Thu Nov 30 2006 06:38 AM
Quietest Season Since 1997

Today is the last day of the 2006 Hurricane season, no land falling Hurricanes in the US this year at all (Ernesto came very close in North Carolina, however). And almost anything that got started fell apart just as quickly, Chris and Ernesto being the two biggest potential threats. Chris fell apart, and Ernesto never regained strength after crossing Cuba.

Three Tropical Storms made landfall in the US, Alberto making landfall in the Big Bend of Florida, Beryl (Clipping Cape Cod) and making landfall in Nova Scotia, and Ernesto, which crossed through the center of Florida as a very weak tropical storm, and restrengthend close to hurricane strength when it reached North Carolina.

The last tracked system was Isaac, which left us at the start of October. Most systems were fish spinners this year, and only 9 named storms the entire season, quite a contrast to last year. El Nino and dryer/dustier air inhibited a lot of development this year, but it was still closer to a "normal" season than the last two years, which were in a league of their own.

I wish all years were more like this.

Farewell to the quiet 2006 season. The 2007 season starts June 1st, 2007. Next year probably will be a bit more of an average season, but nothing like 2005. This

Thanks to all that helped out this year, it allowed us to stay up again, and be ready for the next season. More improvements are planned for next year, including another site redesign for 2007.

Thu Nov 30 2006 08:46 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

Just an off season comment here...but I finally figured out which hurricane was on the NHC website Banner that states "Tropical Cyclone Forecasts and Advisories". I never got a chance to figure it out till now, so I thought I'd share in case someone was doing the same. It's actually of Katrina during the Hurricane's eye passage over the NHC.

(Weather Guru)
Thu Nov 30 2006 09:08 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

Because I have only been following these storms for a couple of years now, I have a lot of questions...sorry Re: the comment about the African dust.. is that pretty normal for hurricane season (in general) or was this year more than usual? I do not remember the dust being such a factor in '05,.. maybe more so in '04, but this year seemed exceptional to me... Also, I think that the wind shear was a huge factor as well.. Is that related to El Nino? I am really trying to read up on that, but I figured that I could get some answers from you all.
Sorry Mod's if I put this in the wrong place, but I figured it was slow now....
Thanks in advance!!!

Thu Nov 30 2006 09:16 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

All impressions that I have is that the African Dust Cycle was above normal levels of activity. I know we had one first this hurricane season, a recon. flight into the Cape Verdes...They were there to do a storm recon mission as part of a project to understand these waves as they exit Africa a little better. The other part concerned the interaction with the dust. Our local NBC-2 Meteorologist down in SW FL gave a pretty good breakdown of how the Dust and El Nino affected the Hurricane Season. Here's a link to his video (Hit "click for video") and some additional text about Hurricane Season '06.
Link: http://www.nbc-2.com/articles/readarticle.asp?articleid=10015&z=3&p=
Take care!

Fri Dec 01 2006 12:39 AM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997


Some good questions (whether the mods leave these posts here or move them is as variable as a tropical system....)

As far as the dust, it does seem that this year was more than in the past, but I also think that the technology has improved to the point that we can track it better than before. For sure it had a negative influence on tropical system formation.

There are other posts on this forum and elsewhere that describe the effects of El Nino, specifically increased and persistent shear which inhibited development of many systems.


(Weather Hobbyist)
Fri Dec 01 2006 04:26 AM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

SO long everyone until next year! I hope everybody had a fun, safe, and boring 2006 Season.

Tue Dec 05 2006 10:03 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

the way the season tailed off quickly and early is a signature of el nino. it's unusual to have much activity in october when el nino is present, and this season was no exception. another telltale sign was the tendency for storms not form in the deep tropics and to recurve at low latitude, and then do much of their strengthening at higher latitudes. there weren't many cases to support the trend, but overall that's what we saw. there was sporadic activity early in the season, then september was active with four hurricanes... probably indicative of an mjo wave. october was the deadest since the early 1990s. the eastern pacific was more active than it has been in quite a few years, which is also a typical occurrence when el nino is running the show... there was also a bit of action in the central pacific, which is infrequent and usually related to anomalous warmth in the tropical pacific.
ENSO has been dodging any strong signal since about 2002, wavering between slightly warm and slightly cool. that may have left the tropical atlantic to take precedent in terms of guiding tropical cyclone formation, with the extreme warmth producing back to back to back highly active to hyper active seasons from 2003 to 2005. the pacific oscillation revving back up may represent a return to normal, with changes in the tropical pacific overshadowing whatever signal the atlantic may present. normally a year or two of el nino is followed by a la nina, but this is not always true. the 2006 el nino was rather poorly predicted (climate science is very sketchy, and this is a good example), and while a sudden flip to la nina has been known to follow, i'd expect 2007 to follow on as a neutral to warm type season with moderate activity. the state of tropical oceans in the spring of next year will be our real predictor... right now all we can reasonably do is speculate and reference historic behavior.
hope you guys enjoyed tracking the '06 season. every year is it's own unique animal, and it was nice to see a taste of normalcy in what has been an over-active span for more than a decade. if i didn't have the late 80s-early 90s as a benchmark and had been spoon fed post-1994 as an introduction to hurricane tracking, i'd probably think 2006 was some kind of pissant fluke season... but it's just another side of the coin. we just saw the near-average version of a hurricane season assert itself, and it was a shocking sight for some of us...
HF 0302z06december

waiting for the snow, now...

