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Caribbean disturbance no threat; winter coming back?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:48 PM GMT on January 24, 2006

The tropical disturbance that formed in the western Caribbean yesterday is moving ashore over Belize, and is not a threat to become a tropical depression. Heavy rains of 4-8 inches are expected in Belize today in association with the intense thunderstorms of the disturbance. The disturbance developed in an area of low wind shear (5-10 knots) caused by a temporary split in the flow of upper-level winds over the Caribbean. This split is closing up again, and shear values are quickly rising to the very high values we are used to seeing in the tropics in winter. Computer forecast models are predicting that wind shear will remain high over the tropics the remainder of January, and no further tropical disturbances are expected this month.

Winter coming back?
The 10-14 day forecast of the GFS computer model has been consistently showing a return to a more normal wintertime pattern the past several runs. If this verifies, it means that winter will return to the eastern half of the country by the second week of February, with temperatures below normal for the first time since mid-December. The Arctic air that has numbed Russia this January is forecast to slosh across the North Pole into Canada and plunge southwards into the eastern U.S. shortly after Super Bowl Sunday--February 5. There is some doubt whether this latest forecast will verify, since the GFS model made a similar forecast back on January 10. However, the run-to-run consistency of the model is greater this time, and a "resonance" in Earth's climate system called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) appears poised to switch from its positive phase to its negative phase. The negative phase is typically associated with a jet stream pattern that brings cold Arctic air to the eastern U.S., and this is the pattern seen between mid-November and mid-December, when cold air gripped much of the Eastern U.S. We have been in the positive phase of the NAO ever since, which is typically associated with very warm winter conditions across the eastern U.S.

Siberian cold hits Greece
Siberia has likely seen its coldest weather of the winter already, as temperatures have warmed considerably from the readings as low as -70 F seen last week. However, the extreme cold air from Siberia pushed into Greece today as a "back door" cold front swept in, bringing severe winter conditions to that nation. Temperatures as low as -4 F (-20 C) were recorded this morning, and high winds and heavy snows created a travel nightmare across much of Greece, Turkey, and neighboring nations. This is probably a taste of things to come for the U.S. after Super Sunday, when the Siberian Express may head our way.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

well, we'll have to wait at least another week for alberto!
Dr. Masters, answer this please if you're there. I have been looking at the SST Anomalies on the NHC website for the past couple of months, and I have noticed one thing. Temperatures off the coast of Florida and the eastern seaboard have consistently been well below-normal. Why is this, and what does it mean for the hurricane season of 2006?
good morning all.yesterday you were discussing the 93 no name storm.i remember it well.i have a newspaper from the myrtle beach sun news showing a front page picture of a fishing pier tossed into the front of a condo bldg.Also,at my house in ocean isle beach,we had 4 ft of water on our street.(in about an hour we had an amazing water rise from the canals,and as quickly it dissipated)also,that was the most damage ive had to my house ever;about $2000.00 in roof repairs and $1200.00 to my boat dock.
"The proof is in Kerrys mathmatical formula and also we know upwelling occurs at the Carolina bump and the Marathon hump and many other locations.Yes the idea can work at other locations where deep ocean currents occur offshore."

For Gods sake, the principles causing upwelling there and the principles for your tunnels are completely different! Stop comparing them. Youre comparing water shooting over a hill in a free environment to a environment where your are trying to force they water up a pipe. Theyre not the same at all. You trying to prove your tunnels will work because upwelling occurs in places is like trying to prove calculus works because 1+2=3, they have no correlation and thus prove nothing.

Btw, I asked you a question about cost and such to install and maintain and you come back with "ya it will work" I didnt ask you if you believed they would work, I already know that answer. I believe I asked you are we going to protect all the nations of the world for free? Because I think these this things will be as expensive as hell to build and maintain.

About time winter decides to make a return back this way! I kinda figured the pesky NAO had something to do with this wacky warmth. I wanna see some snow!!
Crap, that caribbean wave was looking so nice >:(

Cyclonebuster, give it up man.

