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Zeta to ring in the New Year

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 5:02 PM GMT on December 31, 2005

It's fitting that the unbelievable Hurricane Season of 2005 will only end when the calendar flips a page at midnight tonight, officially ending the most destructive and prolific Atlantic hurricane season on record. When I wrote my first blog of hurricane season on June 8 about Arlene, little did I suspect that I'd be toiling away on New Year's Eve seven months and 27 storms later, talking about Tropical Storm Zeta!

So here we go, the last blog on the Hurricane Season of 2005. Zeta briefly flirted with hurricane status last night, when an eye-like feature developed and a Central Dense Overcast (CDO) feature characteristic of hurricanes formed over the center. This morning, however, shear from powerful westerly winds has disrupted the eyewall and exposed the center. Zeta has deep convection only on its northeast side, and is struggling to hold onto that. Wind shear is about 25 knots and is expected slowly increase over the next two days as the storm tracks slowly westwards, and the shear should be able to tear the storm apart by Tuesday. However, the GFDL model is forecasting that Zeta will overcome this shear and strengthen to hurricane status as it recurves northwards on Monday and Tuesday.

So, it appears likely that we'll ring in the New Year with a tropical storm, the second time that has occurred. In 1954, Hurricane Alice also was around at midnight on New Year's eve, ringing in the new year of 1955. It's interesting to note that there were two storms named Alice in 1954. Alice 1 formed in June of 1954. Alice 2 formed on December 30, and should have been given the name Irene, but was not officially recognized as a tropical cyclone until January 1, 1955, when it was given the name Alice as the first storm of 1955 (they used the same list of names each year back then). When it was discovered during post-storm analysis that the storm had actually formed on December 30, it kept the name Alice, but was designated as part of the 1954 hurricane season. Most reports called this storm Alice 2 in order to avoid confusion with the earlier Alice from 1954.

Happy New Year, everyone, and I'll be back to update the hurricane season of 2006 tomorrow!

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

how do we know for sure it's a warm core system? Right now it looks like a typical comma cloud. Alot like the systems raining on the west coast right now.
Happy New Year Dr. Masters, to you and your darling family. Looks like we will have a busy hurricane season next year. You and Steve are our rocks. You have given us all so much new knowledge so you have to keep up all the good work. Again, thanks so much and enjoy your holiday.
Sarah Fetters, Orlando
Yes, also the fronts which are now descending across the continental US, whether they approach from the arctic or descend from the pacific northwest, are taking on a more pronounced 'rotation signature'. It appears to be a phenomenon of the present climactic change.
frist hurricane of 2006 that cool
Fifth? Fifth? Wow - I'll take it.
my power let uot for a few but i got it back
wow i am liveing in ca and we got a hurricane going on right now and it is fun
the power did it one more time it let out now it is back one
I'm suprised the NHC is keeping Zeta so strong, it looks awful to me.
The strongest convection being near the center is how we know it's tropical.
hey tornadoty we are geting it good over her come to my blog and see what the mb been doing in this storm i am geting thanks
I saw, that's impressive, but not a hurricane.
Unreal. But just a point to KRWZ: There is no A-Z in the Hurricane season. The Roman Alphabet for the Atlantic season ends at "W"

Another thing: When you refer to storms: Spell out the names. I can't follow you with ths "K" storm, "R" storm and letter designations.

Just spell it out, it takes what an extra five seconds? Please?
Happy New Year to Zeta and everyone!!!
BTW...does the 2005 season end at midnight UT or EST???
Hi all, have set up a new blog to show appreciation for our troops and will be forwarding all comments to them. Please stop by.
Happy New Year Dr Masters and His Family and that wonderful WU Staff....Thank You all for holding us all together during this very challenging Year...

Hope next year is more fun and laughter and less storms to deal with!

It ends at the meteorological new year, which is based on UTC (or Zulu/Z, same thing)
Zeta is definetly dying, it might not survive another 10 hours...come on Zeta, make 2006!!
Do you all see on the news where Northern California is in deep trouble with all of the heavy rains and mud slides???

Are all of our UW Family and Friends in N Ca OK out there??

sorry, meant "WU" not "UW" typo
Poor NHC, they're getting confused....


Don't they mean Zeta? :p
Dr. Masters...thank you for this place, thank you to everyone who kept us together, thank you for all the time and effort you've put in this year. I hope you and all of your loved ones have a safe New year, and a very happy and prosperous year ahead.
(giggle) NHC started thier New Year's Eve party a little early, looks like....
HAHA They Messed Up There sooooo Amazed By Epsilon they are STILL Recovering From it COME ON ZETA HOLD ON!!!!

