La Niña ENSO Conditions On The Horizon – Increased Rainfall in Panama

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La Niña ENSO Conditions On The Horizon – Increased Rainfall in Panama

Saturday, July 03 2010 @ 03:56 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 19
The phenomenon of “La Niña” will impact Panama in the next few months, and more intense rainfall is expected, said yesterday the Director of the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) Arturo Alvarado. The official urged the population who live in areas vulnerable or prone to flooding to prepare and to stay away from these places. As for the rains that have occurred in the last days, mainly in the province of Chiriquí, he said that these rains have been influenced by a very wide wave generated by hurricane Alex. According to Alvarado, the forecast for the Caribbean is alarming because they expect between 18 to 24 storms, of those 7 to 10 could develop into hurricanes, and from 3 to 5 could develop into very strong Category 5 hurricanes, a situation that could negatively impact Panama. (La Critica)
Editor’s Comment: Alvarado is right. La Niña ENSO conditions generally generate increased amounts of rainfall in Panama, and even though we did have an El Niño through May 2010, it seems like we will be seeing a quick flip to a La Niña situation. According to the most recent “El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion issued by the Climate Prediction Center/NECP of the National Weather Service on 3 June 2010;

El Niño dissipated during May 2010 as positive surface temperature (SST) anomalies decreased rapidly across the equatorial Pacific Ocean and negative SST anomalies emerged across the eastern half of the Pacific.
Collectively, these oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect the demise of El Niño and return of ENSO-neutral conditions.
The majority of models predict ENSO-neutral conditions through early 2011. However, over the last several months, a growing number of models, including the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS), indicate the onset of La Niña conditions during June-August 2010.
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. Therefore, conditions are favorable for a transition to La Niña conditions during June-August 2010.

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