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Zeta looking strong

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 6:50 PM GMT on January 02, 2006

Tropical Storm Zeta is making a comeback this afternoon, with deep convection blossoming and starting to wrap all the way around the center. Wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin shows that Zeta's westward motion is carrying the storm into an area of lower wind shear of about 20 knots, and this reduced wind shear is likely contributing the the storm's improving appearance. The lower shear will be short lived, however, and higher shear values of about 40 knots should impact the storm by Tuesday and significantly weaken or destroy Zeta. There is a small chance it might attain hurricane strength before the higher shear weakens the storm.

Long-term tropical storm outlook for January
OK, I can't believe I have to do this, but here comes the long-term tropical storm outlook for January. There are no other suspect areas to watch in the tropics for the next ten days, and wind shear levels are forecast to be too high to allow tropical storm formation. Historically, only one tropical storm has formed in January, an unnamed 1978 subtropical storm that formed near where Zeta is now. February, March, and April all have each had one tropical storm form since record keeping began in 1851. It would be no surprise if 2006 had a winter tropical storm form, given the ways things have gone of late. However, the chances of this happening are probably less than 20%, and I am forecasting that after Zeta, we're off the hook until early June.

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

Thanks for the January/winter tropical storm update.


Zeta is unbelievable......
I dunno I think that sometime soon we'll be in for yet another surprise. If Zeta happened way after it was supposed to, I think Alberto will happen way before. It'll be interesting to see what transpires over the next few months.
Agree....I keep checking in periodically to see if Alberto has shown up YET! It wouldn't shock me to see it happen.
Alberto will form in January, 99 sure of it. Mark my words!! Lol just kidding, really I think that we will finally have a break and there will be no more surprises by the ghost of 2005. I believe that we will be looking at Alberto in late May or early June. Mark my words!!!

Well well well, no sooner do I go away but,incredibly, we are looking at Zeta! I cannot believe there is still tropical activity right now. My forecast closely follows the GFDL based on the latest strengthening trend, and I believe that hurricane status is not far away, wityh Category 2 looming large. However, I don't know if these forecasts will verify because I am so stunned!!!

Everyone is welcome to check out my blogs as always

Rich (Atmos)
That should be 99%*** sure lol
Windshear analysis from the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Center - Norfolk shows a nice little hole at 24N 42W that Zeta appears to be sitting in...and the hole is forecast to widen.
GO ZETA!!!!!!
"However, the chances of this happening are probably less than 20%, and I am forecasting that after Zeta, we're off the hook until early June."
Hmmm, so DOc... do you REALLY go on record saying this??? ::VBG:: After all, what chances would you have given Zeta? And now it might even have a minimal chance of making hurricane status... BIZARRE!!! I would be hesitant to say ANYTHING at this point!!!
And the tropicalseason rocks on!!! ARGH!!
atmosweather mail for you
Well the 4pm has Zeta at the same strength as before. If it can maintain it's present strength then they will have to increase the mph at 10 pm.

go ZETA GO!!!!!!!!!!!!
New advisory up at my site.

Tornado watch GA/SC until 8 pm tonight...Fairly heavy rain here in Charleston right now.

Tornado Watch
Dr Master,
Hope you are right; we are getting pretty tired of all of this...need a little break!!! LOL..

Looks like Zeta is exploding. Just my luck, another tropical storm out in the Atlantic. And, continuing my luck, this hurricane wannabe is prolly gonna hit Ft. Lauderdale in a week or so. Wind shear? No such luck. That little hole is prolly gonna follow that hurricane to Florida like a thirsty kitten follows a leaky cow. Cat 2 or 3 perhaps? Scuze me, I think I'll evacuate to Antarctica...

I blew a rod in my car on the way back to Florida from New Hampshire. Totalled the car 'cause it's not worth it to drop a new engine in that rust bucket. If a hurricane hits here, there's no way to get my trailer out of the way. I think it's time to look into the new models of igloos...

Posted By: cgableshurrycanegal at 8:35 PM GMT on January 02, 2006.

"However, the chances of this happening are probably less than 20%, and I am forecasting that after Zeta, we're off the hook until early June."

Hmmm, so DOc... do you REALLY go on record saying this??? ::

Based upon Jeff's numbers, the historical odds of a storm forming in the first 4 months of the year are about 2.5%.

For him to even mention 20% is 8 times the historical probability to start with...

Ugh....tornado warning extended until 1 a.m. here.
Rain has stopped. For now......
Off the hook until June...

Ha you're on! I wouldn't be surprised to see another cutoff low develop by the time of the yearly AMS meeting [cackling and giggling].
Hey everyone,

I thought I would comment on the expectations of a pre-season tropical cyclone prior to June 1st. It is important to recognize that no one can predict any future tropical development with any great certainty as to whether or not we will get Alberto before the official start of the 2006 season. The truth is that everyone predicting that we will get Alberto between now and then will most likely be remembered for being so smart. In contrast, those predicting that Alberto won't form until after June 1st won't be remembered because it's nothing as fascinating if Alberto doesn't develop until after that date. For example, can't you see all the people that are predicting a pre-season storm formation reposting their comments if it actually occurs, while others might be reposting or at the very least remembering those like Dr. Masters who said we are most likely done till after June 1st.