SST anomalies have continued to *cool* - despite La Nina. The bubble of flaming hot anomalies off the african coast is gone, and the only warm place in the atlantic now is the Gulf Loop, which is +1.5C
wow just a friendly reminder dont talk bad about jim you now who in here or you will meed a very mad man lol aka KRWZ
hey a question for anyone that can answer it

if there was low wind shear year round would hurricanes form year round as well
The NHC has released its report on Tropical Storm Gamma. It has Gamma becoming a tropical storm briefly on Nov. 15.
The tunnels would have prevented that along with world poverty, war and hunger.
who are you busted i thought it was buster
oh ill bet your someone trying to make fun of the real cyclonebuster oh boy full grown people making fun of others so inmature
Haha, no, that was an excellent parody of cyclone.
ahhh ok it was funny though when i looked at it
but i do think they in theory would be benificial to helping with the hurricanes and enerating power the more power the better.
But surely by cooling the gulf stream and limiting the size of hurricanes you'll be keeping more and more heat in the tropics that would hve been shifted towards the poles.
In turn producing more extreme weather?
It is interesting to note that if Gamma hadn't reformed we would have had the interesting situation proposed a while back by a reader where a tropical storm would not have been identified until after the season was over.
Has this ever happened?
Yes, that's what caused Alice2 of 1953-1954.

It was operationally ID'd as a storm in January of the next year, but reanalysis showed that it had formed on the 29th of December. It kept its name as the first 1954 storm, but placed in 1953.

I think if Gamma hadn't regenerated, they would have just called it TS 26.
TS 27, sorry.
I will very gladly trade the bitterly cold winter weather we have had the last week. Last Friday was just horrible here in Stockholm Sweden. Hard wind and snow blowing at almost storm force winds horizontally in the face is not nice at all. As i went out to our cottage in the archipelago I have to travel for a very short trip (about 400 yards across an inlet. the wind and waves made me almost seasick in the short trip. But the days get longer and lighter. Sun rises at 8.15 and sets at 15.45 so the day is almost an hour longer than at the winter solstice.
Big question for me is will this cooler air push into the south west? I dont think it will but I hope so. It was 77 today. It did get a little windy yesterday early in the day but today its been a wind free day.
In SE MN, its a warm 34, but the wind gusts to 45 MPH isnt making it feel warm.
Alice 2 was 1954-1955 rather than 1953-1954. I made the same mistake once.

The NHC has released its report on Hurricane Ophelia. They credit this site! (www.nhc.noaa.gov/2005atlan.shtml?)
What about the western U.S? Will normal winter patterns return for the western U.S. too? If not could we at least know what conditions are expected? Not everybody lives in the East you know...this website focuses way too much on the Eastern U.S. personally.
So glad that system is not going to develope...we need a break...Thanks again Dr Masters for your great information!!!
Hey, they DO credit weather underground in a bunch of surface observations! *waves flag*
Except that the hill is moving far more water then your tunnels and not raising the water to right below the surface. The flaws in your design have already been exposed. You dont have enough energy to move the water as far as you would like to move it. With that problem you cant create this electricity that you would like, either. Until you overcome that crucial problem then your tunnels dont work.

BTW, oil prices will never reach $100 per barrel and stay there. Its simply unsustainable. People will find cheaper ways to create energy and fuel cars, as there are many other ways. Right now its still cheaper to buy oil at $50-$60 per barrel then to use alternative energy which is more expensive. At $100 per barrel alternative energy sources become near or below the price of oil, which is when there use will explode.
ok..hope I dont sound to stupid but what are the SST anomalies and how did I see them?
Until there is a global study of weather imapct, which would involve global personel, I am not buying into it. It is a great Idea but, you would have to prove to all the countries that the gulf stream impacts that no weather change would take place, or minimal weather change. There is a vast amount of things that the ocean controls and all would have to be accounted for. I think if you start your studies now, maybe by the year 2010 we could see a start if the research proved positive. Not to metion how you would reasearch the gulf stream without actually testing in it.
I mean they are not just going to let you start testing in a global weather maker, are they??
I am very much not interested in these tunnels. In fact few people are. Why don't you start your own tunnel blog and keep the tunnel discussion there. It's quite off topic and downright trolling to keep posting it here. Please stop spamming Dr. Jeff Masters blog.

