Zow! It's Zeta!

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:39 PM GMT on December 30, 2005

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The unbelievable Hurricane Season of 2005 has decided to ring in the New Year with a final tropical storm, and a final record. Satellite imagery indicates that an area of low pressure in the eastern Atlantic has developed into Tropical Storm Zeta about 1000 miles south-southwest of the Azores. Zeta is the latest tropical storm on record to form in the Atlantic. The previous record was held by Hurricane Alice of 1954, which also formed on December 30, but earlier in the day than Zeta.

Like its Greek cousins Delta and Epsilon of November, Zeta formed in conditions one would not normally expect a tropical storm to form--sea surface temperatures are only 24 C (2 1/2 degrees below the 26.5 C minimum usually needed), and under wind shear of 20-25 knots (usually, wind shear of 15 knots or less is required.) However, all these storms formed from pre-existing low pressure systems, and these type of systems are more resistant to shear thanks to their well-developed circulations.



Zeta is trapped under a strong ridge of high pressure that will force it to move on a slow westward track for the next three days. A trough of low pressure moving across the central Atlantic may weaken the ridge enough to turn Zeta northwards and recurve it on Monday, but the ridge may be strong enough to insulate Zeta from this trough and keep the storm moving westward through at least five days, when another, stronger trough of low pressure should be able to turn Zeta northwards and dissipate it.

Zeta has an impressive satellite signature today, with good spiral banding and upper-level outflow. There is 20-25 knots of wind shear over the storm, and this shear is expected to increase substatially to 40-50 knots by New Year's Day. This may make Zeta's existence a very short one. The SHIPS intensity model is calling for Zeta to dissipate by January 1. If Zeta can survive past January 1, shear levels are expected to relax, and Zeta could hang around for most of the week. I don't expect Zeta to threaten any land areas, or make it to hurricane strength.

Jeff Masters

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128. CybrTeddy
5:21 PM GMT on September 24, 2006
Deleted Post.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24018
127. CybrTeddy
5:20 PM GMT on September 24, 2006
Zeta
words to say
never became a cane
died on 1-4-06
wow..
what a year that was
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24018
126. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
5:01 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
wow this storm is big come to my blog when you get a ch a take a look at the mb i am get from this storm you will say wow! no why the lowet mb i have see from this storm is 29.08 yes that is the right mb so come to my blog and say wow
125. lightning10
4:49 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
Happy new years everyone.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
124. TampaSteve
3:40 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
Have a Happy New Year, everyone!
123. CrazyC83
3:33 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
It would only be natural for Zeta to become a hurricane in the last advisory of 2005...
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
122. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
2:48 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
hey hurricanechaser happy new year
121. hurricanechaser
1:45 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
Hey Phillysfan,

We are currently still in the neutral phase of the ENSO cycle. There are currently signs that a weak La Nina could develop in time for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season for 2006. And you got the interpretation of my explanation absolutely correct.:) I hope you have a great New years Day:)

Thanks,
Tony


120. phillyfan909
1:40 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
KRWZ I know you were kidding, that's ok. It's not that I care about NY City that much, but it's only 100 miles away from me. (now it's my turn to be just kidding!)

Weather here isn't very exciting but that's ok. About 40 degrees, gray overcast, occasional rain, very little wind. Not like in California.
Happy New Year
119. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
1:36 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
i be back soon
118. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
1:31 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
i see palmettobug53 thanks
117. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
1:30 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
hey phillyfan909 i was this kinding on that post there but any way whats up i hop you are haveing a good new year over her we been geting it hard with high winds
116. palmettobug53
1:29 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
Just a place you can go to see what time it is in the different zones of the US. Haven't really looked at it in depth, but think you can also use it to see what time it is anywhere in the world.
BBL....blog hoppin this morning!
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
115. phillyfan909
1:14 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
KRWZ bite your tongue! ;-)

And happy new year!!
114. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
1:06 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
would it be fuuny if a cat 5 hurricane would hit new york at 12 am or right on 2006! hehehehehehe this kinding!
113. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
1:04 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
hey palmettobug53 thanks for the link what is it any way
112. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
12:58 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
hey palmettobug53

hey phillyfan909

we are geting it hard over her so any way what up happy new year to you
111. phillyfan909
12:32 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
Hurricanechaser, thanks for the explanation. I'm not sure I followed it all, but it seems like in an El Nino year when there is extra warm water in the eastern Pacific, there is more shear (and fewer hurricanes) in the Atlantic. And vice versa too, if the Eastern Pacific is unusually cool then there is less shear over the Atlantic and more hurricanes. I think I followed that! ;-)

