Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:51 PM GMT on January 06, 2006
Tropical Storm Zeta has finally disintegrated into a remnant low, and the National Hurricane Center has issued its last advisory for the Hurricane Season of 2005. In the words of NHC forecaster Stacy Stewart in the final discussion on Zeta:
I suppose it is only fitting that the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season ends with a record breaking storm. Today, Zeta surpassed 1954 Alice #2 as the longest-lived tropical cyclone to form in December and cross over into the next year. Zeta was also the longest-lived January tropical cyclone. In addition, Zeta resulted in the 2005 season having the largest accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) surpassing the 1950 season. So, until the 2006 season begins...unless Zeta somehow makes an unlikely miracle comeback...this is the National Hurricane Center signing off for 2005...finally.
Re-writing the record book for Atlantic hurricanes
The official NHC final report for Hurricane Epsilon is out, and says:
"Epsilon, the record-setting 26th and final named tropical cyclone of the 2005 hurricane season..."
So, we'll have to re-write the record books for the Hurricane Season of 2005, as well as the entire historical record book for Atlantic hurricanes. I'm guessing Dr. Franklin felt a tad uneasy when he penned that line on December 16. I know I felt a little uneasy when I wrote my "final" blog on the Hurricane Season of 2005 after Epsilon finally dissipated. Is there a Tropical Storm Zeta lurking in the future, I wondered? Maybe so...
So let's close the books on the Hurricane Season of 2005, and hope we never see anything like it in our lifetimes. I do believe that this was a once-in-a-lifetime hurricane season. Even if it turns out that global warming proves to have a dramatic impact on Atlantic hurricanes in the coming decades, I seriously doubt I'll live to see another season with 27 named storms, or a season with three of the six most intense hurricanes of all time.
I posted a revised list of the records set during the Hurricane Season of 2005; if I've made any major omissions or errors, let me know!
Coming next week: Late-season Atlantic tropical cyclones: has there been an increase in recent years?
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