(Weather Guru)
Wed Dec 06 2006 01:55 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

The 2006 season was a true blessing and shows that just because were in active cycle of increased hurricane activity does mean every season will be active.Over all its the number of storms that form that matters its the ones that actually make landfall that have the greatest impact.

Hope everyone has a great holiday season.

(Weather Master)
Wed Dec 06 2006 08:41 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

Absolutely amazed at how this season acted. We were trully blessed this year. Next I believe will be more active.. 14 storms maybe? Anyways... The El Nino did a great job at keeping things below average. Wouldn't be surprised if something does develop this month lol.. Remember Zeta..What a weird time of season to form. Have a blessed Christmas everyone, next year will be interesting.

(Weather Guru)
Thu Dec 07 2006 04:30 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

So was I. It came on quick. I was watching the SOI and the SST's but still didn't think it would come so quick. We have alot to learn about El NINO episodes. I think we could be affected at the beginning of the season by El Nino but should be neutral by the peak. But I know as much as they know. Which is not much:

Wed Dec 13 2006 11:09 PM
Looking ahead to 2007

By now, I'm sure you all have seen Ed's post in the blogs looking ahead to next season. As we enjoy an extended break -- this time last year, we still had activity ahead of us to contend with! -- it'll be interesting to see how the winter and spring evolve. Here's what I'm looking at over the next 4-5 months before making a forecast for 2007's season...

1) What happens with the current moderate El Nino?
Phases of the El Nino Southern Oscillation have the highest correlation to TC activity of any other variable -- accounting for about 50% of variance, even higher than changes in basin SSTs concurrent with a global warming signal (~40%). It looks like that we will see a trend back toward weak El Nino or neutral conditions as we pass through the spring, suggested by both observations and modeling. How much of this occurs and what impact is seen on the subtropical jet across the basin will help determine how much activity we can expect to see in 2007 -- especially early.

2) North Atlantic pressure patterns and storm tracks
The climate system is interconnected between seasons; the hurricane season will impact the winter season and vice versa as the tropics and midlatitudes interact with one another. There are statistically significant correlations between winter pressure patterns across the North Atlantic and seasonal TC (and recurving storm) activity. These manifest themselves with some of the climate indices out there -- AO, NAO, etc. -- but that's not important right now. How these play out will be an indicator as to whether or not we might see a slight uptick in storm activity.

3) Phases of the MJO
We all know that the MJO and its waves can tend to temporarily enhance storm activity in all of the tropical basins during the season. I also think there's a longer-term correlation between mid-spring MJO phases and storm activity as we get into the early part of the season. If we see favorable MJO waves kicking early on in April, we'll likely see a slight uptick in activity in June and July.

As of right now, I'm inclined to think that Ed is on the right track with his forecast. I too think that the early season activity may be suppressed with a more active end to the season to follow. Depending on how fast El Nino exits the picture, we could see slightly more activity. Alas, it's tough to forecast the evolution of El Nino events even a month or two out -- as this event has shown us -- and we still have plenty of time to watch things.

To borrow a phrase from 2005's season: stay tuned.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Mon Dec 18 2006 05:59 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

And then there were 10...

The NHC added a tropical storm to the season's totals on Friday, classifying one of the low pressure systems near Nova Scotia as an unnamed tropical storm. The preliminary report is available at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/TCR-AL502006_Unnamed.pdf.

Mon Dec 18 2006 06:14 PM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

just spotted that post-analysis. i remember that there was a lively discussion at the time about it being a missed storm. so the season went 1 in june, 2 in july, 3 in august, 4 in september, and then nothing.
HF 2214z18december

Tue Dec 19 2006 03:44 AM
Re: Quietest Season Since 1997

Yeah, that 10th one was really a no-brainer, as far as I was concerned - I was all but startled that they did not give it a name at the time, but then again, it was handled well under the HSF... simply overlooked by the media (other than TWC, as far as I know) as a likely candidate.

Despite all the talk of stable air, dry air, anomalous SAL, etc., your "so the season went 1 in june, 2 in july, 3 in august, 4 in september, and then nothing." observation fits in all too well with the budding El Nino perhaps playing the largest role of all in the season ending up well-below forecasts.

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