La Niña strengthens

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:20 PM GMT on March 09, 2006

La Niña continues to influence our weather, and has strengthened some in the past month, according the the latest discussion issued today by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. They predict that La Niña will continue at least until June, and probably into October. If this prediction holds true, we are likely to see another very active hurricane season in the Atlantic, as wind shear is typically quite low over the Atlantic during La Niña conditions. Dr. Bill Gray's forecast (issued December 6) is calling for 17 tropical storms (average is 11), 9 hurricanes (average is 6), and 5 intense hurricanes (average is 2-3). It will be interesting to see if the stronger than expected La Niña conditions will cause him to raise his numbers in his forthcoming April 4 forecast for the 2006 hurricane season. The NOAA hurricane forecast will be issued in mid-May.

Figure 1. Heavy La Niña rains fell in mid-February over the Philippines, triggering a devastating mud slide that killed over 1500. Image credit: NASA's TRMM project.

La Niña has brought increased rains to portions of Ecuador, northern Peru, Hawaii (which suffered moderate flooding problems last week), and of course the Philippines, where a devastating mud slide killed over 1500 on the island of Leyte. On the flip side, La Niña has brought drought conditions to the south-central and southwestern U.S. Phoenix, Arizona has recorded its 142nd consecutive day without rain today, and Flagstaff has recorded only 2.6" of snow this winter--77 inches below normal, and 110 inches below last year's snowfall. The Snowbowl ski area near Flagstaff was unable to open this year for the first time in its history. Rain is forecast to fall over much of Arizona on Saturday, but not enough to significantly dent the drought.

Tornadoes today
My next update depends on the weather--severe weather and tornadoes are expected over much of the southern U.S. today, and we'll see what storms develop. Already this morning, tornadoes have been reported in Arkansas and Tenessee, along with damage from 70 mph thunderstorm winds and baseball-sized hail.

Jeff Masters

RAIN IN PHOENIX after 146 days (azttboy)
Finally 'rained' in Phoenix area at 4:40 PM MST today, 8 March 2006. Ok, I don't know what happened at the airport KPHX yet, but 5 mi east in Tempe, I got a sprinkle. As proven Here. I hope we get 8 more of these...
RAIN IN PHOENIX after 146 days

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128. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
4:17 PM GMT on March 10, 2006
Posted By: TPaul at 8:10 AM PST on March 10, 2006.
So what is the deal with storm2k and who runs that site?

yes oh runs that site any way
127. TPaul
4:10 PM GMT on March 10, 2006
So what is the deal with storm2k and who runs that site?
Member Since: May 2, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 111
126. seflagamma
2:11 PM GMT on March 10, 2006
I just tried and was told I could not get into that website that perhaps it was down or busy, etc...

I am doing this from work so there should not be a connection to getting into the site.

may try again later.

got to get back to work now.

Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 313 Comments: 41174
125. seflagamma
2:07 PM GMT on March 10, 2006
from Broward County Florida this morning:

75.1 °F / 23.9 °C
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 65%
Dew Point: 62.5 °F / 16 °C
Wind: 2 mph / 3 km/h from the SE

Wind Gust: 12.0 mph / 19 km/h
Pressure: 30.10 in / 1019.2 hPa
Heat Index: 77 °F / 25 °C
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 313 Comments: 41174
124. seflagamma
2:05 PM GMT on March 10, 2006
good morning my friends and Dr Masters. just got caught up on the reading of this blog since yesterday.
Good discussions on here last night.
will try to check out that site you say we are not allowed on to see what it is about..don't know if I can get on or not but will try.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 313 Comments: 41174
122. taco2me61
5:04 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
ok well I am done for the night have to go to bed will be chating tomorrow...

Good Nite and Good Luck!!!! :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3439
121. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
4:55 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
tell me about it
119. taco2me61
4:48 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
ok I'm back--- but I am not sure what I was looking for...
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3439
118. Skyepony (Mod)
4:45 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
This should have been the one I highlighted Offical~ NOAA's winter wrap up. Interesting tidbit~

In Flagstaff, Ariz., as of Feb. 28, only 1.6 inches of snow had fallen since autumn began. This contrasts with a normal snow total of 72.5 inches for the period.

