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Back from vacation

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:40 PM GMT on November 25, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! It's good to be back home after a relaxing visit to the Caribbean. I must admit, though, that scraping the inch of ice off of my windshield at the airport in Detroit last night in -5 wind chill temperatures was a shock, after wading in 82 degree waters in San Juan yesterday morning!

I did keep a watchful eye on the tropics while I was in Puerto Rico, because this hurricane season is not yet over. Water temperatures are still more than 80F (26.5 C) over a large portion of the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, and wind shear levels are still forecast to remain low enough to support formation of a tropical storm Epsilon before the season mercifully ends. In addition to Tropical Storm Delta, there are two areas to watch over the next week:

1) A strong non-tropical low is expected to form by Sunday in the mid-Atlantic just west of Delta's current position, and drift slowly west or west-southwest. Like Delta did, this low could remain over warm water long enough to gradually acquire a warm core and morph into a tropical storm. It is unlikely that this storm would threaten any land areas except Bermuda, the Azores, or Canary Islands.

2) The region just north of Panama may get active, as wind shear levels are expected to be low the next five days. However, there is not much moisture in the region at present, and wind shear values are expected to greatly increase over the entire Caribbean by early December. I don't expect any serious storm will develop in the Caribbean over the next week, although a weak tropical storm is a slight possibility.

Tropical Storm Delta
Delta is still hanging tough in the face of 30-40 knots of wind shear, but its days are numbered. High shear, dry air, and cooler waters will all conspire to weaken Delta over the next two days, then destroy it by Monday. The deep convection around the eye is already starting to decay, and this storm has missed its chance to become a hurricane. The remnants of Delta have the potential to bring 40 mph winds and heavy rain to the Canary Islands and Morocco early next week.

I'll be back with an update on Sunday morning--or Saturday--if something develops worth talking about.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Echo, echo, echo.....Quiet day after the holiday. Welcome back Dr. Masters, glad to hear your vacation was uninterrupted by any nasty tropical weather!
First! Hi everybody!
ok, elliston, second is fine LOL How's everybody?
I would like to hear more about Epsilon-wannabe
hey jeff welcome back you do take alot of vacatioms your lucky lol

jeff the other one
Good morning, Finn or is it Good evening?
Well, it's morning NOW at least :D

R.I.P. Delta.
oh dcw
Welcome back Jeff. In the part of Southern California where I live 2 days ago it was in the upper 80's today its in the mid 60's and some vallie fog. To bad it wont stay in the 60's it always warms up a few days later ;-(
hello southern ca im northern ca lol
11. OGal
Welcome back Dr. Jeff. Here in Winter Springs it is in the upper 70s. The kids next door are all in the pool just like summertime. I wish I could have some of your cold weather.......just for a short time. Glad you had a good time in Puerto Rico. Did you go to the rain forest?? Please let's not have anymore of these tropical guys knocking on our door.
evening here hurigo, we had the first snow fall last night, now it looks good now that the days are so short and darkness surrounds us most time SAD, remember LOL. We have some light from the white snow now. Daughters pyppy went crazy this morning , never seen snow before. A good days for us here in FIN-Land. I'll be back in 2 1/2 weeks, and glad that the canes are gone!
LMBO, pyppy = puppy
14. dcw
I like to speak different languages.
Ik houd van verschillende talen te spreken.
J'aime parler diffrentes langues.
Ich mag unterschiedliche Sprachen sprechen.
Επιθυμώ να μιλήσω τις διαφορετικές γλώσσες.
Gradisco parlare le lingue differenti.
나는 다른 언어를 말하고 싶는다.
Eu gosto de falar lnguas diferentes.
Я люблю поговорить по-разному языки.
Tengo gusto de hablar diversas idiomas.