On the other hand, if a storm doesn't form until after June 1st, those making predictions of such a preseason storm won't be to eager to remind us about it. In reality, no one will really care as much or even remember it as they will if one does form, and the experts didn't predict it to occur. This is the too often thankless job of being a weather forecaster. Another example of this double standard is how I've heard so many being impressed with a blogger or two who luckily forecasted Katrina to be a category five before the NHC did. However, these same people seem to forget that these bloggers were also predicting the extreme for two previous hurricanes as well and were absolutely incorrect, while the NHC's much more accurate forecasts went unappreciated in comparison.

In other words, if I predict the same scenario often enough, I'm bound to eventually get it right once in awhile. In my humble opinion, that would be a horrible way for the NHC forecasters to perform their job and they are doing their job responsibly and professionally by being cautious if one truly knew all of the immense and often conflicting variables involved in issuing watches and warning for a particular area. This is in comparison to some of the amazingly extreme predictions so many are so eager to make on here. The fact is that we can do that on here because we don't have the entire public counting on our every word and then looking to critisize us the very moment we make the slightest error.

There has not been nor is there one anywhere on this website who could outporm the NHC during a full season and that shouldn't come as any surprise, since they are the very best in the business with resources and experience none of us truly have. That doesn't mean we can't outperform them on occasion because meteorology is a very inexact science and there truly is no such thing as a real expert.

In reality, being a forecaster in meteorology is one of the most humbling jobs because it's similar to the sport of baseball for example. Think about it, a baseball player who gets a hit 30% of the time will be inducted into the Hall of Fame (the greatest honor that can bestowed upon them) when they were in reality unsucessful an astounding 70% of the time. Unfortunately, it is the degree of difficulty that too often gets overlooked and unappreciated by those critiquing weather forecasts. Take diving for example or even figure skating where the judges don't simply score the participants based upon whether someone skates around the ice without falling down or a diver executes a perfect dive, but takes into account how difficult it was to perform the specific routine in the first place.

In short, I get a little frustrated by the thoughtless comments I see posted online highlighting every error these professionals make. This is in stark contrast to how some will glorify other bloggers who luckily get a forecast somewhat accurate for one storm while they were completely way off with the rest, yet those missed forecasts are overlooked. It is the equivilant of a quaterback throwing a touchdown pass to help his team take the lead early in the game and then throwing 3 disastrous interceptions late in the game to seal his teams defeat. In fairness, we all need to evaluate everyones forecasts based upon the entire season and not simply based upon one unpredictable storm event.

That being said, I will also go on record with Dr. Masters and suggest that it is not impossible for there to be another tropical storm formation before June 1st, but I don't anticipate it taking place until after that date. Please keep in mind any forecast by myself or anyone else accounts to little more than an educated guess and should be looked at from that standpoint. It is unfortunate to see the harsh treatment of any error that the professionals make. It is easy for someone to critisize them when they don't have the actual burden of making such difficult forecasts. It is somewhat similar to how I see people screaming at employees who make a mistake getting their orders right at a fast food resturant. Now, how many of us could jump out of the car, walk right up to the counter with no experience and do a better job than them?

The purpose of this post is not to critisize anyone in particular but simply to suggest that we ALL need to understand the complexities involved in forecasting the next big rain event, much less tropical storm formations and their eventual track and intensity. Regardless, there will no doubt be those who will respond to this post with some irrelevant comment that will simply highlight the central premise of this post in the first place that basically no one knows for sure when the next tropical storm will form.

Climitology suggests there is a 50% chance of it being in June but it could very well be as late as August 1st as was the case with Alex in 2004 which sparked the unprecendented activity for the combined months of August and September of the 2004 season. This season saw three major hurricane landfalls in less than a seven week period! The 2005 season saw a record four major hurricane landfalls spread out over more than four full months. In comparison to 2004, we had three of those major hurricane landfalls in just less than three full months.

In reality, there is no correlation between early tropical cyclone development and how active the remainder of the Atlantic season will become as evident by countless hurricane seasons that preceed these two dicussed in the preceeding paragraph. If I am not mistaken, Hurricane Andrew didn't form until the middle of August in 1992 during that very inactive El Nino inhibited hurricane season. Therefore, climitology and recent precendent suggest Alberto to develop sometime in the month of June and certainly no later than mid July especially with a weak La Nina a possibility by that time period.

im thinking of doing some research on these mid atlantic late season tropical cyclones. theres something different about them, almost sub tropical and low vertical height. zeta is a testament to that, it is sending up a nice convective plume against all odds and looking like it wants to be hurricane zeta.
Interestingly, Zeta's activity since midnight Jan 1st appears to be included in the season 2005 totals for ACE and storm days.
Hey there Palmettobug, I can see the red box on the W.U. Severe page. Hope you and yours are ok.
I would also go on record placing the odds of a preseason tropical storm at an unusual 20 % as well with those odds increasing to 70% for the month of June. I would also place the odds at close to 100% for a storm to develop no later than July 31st. It would be a bigger surprise to see a storm not develop by July 31st than for one to develop between now and June 1st.


Hey Stsimonsguy...any storm that develops prior to the end of a calendar year is considered part of that particular season whether it develops during the official hurricane season or not. Therefore, Zeta will continue to ad to the 2005 season. If we get Alberto in January, it will be a part of 2006 naturally as would a December 31st 2006 storm formation would count for the 2006 records.
Don't presume to include my comment in your blanket statement of 'thoughtless' comments. The same conditions that existed for Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, & co still exist in the ATL, which really doesn't care that we've moved from 2005 into 2006, and is not slowing down (gee, wasn't that a tropical wave I just saw pass 50W?).
i wonder how long zeta wil be here, it seems to be clinging on to its little oasis in the desert.
In reality, it isn't uncommon to get these subtropical type hybrid systems like DElta, Epsilon and Zeta. The truth is that they were never given names until the 2000 season which has helped cushion this seasons totals in comparison to other years where subtropical storms developed but were not included in the storm totals.
Hey Tony, great to hear from you

I am going to continue my discussion on hurricane Katrina sometime this week, as well as posting my January update on the 2006 atlantic hurricane season. Everyone is welcome to check out my blog or leave a comment.