That's an inch below what Dr Master's has posted above.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 397 Comments: 43353
117. Skyepony (Mod)
4:28 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
A school in Sunflower county, Miss had it's roof tore off with the kids inside... luckily no injurys...

Article highlights on a El Nino & La Nina study about to get under way~

We know about El Niño and La Niña, the Pacific connection to world weather. But we're just beginning to know about the connection of the Indian Ocean to world weather.

Does the warm Indian Ocean set the El Niño and La Niña cycles in motion?

Scientists from the U.S., India and Japan are now trying to find out, putting out the same kind of specialized weather buoys in the Indian Ocean that they've used for years tracking El Niño weather in the Pacific.

The number of, this is gonna be a real bad fire season for some of the south, articles is really getting out of hand...
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 397 Comments: 43353
116. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
4:21 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
he going to find out the hard way

115. ForecasterColby
4:19 AM GMT on March 10, 2006 @ own risk.
114. taco2me61
4:18 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
someone give me the link and I will go and check it out...:0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3439
113. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
4:12 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
: taco2me61 you do not want to no
112. taco2me61
4:09 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
what in the world are yall talking about???? what other site is that???
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3439
111. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
4:09 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
new blog is update and it about this storm i be geting
109. ForecasterColby
4:05 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
They can't simply 'ban everyone from wunderground'. They use the same basic forum software I do, and I know its limits and abilities.

Blah, I'll deal with it in the morning. Good night.
108. theboldman
4:04 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
ohh boy david saw it

oh great this wont be good
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
107. theboldman
4:02 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
ohh the tunnnel tlak on there man they ownt like that (:
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
106. theboldman
4:01 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
i even got banned for telling him that not all people for wunderground are not bad he did not believe me so i just left
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
105. ForecasterColby
4:01 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
Unfortunately, it was an IP ban. Those take some time to work around, and a certain amount of computer know-how. I can get around it, and I will to find out what's going on, but I'd like to know from someone who isn't banned.

Cyclone, it's because you won't shut up about your tunnels. I'm really starting to wish the wunderground administration would follow suit.
104. theboldman
4:00 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
colby i know this one

there is a ban on everyone form wunderground

KRwZ got in there and caused mayhem so then they banned everyone from wundergound
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 2
103. Skyepony (Mod)
3:58 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
It's official ~ It was the 5th warmest winter for the continental US ~ Behind 1998-1999, 1991-1992, 1997-1998, with 1999-2000 still holding the title for the hottest.

bummer Colby~ how about you go incognido(i need a shifty eye .gif here)...
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 397 Comments: 43353
101. ForecasterColby
3:48 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
Would someone check the S2K tropical forum? Perhaps there's some clue as to why they just banned me, because I sure as heck don't have one.
100. Skyepony (Mod)
3:43 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
Damage reports coming in on the possible severe weather Dr Masters mentioned.
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) -- Storms moving across the South on Thursday brought winds strong enough to rip off roofs and blow apart barns. Thousands of people lost power in Arkansas, and a lightning-sparked fire killed a man.

Southern Oklahoma had baseball-sized hail and surrounding states saw heavy rain as the front moved east across the Mississippi River.

Around Little Rock, the high wind rolled over a mobile home and damaged about a dozen other homes, and trees and power lines were down around the state. Road signs were reported bent in Johnson County, in northwestern Arkansas. A 78-mph gust was reported in the northeastern part of the state.

In the southwestern town of Ashdown, an 83-year-old city councilman died after lightning struck his house and started a fire. His wife was injured but survived.

A couple in the northeastern town of Tilton suffered cuts and bruises after they left their mobile home and took shelter in their vehicle. The storm blew out the vehicle's windows -- and the trailer was destroyed, said Gerald Britton, a deputy emergency coordinator in Cross County.

