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Tracking Hurricane Epsilon

Back to Hurricane Pages.

Like the look of this image? If you install Google Earth and download the Hurricane Epsilon Google Earth Files then you will be able to watch it in 3D, tilt the view, swivel around the track, zoom into every point on the track, and view the overlay map file in full zoom. More about Hurricane Epsilon and historic tracking of previous hurricanes can be found on the hurricane pages. Hurricane Epsilon Tracking This is an overview of Hurricane Epsilon's track superimposed onto Google Earth. Each Hurricane Epsilon tracking point on the map represents a Lat/Long position at particular times determined by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The NHC projection maps can be viewed on the maps page Hurricane Epsilon Maps.

Hurricane Epsilon News

NOTE: Latest news is always at the top, earlier news below.

STATUS: No Tracking at present.

8th December, 2005 News

Tropical Storm Epsilon completely fell apart overnight and was downgraded by the NHC to tropical depression at the last 11am advisory. Epsilon had a good run, a very good run considering the time of the year and the environment it was having to work with. Accordingly, the 4am advisory was the final map for Hurricane Epsilon.


Discussion


Epsilon has been very tough on the NHC, a lot tougher than they would probably have imagined. Lets face it, who could believe that a storm that comes into existence at the end of November, in the middle of the Atlantic, would hang around for ten days? The NHC were right to be dismissive when they predicted it would be over by the 3rd December as it went extratropical; the synoptic at the time supported that view. But, although Epsilon had indeed turned towards the northeast by the 2nd December, and the NHC were predicting extratropical transition within 2 days, Epsilon bounced back after a brief bad spell. By 10am on the 2nd, Epsilon attained hurricane status, much to the chagrin of the NHC...

"DESPITE MOVING OVER SLIGHTLY COOLER WATER SINCE THIS TIME YESTERDAY ...EPSILON HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED WITH A SOLID CONVECTIVE BAND NOW WRAPPING COMPLETELY AROUND THE CYCLONE CENTER ...WHICH HAS PRODUCED A WELL-DEFINED 25 NMI DIAMETER EYE"

Well, this was quite novel, just about the time when Epsilon was supposed to be going extratropical, we had a very well organised category 1 hurricane with a well defined eye. Now, that's not something that the NHC were expecting, and they stuck to their guns by stating that Epsilon would be extratropical within 24 hours, and I believe that was just a case of pure optimism.

In order to press home the point that the NHC were dismissive of Epsilon right from the off, and to enforce the statement that, at times, they were bordering on the realms of sheer optimism more than anything else, here are a few statistics gleaned from the NHC advisories :

Up to the point of Epsilon becoming a tropical depresssion on the 8th December 2005 at 1000est (advisory 37), there were 21 advisories where Epsilon was reported as a hurricane. Of those 21 advisories, only 3 of them predicted that Epsilon would still be a hurricane by the time of the next advisory. That, to my mind, was wishcasting in the extreme.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the NHC. They performed as well as could be expected under trying circumstances, as I stated yesterday. What Epsilon demonstrates is that our knowledge of hybrid systems, outside the normal window i.e. the defined parameters for tropical weather, is still relatively very poor. And I have to say that it doesn't help when we avoid the opportunity to increase and enhance our knowledge of such rare systems when they do come along, by not investing in sufficient resources for their investigation. And this is where I am referring to the use of airborne reconnaisance e.g. Hurricane Hunters. Ascertaining the actual, physical conditions at the time would go a long way towards taking 'the guesswork' out of future hybrid system analysis.

We have seen 3 hybrid systems this year, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that we could see the same number, if not more, over the coming seasons. Vince was the first tropical system to make landfall in Europe, then Delta came ashore in north Africa after battering the Canaries. What happens in the future when a storm forms in the west central Atlantic and threatens to make landfall in New York as a major hurricane? I know that seems somewhat far-fetched at the moment but, what if? Well, I know what the experts would say - 'that's impossible!', and I would say - 'something can only be termed impossible before it actually happens'. From it's formation as a hybrid storm, on an unprecedented westerly track, what would we possess in our knowlege-base to help us understand how it came to be, and what to expect of it? I believe we would be at a complete loss, and any predictions would be 'as credible' as predicting the lottery.


If you have any comments on this discussion then feel free to reply.

