06 December 2005

Epsilon... and what lies ahead?

At 15Z, Epsilon was still a hurricane, much to the dismay of enervated 
forecasters at NHC.  It's located at 31.9N 33.8W and now moving S at 
8kts.  Satellite-estimated intensity is 65kts and 987mb.  Although it 
still has deep convection wrapped around the center, the circulation is 
beginning to elongate.  It's forecast to weaken in the face of increasing 
shear and head southwest toward the tropics over the next 5 days.  While 
the track has been fairly easy to forecast, the intensity has not, so at 
this point, take the intensity forecast with a grain of salt... Epsilon 
has not cooperated with our typical understanding of tropical systems!

Bill Gray and Phil Klotzbach (also here at CSU) have released their 
forecast for the 2006 hurricane season (this is the 23rd seasonal 
forecast made at CSU, by far the most experienced team!).  As expected, 
it calls for another very active season, with 17 Named Storms, 9 
Hurricanes, and 5 Intense Hurricanes, or about twice the average.  With 
this heightened activity, US landfall probabilities are also higher than 
average again.  To the first order, activity in the Atlantic undergoes a 
40-60 year oscillation, and for the past 10 years we have been in the 
active phase of this oscillation, and probably will be for another 10-15 
years before it slows down.  A period very similar to this was seen in 
the 1940s through mid 1960s, then from the mid 60s through mid 90s, the 
basin was relatively dormant.
For full details of the forecast and the six long lead-time predictors 
used, visit http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2005/dec2005/

To bring you up-to-date on the NTC, it's now 264.5%.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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