Have a great night everyone

Rich (Atmos)

P.S - 4 more advisories and Zeta makes 2005 Number 1 in ACE Index
Hey squeak...

Please point out where I mentioned you anywhere in my comments. Your post didn't even cross my mind. for it was indeed a blanket statement focusing on how imprecise tropical cyclone forecasting truly is. That's why I stated that its not meant as cristism to anyone in particular which includes you.:)
Hey Rich,

It's great to see you again as well.:) I have been eagerly anticipating the rest of your excellent blog entry on the Katrina downgrade.:)

I hope you have a great night as well.:)

Your friend,

You can't argue it both ways (well, you can, but it isn't very clever). Either it's exceedingly common, or it would be 'so smart' to anticipate one. Either they are valid, and named, storms, or they're not.

I think you're conceeding my point. Conditions remain favorable, we appear to be in a pattern, so it is actually more likely than not to have an early-season named storm form in this way, and more likely to happen sooner rather than later, until the pattern changes.
Hey squeak,

Heres the comment you are referring to which has nothing to do with your comments about a possible Alberto to form anytime soon. Please reread and I apologizxe for any unintended confusion I may have caused.:)

"In short, I get a little frustrated by the thoughtless comments I see posted online highlighting every error these professionals make."

No offense taken, and don't take any offense to my inclination to vigorously discuss the topic. If you think it less likely I'd definitely want to learn the thinking behind your reasoning.
I will settle this lol!!!

Chance of a named cyclone (tropical or subtropical) forming from January 1st - June 1st: 25%

Chance of a named cyclone (tropical or subtropical) making landfall in the atlantic basin from January 1st - June 1st: 20%

Chance of a named cyclone (tropical or subtropical) making landfall in the United States from January 1st - June 1st: 10%

What about you guys?

Why are you challenging me are anything I said..I completely am lost on whatever you might be suggesting..ask me a question straight out..I mean what I say..so please no need for any assumptions..simply ask?
ok, just one silly question. Will Zeta be considered part of the 2005 Hurricane season, or part of the 2006 season? Cause this whole "season" thing seems kind of a moot idea at this point.
Please read my second post with my odds for formations..isn't that as clear as Rich's post.:)
Zeta formed in 2005 so its included in the 2005 stats.:)
Too funny atmos! Everyone has their own forecasts and opinions, but as chaser has said on numeous occasions...it is an inexact science. Mother Nature will do what she pleases! Have a good one everybody.
Lurking West, Lurking West, next advisory, Lurking West. Many more advisories and we will be getting close. Notre Dame looked like a bunch of High School Kids.
Hey squeak,

I agree wholeheartedly that we could get another subtropical hybrid like Zeta before this month is over but its becoming more and more unlikely, because of the cooling sea surface temperatures, increasing wind shear from stronger troughs moving off the U.S. coast from the East to west acrossed the Atlantic Basin to name just two.:)

That is why I would normally say theres a 1% chance compared to a 20% chance between now and June 1.:)

Therefore, I had already conceed the increased possibilty in my intial post but that means I think it's 80% more likely not to happen.

Zeta is really kicking - Hurricane by morning if this keeps up:

Cold front #2 ought to sweep ole Zeta away. Or is it #3 or 4 or 5. Chance of making it here 0%.
Hey Code...always nice to see you.:)

Wow! Colby...I haven't even looked at Zeta at all today.LOL

To clarify, I respect anyone brave enough to make any predictions...I'm just saying lets give the NHC and other professionals the same consideration when they get a forecast incorrect as we all certainly do as well.:)
Ahh Colby, looks great but winds from the west are already having an affect on the deep convection.
I want to go on record with progressive.:) I second the 0% chance of U.S. landfall for Zeta.:)
Deffinition if Zeta = "EYE CANDY"
of Zeta that is, and you are making a sure bet Chaser.
I predicted from advisory one that it would most likely be a 60 mph storm and not make hurricane intensity...I have not kept up with it since then...How has it done... strongest winds since then?
LOL progressive..I know easiest forecast to make.:)
We get a cane in mid January I am moving for sure, no questions asked.
60 mph, 1000 mb is strongest. Awesome prediction, although after looking at the infrared, we might see Hurricane Zeta sometime soon.

Chance of making it to U.S: 1%
You are too right, code!!! Exactly, I say that as well, but despite knowing a thing or two about the tropics I am also a gambler in life!!! Therefore, I love to use odds and statistics to make predictions.


My thoughts exactly (referring to your long, second post!). I find it so hard to disagree with you on anything, since you are so knowlegable and speak the honest truth. Nobody really knows when Alberto will form (if at all!!) other than God. Therefore, like you said so well, there is no point in criticizing the professionals for getting it "wrong" sometimes. And, to reitirate your other point, there is no correlation between storm formation dates and seasonal activity, so even if Alberto were to explode into a Category 4 monster and strike Texas in mid February, it doesn't mean that 2006 will rival 2005 in activity or power.