Tornadoty, it doesn't sound very good for the midwest this spring. It almost seems like November was a preview. BTW did we have a La nina in November, and is that why there were so many tornadoes in Indiana etc. ?
110. palmettobug53
12:30 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
Good heavens, KRWZ, what in the world are you doing up at that ungodly hour out there? LOL
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
109. palmettobug53
12:29 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
So, it should be 9 PM, your time..... (smile)
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
108. palmettobug53
12:28 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
KRWZ, check this out:

Link
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
107. phillyfan909
12:24 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
Hey there KRWZ, watch your TV at 9pm tonight, that's what time it will be in California when it's midnight here in the East.
106. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
12:16 PM GMT on December 31, 2005
i live in ca and i would like to no what time on my tv will i see the ball dorp in new york i no it drops at 12am but what time can i see the ball drop in ca on tv any one?
105. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
11:43 AM GMT on December 31, 2005

The SHIPS intensity model is calling for Zeta to dissipate by January 1


hmmm i think it may be comethe frist ever hurricans of 2006 so i think it will last longer the jan 1st any of you think?
104. IKE
11:18 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
Per forecaster Stewart at the NHC....."but I would
prefer to wait and see if the CDO-like feature persists for at
least another 6 hours before increasing the intensity any further."

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!! Dam storm COULD make it to a greekacane.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
103. IKE
11:01 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
ZETA getting better organized. Is anyone surprised? Could it make it to a hurricane? Yes is a possibility. Need to fix a pot of coffee and drink it to realize I'm not dreaming. A named storm on New Years Day.

Happy New Years to all AND to ZETA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
102. weatherbuff64
8:18 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
If a storm forms in January, I guess it will start with A for whatever the A name is for Season 2006, right?

And has that ever happened for one to form in Jan, Feb, or March....I know there was one in April before.
101. ForecasterColby
6:32 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
Those were the first years of naming hurricanes, and at the time they had only one name list - which started with Alice. So the first storm in 1953 was Alice, as was the first in 1954. However, Hurricane Alice2 was AT THE TIME believed to have formed in 1955 - but was later redetermined to have been part of the 1954 season. Therefore, 1954 has two Alices and 1955 started with 'B'.
100. weatherwatchin
6:24 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
How come the name Alice was used so many times from 1953-1954? In checking the tropical weather archive, the name Alice was the first storm of the 1953 Hurricane season and the first and last storm name used in 1954.

Can someone explain this?
99. snowboy
5:43 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
well who'd have guessed we'd get one more storm for the record books?! I'm out of province on vacation and justthought I'd check in and whoooooooo... another TS!

... anyways, this gives me a chance to wish all of you all the best and a happy new year...

Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2547
98. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
5:41 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
good night ever one
97. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
3:09 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
Trouper415 mail for you one last hurricane of 2005
96. Skyepony (Mod)
3:07 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
Just spent the last 4 days in the Keys. The weather couldn't have been nicer, perhaps i'll update my blog. But to come back to Zeta! I had seen a hint of the possiblity before i left. Then to spend the days seeing what (mostly) Wilma had done. The rebuilding & repairs are incredible. They started with mostly tourists stuff~ it's open & on down there. I ignored the internet, coupled with the in the face of adversity we shall rebuild attitude going on down there a new storm was still a shock.

As for Zeta~ i think she'll, over the next 4-5 days, head generally (with a few wild wobbles) NW, perhaps more Northward toward day 4. Intensifing, weaking & intensifing again, into a smaller compact storm along the way.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
95. MattInMiami
2:53 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
INCREDIBLE! I guess it's still 2005!
94. squeak
2:31 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
I'm in the Twin Cities...today was walking on slush. Commute was a breeze though (hey, 5" of snow doesn't slow us down).
93. MNWIweather
1:46 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
I used to live in Florida.... Need I explain to ANYONE why I moved to Minnesota...LOL

I prefer a snow storm to a rain storm..... But that's only 6 months outta the year though....

"...this is GOD's Country! Here in Minnesota, people walk on water 6 months outta the year!"

--as said by my dad on numorus occasions--
92. Trouper415
1:31 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
I do predict it will be a hurricane by tomorow. It will obviously head east and dissapate thereafter :)
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 637
91. Trouper415
1:29 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
Unbelievable. Just now I go to my favorites looking for a website, and accidentally I click on the water vapor image and there is Zeta?!?!?!?! I was stunned, and I thought I was going to be the first to know about it, then informing you all. However, we are the WUNDERGROUND and we get info first. Nice work Jeff Masters reported YET another storm hehehehe.

Happy new years.