I'm going to be busy again with the Records if it holds on another 8 hours Which it should
snowman....you're gonna have a meltdown....
ok ya'll....love to all....thank you GOD this season's over!!!
(hey snowman....let's hope you never have to keep these kind of records again! but you did an awesome job!)
Unbelievable.... (I think I have said that word a zillion times this year..in reference to our weather!)

I haven't put on WC to check their tropical update... maybe shouild try the 5:50 one
this is my frist year doing my blog so i need to no will i have my blog that i have right now when it be comes 2006 or will i have to start over or will i have my blog that i have right now up to 2006
So the 2006 season gets a jump start? Is Alberto just around the corner I wonder?
I saw Zeta on WC, which is how I even knew about it. Nothing was going on when I checked in here earlier in the week . . . .

I am curious how the 05-06 season is going to work out in the Southern hemisphere. Things certainly haven't gotten off with the same bang there as we had here in 05 . . .
AySz88: LOL...nice catch!
Sorry, meant 'climatic' change.
Climactic works as well.
Please no posting for one minute at the top of this hour. A minute of silence and prayer for our troops all across WU. If you wish to send our troops a message, please feel free to do so on my blog, as I will be sending it on to them. Thank you.
The 2005 Season will continue until Zeta officially is dissipated..right? This could be several days into 2006...
yeah! hurricane season 2005 is officially over!!! Happy New Year All!!
WHOOOHOOO!!! Hurricane Season 2005 is finally over!!!

BTW, I have a new entry in my blog regarding the NHC's final report on Katrina. Feel free to review and comment.

Happy New Year, everyone!!!
my new blog is up
Is Hurricane Season 2005 officially over? Or do Zeta's statistics in 2006 count toward the 2005 season?
Jeff: Thanks for all your great work this year. You're a real asset to us woxof wxbuffs. Happy New Year.
what all say good by 2005 and say high to 2006 3 hours to go for new york
Good Evening Everyone

I have finally returned from my trip (very nice by the way, second white christmas in a row!!) and will be on here for a while. I will hopefully have time to update and continue my blog entry on the downgrade of Katrina tonight, and if not I will have it updated by tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, I hope everyone here at WU had a very enjoyable Christmas, and I wish you all a very happy New Year. Let's hope 2006 is as exciting as 2005 (without the devastation)

Feel free to check out my blog if you haven't already.

Rich (Atmos)

P.S. Why are we talking about the tropics? Do you guys know something I don't? (Sorry, I have been so busy in the last day that I have not even had time to check on anything)
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 happy new year 2006 and hurrican year is over
hey atmosweather frist off mail for you

next off we got the Z storm out there

3rd off happy new year to you
hey are fris post of 2006 how about that
where did all the blogs go from dr jeff from the year 2005 they are not there no more
Longtime lurker here - hello everyone! Thank you Dr. Masters and also thanks to all you informed, observant and entertaining folks. I get something from this blog everyday.

Whew! `05 was a freaky weather year! Thank goodness there's an OFFICIAL end to it,

Happy New Year all.

Hi all! Just popping in to say Happy New Year! I've been following Wunderground's "Tropical" section all year - all the way since Arlene. It's been a wild ride and it's given me incentive to monitor the tropics even in the early part of 2006. I know our own weather's not going to be much interesting; it'll be a couple more months before we see the sun again and the snow plows will continue to refuse to plow until the snow has actually stopped falling, so it's winter as usual around here. LOL
what kind of weather you think we will all see in 2006 ca will start out on a very wet note for 2006
Thanks Dr Masters! Happy New Year everyone!
Wanted to wish all of you on Dr. Master's blog a very happy and prosperous New Year.

Enjoy! a fantastic year.

20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 happy new year
Hi; glad everyone is in such good spirits; unfortunately my neighbors in Marin County,and Napa County,some of the most expensive real estate,including some of the wealthiest people there are(who moved there,to live,)are not having such a good time. Yep,a lot of the economy may change around here,due to all the vineyards and fancy restaurants getting flooded out.

Far be it to me,to question God's decisions.But let me ask one question of the most meterorilogical people here;has this really been "just a bad year for weather"? Or is this a major part of upcoming global warming,which we've beened warned about? Or,according to other scientists,is this part of the start of another Ice Age?

Don't the weather experts among you think this is a little too much coincidence to have all this horrible weather,all over the world,getting worse and worse,all this year?You cant surely pin this down to just "a really bad year for weather", can you? What does the educated calculation and prediction say? Or,are we still trying to avoid the big possibility of global warming, or a new ice age? If none of you want to risk an educated guess,what do the REALLY REALLY educated among you here(like scientists,researchers,doctors)predict as to weather this coming year? Is this global warming doing this? Or the start of a new Ice Age? C'mon, it's New Year's Ever,so who cares if we pronounce Doom & Gloom for the New Year,and evry after,for Planet Earth? Or if we spill some real research results here,and upset everyone? I'd just like to know some real non-idiot opinions from weather people, cause even Pres. Bush and religious folk are taking a crack at predicting, one way or another.