Comments
STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

7th December, 2005 Final News

Well, it now looks like the end is almost in sight as Hurricane Epsilon de-intensifies at last to become Tropical Storm Epsilon. Epsilon is tracking southwest at 12mph with maximum sustained winds of 65mph. I should think the NHC are finally breathing a sigh of relief, and who can blame them. With hindsight, it all seems like a waste of effort, tracking a storm that affects no-one. But, that's their remit, and they have to abide by the rules like everyone else. All I can say is 'Well done guys, you stayed the course, and even towards the end you maintained your sense of humour'.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

7th December, 2005 News Update

Hurricane Epsilon

Check out the northeast-southwest corridor that Hurricane Epsilon is now tracking through, and still packing winds of 75mph. This really is one tenacious b*.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

7th December, 2005 News

Hurricane Epsilon is now running the gauntlet as it manoeuvers southwest between a mid-level ridge to it's northwest and a developing trough to it's southeast. Epsilon continues to maintain it's intensisty despite intense wishcasting by the NHC for it to weaken and die. Looking at the current weather pattern, I'd say that they could be right to believe that epsilon might continue it's current track for the next three days, but I'd go further and say that I think it's intensity could fluctuate also, both UP as well as down.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

6th December, 2005 Final News

Hurricane Epsilon retains it's 75mph intensity yet again, and is now tracking to the southwest at 12mph. And the joyous sound of hope rings out from the NHC team.."THE END IS IN SIGHT. IT REALLY REALLY IS...". Pour souls! Epsilon really has extended their season dramatically, and I think the death of it is going to be an occasion to celebrate.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

6th December, 2005 News Update

Hurricane Epsilon still at 75mph and now tracking to the south-southwest at 10mph. According to the NHC, Epsilon's core is being sheltered from the upper low and associated shear, and this is helping it to maintain good organisation and full wrap-around convection. It appears that the gods are still shining favourably on Hurricane Epsilon.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

6th December, 2005 News

Hurricane Epsilon

Hurricane Epsilon has finally turned south and retains it's 75mph intensity, although it's lost a lot of it's organisation since yesterday. Movement is to the south at 5mph and a turn to the southwest is predicted within 24 hours. The latest NHC discussion is brief and telling.."I HAVE RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY... AND THIS ONE WILL BE SHORT..".

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

5th December, 2005 Final News

The NHC now feel reasonably confident that Hurricane Epsilon has begun it's turn to the south. Intensity has dropped a tad to 75mph and they state that Epsilon is tracking southeast at 3mph, although it's motion has become somewhat erratic as it gradually loses it's westerly steering. Epsilon does appear to have lost some of it's definition over the last 6 hours as the HNC have stated, and is getting to look a little bit ragged, although we have seen this many times of late, only for Epsilon to bounce back again on the next advisory. There's also a hint of frustration and weariness in the words of the NHC's last couple of advisories, that suggests they are not going to be too upset to see the back of Epsilon.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

5th December, 2005 News Update

Well, it looks like Hurricane Epsilon may now be getting ready to make that long overdue turn to the south. Intensity remains high as does Epsilon's signature. The NHC now believe that Epsilon has been living on temperature differential alone over the last couple of days i.e. relatively cool SST's but even colder temperatures at the 200mb level, and that is something I would agree with. There is now a very good possibility that Epsilon will decay over the next 48 hours as it begins to track south then southwest and becomes more susceptible to shear. But, hey, who knows? Epsilon has managed to fool everyone up to this point - who's to say that it can't do so for a bit longer.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

5th December, 2005 News

Hurricane Epsilon

Hurricane Epsilon continues to defy the world's best tropical weather experts by tracking towards the east-southeast at 10mph and edging ever closer to the Canaries. Epsilon shrugs off the westerlies, and the cooler SST's and the building pressure systems to yet again up the intensity stakes to an impressive 80mph. The image shows that Epsilon is looking even better, with an array of thunderstorms surrounding 50% of it's large, well defined eye. The NHC's latest comment just about sums it up.."I AM NOT GOING TO SPECULATE ANY MORE ON THE FUTURE INTENSITY OF EPSILON...".

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

4th December, 2005 News Update 2

Hurricane Epsilon continues on it's track towards the east at 12mph. Intensity is down slightly since the last advisory at 80mph. The NHC have stated that the fast moving westerly low that was predicted to capture Epsilon has passed by without any effect, and that Epsilon will not now go extratropical as expected.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

4th December, 2005 News Update

Well, looks like the NHC may have mis-calculated the intensity of Epsilon at the 4am advisory. Hurricane Epsilon continues to move east at 12mph with maximum sustained winds of 85mph, the highest intensity so far. And, I would say that Epsilon may have a little more left in it in view of it's organisation and general profile. We may see Epsilon intensify a little further over the next 12 hours before the weakening forecast by the NHC begins.

