TROPICAL STORM ZETA!!!!!
Simply, utterly, unbelievable. The 27th tropical storm of 2005 formed in the Eastern Atlantic this morning about 1070 miles southwest of the Azores.
This has been a most amazing year for tropical cyclone activity. The previous record was 21 tropical storms in 1933; we utterly destroyed that this year. This was the first year to completely exhaust the storm name list. We also broke the record for most hurricanes in one season, with 14. And 2005 saw the most Category 5 hurricanes in a season, with 3 (Katrina, Rita and Wilma). This year set the record for the most storms forming during November (3) and tied the record for the most storms forming in October (6 storms, shared with 1950). This year Zeta tied Alice with the latest storm to form in the year, December 30th. 2005 saw the lowest pressure ever recorded in an Atlantic hurricane, Wilma with 882 mbar. Wilma also set the record for the fastest pressure drop, 98 mbar in 24 hours. And we saw the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Spain, Hurricane Vince, which also set the record for most northerly and most easterly formation. Katrina had the highest storm surge, caused the greatest economic damage and the second greatest loss of life in a US-landfalling hurricane, and was the 6th strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic.
This year also saw almost continuous tropical activity, with only 2 weeks out of the 26 week season having no activity. 2005 also had the second highest Accumulated Cyclone Energy level ever recorded, with an ACE of 239 (the highest was 1950, with 243). The mean ACE is 93.2
While the official name retirement list won't be announced by the WMO until March, it's very likely that 2005 will also set the record for most retired names.