Once again, Tony, I always enjoy reading your great views and explanations, and hope you continue to do this so that everyone can learn a thing or two.
Possible eye-like feature from the rain satellite thing.
I would have to say with it's structure right now "Better Than I have Seen" could possibly been a cane for a brief bit. Especially about 6 hours ago when it was firing the deep convection. Great outflow now, have to wonder though, don't think they will class a cane giving the downward trend.
Atmos throws in the 1% fluff factor lol.
You are correct I believe, AySz88. I also have noticed a upper to mid-level eye-like feature for the past 2 hours now.
I am actually more worried about next year. I don't think it will be as active, and that is not a good thing. Many storms this year were himpered buy too much activity. I see a more steady, more intense season next year.
Thanks Atmos..but that prediction is only good if it doesn't get stronger..lol...i.e. was educated GUESS.:)

Looking at latest Infrared...I'm thinking it is back up to 60 mph, but it will have to get better organized honestly and sustain the convection near its center for at least another 6 to 12 hours to be even considered as a serious hurricane strength. As I said in my only post after the first advisory...that this storm reminds me too much of Epsilon in her last two days where there was not a sustained period exceeding 3 hours of a persistent trend one way or the other which kept her as more or les a steadt state storm till shear too over in dramatic fashion thereafter.

My personal thoughts based on latest Infrared are the same as my first a couple of days ago...looks much like Epsilon at this time...we need to see a consistent 6 hour trend without any noticiable pulsating weakening which may be hinted by decreasing shear from the west and a slight deteioration on the west side. Too early to say for sure.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful words Rich. YOu already know I greatly respect your knowledge and thoughts as well. This applies to many others on here as well.

I would have to agree with you once again Progressive.:) I am thinking of 14 to 17 named storms this far in advance. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind.:)
Nice idea Progressive. Could well be a more intense year. My 2006 outlook will be updated on January 7th, and it will be in depth and include possibilites for landfalling U.S hurricanes, and areas of interest.
A weak La Nina which may be a real possibility for the 2006 season could increase the activity a bit but I would be very surprised by another 20 plus storm season to say the least. But anythings possible.:)
Ok...I better go while I'm still married...my wife wants me to get off here and give my little girl a bath as I promised an hour ago..LOL.:)

I hope you Rich, progressive, Aquack, squeak, Code, Colby, Ays, and all others have a great night.:)

Your friend,
Lol Tony, have a great night
hey hurricanechaser how are you mail for you
I think I also get what Chaser is saying. I remember lurking here since about the time of Hurricane Dennis, and I remember getting a little annoyed with some of the posts that were critical of the NHC -- one in particular that said that the NHC never gives enough warning time to evacuate, or something like that. Well I had to think about that one for a little while.

It seems to me that forecasting these storms has made quantum improvements over the last generation, esp. since Camille for example. BUT what has also changed is that more people live along the coast than ever before. So there are more people trying to evacuate, things get slowed down, and you just KNOW that transportation infrastructure hasn't kept up with population increase. So people need more warning than ever before, but that isn't the NHC's fault! JUST MOVE SOMEWHERE SAFER, get away from from the frickin' coast, and stop moaning about the NHC!

OK end of rant. (hope I don't regret posting this, lol)
ok..I'm back and I'm used to getting critisized and I don't regret posting things I'm certain of such as that the NHC forecast for Katrina was better than too many want to give them credit for..they predicted a powerful major hurricane close to or over New Orleans for more than 48-60 hours. The reason so many needlessly dies was more the fault of the local and state officials not the NHC or Government. I am going to post a comment from my latest blog that those living in New Orleans will not like but is my opnion and logically correct.

Here it is..have fun attacking me on this. This by no means implies that even one of those lives lost were anything but a horrible and very unfortunate tragedy.:(

9) Even if hurricanes have truly become more intense, would there continue to be increasing damage costs if there wasn't anything along the coastline for them to destroy? In other words, as soon as a big hurricane event like Camille devastates an area, people build much bigger with far more expensive homes and businesses in the same areas that have historically gone underwater and will do so again leading to larger damage totals. This was one reason as to why so many needlessly died and there was so much destruction along the Mississippi coastline. After Camille, the state benefited financially and built big casinos and their three coastal counties became a major tourist area which it wasn't before Camille. And yet, they have already rebuilt those more expensive casinos right back in harms way so that the next Katrina can come along and cause even more damage which will then be blamed on human induced global warming once again. Although, in this case it would be accurate to blame such damage on human activities which aren't related to any global warming. Simple fact, no people there to be killed, no deaths. Likewise, no property built too close to the coastline, very little damage. And yet, people want to blame this type of destruction on human induced global warming.

If there wasn't a city like New Orleans inhabited in a region well below sea level, then thousands of lives would not have been lost during Katrina. Now, they will try rebuilding this city with taller and stronger levees. I hear so many people trying to pass blame onto those who supposedly didn't build these levees strong enough. Has anyone seriously considered that the need for such huge fortified levees in the first place to protect the city, might just be the real problem? As a result of this mindset, we will continue to see the return of major hurricane landfalls (as a result of natural climate varability)causing record damages. This will take place because once one storm destroys it, it is rebuilt larger and more expensive right back in the same locations.