C'mon,c'mon,What's UP, with this horrible weather?Is it Global Warming? A New Ice Age? What? Spill the beans, Smart Weather=Professionals; what's going on? What can we expect in 2006? And don't say,"we can't predict..."cause you do it all the time, yes,you do. heh heh :) (HappyNewYear)
I have enjoyed following the Tropics as a hobby over the past few years, and I have a question to ask you guys.

When the last day of November came, I said to my self that the Atlantic Hurricane is over in any other year, but in 2005 it doesnt end until December 31st.

Now for my questions...

How many storms do you think will be retired? Which ones?
Obviously Katrina, Wilma, probably Rita, maybe Emily and possibly Dennis.

What would happen if a Greek alphabet storm did enough damage that it HAD to be retired?

Thanks for any comments.
I believe that:


will be retired. There is no procedure for retiring Greek names, all of the Alpha-2006 stuff is pure speculation.

You may find this link to TWC's blog of interest considering your questions about global warming.
As to the retired names, I expect Katrina and Wilma, as much for their unique characteristics as for their catastrophic nature.

I'm not as sure about Dennis, Emily or Rita, though. (OK, maybe Rita, too - that was Cat. five at one point). There are (I believe) precedents where the names of large and powerful storms were reused . . . .
Happy New Year Jeff!!! :D

SIX names will be retired for 2005...an all-time record.
Why Stan????
Also for Dorothy (and anyone else interested),

Here is an article on record-breaking heat in 2005 - in Australia!

Hey Dorothy,

First of all...No one doubts we are in a warming climate which has been the case for more than a thousand years. However, we are NOT in the warmest period of our planets history, not even close. It is important to realize that meteorological records only date back a couple hundred years at most. Secondly, the mean temperatures used to quantify the anomalies related to any global warming or cooling are based on averages. Naturally, any given year will most likely not come in strictly on such averages and people in one region of the globe are going to be screaming, "Global warming" while others will wonder what in the world those people are talking about.

So what could be causing the increased warming? It's called natural climate variability which simply put is the basic changes in the earths climate over a given time period. I could go into far greater detail, but I have already done so in my last two blog entries that I encourage you to read if you have the time.:) Regardless, I hope you have a great New Year and don't expect the natural global warming trend to reverse itself anytime soon. The key word being, "Natural", not human induced as too many want to declare for obvious political reasons. To me, it's not nor should be a political issue.


On Nov. 29 the Washington Post published a summary of the hurricane season. That was the day Epsilon formed.
The Dec. 24 & 31 issue of Science News said, "Hurricane Epsilon, which formed in the central Atlantic and never threatened land, was the final named storm and the 14th hurricane of 2005."
As the saying goes, it ain't over til it's over. Better wait until Zeta is gone before closing the books on the 2005 season!
What we are now calling 'global warming' is just an ameliorative expression for the true, more disastrous problem, the destruction of the planet's atmosphere by human industrial activity. The most significant symptom of this is increased evaporation of moisture.
Happy New Year!!!

Back from vacation...back to work again
Now we can say hurricane season 2005 is over. Finally!!! Any more and we start with Alberto.

At last check in the 10 AM advisory Zeta was still going but expected to dissipate soon under 40-50 kt shear.

One observation...The Atlantic produced more storms than the West Pacific. Is this a first? From what I've researched, it is. Why so many? Neutral sst or a weak La Nina is predicted for the next several months. That means more to come.

Hope all in the Pacific NW are well. I've been watching system after system come through. Nothing much happening in the SE now.
Baha, Stan and another storm both hit at approximately the same time. Some 2000 deaths were caused by both of em together, but the NHC only credits 3 digits to Stan - so I doubt it'll be retired. Check this out, made by a member at www.talkweather.com :

Hello everyone.....Happy New Year........Just some models on Zeta.............

Zeta is looking alot better today, though there is less strength of convection, the overall storm is swirling as near one again. I'll stick with my previous forecast ~ wild wobbles in a general NW turning more northward in a few days. To me, she seems on a strengthen faze, though it should be short lived, weakening again tommarrow, followed by more strengthing while shrinking in size. Would not be suprized to see it get to cat 1 hurricane.
i hav updated my blog, happy new years!
i hav updated my blog, happy new years!
lol, computer error
we this had 80mph winds wow
for 2 days now I get "page can not be displayed" when i go to check the QUIKscat ~ the discussions are describing it, anyone else having this problem?

Sweet wind swath post forcasterColby!