After that world-culture diversion, I do not like the potential scenario unfolding with Epsilon. If a ridge forecast by the models does materialize, the storm will have nowhere to go but straight to the U.S. Hopefully, shear will take it down, but the models show little to no shear, too... :(
dcw and everyone else i shouldnt worry about epsilon-to-be, the water temps are far too cold to sustain any tropical cyclone that comes towards the u.s. besides, even though the models develop that ridge i cant see any way that epsilon-to-be could get that far west before recurving.
Hello all...in briefly...
Dr. Jeff, Welcome back..to North American reality! You really knew when - and where - to pick a Caribbean vacation with that broad High locked over the E Carib for the last week. Prime choice indeed... Also like your recent fotos..I see in your Sand Friend image, you were "digging" the local babes!

Thanks for the update. We've been up to our usual mischief while you were away...but tried not to give Shaun and Tim too hard of a time.

Now isn't tropical forecasting fun in early winter? And what justice...after receiving wave after wave off of Africa all year...we might see tropical step-child Delta pay THEM a visit...LOL.

Everyone have a great day...back later.
17. dcw
Landfall in Spain with Vince, and now we're gonna hit MORROCO???

Ogal -you're welcome to our cold here. It's managed to climb to a whole 31 degrees out - normally it's in the mid 50's here this time of year. We've already had two inches of snow this year!
Finn - that must be really wild living where the sun doesn't really come up for a few months. Although I've been told that being dark all the time isn't as bad as the part of the year where the sun never really sets. Either way, it'd be neat to try it out some time.
Elliston, it depends where in Finland you are, here in the south we have now 6-7 hrs of daylight, will be 4-5 at Xmas time. Up in the north, 800 miles up, the sun doesn't come out for months. And you're right, summer nights are endless, here in the south the sun sets for a few hours but it desn't get dark, you can drive without headlights and see well. In the north, the sun just goes down near the horizon but never sets, just makes a loop and goes up again (see my wunderpics). My husband is from CA and couldn't sleep during the summer nights. We actually live in FL now, so I just visit here.
dwc, you can add this to your collection :)
Pidn monien kielien puhumisesta (Finnish)
Jag tycker om att tala olika sprk (Swedish)
Yo boldman, where do you live. Somehow you even know my first name. I live in northern CA also, where are you? Holla back

Hey Finn...how's it going?
Hey everyone,

In regards to the new low...the models can't be too trusted at this point for track forecasts when a system hasn't yet developed nor been initialized in the model runs as a known entity.

However, I'm pretty confident that if the Low does form as I anticipate, it will eventually run into increasing southwesterly shear from an approaching trough in time, and will be steered away from the U.S. and will not be a major threat whatsoever.

Honestly, it's just too early to make a specific forecast that amounts to much more than speculation at this point regarding the Low that may very well become Epsilon.

I was just looking at the new model runs which all seem to agree on a basic turn with varying degrees on a general eastward motion for Delta toward the Canary Islands vicinity.
There's no way in my opinion that the GFDL will be right with its latest 12Z run...Delta won't make hurricane strength, but will continue to slowly weaken throughout the forecast period either dissipating or moving into Southern Europe as a weakening extratropical system.

I hope you all are having a good day and I will talk to you later.


Hello, everyone! Hope you all a a good Thanksgiving, and didn't eat TOO much! lol
Glad to see ya back, Dr. Jeff!
Hi all

Looks like finally a beautiful weekend in Cayman, no storms off Panama please, we've had enough rain!

DCW another one for you

Mee graih abbyragh anchaslys hengaghyn (Manx Celtic)
Re Epsilon poseble
donde vas?
looking at the 12z runs im leaning towards epsilon by monday
hi everybody, and again, welcome back dr masters...

just wanted to leave a quick note for any non-experts on the site... and please note i'm not advertising myself :)

if you want to learn more about how the weather changes and how predictions are made, please drop into my blog... dcw and hurricane chaser are answering all my dumb questions... lol!!

the first (datewise) entry asks for a bit of info on the people who visit... feel free to do that.... the second (newer) entry concerns reading the model maps, etc... here you can ask questions or answer them, as you see fit...

