grays analogs for this year in december were 1952, 1958, 1970, and 2003
in april they were 1952, 1959, 1995, and 2003.
ENSO is trending neutral, which is more or less the pattern of any of the listed years. if you count up the landfalls in the listed years, in the u.s., texas, south carolina, and florida have most of the hurricane landfalls. most of the listed years have out of season activity, a good spread-out season, and in general above normal activity. of the years listed, the latest first storm formed june 14, most of the last storms were in late october. the modern era years of 1995 and 2003 featured an extremely high level of activity... most forecasts being advertised now have the idea that 2005 will come across much the same.
it has been mentioned that the cooler than normal ssts in the atlantic subtropics would promote a stronger than average zonal ridge in the western atlantic. i concur with this idea. if the conditions are as such going into the core of the season... look out. of course, after how incredibly unlucky 2004 was, look for the 'saving grace' scenarios to play out at least some of the time this year.
potential highlights based on analogs:
preseason or early june system.
at least 3 major hurricanes.
tropical storm and hurricane landfalls clustering in tx, fl, and sc.
major hurricane somewhere in the caribbean.
three of the six years had a major hurricane hit somewhere in the u.s. (gracie 1959, celia 1970, opal 1995). 1958 was damned close with another, helene. the other two had a category two (able, 1952, isabel, 2003).
three of the years had multiple hurricane hits; all had tropical storm landfalls somewhere in the gulf.
of course, it's unlikely that the analogs will play out exactly. if we get the strong west extension of the ridge like last summer/fall, the clustering of out-to-sea recurvatures in the western and central atlantic seen in all of the years won't work out. that's not the sort of thing easily assessed from may 12th.