10)Do you think it is appropriate for our tax dollars to keep going out to fund the reconstruction for people who want to rebuild larger more expensive homes and businesses in areas that have historically gone underwater from previous storms and will do so again in the future? This is the equivalent of me building a home on a sand bar at low tide and then expecting you to reimburse me for my loss. I know that sounds rediculous, but so is building too close to the water in the first place. Everytime a big storm comes through, don't you hear governors and residents declaring that they will build back bigger and better? Of course you do. So, who is paying for them to build back bigger and better in these vulnerable areas? You got it, the vast majority of people in this country who work long hours trying to support their families, who will never be able to afford to live in a coastal city, much less that close to the ocean. Does that seem fair to you?
She'll be a hurricane be morning I'm predicting. Not to brag, but I reckon I had the earliest prediction that she would be a cane. Allbeit that it was an educated prediction or just for fun :)
Personally I think that New Orleans should become what it is destined to be and that is a new body of water. Open the gates and build a new city on the banks is what I say.
I remember that Trouper and I back you up on it cause that's when I predicted it wouldn't quite achieve hurricane intensity which I still think will be the case.:)

If it does...you did a great job.:)and I missed this one...lol:)
Exactly..my thoughts precisely Progresive.:)
They are trying to prolong the inevitable due to the history of the city and I have to say I would be alot happier and would contribute more dollars to a relocation rather that another patch.
Tony, everyone that criticizes you for comments just can't handle the truth. It is one thing to respectfully disagree, but to criticize their views is so immoral. You speak the exact truth and that is why I look forward to reading whatever you have to say about life.

The excerpt from your blog confirms the fact that you always somewhow speak the truth. Everything you say in the blog is correct. No one should be attacking you for that, they should be praising you for getting people to understand the reality of the world we live in, as I am doing now. Thank you so much for writing this.

This is in no way critical to anyone that disagrees with Tony, it is just a wake-up call for anyone that criticizes people for their beliefs. There, I spoke my mind and if people criticize me for it then I don't mind at all. I am only stating my beliefs and speaking the truth.
Maybe more expensive now, but in the long run I think it would be the right decision.
Once again, I appreciate your kind words Rich and I respect you for your personal views as well. It just happens that we share the same views.:)
I am glad you stuck around Atmos, many people, including myself respect your opinion. Glad your here, coulden't imagine 2006 without your directionals.
Right on Progressive. Abandon the American Dream for once and be sensible. New Orleans will be destroyed again eventually, maybe not in our lifetimes, but in others'. Seems kind of selfish to put our grandchildren and great grandchildren in such harms way.
Totally agree Atmos. And I am sure many others feel the same way. If they listen or not is the ?. I am thinking not but, I have been wrong before.
Thank you very much for the kind words Tony and Progressive. However, there are so many others that can make a difference on this site, so I am just giving my take on the tropics and life along with everyone else. You both are a credit to Wunderground.
hey hurricanechaser if you are there mail for you
Just like to see you around next season Atmos, or is it this season or ummmmmmmmm ok both seasons. Many great times this year with many people.
Ok...Rich, David,Progressive and everyone else,

I have to finish getting my little girl to bed.:) I greatly appreciate your views and look forward to talking with all of you again very soon. I hope each of you have a wonderful night.:)

Your friend,

10pm is quite a loose forcast lol.
Chaser hey what's Happening
Rich HEY Man my Stat Buddy
Have a great night Tony and Happy New Year to you and your family. See you around.
Hey there Chaser, that was kind of my point too. But it's like people who live along the flank of an active volcano. The way they see it, they just have to make a living, just trying to survive. Fair enough, maybe, but is it fair to bail them out all the time?
Have a great night Tony

Hey Cory, how are you?
ok all oh is on her good night hey hurricanechaser mail for you and have a good night
Hey Turtlehurricane, I hope you get a chance to research these subtropical extra-seasonal (is that a word?) storms. I'd be curious to see what you come up with. Anyone up for investigating polar lows?
Persons living in extreme situations like New Orleans, I agree that my dollar is very thin. Places like Florida that are equipped to handle the storms and many of the country visits every year I think is worth every penny. I would however like to express my disgust at the way Wilma was prepared for and handled on the east coast. Only excuse is a late season storm from the west coast but more than enough time to prepare and tax dollars were wasted because of that.
Hey Philly
If the city of New Orleans could magically relocate to a safer area, with the same climate and splender, I would vote for that. However, the city of New Orleans and the entire south have lots tradition, as do all parts of this country. Dating back to the birth of this country, New Orleans has heritage and lore that simply cannot be replaced. The city is beautiful, the countryside is beautiful and the climate is beautiful (except for the possibility of a hurricane etc), and saying the town should be relocated is something I cannot really agree with. A hurricane, as of statitistics until now, very rarely hits that area, and a Major Hurricane such as Katrina is still a once in a century type situation. It is by human nature to fight until the death for something you truely you love, and I believe New Orleans will once again rise to the splender it is acustomed to.
At one point it looked like the convection in Zeta was trying to develop an eye a significant distance away from the center of the low level clouds. Is this possible?
I know where you are comming from trouper but I have to hold on my ground. Maybe not this year, maybe not 10 or 20 years, it will happen again. Next time maybe they get a direct hit and it is the full cat 5 that it was supposed to be. Building 40 foot walls to withstand a 40ft wall of water seems impossible.
well I can tell you that where you see an Eye on a picture thats Not exactly where the real eye is.
Kind of stupid if you ask me, just my opinion.
could you shoot me a link showing the possible eye? Thanks!
Hurricane Chaser, I agree people in general tend to be hypercritical. The NHC does a good job however what I don't think most people realize is that the NHC's primary mission is not to forecast but to warn and prepare the public. They can't afford to be too precise in their forecasts least a last minute unexpected turn of a storm hit an unwarned area. I believe that significant error is intentionally programed in to their models so that their cone of error is large enough to include anyone who could possibly be affected.
And to Progressive. If it got to that point, I would have to agree with you, as humans do not have the power to completely control mother nature, although we like to think so sometimes :)
i this about to go off for the night i would like to no dos this have a eye?
Boy that tight core with deep convection looks like it may have the potential to become a hurricane!
hey ForecasterColby