Obviously you like to keep the conversation here because your blog is rather unpopular. That's your problem.
Here ya go SMU88...Link..Soemtimes its hard to get a question thru here with all of the BS going on in here. If ya ever have a question just e-mail me I will be happy to answer it.
And actually how much electricity is produced @ 4mph? Not Much I think.
38. Inyo
in my portion of Southern California we had a severe windstorm in the last few days with many downed trees and power lines. Unofficial reports from the peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains indicate that wind gusts in exposed locations may have reached as high as 100 mph! This Santa Ana wind event was very similar to one that happened 3 years ago, also.

I am hoping this shift in weather patterns will result in more rain here and even more importantly in Texas and Oklahoma. Since last year brought us almost 300% of our average rainfall, and since the Sierras are getting copious snow, we won't have to worry about drought like Texas is getting. However, dry years are boring and depressing, and make my job as a botanist much more difficult. (plants here are adapted to dry years such as this one and simply won't germinate or stay dormant). Also, i have to drive further to snowboard.

Does anyone know the influence La Nina has on the Southwest Monsoon season? The last few years have brought good monsoons but i can't imagine La Nina would be a good thing for summer desert rain. Hopefully it fades by then and spares everyone the droughts in the west and extra hurricanes in the east.
Well that would tell you that you will need years and years of research and more paperwork than I care to look at to even think about creating these things. GLOBAL WEATHER, till I see that this is a mute point and subject.
-70 Degrees in Siberia, I am one happy camper in SEFL.
thank you weatherguy
So now you affect the currents and pull from the place you are drawing the water from, which would induce upwelling from the deeper ocean. Been here for 10 minutes and asked 2 years worth of questions, get back to me in umm 5 years cyclone when you have some concrete research.
hey cyclone i think its a interesting idea i mean at least you have an idea and are sharing it what ideas do all your critics have is it just to make fun of yours.
Not to mention the fisherman that comes and cleans your clock cause he got his lines caught up on your tunnels.
like i said at least its a start give him credit at least he thought of something that might help ya know ya brainstorm with thoughts until you get it right maby his thing might one day be something that will help all of us.
Nobody is making fun, at least I am not. I said the idea is interesting. I ask questions, many of them, becuase many questions need to be answered before something like this could take affect. I may doubt them at times and still do but that is what makes ideas right. If there weren't questions or doubt, some problems would not be figured out before it is too late. And when you are introducing an impact on a global weather maker, questions go up 10 fold.
ahh yeah how would it affect the gloal weather patterns i can see were your coming from pulse
I dont have a problem with the idea, in principle it would seem to work. However, going from principle to real life is a far different story, as has been discussed before.

What I have a problem with is how he is advertising these things. So far he has said they would do everything from weaken hurricanes, to stop tornadoes, to increasing rain in drought stricken areas, all without any backup what so ever. No proof besides some basic calculations that dont take into account the many real life variables. For example Bernoullis principle, you have to make these 4 assumptions:
# points 1 and 2 lie on a streamline,
# the fluid has constant density,
# the flow is steady, and
# there is no friction.

