Well, forecaster Avila is back on duty at the National Hurricane Center. Well, check out his latest forecast discussion:
THIS IS LIKE PREVIOUS TROPICAL CYCLONE EPSILON ALL OVER AGAIN. MOST OF THE CONVENTIONAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED THAT ZETA SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISSIPATED BY NOW...WELL IT IS NOT INDEED...AND ZETA IS PRETTY MUCH ALIVE AT THIS TIME. SATELLITE IMAGES STILL INDICATE A WELL-DEFINED CIRCULATION AND ALTHOUGH THE CONVECTION IS NOT VERY DEEP...THE CLOUD PATTERN REMAINS ORGANIZED WITH AN ESTABLISHED OUTFLOW IN THE NORTHERN SEMICIRCLE. IN FACT...THE LATEST QUIKSCAT AND AMSU DATA SUGGEST THAT ZETA COULD BE A LITTLE STRONGER THAN THE INITIAL INTENSITY OF 45 KNOTS GIVEN IN THIS ADVISORY. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS BASED ON CONTINUITY AND SUBJECTIVE DVORAK ESTIMATES. ACCORDING TO THE SHIPS MODEL WHICH DISSIPATES ZETA BY 48 HOURS...THE COOLER THAN NORMAL 200 MB TEMPERATURE IS THE ONLY PARAMETER CONTRIBUTING TO THE MAINTENANCE OF THE CYCLONE. ON THE OTHER HAND...THE GFDL INSISTS ON MAKING ZETA A HURRICANE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS AND IT IS HARD TO GO AGAINST IT. HOWEVER...WITH STRONG WESTERLIES ALOFT AND DRY AIR HEADING FOR ZETA...I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO FORECAST WEAKENING AGAIN AND AGAIN.
I laugh in his general direction. I am on vacation right now so I am not going to touch this one! I am actually in Ft Lauderdale right now and going to be in Miami on Tuesday and Wednesday. Maybe those poor guys over at NHC want me to stop by. Could we see a hurricane in January? Avila seems to think so but doesn't have the guts to go for it. For those of us in the weather business, this is very humorous but not very surprising.