. Levi32
This is another vigorous tropical wave to watch, and looks like it's the one the 12z ECMWF developed this morning. It will be emerging into the Atlantic in 24-36 hours, and may cause problems down the road.

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Quoting Hurricanes101:


ECMWF develops the wave that is around 5W over Africa in a few days

if it stays consistent on the 00Z run we may have to consider it a possibility no matter what climo says


Yep... Climo isn't always right.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
2922. hydrus
Quoting atmoaggie:

Aww, just when I thought about laying off of the jabs...

Take Care, Gro.
Its all good. he,ll be back. I,ll be ready ;)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22628
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Dude, I would be looking for the next next next next wave (LOL). I don't think tropical waves will develop into anything (at least in the eastern Atlantic) until July.

But, the vigor of the African waves is a sign of an active season when things get more ripe in July, August, September, October.


ECMWF develops the wave that is around 5W over Africa in a few days

if it stays consistent on the 00Z run we may have to consider it a possibility no matter what climo says
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting sleetman1:
ssp are just to high for this wave to have a chance its about a month to early..the shear is also quite strong over the caribbean..cant see this surviving for another 48 hours.i give it a zero chance of development..will be looking for the next wave.


Dude, I would be looking for the next next next next wave (LOL). I don't think tropical waves will develop into anything (at least in the eastern Atlantic) until July.

But, the vigor of the African waves is a sign of an active season when things get more ripe in July, August, September, October.
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Quoting Grothar:
I see hydrus is still posting those great images. Keep up the good work. I'll be gone a while, so I won't be on at all. (Sure that put a smile on a few faces) Be nice to each other and play nicey nice now.

Aww, just when I thought about laying off of the jabs...

Take Care, Gro.
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2916. hydrus
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


michelle 2001
I noticed a few cirrus clouds to the north of Michelle...:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22628
2914. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2913. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


michelle 2001
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2912. xcool



new gfs ooz
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting hcubed:


So please post, by itself, the chart that this year should follow.
I will post it tomorrow.. getting ready to get into bed right now. It's very similar to the average track I posted from 2000.
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2910. scott39
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


The tropical wave can go across the Atlantic tropical belt span without dissipating, even if it never gets around to producing convection, it just needs to get into a good atmosphere to thrive. Sometimes, an African tropical wave does nothing at all in the Atlantic for days, and reaches the eastern Pacific where it finds a good environment and develops there.

The tropical wave at the Antilles flared up today due to sliding under an anticyclone that enhanced its outflow (and the southwesterly jet blowing by to its north is also helping its outflow). However, its about to crash right into the jet, which will shear the heck out of it (not even sure why the NHC mentioned it in the TWO).

But, no problem it will survive the jet, the question is whether or not the atmosphere in the western Caribbean stays favorable by the time it reaches there, and how long it takes for organized convection to return (if it takes forever to reorganize, it will run out of time to develop before crossing Central America into the E-pac). This is something hard to predict, we'll see. The wave will be in the more favorable western Caribbean in 2 or 3 days.
Thanks
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2909. Levi32
Quoting scott39:
It looks like to me then, will probably have an invest in about 2 to 3 days, because i dont know what would keep it from firing back up again at 75W do you?


1. It could get too de-amplified while in the eastern Caribbean due to strong trade winds.

2. The area of low pressure currently near Panama may be nearby and could steal all the heat.

3. The MJO downward motion pulse over the Caribbean could keep convection to a minimum.
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Quoting scott39:
How long will it have to hang on to come back to life?


The tropical wave can go across the Atlantic tropical belt span without dissipating, even if it never gets around to producing convection, it just needs to get into a good atmosphere to thrive. Sometimes, an African tropical wave does nothing at all in the Atlantic for days, and reaches the eastern Pacific where it finds a good environment and develops there.

The tropical wave at the Antilles flared up today due to sliding under an anticyclone that enhanced its outflow (and the southwesterly jet blowing by to its north is also helping its outflow). However, its about to crash right into the jet, which will shear the heck out of it (not even sure why the NHC mentioned it in the TWO).