hey Trouper415

hey TheSnowman
and hey ever one on her that i did not say hi yet so hi

this to tell i am now off to bed i got to get some ZZZZ so good night to ever one
So Zeta is pulling a Epsilon Thing Back Up To 60mph!!!!
New Orleans got spared this time, look at what happened there, just imagine if it hit dead on like it was forcast to, missed by only a few miles. That is all I have to say about that.
Well it was the worst case scenario for all those displaced, but meteorologically, it was a miracle.
Yeah it was atmos, hard to imagine that out of a cat3. Just makes me wonder how succeptable that area is.

It is just unbelievable. The NHC have been floored for the 453rd time this season. I cannot believe this is happening, its hysterical.

Yeah exactly Progressive. That is why they cannot rebuild. It is just a waste....of lives, time and money.
Looks like a cane to me.
Like i said in days past~ wouldn't be suprised to see Zeta reach a cat 1. Even yesterday it was in the back of my head perhaps a 2, but just seems like it shouldn't be in January & i'd be suprised (in that this is unreal sense) to see any storm reach a 2 in January even though it looks entirely possible with Zeta here. Been a little off on my forecast direction. Though the call for wobbling has been on, Zeta really likes those warmer waters & has moved much more south of the NW direction that i'd thought she'd take. The further south she stays, the better the odds she'd get missed by more fronts.

For Atmos & others of us that have dabbled in the world of gaming. HURRICANE FUTURES MARKET is up & trading (well when a storm has a better than 1% chance of hitting the USA).

Dvorak is more concentrated, tis a cane.
Hiya Skyepony! Happy New Year.
There were only brief times that I seen Epsillon this healthy and at that time it was a cane.
Starting to grab a feed from the south too.
Can ya'll get to the QuikSCAT page??? For days all i get is "page can't be displayed". They usually mention it in the discussion & the 10pm was really making me want to see it since it was aluded to having stonger wind vector readings than what they were saying Zeta was at.

Initial intensity is being increased to 50
knots and I could go even higher if the latest Quikscat is used.

As for New Orleans~ I understand the history & that back in that history New Orleans was alot smaller. The older districts are actually above sea level & that's all good, but the land that was created from the sea when the levies went in should have never had people living on it. Good point that it could be your grandchildren getting swept out to sea next time from there. We're humans~ we need air ~ so it is foolhearty to insist on living below sea level.
Outflow is improving in all quadrants. I can see nothing in its way to becoming a hurricane now. An eye feature has now developed in the mid-levels, maybe soon it will consolidate at the lower levels. There is also an established ring of deep convection as the NHC noted. It may be the start of an eyewall. Overall, we are looking at the future Hurricane Zeta, the second hurricane ever to form in January in the atlantic basin.

3 advisories at 45mph or more and 2005 becomes the highest season ACE index in recorded history.
No Skyepony, I don't know what is wrong with QuickScat's page. I too would really like to see it, but I guess I will have to stick with the dvorak t-numbers for now.
No Skyepony, I don't know what is wrong with QuickScat's page. I too would really like to see it, but I guess I will have to stick with the dvorak t-numbers for now.
Stupid computer.
Happy New Year to you too ProgressivePulse!

The last few frames on the GOES shows the tail of the front coming at Zeta from the west just fading fast as it approaches. I don't think this front is gonna tear her up, she's gettin off on the increased pressure gradient as expected & with that front weakening as she drops southward, she looks like she's gonna grow & troll westward. it will be interesting to see how much, if any the front pulls her north before passing.
Looks like front #2 may grab up Zeta, Much deeper system.
Link from Skyepony shows shear tapping in from the north east due to the passing low
Atmos~thanks for trying the QuikSCAT ~ off to sleep ~Nite all
Have a great night Skyepony
thanks to all of you for your input!

thanks Tony :) .......happy days to you...

MattinMiami....the NHC is way too consvertive and could be harming more people than they help...IMO....:)
It just keeps going...and going...and going...
Dear Hurricanchaser, and to everyone who participate sin this dialogue - I am a novice, who just began readin because some one dear to my heart is crew aboard a sailing yahct that left the Canary Island on Dce 26, bound for Antigua.

I appreciate so much all the thoughtful commentary. What a wonderful cyber community you have! I can tell from writing, that there are many really nice and interestng people who have developed friendships here. Happy New Year, and thanks. Sincerely, Beth (atlantic)
Happy New Year to you and your loved one also Beth, I hope all is, and remains safe with the team. This is a great resource for more things than people know, as you are coming to realize. This site helped many people through they 05 hurricane season and I am looking forward to a much more informed 06 season. Again I wish your loved ones a safe return and Thank You for your post.
Hey Beth,

Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness and please know that your loved one is and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers while they are traveling in the open waters of the Atlantic. I also want to wish you and yours a very safe and wonderful New Year ahead. Thanks for joining this community and making it even better by your presence.:)

Happy new year Beth!! Hope all goes well
Hey Billsfan (Sherre),

It is always a pleasure to see you on here.:) I hjope you are having a great New Year thus far as well.:)

