30 November 2004

Otto forms in the central Atlantic...

On the last day of the official hurricane season, Tropical Storm Otto
formed in the north central part of the basin, about 800 miles east of
Bermuda.  It began several days ago as an upper Low which transitioned
to a surface Low, gradually acquiring subtropical characteristics, and
over the last couple of days acquired tropical characterisitics.  i.e.,
relatively deep and persistent convection near the center of the
circulation and a warm core aloft.  This is the 15th named storm of the

At 21Z today, Otto was located at 31.8N 51.0W and tracking N at 4kts. 
Satellite-estimated intensity is 40kts and 997mb.  Over the next 2-3
days, the storm is forecast to drift to the east and slowly weaken in
the face of increasing vertical wind shear.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

19 November 2004

Gaston upgraded to a hurricane...

No, I'm not living in the past, but post-analysis of radar and surface
observations of Tropical Storm Gaston indicate that indeed it was a 65kt
hurricane just prior to landfall in SC on 29 August.  This brings the
season up to 9 hurricanes -- 6 of which made it to CAT3 or higher.
I attached a radar image of Gaston at landfall.

With this, 2004 has just become the most active season in the Atlantic
since 1900, in terms of NTC (Net Tropical Cyclone activity).  This
quantity is a function of numbers of storms and longevity of them.  The
percentages are relative to a climatological average season (100%).

2004: 230.8%
1950: 229.6%
1926: 228.6%
1995: 221.9%
1933: 216.5%

As I've done for the past 8 years, I'll be sending out a season summary
when the season is officially over in 12 days.  There are certainly
plenty of interesting and record-setting characteristics of 2004.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.