Other homes in the county also were damaged, Britton said.

In Mississippi, students at Lockard Elementary School in Indianola were ordered into hallways just before a tornado struck, assistant principal Valerie Simpson said. No one was hurt, but the storm caused roof damage to three buildings and blew out windows.

Winds as high as 80 mph took off roofs and damaged homes in Bolivar and Panola counties, said Lea Stokes, spokeswoman for the state emergency agency. Three people were injured in Lowndes County, where several homes were damaged or destroyed.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 397 Comments: 43353
99. haydn
3:22 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
Good night
98. dallastornado1957
3:06 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
It's a long post, folks. The bold-italics are mine.

Science 10 March 2006:
Vol. 311. no. 5766, pp. 1359 - 1360
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5766.1359a
NASA Agrees to Review What's on the Chopping Block
by Andrew Lawler

NASA's science chief has offered space and earth scientists half a loaf in response to withering complaints about cuts in the agency's proposed 2007 budget. Even so, it's a better offer than the one NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made last week to life and microgravity scientists: He announced a new timetable for finishing the international space station that will leave almost no room in the next 4 years for U.S. research projects.

Goliath tops David. Work continues on the James Webb Space Telescope, while NASA recently canceled the smaller NuSTAR mission. Testifying before the House Science Committee, NASA's Mary Cleave pledged to rethink the space agency's proposed cuts after legislators and researchers complained about their impact on young researchers and smaller missions. (One of those missions, to two asteroids, was canceled the same day.) Cleave said there was a catch, however: Shifting money back into those areas could spell doom for flagship spacecraft now under development for astronomers, earth scientists, and solar physicists. But senior researchers at the hearing said they would be willing to consider such a tradeoff.
That same afternoon, Griffin announced that NASA will not pursue most of the planned research activity on the space station before the orbiting base is complete in 2010. The change results from a cost- and timesaving reduction in the number of space shuttle flights needed to boost the hardware into space--missions that would have allowed astronauts to carry out a host of experiments. Speaking at a press conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the leaders of other space agencies, Griffin declined to discuss the U.S. research agenda after 2010, but it appears bleak. Russian Federal Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov says NASA will provide the Russian section of the station with additional electrical power.

NASA's cancellation of the Dawn mission, awaiting a June launch to the Vesta and Ceres asteroids, drew a swift response from scientists. "I was shocked that after testifying before your committee yesterday, the first thing Dr. Mary Cleave did upon returning to her office was to cancel the Dawn Discovery mission," wrote Mark Sykes, director of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, to committee chair Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY). Although Sykes maintains that critical technical issues have been resolved, Cleave told Science that a recent review found expected cost overruns exceeding 20% and the project facing more than a 1-year delay. Her office was in the process of notifying scientists before the hearing, she noted, but legislators did not ask her about the mission.

At the hearing, both Republican and Democratic legislators expressed outrage at cuts, proposed last month in NASA's 2007 budget, to a host of robotic science missions as well as to biology on the space station. A panel of scientists also lambasted NASA for proposing to reduce research grants, typically 3-year awards of less than $100,000, and small missions. The cuts "would be disproportionately felt by the younger members of the community," warned Joseph Taylor, a physicist at Princeton University. "Without research support to pay for their time, this group will be forced to turn to other fields--or leave the sciences altogether."

Pressed by Boehlert to offer an alternative, Taylor pointed to the servicing mission for the Hubble Space Telescope and to the James Webb Space Telescope. The Webb telescope remains $1 billion over budget, despite recent attempts to cut back its costs, and the Hubble mission is the second largest effort within NASA's astronomy plan. Taylor said he would consider sacrificing one of those to rescue grants and small missions. Astrophysicist Fran Bagenal of the University of Colorado, Boulder, added that restoring money to those two areas would "justify a delay in flagships" such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory, to be launched in 2008 to examine solar variability.