But, no problem it will survive the jet, the question is whether or not the atmosphere in the western Caribbean stays favorable by the time it reaches there, and how long it takes for organized convection to return (if it takes forever to reorganize, it will run out of time to develop before crossing Central America into the E-pac). This is something hard to predict, we'll see. The wave will be in the more favorable western Caribbean in 2 or 3 days.
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2907. scott39
Quoting TampaSpin:


In 24hrs i doubt....but, in 48-72 hours maybe if the energy can hang together and the shear improves which it might when it approaches 80W
Thanks
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2906. scott39
Quoting Levi32:


It will stay defined because it is over the water, and convection isn't an issue at this point. It will have a chance once it's west of 75W, and at that point we will have to see if it starts firing convection again and amplifies. Otherwise, it will just pass through and be a benign feature.
It looks like to me then, will probably have an invest in about 2 to 3 days, because i dont know what would keep it from firing back up again at 75W do you?
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2905. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting scott39:
How long will it have to hang on to come back to life?
3 days
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2904. Grothar
I see hydrus is still posting those great images. Keep up the good work. I'll be gone a while, so I won't be on at all. (Sure that put a smile on a few faces) Be nice to each other and play nicey nice now.
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Quoting scott39:
If it hangs on for another 24 hours will the % go up?


In 24hrs i doubt....but, in 48-72 hours maybe if the energy can hang together and the shear improves which it might when it approaches 80W
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2902. Levi32
Quoting scott39:
How long will it have to hang on to come back to life?


It will stay defined because it is over the water, and convection isn't an issue at this point. It will have a chance once it's west of 75W, and at that point we will have to see if it starts firing convection again and amplifies. Otherwise, it will just pass through and be a benign feature.
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2901. Ossqss
Quoting aspectre:
2812 Ossqss "Interesting for those who can see it. Why was my post earlier on this blacked out to the general public?"

Probably a random glitch. Same thing happened earlier to reedzone for no discernible reason. And by the time he posted again, his complaint about the blackout as well as his following postings had become visible again.


I just looked at post 2080 from a non-logged in view and it is what it is.......people made a decision for those who are not members. Think about it!

I am out due to a hamster problem and explaining why my attempt at CPR did not work now, but it did on the lizard and the neighbors dog, yep I have done it.

Wish me luck, I have a 10 year old waiting to understand what is going on with her 3 year old hamster. That is not an easy thing to do......but is required,,,, out..

Don't let a small sample of this site run the view. Just sayin... Hit the tool this site provides for you, others do in a concerted manner........
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
20 yrs


Seriously? That would mess up so many lives in the Gulf and up and down the east coast. The economy would probably tank again after so many businesses get affected, and I stayed in school getting my Masters hoping things would get better after graduation (phd won't cover that 20 yrs either LOL).

Sometimes I wonder if we should be focusing more on the oil spill than the hurricanes, that spill could be a bigger disasater unlike anything before.
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2899. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Hurricane Cindy on August 28, 1999. Cindy was the second of five Category 4 hurricanes in the Atlantic this year, a record tied with 2005

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2898. scott39
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


That's right, tropical waves do not need convection to persist. Tropical cyclones do. But, convection amplifies a tropical wave into a tropical cyclone.
How long will it have to hang on to come back to life?
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2897. scott39
Quoting TampaSpin:


Hey Pottery.....i first thought the energy might hold together into the Western Caribbean but, with stronger Shear to the West....it might be tough to keep any energy intack. Needs to be watched tho as the energy can duck under shear when the low is at the lower levels......this does have a good 850mb vorticity return so a low level spin is still there.
If it hangs on for another 24 hours will the % go up?
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2896. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
I wonder if they will ever fix that oil leak? What if they can't? How many years could the oil leak go on its own accord?
20 yrs
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I wonder if they will ever fix that oil leak? What if they can't? How many years could the oil leak go on its own accord?
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Quoting 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.....


Whom ever is in charge of press releases through the Public Relations Department should be fired. Making so many promises and then retracting nearly every single one is more blunders than Laurel could blame Hardie.....LOL
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:
If I remember correctly it is the convection which dies out, but the wave axis continues to trek onwards and as long as the wave axis is present it bears watching in the western Caribbean. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.


That's right, tropical waves do not need convection to persist. Tropical cyclones do. But, convection amplifies a tropical wave into a tropical cyclone.
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If I remember correctly it is the convection which dies out, but the wave axis continues to trek onwards and as long as the wave axis is present it bears watching in the western Caribbean. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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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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