05 December 2005

Tenacious Epsilon still a hurricane...

Epsilon has now been a named storm for as long as the mighty Katrina, 
and could still have a few days left, at least!  Despite cold SSTs (21C) 
and strong vertical shear (35kts), the hurricane maintains a beautiful 
large eye and persistent deep convection in the eyewall... baffling 
forecasters.  This is truly the season that does not want to end.

The latest position is 33.6N 35.1W, or about 7 degress southwest of the 
Azores.  Satellite-based intensity estimates are 70kts and 982mb.  Going 
with persistence, one would expect it to maintain this intensity.  Going 
with physical reasoning, one would expect it to weaken rapidly.  When in 
doubt, go with persistence!  It's currently moving ESE at 7kts.

The future is very questionable, as evident by the poor intensity 
forecasts.  Models and forecasts alike have been predicting weakening, 
but it refuses to lose hurricane status.  Forecasts made as recently as 
Sunday said that by this time, it would be a 35-40kt remnant low or 
extratropical cyclone... instead, it's a healthy CAT1 hurricane!  The 
official intensity forecast still calls for weakening, but they admit 
that forecast has almost no certainty.  The forecast track is very 
interesting: it's expected to cease eastward movement and turn back to 
the southwest toward the tropics.  This storm could be around for many 
more days, extending the already-extended record-smashing hurricane 

As of 15Z today, the NTC stands at 263.4%, and is rising at a rate of 
1.1% per day while Epsilon is a hurricane.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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