Hi palmetto, SWLA, others
Hola hurigo, Re: Re: Epsilon va a Irlanda lol

Does anyone here know if the equivalent to the link "Experimental forecast Tropical Cyclone Genesis Potential Fields" exist for Europe? If not, maybe the guy/gal from Switzerland knows, but can't remember his ID -anyone?
i'm sorry but I dont think that what you are looking for exist in europe. In french you've the french "meteofrance" but you've to pay for infos and maps.... maybe in german?!?
swissguy, thanks! I don't speak German, so that's out, French would be ok though. If you ever find one, let me know. How's the weather in Switzerland? I studied 3 yrs in Fribourg. Nice place! Nice skiing!
32. dcw

Anybody home?....ome....ome....ome
Hey all are there anyone on tonight???

taco... just leaving to go watch the Miami Heat game...quiet night.. everyone got their 2nd helping of turkey or run over at the shopping malls....unreal .. crazy people
I here ya Bills Fan... LOL I just got my seconds on turkey and I would not be caught dead at the mall today...
Hello Everyone,
I see most have already checked in since Thanksgiving...I'm a little late..sorry.

Dr Masters, Glad you had a great time on your vacation. Now just one thing, I've finally loaded my freezer again, and I hope we have nothing more coming our way this season! Haven't had anything in there but ice and frozen water bottles since July!!! Looks good to have some homemade frozen foods in stock for a change! PLEASE, just let this hurricane season come to a record breaking end! LOL

Good to hear from everyone! Can't stay up late, got work early tomorrow. One of the goodies that will come in tomorrow for 12 hrs and allow others to be off then key payroll for everyone else! Only work tomorrow then off Sun, Mon and Tue. Then Long week!

Beautiful weather here in Broward County Florida, trying to get the yard cleaned up and hope to have a fence in the next two week...WOW, I can give up some of the trees but that fence is the real pain not to have! Harley thinks the entire neighborhood is his to "mark" now; he went from a small backyard dog to a dog that thinks he now has miles of unfensed neighbor's backyards to explore! LOL...
Will check in tomorrow. Good night everyone!
Taco.....I hear ya, never understood why people would subject themselves to the insanity of shopping "the day after Thanksgiving" or "Black Friday".....yikes....as a female who HATES shopping in general, I dunno I guess the thought of saving a few bucks is enough for some people to wait in line ALL night? thanks, but no...

Don't know if you are a Heat fan, but they have alot of problems
Taco.....are you in Broward?
Hey Billsfan, sorry I went to walmart and it was cool there was no one there WOW

No I'm in Mobile AL and like I said I just would not even think of going out in the cold at 4am to stand in line to get something I know will be cheaper in a week... If you know what I mean...
Oh yea more of a NO hornets fan... Not much better though

I think Tampa FL will get a major hurricane next week! i just feel it the season will not end soon. Tampa will be devestated by 125 mph winds poor guys.
43. dcw
^^^ A true 2k5 prediction! ^^^
Interesting prediction there hurricanewayne. Could you give us some insight as to why you think that will happen. Oh yea, its april fools, I forgot.
Looks like all the models now agree that Epsilon will curve back to the east, well away from any land masses, in about 120 hours. However this is 2005 no one even thought Wilma would become anything let alone the beast she endured to be.

Good Morning everyone!
billsfan, I saw on TV last night all of those shoppers running over each other...I hate shopping myself and it use to worry the kids when they were younger that I waited until the last minute to do it! LOL...But someway it always got done. I am a big fan of "Amex Gift Cards" for the grown kids; order on line, shipped to my house, wrap them up in pretty boxes, and its a gift that fits, doesn't need returning, and the right size!
Still enjoy shopping for the grandkids but I really don't go nuts for them; it is better to buy them stuff when they need it during the year than to overload them in December.

