Potential tropical threat in the Gulf of Mexico in a week-to-ten days
The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a tropical disturbance that propagates eastward around the global tropics with a cycle on the order of 30-60 days. It is a large-scale coupling between atmospheric circulation and tropical deep convection (thunderstorms). The movement of the MJO not only has wide ranging impacts on the patterns of precipitation, surface temperatures, and atmospheric circulation in the tropics, but it also influences precipitation and temperature patterns across the globe.
Research and empirical observations have found that the location or “phase” of the MJO is linked with certain temperature and precipitation patterns around the world. The MJO phase diagram illustrates the progression of the MJO index through different phases, which generally coincide with locations along the equator around the globe. When the index is within the center circle, the MJO is considered weak, meaning it is difficult to discern. Outside of this circle, the index is stronger and will usually move in a counter-clockwise direction as the MJO moves from west-to-east. The latest computer model forecasts of the MJO index generally propagate it into phases 1 and 2 during the first ten days or so of the month of June and this tends to favor tropical activity in or near the Gulf of Mexico region this time of year.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian
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