88889, here it is.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 637
90. Pensacola21
1:20 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
Hey all.. How is everyone tonight?
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 3912
89. dallastornado1957
1:12 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
We need some scientific help, here.

DMS816 lost his family homestead in the 9th Ward during Katrina. Next month, the bulldozers come in and take down the house and tree his father planted. The tree, a pine, survived the storm and is still alive.

Please apply all those left-brain skills you have and drop him a note on his site with suggestions about grafting, etc to save the stock from his father's tree.

Thanks, and Happy New Year.

Dallas
88. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
1:11 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
Happy_July_4th.gif
87. StellarCyclone
12:34 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
I think they ought to retire the Greek alphabet :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
86. Inyo
12:03 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
I don't have the picture anymore but i once saw a sattelite image of a storm that looked much like that hitting San Francisco.. It had hurricane-force winds but was cold-core. There are records of non tropical systems developing eyes when they become intense, but it is rare.. and hard to define them.
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
85. ForecasterColby
12:01 AM GMT on December 31, 2005
I had a dream once. My posts went through - LOL.

I issued an advisory on Zeta this morning, and will issue another one tonight. For sat images and NHC graphics:

http://s91794711.onlinehome.us/ncw/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=188

For my latest advisories:

http://s91794711.onlinehome.us/ncw/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=8

And for a slightly easier-to-remember url:

www.theahc.webhop.netLink
84. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
11:59 PM GMT on December 30, 2005
hey hurricanechaser we did it we got from A to Z this year wow and i got a big storm comeing in with 60mph winds and higher the lowet mb i have see so far from this storm is 29.57 or 1001mb and falling how low will it go!
83. tornadoty
11:59 PM GMT on December 30, 2005
Hurricanechaser, if this is a La Niņa winter, then I am in big trouble come spring. The last La Niņa winter (1998-1999) was followed by a tremendous midwest tornado season (specifically 4/8-9/99 and 5/3/99). Furthermore, the Super Outbreak of 4/3-4/74, with 148+ tornadoes, 24+ F4s, and 6 F5s, followed a La Niņa winter. So I will be busy next year.
82. hurricanechaser
11:56 PM GMT on December 30, 2005
Wow...I'm sorry I didn't proof read my post.:)

I will check back in later. I hope you all are having a great night.:)

Your friend,
Tony
81. hurricanechaser
11:52 PM GMT on December 30, 2005
Sorry big correction.:)

Specifically, below normal Atlantic development induced by stronger than normal westerly wind shear blowing WEST to EAST across the Atlantic.

Please excuse the typo..gerberally speaking..lol:)
80. palmettobug53
11:52 PM GMT on December 30, 2005
Kokopeli! The flute player, water spirit.....
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 233 Comments: 25079
79. hurricanechaser
11:49 PM GMT on December 30, 2005
Hey Phillyfan,

YOu bring up an important observation regarding the correlations between Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone development and their Atlantic Basin counterparts. Geberally speaking, an active (above normal) Eastern Pacific season usually correlates to near normal or even below normal Atlantic seasons. The same is true for an active Atlantic corresponding to a relatively inactive Eastern Pacific. The correlation generally isn't that significamce betwee Western Pacific development and Atlantic cyclones.

The most significant reason is the ENSO climate cycle which relates to the water temperatures just off Peru that have remained neutral (defined by near normal sea surface temperatures)the past couple of seasons. However, a warming trend of these waters refered to as an El Nino event not ony have significant effects on weather around the globe but also directly upon the Atlantic Basin hurricane activity as well as the activity in the Eastern Pacific. Specifically, below normal Atlantic development induced by stronger than normal westerly wind shear blowing east to west across the Atlantic. In contrast, These warmer waters help induce more frequent tropical storms for the Eastern Pacific as a result. The reverse is true in the La Nina cycle which is defined by these same sea surface temperatures characterized by below normal temperatures which in turn significantly alters the wind shear in the upper levels and becomes very conducive for Atlantic Tropical cyclone genesis. The cooler waters usually creates less favorable conditions for the Eastern Pacific storms.

Interesting, it appears we may not only have a neutral ENSO phase but even could become a weak La Nina for the upcoming 2006 hurricane season. However, one should not simply assume that this will in itself determine a new season of 20 plus storm formations because there are other climatic factors involved. It simply means the 2006 season will not be inhibited whatsoever by the El Nino phase of the El Nino cycle. That being said, I personally expect a very active 2006 season but not close to this years levels.


78. sfranz
11:46 PM GMT on December 30, 2005
Clearly the tropics are just playing with us.



Zeta on Water Vapor. :)

Happy New Year!

- Miraweb
Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 149

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.