At work today, will check in later once you all get up and about. Have a great day everyone!
Good Morning everyone.

re: Dr M's post about the water's still at 80F in the Caribbean and Atlantic tropic...
Should they not have already cooled and/or does this mean that they will not cool much this winter? Seems to me at that temp that we may not really see an end to this season, before the new one starts. And, if the waters stay warm, does that mean 2006 starts before June 1?
Anyone know?
Hi everyone. Another day today. NAM computer modle says a real windy day down here in Southern California today. Its hard to even listen to it and thoes High wind watch since where I live no matter how windy they say its going to be its almost never windy because I live in a wind protected area since the San Gabriel Valley Mountains act as a huge shield to almost any wind where I live.
49. OGal
Gamma, you go girl. I love to shop online and I think I get every catalog known to man. At least that is what my mailman says. I can't stand to be in huge crowds, let alone fighting for the same gifts. I too believe in gift cards. We always disquise them well at my house. The grown kids love them ( they get what they want and the clothes are not something that I would think looks good) The weather here is just perfect for whatever you want to do. Since there are ten million football games on TV I think I will sit in the lounge chair and just vegetate until the Florida-Florida State game. Hope everyone is having a happy weather day.
Hey everyone,

I hope each of you are having a good weekend thus far.:)


The answer to this question you posted...

re: Dr M's post about the water's still at 80F in the Caribbean and Atlantic tropic...
Should they not have already cooled and/or does this mean that they will not cool much this winter? Seems to me at that temp that we may not really see an end to this season, before the new one starts. And, if the waters stay warm, does that mean 2006 starts before June 1?
Anyone know?

Basically,this current hurricane season was definately enhanced by above normal sea surface temperatures that also didn't cool off during the winter months as much as might have been expected from the previous decade for example. The reason that this is taking place is more related to a multidecadal cycle that should persist for another couple of decades. This cycle not only influences the water temperatures throughtout the entire Atlantic Basin but also affects other tropical cyclone genesis factors such as the upper atmospheric environments relative to wind shear values for one example. Although, its important to note that any one season can be dramatically impacted by the development of an El nino or La nina off the coast of Peru that has worldwide influences not only in the tropics but concerning weather throughout the Globe.

The short answer to your question is that sea surface temperatures have continued to remain above normal since the 1995 season when this new multidecadal cycle appears to have begun. As a result, the tropical waters have not cooled as they typically might in the off season months because water temperatures take far longer to moderate than air temperatures naturally. Therefore, the mechanisms are in place relative to above normal sea surface temperatures to once again induce a 2006 hurricane season that is well above average.

However, its important to note that above normal sea surface temperatures by themselves do not guarentee an above normal Atlantic hurricane season. The 1997 hurricane season had above normal sea surface temperatures that were by themselves very conducive for tropical cyclone development, yet it was the only below normal season we have seen since this multidecadal cycle began roughly 11 seasons ago. The main reason being that that season was adversly impacted by a fairly significant El Nino that caused the upper level westerly winds in the atmosphere that opposes the direction that tropical cyclones generally move (from east to west across the Atlantic) to be far stronger than average which consistently ripped the tops off the thunderstorms that tried to organize around a developing system. Therefore, that season was adversly affected by this weather pattern as a consequence.

In theory, there is some valid truths in your questions. The fact that the sea surface temperatures remain above normal this late in the season does suggest that they will once again remain so for next seasons tropical activity as they once again warm back up during the spring and summer months. However, the sea surface temperatures will continue to moderate throughout the entire Atlantic Basin soon enough and tropical cyclone genesis will become non existent in the next few weeks as a result.

Since above average sea surface temperatures alone don't preclude above normal tropical cyclone genesis, it is virtually impossible to say with certainty whether there may be an unusual formation of a pre-season tropical cyclone. On the other hand, if one were to occur, this definately would be the overall weather pattern that would allow such a rare entity to development. An interesting historical note is that Tropical storm Ana became the first known April tropical storm to ever form prior to the official start of the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season.

Therefore, there will be a definate end to these continued tropical cyclone formations during the next few weeks if not much sooner. Moreover, climatology suggests that we SHOULD have about a 5 month respite over the entire Atlantic Basin to at least the start of the 2006 hurricane season. If one does form prior to the beginning of next season, it would be an unusual anomoly and not really a true precursor of how active the next season may become.