I agree with your comment about the NHc being too conservative with their intensity observations at times, with Katrina's downgrade being a prime example. However, I want to agree with Mattinmiami asnd highlight the difficulties the Nhc has to deal with concerning warning a specific area in advance of a hurricane. It is estimated conservatively that it costs roughly one million dollars per mile that has to be evacuated ahead of a threatening storm. That is a huge hiot to the local economies for the larger area that will not receive to great an impact. In addition, this large area spaning hundreds of miles in some cases that don't get a devastating hit will have residents who go through the trouble of evacuating and decide it's not worth the trouble the next time they are asked to evacuate. Unfortunately, the next time may be the last time they stay to face a devastating storm because they may pay the ultimate price. On the other hand, if the NHC tries to not overwarn and issue to narrow a warning, thousands of people would not evacuate and end up getting the brunt of a powerful storm that might make a last minute wobble and could cause large loss of life in that scenario as well. The same is true regarding intensity forecasts where they could cause massive gridlock like in Houston and Galveston where large numbers of people could be stuck on the roads in their cars as a powerful hurricane bares down on them faster than the traffic is moving. Not too even mention, many who might evacuate unnecessarily creating even more gridlock out of panic if the NHC forecasts a category four and it remains a moderate category two for example. In such a scenario the sick and elderly who would be moved out of apparent harms way may end up dying as a result of accidents like the bus explosion in stalled traffic near Galveston during Ritas approach. This is a good example because if these people would not have been evacuated, they would still be alive today. In contrast, they could very well may have lost their lives along with countless others had they not evacuated and Rita struck the Galveston area at category four strength which would've been more likely than its weakening in the cooler waters near the Northern Gulf shoreline. This simply illustrates the immense conflicting life and death decisions that the NHC is faced with. Regardless of any decision they make, there is going to be someone unhappy about evacuating unnecessarily and determined to stay the next time and still others who will blame the NHC for not giving enough earning when a storm does the unexpected. So there is a very fine line between over warning the public that could lead to more loss of life in the future versus not enough warning and loss of life from the unexpected. The same holds true for the intensity forecasts, there is a good reason they don't predict a category five with 180 mph winds to hit La. while it is only a marginal Tropical storm east of the SE Fl. coastline which would cause the NHC to lose any credibility with such extreme forecasts that are unlikely to materalize as was the case with Katrina. She was not a 180 mph category five that hit west Of Grand Isle as some want to commend a blogger for their excellence on this one forecast. This same blogger also predicted both hurricanes Dennis and Emily to also hit La. as a category five storm. If that was the forecasts that came out of the NHC, people would have a field day blasting them on the blogs, in the media and worse yet, people would disregard their forecasts which most certainly has and will continue to save tens of thousands of lives. It is most irresponsible to forecasts the extreme event when the stakes are as high as they are as alluded to in the aforementioned paragraphs. In Katrinas case, the NHc was forecsting at least a powerful category three landfall very near New Orleans, La. 48-60 hours ahead of landfall which should be more than enough time to evacuate the areas in its path. If the NHC styarts issuing warning farther out than 48 hours which isn't even the standard applied now, there would be too much overwarning as there is now resulting in the aforementioned problems listed above. I hope people can at least appreciate the immense complexities with not only forecasting these storms but warning the public in a responsible and professional manner.


Hey there Snowman, sorry I missed you, I hop around a lot! :-) Catch you around!
I need to take time to proof read my posts...sorry about all the typos.:)
Hey Cory,

I'm sorry I also missed you earlier. I hope you are doing well. It looks as though you will get to add the new ACE index record to your impressive blog.:)

Hey Phillysfan,

I hope you are doing well also and great posts earlier I must add.:)

Your friend,

It is official by my standards (a sustained 6 hours of persistence of either strengthening or noticiable weakening)that Zeta is indeed closing in on Hurrcane intensity. At this moment, I would suggest a 65-70 mph storm. If it can resist the shear and maintain the consolidated convection around its center, it is likely that Zeta will achieve minimal hurricane intensity within the next 6 to 12 hours. However, any decrease ever so small wil hault the current weakening trend and keep Zeta as a strong tropical storm. I stated from advisory number one that it would get close but NOT quite make it to hurricane intensity. Right now, it looks like I could just miss that forecast or be right on with it. We wil know the answer no later than 12 hours from now.:) If I was more concerned with being right from the outset, I would be hedging my bets.:)

If it indeed makes it to hurricane intensity...give Trouper credit for calling it two days ago.:)

Yet another important correction..need to get slep everyone.:) I hope you all have a great night.:)

"However, any decrease ever so small will hault the current strenthening trend and keep Zeta as a strong tropical storm."
Wow! I must have lost my last post. I was posting an important correction regarding my previous post. I obviously need to get some sleep.:) Therefore, I hope each of you have a great night.:)

"However, any decrease ever so small wil hault the current strenthening trend and keep Zeta as a strong tropical storm."
Oh crap. The models are showing the through missing Zeta, and to quote the NHC - "the gfdl's forecast doesn't seem so unreasonable anymore"

Hey everyone,

I have stayed up all night to analyze Zeta for the first time since it first organized a couple of days ago. At that time, I felt that it would get close to but NOT quite achieve hurricane status. That being said, I have to adjust that original forecast and suggest that Zeta is at borderline hurricane intensity as we speak. The outflow channels have improved in all quadrents as well as the deep convection with cloud tops as cold as -70 degrees C being observed as this convection has completely wrapped itself around the center which is opening up into a clear spot on infrared imagery as well as on the visible satellite imagery. Most importantly, this strengthening trend has persisted now for a good 12 hours or so and the shear appears to actually be decreasing somewhat.