2 out of those 4 assumptions do not work in the ocean at all, and one is very questionable. The water is not constantly dense, their is friction, and the fluid will probably not flow at a steady pace. This is only the start of the problems. Yet every time he posts he says his tunnels WILL do what he says without any evidence what so ever. That is my problem.
I'm sorry, I should say that many times he posts without evidence and says his tunnels will do this or that. He has shown some evidence, but it is far from enough to prove the tunnels will work. I've seen far more evidence to prove that they wont work then he's shown me to prove they'll will.
yeah i do see that thanks myles i think its a great idea thats it it might not work but its a great idea for a start at least
Ya know, you solve one problem but you have to take into account the 15 other ones. The only way to do that is with research, years and years. It is easy to say the water would be warmed back up to normal before it reached the split in the northwest atlantic, but hey, waters moving at 32mph take a while to settle. And if you rack up close to 3 Hurricanes along a specific area, as did this year, you would have to run those for 3 weeks straight @ 32mph. And if you take said water at point "A" at 82 degrees and send it north, cooling on the way, naturally. And then you take the same water at Point "A" at 75 degrees (artifically cooled water), along the same path, obviously it would be much colder and compromise the transfer of the upper and lower currents.
cyclone why do you think these tunnels will stop tornadoes and other things besides hurricanes
how is the speed increased to 32 mph? infact how do you even apply bernoulli's principle when you cant make 2 assumptions crucial to it working?
And how many tunnels are along one of the biggest fishing spots in the US?
whats up my new blog is up so stop on by
But colder right? Same water, "cooler water" would take more time to cool. Not to mention natural upwelling that occurs during a Hurricane.
HurricaneMyles - Mail for you.
NASA calls 2005 the warmest year in a century
Tue, 24 Jan 2006 16:13:39 EST - CBC News

The year 2005 was the warmest in a century, say NASA scientists who studied surface temperatures around the world.

The previous record holder was 1998, when a strong El Nio in the eastern Pacific Ocean warmed global temperatures.

Last year was warmer without El Nio, said James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

The other warm years in descending order were 2002, 2003 and 2004, NASA said.

Hansen and his colleagues studied the highest annual surface temperatures worldwide using instrument recordings dating back to the late 1800s.

The NASA team noted that they had to estimate temperatures in the Arctic using nearby weather stations rather than direct temperature measurements.

Over the past 30 years, the Earth has warmed by 0.6 C. The five warmest years in the past century have occurred in the past eight years, Hansen said.

The warming seems to be happening across the globe at the same time, with the biggest increases at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere, according to the space agency.
the nhc has 15 more updats to do be for they can be done
66. F5
Too late for what?


More proof that we don't really know what's going, so we better be darn careful of monkeying around with things.
cyclone, it's clear something needs to be done. Yours is an interesting and far-reaching idea, but if you push it too ardently people will just stop listening.
...or already have
i am in her to you no would any like to say hi too me?
now now, observer
Looked around for some other 2006 season forecasts~
Here's the highlights from the Weather Research Center

Last year they did pretty good on areas most likely to be hit, just needed to more than double their projected # of storms, storm days & landfalls. I found the modeling system interesting.

The 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be more difficult to forecast than most since
this will be the beginning of a new cycle. A new cycle in the OCSI starts when the sun
spot minimum is observed and this is expected to occur in 2006 which means the OCSI
is reset to Phase 1 which includes the years: 1878, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1923, 1933,
1944, 1954, 1964, 1976, 1986, and 1996.

Mexico 40% 40%
Texas 40% 51%
Louisiana to Alabama 60% 59%
West Florida 70% 71%
East Florida 40% 41%
Georgia to N. Carolina 90% 56%
East Coast of US 60% 36%
Gulf Oil Blocks 90% 88%

Secondary 2006 Predictors from the OCSI:
Number of Storms : 11
Number of Hurricanes: 5
Number of Hurricane Days: 24
US Landfalls: 4
Cat 3 or Higher Storms: 50%

The years in this phase of the OCSI had as few as four storms for the season to as
many as 21 for the season. There is a 50% chance that there will be more than 11
named storms. The distribution by month indicates 2006 will be a very long season with
early as well as late storms.

