Well, it has become a Friday tradition at WLFI. Tune in for the latest on severe weather and heavy rain amounts. This heavy rain has swelled the rivers near Indianapolis to record levels that have even surpassed the once unthinkable levels of 1913. You see the gray areas in the photograph above from NASA that show the flooded areas before and after last Friday's deluge. The latest model runs in tonight have confirmed our worst fears and that is more heavy rain is on the way for Indiana. Here is the latest rainfall forecast.
You can blame the La Nina once again. Here was an update on the La Nina sent to our weather team yesterday from Purdue's state climatologist and assistant professor of agronomy and earth and atmospheric sciences, Dev Niyogi.
Dev believes La Niña's control of the weather pattern will continue to make Indiana's normally severe storm season more intense and generate storms more frequently than average. "Whenever we are in a La Nina pattern, there is increased propensity for severe weather over Indiana during spring and summer with increased likelihood for thunderstorms and rain," Niyogi said. "We are nearing the end of the La Niña cycle, which started last year, but the sea surface temperatures are still about one-half a degree cooler than normal." As a result Dev is thinking La Nina may still have an impact on our weather at least for the rest of June and maybe even July.
The latest take on this from the Australian weather bureau is much more favorable for things improving for us in the near future. Here is their latest La Nina update mate!
Summary: Pacific ENSO-state neutral, but ocean warms
Pacific climate patterns remain neutral, although some aspects of the 2007/08 La Niña lingered in the western Pacific during the past fortnight. The tropical Pacific has been warming gradually during the past few months, with central Pacific temperatures now near-normal and eastern Pacific temperatures about one-half to one degree warmer than average.
The warming in the east has been caused in part by a weakening of the Trade Winds in that region, an effect that has been gradually spreading further west during the past several months. In addition, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has been falling and now sits a little below zero for the past 30 days.
Computer model predictions show central and western Pacific temperatures continuing to increase over the next two seasons, but mainly remaining less than about 0.8°C above average, that is, neutral. No model is predicting a return to La Niña conditions, and while the chance of an El Niño developing is small, it can't be ruled out, especially as ENSO events can evolve rapidly at this time of the year.
This is something I will keep a close eye on. I think La Nina is winding down and would be surprised if it continued to wreak havoc on our weather into July and August. This is based on many other atmospheric factors that meteorologists look at which includes sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic basin. These factors should help overwhelm whatever La Nina has left. The latest La Nina graph from region 3.4 has it even warmer than a half-degree below average. The dark zero line above is considered average. You can see the tremendous rebound in ocean temperatures above. We have dug ourselves out of a huge hole. This graph courtesy of the Australian Weather Bureau also shows another interesting footnote. Do you see the big mountain peak on the graph above and how it quickly came crashing down. This was one of the factors that helped cause our great blizzard in February of 2007!
The big factors to focus on as we head into July will be the extremely warm waters in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. We are in a positive AMO or what is called a positive Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. You can see this clearly above. The darker yellow and orange water colors indicate where it is above average while the deep blue colors show below average water temperatures. It is hard to find much blue in the Atlantic or Gulf. This is telling me a huge ridge of high pressure will take over the weather pattern in July and August. While it will not be a permanent fixture like we saw last summer, it will act to dry us out and heat us up with an average of at least 1 to 2 90 degree days per week by early July. Rainfall will decrease considerably, but certainly there will be no drought to worry about this year. Here is my latest rainfall forecast for Lafayette.
I do worry about east coast hurricanes this year in this type of set-up and have to even wonder about not just the Carolinas being hard hit but area even farther north from Maryland and Delaware to New York and New England since hurricanes love to "ride these ridges".
Back closer to home, even though my forecast is promising in the long-term, there will still be some big bumps in the road here in the short-term. It has been a deadly night in the Plains with at least 6 fatalites due to tornadoes. This system will start to move our way on Friday. Join me tonight for the latest on what you can expect here at home.
Notice there were over 300 storm reports of damage across the country. Our thoughts and prayers are with those that have lost everything due to storms and flooding. Iowa is seeing flooding right now much worse than they did during the great flood of 1993 and you can add Wisconsin to that list. When great flood and storm years are brought up in the future you will certainly have to always include 2008 and we are only have way through the year. God bless!