Hurricane Epsilon

As of 4am the NHC have downgraded Hurricane Epsilon to a tropical storm. I really find that hard to believe whilst looking at the above image. The hurricane-type features are just too compelling and other Navymil images for around the same time have them marked as 75kts. Now, either the NHC were wrong at 4am (EST) or, since that time Epsilon has re-intensified. We will have to wait for the 10am to find out. Epsilon is still tracking east at 13mph, the NHC quoted winds being 70mph, some way short of 75kts.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

3rd December, 2005 Final News

Well, first Tropical Storm Delta hits the Canaries and now we have Hurricane Epsilon lining them up too! Epsilon continues to track east at 13mph with maximum sustained winds of 70mph. There has been a slight drop in intensity since the last advisory, but it still looks remarkably healthy on satellite imagery considering the conditions. Check out the track now on the Hurricane Epsilon Tracking page.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

3rd December, 2005 News Update

Hurricane Epsilon intensifies as it continues to track east at 12mph. And, as the NHC put it "...EPSILON STRENGTHENS AGAINST ALL ODDS...". That just about says it all - the NHC are as surprised as anyone that Hurricane Epsilon could intensify under even the most trying conditions out in the middle of the north Atlantic at the beginning of December. It's turning out to be an even more incredible season than anyone would have believed as late as the middle of November. I think Epsilon is beginning to make a lot of people think that, 'maybe we don't understand tropical weather as much as we think we do?'

And to cap it all, NHC are now saying that they think Epsilon will indeed turn towards the south then southwest.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

3rd December, 2005 News

Hurricane Epsilon

Hurricane Epsilon has the NHC and everyone else on the back foot again. The HNC describe Epsilon as "..A TENACIOUS TROPICAL CYCLONE WHICH HAS MAINTAINED HURRICANE INTENSITY OVER COOL WATERS AND APPARENT UNFAVORABLE ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS..." as it continues to maintain it's 75mph hurricane status over the cooler waters of the central Atlantic. And despite their forecast for Epsilon to go extratropical on a north-easterly track, Epsilon confounds yet again by slowing down and tracking east. HNC now say that Epsilon could even make a turn to the south then another to the southwest later.

Hurricane Epsilon

Hurricane Epsilon about to go extratropical. Epsilon has been moving over a ridge of warmer than usual SST's in the mid Atlantic for the last 12-18 hours which has allowed it to improve it's organisation. This can clearly be seen in the closed eye (SW quadrant) and the typically banded nature of it's cloud layers.


STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

2nd December, 2005 News Update

Look out Cornwall! Hurricane Epsilon's on it's way and should be with you in about 4 days. Epsilon's projected path is aiming directly at the tip of Lands End and it's likely to be moving at in excess of 50mph once it goes extratropical in the next 24 hours. I should say that Epsilon is likely to be a merged low pressure system once it reaches the UK, but hey, let's not nitpick. Check out the Google Earth track on the Hurricane Epsilon Tracking page.

STATUS: Tracking Hurricane Epsilon.

2nd December, 2005 News

Tropical Storm Epsilon gets a shot of warmer SST energy that takes it up a notch to become Hurricane Epsilon. Epsilon continues to track northeast at an increasing forward speed of 14mph. Maximum sustained winds are now 75mph and I think we can probably expect Epsilon to go extra-tropical sooner than later.

Tropical Storm Epsilon

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

1st December, 2005 Final News

Tropical Storm Epsilon continues to track northeast at 9mph. Maximum sustained winds are 65mph and I think Epsilon's had it's shot at hurricane status and missed. It's now likely to continue on roughly the same track until going extra-tropical.

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

1st December, 2005 News Update 2

Tropical Storm Epsilon continues to track northeast at 10mph. Maximum sustained winds have risen to 70mph since the last advisory as Epsilon takes on better organization once again. The NHC state that Epsilon could briefly become a hurricane within the next 6 hours as it encounters some warmer than expected SST's, but they forecast that it will weaken thereafter. The predicted track is still towards the northeast and NHC expect Epsilon to go extra-tropical within 36 hours.

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

1st December, 2005 News Update

Well, it looks like I may have made the wrong call there. Tropical Storm Epsilon continues to move towards the northeast as the NHC predicted and that's due to a distinct change in the synoptic pattern over the last 6 hours. A stronger westerly flow coming off north America has established itself into the western Atlantic. This flow is pushing both the Epsilon low and the high pressure to the north of it. Both systems are moving generally east while, at the same time, Epsilon and it's parent low are trying to move around the high in a northeasterly motion. So it looks as if Epsilon will continue it's general northeastwards motion as the high slips further east.

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

1st December, 2005 News

Tropical Storm Epsilon continues to rotate within it's parent low in the mid Atlantic. This has caused Epsilon to move further to the east and north resulting in some loss of definition and intensity. According to the NHC, Epsilon is currently moving east-northeast at 12mph with winds of 65mph, although I believe that this may still be part of an overall motion that continues to take it back towards the southwest again for a short time.