Right now, only God knows exactly when we can expect that first storm to form during the 2006 hurricane season. Regardless, I believe it's safe to say that next season will most likely continue the well above normal tropical cyclone activity that began in 1995 with the changes related to the multidecadal cycle I have referenced above.

51. dcw
I could see a freak January storm forming, but it's very unlikely. However...well, hit wikipedia for "hurricane ekaka".
Thanks for the answer.
you're very welcome Code:)
I updated my blog on last Tuesday's tornadoes.
i all i am back oh wins the how low the mb will go this time i put 980mb lol
hurricanechaser you got mail
Very nice piece Hurricanechaser. You say the cycle we are in will last a couple more decades. However I heard from someone in Lefty's blog that these high temperature ocean waters will peak in 2011. You or anyone hear anything about that?

If you see this. Why can't the marine wind forcasters come close to the real wind. 5 to 10 kts forecast turn into 20 to 25 in the afternoon. Between that and 3 hour engine breakdown and repairs today. Real good day.
Check out the small blow-up south of western Cuba. This anything?
Hey Trouper...that's just a weak surface trof, producing shwrs and a few T-storms...moving to the NW in the SE/easterly flow. I checked buoy reports..no significant pressure falls.

Earlier from NHC's Tropical Discussion, Caribbean Sea: "A WEAK TROUGH

The only area in the Caribbean where surface pressures remain relatively low is above Panama / Colombia...w/ a very slight chance of possible development thru next week, after next 48 hrs. There have been numerous small and short-lived spin-offs in that area last few weeks. But except for the one that helped form Gamma, all faded in couple days.
Hi All,

Just checking in and wondering if anybody is on here tonight???

Hi taco, just blog hopping here while doing some online CEU courses. Have to be done by Dec. 1. Is it as warm in Mobile as it is in the panhandle tonight. 65F here. Guess it is warming up for the rain tomorrow.
Wonder if that's the rain they are forecasting for us, too, starting sometime tomorrow. Supposed to get to 50% chance for Monday and Monday night here.
Slow posting day today. I am on. then again I am always on.
this keep going nand going and going will it ever end?
Oh yea very warm here, I have the back door open and the wind is out of the south @ 15-20 mph... Rain will be here in a few hours... Although we need it but not nothing server if you know what I mean...

Absolutely taco. My sliding door is open as well. Dogs are loving it and would like to be outside. Not sure that the bobcat is gone yet though and don't want to have to sit outside with a gun!!! I believe one of my neighbors got it, although, no one will admit to it because of the federal laws. Just not willing to take the chance with my babies.
BOCAT??? OMG i love cats but not that cat and I would be with my gun aswell... anyway I hope you had a great Thanksgiving... I know I did, I finally got my insurance money so I can fix my house so it want rain on the inside and leak on the outside... but it will be another 2 weeks before I can start though, maybe by Christmas yahoo...

Luoie and Lucy (my 2 cats) love going out and in all night because it is so warm...


sorry about the link let me try again...

Code1 try this one ok...

Hey everyone,

I thought I would stop in before I call it a night. I just noticed a couple of posts were questions posed to me. Please allow me to give my best perspective regarding each.


First of all, thanks so much for the kind comments. The reason I don't specify a particular year when this multidecadal cycle will come to a close is because it's impossible to know. This forecast is based upon climatology and looking at the correlations between active hurricane seasons and the many atmospheric variables that either enhance or surpress them.

In researching all of this data (William Gray At CSU being the pioneer of such study), forecasters have been able to see a definate multidecadal pattern develop that suggests that these optimum atmospheric conditions (specifically above normal sea surface temperatures)generally last between 25 and 40 years. There is no way to know for certain when this cycle will reverse itself because data records only go back roughly 155 years or so. However, the data is clear that such multidecadal cycles do exist and that we are definately in the active phase now and should be for a couple more decades. Basically it's not a matter of if we will see a transition back to atmospheric conditions (specifically below normal sea surface temperatures)that are inhibiting to above normal tropical cyclone development but when. It's simply a matter of time.