Some flagship missions already have been delayed or canceled. A 2010 launch for NASA's $850 million Global Precipitation Measurement mission has been stretched to 2013, and NASA has twice canceled plans for a major spacecraft to study Jupiter's moon Europa. "This marks the first time in 4 decades when we have no solar system flagship at all," noted Wes Huntress, a geophysicist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and a former NASA space science chief.

That somber situation might look good to life and microgravity scientists, who would be largely shut out over the next 4 years of space station construction and perhaps longer. Before the Columbia disaster, NASA planned 28 shuttle flights, many carrying scientific equipment to and from the facility. Now the number stands at 16. "It is the same space station," Griffin said. "But we are largely deferring utilization."

In good news for the station's partners, NASA agreed to launch the European and Japanese scientific modules earlier than planned so that non-U.S.-based research could begin in 2008. In exchange for not launching a Russian power module, NASA also will funnel power to the Russian portion of the station. A portion of that power was once designated for experiments aboard the U.S. lab module.

97. louastu
3:01 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
I was right, Charley is third most destructive hurricane in U.S. history behind Katrina, and Andrew.
95. louastu
2:58 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
Destruction with charley was i believe second worst in U.S. history until Katrina.
94. stansimms72
2:56 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
michaelstl wrote:

"It doesn't really matter if there is 1 Category 5 or 5, what matters is how strong/big they are if they make landfall - a strengthening Category 3 at landfall can be more destructive than a weakening Category 5 that weakens to a Category 3 at landfall (the size of the windfield matters, as well as how susceptible the coast is to storm surges)."

that's not true. charley in 04 strengthened very rapidly to a cat 4 just before landfall but didn't create the destruction you would normally see with a cat 4. storm surge was very low as well from what i've read. had it been over ocean waters a couple of more hours when it strengthened like it did it would have been far worse.

katrina, worst storm ever, weakened from a powerful cat 5 to a supposedly strong cat 3 (i personally think it was a mid cat 4) but had record breaking storm surge. the reason it had cat 5 storm surge was because it weakened just ten maybe twelve hours or even less prior to landfall. the water did not have the time to weaken to cat 3 or 4.
93. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
2:56 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
: cyclonebuster mail for you
90. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
2:40 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
coolby mill for you
89. haydn
2:40 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
btw and 2006 topics ... Glad to know the situation is resolved.
88. ForecasterColby
2:38 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
To my knowledge. Storm2k strictly prohibits linking to other sites without permission (which is denied for message boards, including mine), so credit would have been difficult to give. He still shouldn't have, but the matter is resolved and dropped.
87. haydn
2:36 AM GMT on March 10, 2006

Is this the first time you've been copied by Christy?
86. haydn
2:23 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
The contest is on. Check my blog on this site for prediction contest 2006. Good luck to all who participate and may the best forecater win.
85. louastu
2:15 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
Last year I should say.
84. louastu
2:15 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
What is taking Harvey report so long? Did it do anything besides contribute to the number of storms this year?
83. ForecasterColby
2:14 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
Basically, he was saying this:

Yes, the winds are caused by pressure differences. Because the area around Wilma had lower pressure than usual, her pressure needed to get lower before her winds could rise.

And would someone please tell me what in the world is going on here?
82. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
2:13 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
haydn so how soon could you have it up on your blog on her
81. haydn
2:12 AM GMT on March 10, 2006

I'll start one on this site.
80. haydn
2:11 AM GMT on March 10, 2006

Don't really understand the concept you're talking about. I'm looking for links for this now.

Here's my initial thoughts without looking anything up.

Low forms...Winds become faster around the center...outflow developes...lower pressure in center....more wind coming in at surface-thus faster winds...cycle continues until hurricane forms and sustains itself if environment favorable

greater the differences between the low and high, greater the wind speed at the center

79. louastu
2:11 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
I suppose it is possible that Franklin could be upgraded (November summary lists Franklin as 70mph T.S.).
78. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
2:10 AM GMT on March 10, 2006
hey haydn can you start up one on your blog as well so we can all play a long this sould be fun

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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