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So am I just dreaming? (La Niña and Monsoon)

1999 was an awesome monsoon year for me in the Desert Southwest, with 92 days of pattern between late June and mid Sept. I was not disappointed. I began my monsoon season just a few weeks after returning from the Plains, and had chaseable monsoon weather well into Sept.

Not to get my hopes up, but 1999 was also the year of a strong La Niña. Prior to April, a winter stretch of 100+ dry days occurred. Hmm. Same rainless thing is going on right now, records have been shattered. Last day of precip measured at Sky Harbor…get this…Oct 18!

Can a good monsoon be anticipated for 2006? Will I be running around the desert for three months again with a Starbucks in hand, ready for many long nights? Or is the La Niña/North American Monsoon connection just so unpredictable it falls into the wishful thinking file?

So I pick this up, written in Nov 1999:
“Recent ENSO (El Nino Southern Osc) trends have shown the following pattern:
•Mild La Niña in 1996-1997
•Huge El Niño in 1997-1998
•Strong La Niña in 1998-1999
•Continued La Niña in 1999-2000
In the summer, there tends to be a weak association between the Southwest monsoon and ENSO, with La Niña showing a weak tendency toward producing a wetter summer monsoon season. This past summer is a case in point: precipitation was more than double in the Southwest. One result of the high precipitation in early April, followed by a heavy monsoon season, was that the expected extreme fire hazards in the region’s forests and grasslands did not materialize. In fact the past summer was one of the wettest on record (there were maybe two wetter ones)…. By contrast, during winter 1998-1999, there were 107 days with no precipitation, until the heavy rains in April.â€
Source: http://www.ispe.arizona.edu/climas/confere...nina/index.html

No matter what happens during Monsoon, if there is nothing going on in my county (Maricopa), I just drive to another location like southeast Arizona or the Mogollon Rim. However, I wonder if Monsoon will hit the region harder this year, providing more lightning storms over a longer period?

What do you think? Is a more active North American monsoon to be expected? Are you visiting Arizona or New Mexico to try for some lightning?

Or…is this all just too tough to predict. If rains pick up in April though, I’m going to get suspicious...

'99...love you!
StromHighEnergy.jpg
 
I'm really hoping to get out there for 5 to 7 days in late July or early August for lightning photography. I've never been out there for monsoon stuff, so this'll be an experience... but the photography opportunities are amazing and I can't pass it up. Now that I have more leave built up I can take a few more days off per year... still doing my research, but plan is to stay in Tuscon for about a week and just relax during the day and shoot at night!

Mike U
 
1999 was an awesome monsoon year for me in the Desert Southwest, with 92 days of pattern between late June and mid Sept. I was not disappointed. I began my monsoon season just a few weeks after returning from the Plains, and had chaseable monsoon weather well into Sept.

Not to get my hopes up, but 1999 was also the year of a strong La Niña. Prior to April, a winter stretch of 100+ dry days occurred. Hmm. Same rainless thing is going on right now, records have been shattered. Last day of precip measured at Sky Harbor…get this…Oct 18!

Can a good monsoon be anticipated for 2006?

Hey Susan this kind of goes along with my questions posed under the OKC Amazing Facts thread:
With all these stats on OKC tornadoes it makes me wonder what pattern was in place during the peaks and droughts for tornadoes. It would be interesting for instance to compare this to La Nina and El Nino events, or any other features that would work to compare.

I realize that would probably only include the latter years of tornadoes, but maybe the last 30 or 5 years could be studied.

Another thought...is there a pattern similar to this year and how does that bode for OKC?

You bring up 1999 vs 2006 for lightning. Hmm....think about 1999 vs 2006 for tornadoes. Better be watching OKC area during April / May. It would be really interesting to see another similar outbreak this year in that area.
 
You bring up 1999 vs 2006 for lightning. Hmm....think about 1999 vs 2006 for tornadoes. Better be watching OKC area during April / May. It would be really interesting to see another similar outbreak this year in that area.

I was exhausted when I got back from the Plains in '99. Three weeks later...here comes Monsoon 1999. That was the year that Tempe Camera gave me the name "lightning lady" because of all the stuff I was bringing in. A photog on another list called me "the girl who never sleeps" because I ran about the deserts all hours. By Sept. 1999, I was ready to drop. It was an incredible year.

I have been finding articles about LN's effect in the Plains, esp for the big outbreaks (like 5/3/99). Some say there's a link, others dismiss it. It was talked about in another thread, so specifically, I wanted to start a thread on Monsoon...but yes...the tornado probability question was on my mind too...particularly regarding the F3s and above...
 
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