Tropical Storm Epsilon

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

30th November, 2005 Final News

It's turned midnight GMT and we now say farewell to the official 2005 Hurricane Season. And what a season it's been. 26 named storms, 13 hurricanes, 7 major hurricanes and 3 category 5 hurricanes ( Katrina, Rita and Wilma ). And with Tropical Storm Epsilon still spinning in the mid Atlantic and threatening to become a hurricane soon, I think most people are now a bit weary and ready to settle down and prepare for Christmas. But, it would take a very foolish person to believe that there won't be another one or two tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin during December.

So, back to Epsilon. Epsilon has made a slow turn towards the east over the last 6 hours and winds remain at 70mph, although it is quite possible that we could briefly see it become a hurricane over the next few hours. Epsilon is still embedded in a low pressure gyre and is rotating within. The latest turn towards the southeast is, I believe, part of a continuing circular motion within the gyre, and this motion could well continue until Epsilon is once again heading west or southwest. That is just my take on it based upon my observations, so my advice for now is to follow the predictions of the NHC.

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

30th November, 2005 News Update

Well, sure enough, over the last 6 hours Epsilon has ignored the NHC's forecast to turn north, and has instead turned southwest. Intensity has also increased to 70mph and Epsilon is now moving south-southwest at 7mph. A distinct eye has now formed on Epsilon, although somewhat ragged. The 37Ghz TRMM image shows off Epsilon's developing features very well.

Tropical Storm Epsilon

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

30th November, 2005 News

Today is the last day of the 2005 Hurricane Season, as if you didn't know? Tell that to Tropical Storm Epsilon which has other ideas. Epsilon continues to move west in the mid Atlantic, stubbornly refusing to turn northeast as predicted. And as Epsilon slowly edges towards Bermuda and increases in intensity we wonder, yet again, whether this storm is going to confound everyone including the NHC. This is a subtropical storm, sitting under and part of a low pressure system. It's movement is being controlled by a high pressure system to the north that is expected to slip east, but how soon that happens is going to decide the motion of Epsilon. The SST's (Sea Surface temperatures) in this part of the ocean at this time of the year are not too shoddy at around 22 degrees Celsius. That, combined with relatively much cooler air aloft may allow Epsilon to intensify even further, and it may only be a matter of time before we see Hurricane Epsilon. At the moment, it has maximum sustained winds of 65mph (NHC correction).

Tropical Storm Epsilon forms in mid Atlantic STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

29th November, 2005 Final News

Tropical Storm Epsilon continues to wander around the mid Atlantic. Sustained winds remain at 50mph and track is still west at 8mph. The NHC have revised their forecast for Delta and now have it at 75kts by midday Wednesday (GMT).

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

29th November, 2005 News Update 2

Tropical Storm Epsilon moves slowly west in the mid Atlantic towards Bermuda, although NHC stress that Epsilon will make a turn towards the northeast later in the period. Epsilon's sustained winds are now 50mph.

STATUS: Tracking Tropical Storm Epsilon.

29th November, 2005 News Update

System 96L becomes the 26th named storm of the 2005 hurricane season as it becomes more organized - Tropical Storm Epsilon. At 1000est the NHC made the expected pronouncement that System 96L was indeed classified as Epsilon with maximum sustained winds of 45mph and that it was moving west at 8mph. They went on to say that they expected it to continue tracking towards the west for the next 18 hours before making a turn to the northeast.

STATUS: Watching Weather System 96L.

29th November, 2005 News

System 96L continues to organize in the mid Atlantic and, as at 1335z, was positioned at coordinates 31.6N 50.0W. This indicates that the system has moved towards the west over the last 12 hours. Sustained winds for 96L are now shown by the latest satellite imagery to be 40kts. As stated earlier, if this system is classified by the NHC then it will become Tropical Storm Epsilon, the 26th named storm of the 2005 hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Epsilon STATUS: Watching Weather System 96L.

28th November, 2005 News Update 2

The US Navymil are currently investigating another weather system in the mid Atlantic, code-named 96L. This system is in a location that puts it close to the same latitude as Delta originated from, and just 7 degrees further west. 96L is slowly taking on tropical properties as can be seen by the banding, and has sustained winds of 35kts, which would make it Tropical Storm Epsilon should the NHC decide to classify it in the near future. That would make Tropical Storm Epsilon the 26th named storm of the 2005 hurricane season. Is this really happening?


I shall continue to update the tracking maps until Hurricane Epsilon dies. If you have any comments or requests then please leave a message in my guestbook. I can be found in the central Florida hurricane center forum until the end of November.

Dave Foster