Therefore, it appears that Zeta will achieve hurricane intensity by the 11 am EST advisory if this current trend doesn't unexpectantly come to an abrupt hault. I would now be more surprised if Zeta were not to achieve hurricane intensity and the 2005 season will most certainly break the record for seasonal ACE index established by the 1950 hurricane season.

Now that I have spent all night observing Zeta and realize it should achieve hurricane intensity and then some, I thought I better get some much needed rest.:) I hope everyone has a great night.:)

Your friend,

BillsFan, I wonder that often too, if the NHC may do more harm than good at times (and at times they certainly do); but inherently I agree with HuuricaneChaser in that their inherent task is extremely difficult in trying to balance warning the public and accurate forecasting which sometimes are in conflict with each other.
Chaser, you need to sleep - LOL.
Hey Colby..LOl..you are so right..but now I'm second guessing my second guess...lol. The latest Infrared is showing strong SW shear deteiorating the west quadrants of the circulation as the cloud tops have warmed as well all within an hours period of time. Naturally, this is not long enough to establish a significant weakening trend. However, it puts the brakes on any further strengthening in the short term and I have to back off my previous post that it would be upgraded by 11 am EST. Of course, the shear could just as quickly relax and the strengthening trend can once again restablish itself and still achieve hurricane intensity by that update. Honestly, I don't have the energy to stay up the next 3 hours to see which trend will materialize. It has been a long persistent strengthening trend with an eye developing as recently as an hour ago. Now, shear has certainly kept it from achieving hurricane intensity as of this hour but they could just as easily change with any relaxation of this current shear. I guess I will find out when I wake up later this morning.:)

Here's the latest Infrared satellite loop.:)

In reference back to the NHC, it used to be that they would allow forecasters to make predictions. They no longer do that due to liability reasons and allow the bulk of the forecasting to be done by computers. "It wasn't me it was the Computer." In addition due to significant amounts of error programmed into their computers to maintain their all encompassing "cone of error" they tend to stink at long range forecasting. Their models really don't start to get accurate until around 24 hours prior to landfall. At that point they tend to be pretty good. I just wish that they would come out and state their true mission and explain how their models truly work and don't work with regard to forecasting sites of landfalls. At least this site allows individuals to go on the line and, right or wrong, make predictions.
146. RL3AO
New Advisory is out-

65 MPH (55 Knots)
995 MB

"Outflow is looking good in all quadrants"
"Westerly sheer could weaken substantually over the next 12-24 hours"
"A hurricane is not unreasonable now"

However, with this system looking better, and the sheer expected to weaking for a few hours they still are afraid to strethen the storm.
Good morning everyone.......ZETA.........is looking good....classic swirl around the center meaning that it is near hurricane strength......amazing.......if this keeps up we may not have a significant break at all.....January is suppose to be the height of winter.......have a great day everyone.........
Looks like that ACE record is gonna fall for sure...
RL3AO: Where did you see those comments by the NHC? I can't seem to find them on the NHC page.
hurricanechaser mail for you
It would be sad but also morbidly funny if we had a tropical system ever month of 2006 (think about it its possible). Also people ready to start taking bets on how many if any records the season of 2006 will break.

Sad but true I think we are still rising to the peak, that last year was not the peak.
HurricaneChaser.. thank you for your analysis... I do hope you are getting some much needed rest!

Matt.. I know what you are saying.. the NHC has to be accountable to millions of people in some cases.. I'm thankful we have sites like this that we can come to for the "real" information.
Tropical Storm Zeta
Amateur Hurricane Center
Advisory 6 - 10:00AM EST January 3, 2006

Zeta is not looking nearly as good as a few hours ago...however...recent satellite passes show a great many 60kt(70mph) and even a few 65kt(75mph) vectors in the storm. Therefore, the initial intensity will be increased to 60kt(70mph). It is important to note that Zeta probably has not strengthened...merely that the intensity was underestimated on the previous advisory. A convective ring has appeared in the mid-levels, which appears to be nearly a complete eye. However...the storm is vertically tilted somewhat along a 45 (SW to NE) axis...and the eye feature is somewhat removed from the low-level center. Zeta continues to move generally towards the west at about 3kt. Zeta is currently a wI2 and a pI1.

The track forecast is unchanged from the previous advisory. Zeta should continue westward until a trough from its west blocks the way and turns it towards the north, then northeast.

The intensity forecast is also similar, but has been revised upward somewhat due to the higher initial intensity. The forecast now calls for Hurricane Zeta tonight...and for the storm to nearly reach category 2 later tomorrow.

Initial: 23.0N 41.5W 60kt(70mph)
12 Hour: 23.0N 42.0W 65kt(75mph)
24 Hour: 23.0N 43.0W 70kt(80mph)
36 Hour: 23.0N 43.5W 75kt(85mph)
48 Hour: 23.0N 44.0W 70kt(80mph)
72 Hour: 23.0N 45.5W 60kt(70mph)
96 Hour: 23.5N 46.0W 55kt(65mph)
120 Hour: 26.0N 45.5W 45kt(50mph)...becoming extratropical
Hey everyone, hope you are all having a great day,

Zeta is approaching hurricane status now. I can see nothing in its way to reaching at least Category 1 status, with Category 2 looking ever more possible. As soon as deep convection wraps around the center we will be looking at Hurricane Zeta, the second atlantic basin hurricane in January. If Zeta maintains at least its current intensity for 2 more advisories, Zeta will make 2005 the year of the Highest ACE Index for one season.

Talk to you all later,

Rich (Atmos)