To give an example of this multidecadal cycle, the period from 1970 through 1994 saw the least number of tropical cyclones form during any 25 year period in recorded history. This corresponded with below normal to average sea surface temperatures throughout the Atlantic Basin. In contrast, the period between the late 1920s and 1969 was one of above normal tropical cyclone activity and the corresponding atmospheric conditions that helped them to occur.

Beginning with the hyperactive season of 1995 through this current season, we have seen more tropical cyclone formations during this 11 year period than any other in recorded history. Naturally, all of it coincides with well above normal sea surface temperatures that manifested themselves beginning with the 1995 season. Interestingly, the year of 1997 saw below normal tropical cyclone activity but that was a direct result of a fairly strong El Nino that developed and surpressed the activity for that one season. Therefore, we should be in a multidecadal cycle that will last no less than 25 years which would be about 2019. On the extreme side, it could last forty years from thetime it began which would conclude around the year of 2034. As with all forecasts in the complex and inexact science of meteorology, we will simply have to wait and see.:)

Happy to hear you can "fix up" now. I was working in Mobile during the storm. Came home for the weekend and couldn't go back for a couple of weeks and still saw a lot of damage, even that far away from the storm. Katrina was massive!!! Yeah, bobcat. Eglin backs up to me (greenbelt) and one showed up last month, clawed my 6' fence pretty good to get over it. Neighbor saw it and said it was as big as my std. poodle pup. She is 21" high now. That is a big cat!
Link is pretty impressive. Hope it stays west of you and me. Can use the rain around here, just not storms. I turned on the sprinkler system today anyway.
Hey Lobcarl,

I'm so sorrry you had such a rough day. Please know that all of us appreciate all of the hard work you do, often times in very difficult weather conditions. To answer your question, I don't have a specific answer to why those particular forecasters misforecasted those wind speeds offshore. However, I can say that wind speeds are subject to change very quickly as a result of a small change in atmospheric conditions relative to the strength of various areas of high and low pressure. I haven't looked at any maps during the past couple of days, so I can't speak from an analysis standpoint on that specific forecast. I would assume that they must've misforecasted the intensity of an area of high pressure or lower pressure in the area which of course has a direct effect on the pressure gradient between these two large scale weather systems that cause wind in the first place.

I hope everyone in here and who visits this blog throughout the day tomorrow has a great rest of the weekend.


They say it is to be bad here, although we need the rain just not the bad stuff... If I were a beting man I would almost think we were in for a tornado or too, but I sure hope not... It just does not look good right now...

I hope not too. Not too much left around our area to blow around though.
Meant to wish you good luck too on the previous post. Going to bed now and will see what the morn brings. Take care and heed any warnings taco!
evening guys, how is everyone? hope those storms arent too bad taco
Have a good night and sweet dreams, and you areright we will have to see what tomorrow brings...

Hi how are you? I hope you are having a good night as well... As for the storms that are coming I do hope they are not too bad if you know what I mean...

yep taco lol. doing great thx. could do with some rain over here actually (but not violent thunderstorms lol), havent had any measureable precip since october 28th. lakes getting low again.
wow that storm near wiggins looks nasty :(
I here ya Supercell,
We have not had any good rain since Katrina... well maybe about 1 1/2 inches of rain since Aug and this is Nov...
wow thats some dry spell. down here we can count ourselves lucky that we got over 16 inches in october (most from wilma)
Man, Delta's recent burst of convection is being disturbingly long-lasting....
This is referring to the above post by Aysz88, anyone can answer if they know. If delta is stronger than predicted when the low forms, epsilon, would it have any effect on Epsilon? Making it a stronger or weaker storm? Probably not but wondering. Thanks

11 AM AST SUN NOV 27 2005