The OCSI model is based on the premise that there are orbital influences that are
reflected in the global circulation pattern on the sun and subsequently the global
circulation pattern of the earth. The sun's orbit influences the sun spot cycle. Using this
solar cycle to make an index, hurricane climatology has been summarized into an index
called the OCSI. This index has been used since 1985 to make annual hurricane
season forecasts of which section of North America has the highest risk of experiencing
a tropical storm or hurricane.

Since 1985 their area of highest chance for a hit has only been missed 3 times, giving them a 85% accuracy for where one is most likely to strike. Figures they have a tie for the 2006 most likely too be hit areas.
Hey KRWZ~ thanks for keeping us updated on the updates:) They've got most the major ones, maybe they'll rap it up by Feb 15th?

I'll lurk at ya'll later~ another unforeseen side effect of the tunnels~ they're putting me to sleep:) Hows the lego mock up coming buster? Really ~ there are no researchers or investors here that can help you beyond what you've seen here. Your wasting time squabbling about this here. It seems the 2 types of companys that would be most interested would be insurance & power. It seems discussing this with people who have a vested interest, lots of money & power, would get you much farther than a bunch of people with an odd love of weather. Even if you convinced us all, we could do nothing to make it a reality.
74. F5
Since we've not had a year round hurricane season, what makes you think we are nearing having one. Again, nothing but conjecture, no proof.

We really have a very limited understanding of the earth's climate all the the factors that interact to produce it. We can't even model it very well. And yet we are supposed to start tinkering around with things we really don't understand. Last time that happened, I think it led to development of the atomic bomb, and look where that's gotten us.

Maybe we should try being a lot more sure of what's going on before we start trying to change things, assuming it's even possible, which may also be a huge stretch.
Skypony, this is a place for people to share ideas and hopefully get positive feedback which could help them with their quandry. If cyclonebuster has an idea to save us from hurricanes, give him ideas if you want but if you dont have any, just ignore him, and dont say anyone can help here. Because this is a place to learn and educate at the same time. Some of the greatest inventions were looked down upon by everyone, the airplane included. And to cyclonebuster, if you're pissing people off, back off a little bit because you arent getting anywhere making people mad.
I've asked it before an i'll ask it again, cyclone
Surely by cooling the gulf stream and limiting the size of hurricanes you'll be keeping more and more heat in the tropics that would hve been shifted towards the poles.
In turn producing more extreme weather as the earth tries to equalise between the two.
And I've asked this before. How can you use Bernoulli's principle in this situation when you cant make 3 assumptions crucial for it to work?
Cyclone has become blinded by his own idea. He neither takes into account that 1 tunnel won't do anything, but we would need hundreds, if not thousands to "cool the gulf stream". that in turn MAY keep the tropics warmer, thereby keeping the SST's in the tropics above normal, and now we could see the carribian spawning massive Hurricanes to move that heat. Hurricanes are natures heat pumps.

Next if we cooled the stream, wouldn't that effect the climate that the UK and the eastern shore of Europe enjoys?

No telling how the temp changes in the stream could cause migration problems for the species that live in or near the Gulf stream.

I guess his rebuttle would be to build more tunnels everywhere to control sea temp everwhere, but we as humans have to realize that the earth is 70 percent water. We cannot even control our climate on land, and here he has a "fool proof" was to control SST's.

He is so consumed that his idea is best that he is blind the all the other issues.... hey, this reminds me of the cold fusion debacle...

Basic meteorology question: Why is Atlantic wind shear high in winter & low in summer?
Isn't it the jet stream???
Trouper~ I looked at the last 15 comments, not including mine regaurding Buster, other than the comment of the topic is making me sleepy, mine was pretty incouraging compared to the rest. Nobody has much discussed how an insurance company might be interested in funding some researce that could save the company a lot of money. Master's set this up where we are discussing & learning things of mostly HIS blog topic. He stated this in the beginning. Many of us believe this should be in Buster's blog. I'd be tickled if he took it there, followed some suggestions & was successful. Tunnels in the ocean seem better than oil rigs to me.

Master's new blog is up...