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Archives 2000s >> 2006 Storm Forum

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Reged: Mon
Posts: 1841
Loc: Graniteville, SC 33.56N 81.82W
ENSO goes cold
      #64467 - Mon Jan 16 2006 08:32 PM

For those of you who keep up with the ebb and flow of El Nino and La Nina, since the fall the main leading indicator of ENSO, SOI has been averaging and surging strongly positive with some frequency. As a result the temperatures in the tropical Pacific, along the equatorial counter current, have cooled off substantially since last year. So much so that we're now officially in La Nina conditions, as recently noted in an article by Wunderground's Jeff Masters, quoting the NOAA guys. Those trades in the Pacific are chugging right along. It's a convenient explanation for the mild winter much of the country is having with the fast Pacific flow, as well as the generally dry conditions that are setting up in the South with higher than normal ET (evapotranspiration) rates from warm temps in spite of the fairly frequent rains. As the storm track lifts north as we approach spring, look for those dry conditions to become more extensive, barring a stormy tug-of-war between air masses if and when winter tries to reassert itself.
Anyhow, rambling about winter patterns aside... if we go into La Nina, I'd be prepared to expect something along the lines of 1998-2001, and maybe 2003... those hurricane seasons. Ya know... 12-16 named storms, a bevy of hurricanes and major hurricanes... threats to the Outer Banks of NC and lots of recurvatures that threaten no one.. and maybe more of a threat to the Lesser Antilles. Straight tracks and Mexican hits for the Caribbean storms as well. The Pacific SST profile isn't quite the same animal as what we saw during that period, however.. so the upstream pressure patterns that result over the Atlantic may end up being a little different. I'll see what I can do for analogs as the spring comes along... probably not much.
But anyhow, if I had to throw money down on what little I know of such things... I'd say the coming year is more likely to feature recurvatures and Atlantic seaboard-type hurricanes than the Florida-Eastern Gulf threats of '04 and the Gulf-centric threats of '05.
HF 0132z17january

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