01 December 2004

Otto weakening...

Convection near the center of the circulation is much weaker today, and
less symmetric.  TS Otto reached a peak intensity around 09Z today at
45kts and 993mb, but has since weakened to 35kts and 999mb.  It has been
drifting to the east to southeast at about 5kts. 

Three of the last four years have gone into "overtime", or post-season
activity.  The storms in recent history that have been active past
November 30 are Olga '01, Odette '03, Peter '03, and Otto '04. 
Something magical about the "O" storms in December??

As I mentioned about two weeks ago, Gaston was officially upgraded to a
hurricane prior to landfall, and that increase in the number of
hurricanes was enough to nudge 2004 into first place in terms of NTC
(Net Tropical Cyclone activity).  Before Otto, NTC was 230.8%, and as of
the 21Z advisory today, the NTC is 232.9%... breaking the old record of
229.6% set back in 1950 by an even larger margin.  Keep in mind that
100% is a climatologically average season.

Once Otto dissipates, I will send out my season summary, done in the
same fashion since 1996!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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