Subtropical storm already forming and its not hurricane season just yet

Hurricane Season Updates by Chase Gray

The Atlantic hurricane season has yet to officially begin, however we are already watching a developing storm east of the Bahamas. 

atl_overview Hurricane season officially starts here in the Atlantic on June 1; just over a week away.  Despite this, a low east of the Bahamas and not far from Florida is showing signs of organization.  This system, currently dubbed by the National Hurricane Center as Invest 90L, is slowly moving in a northwestern direction which brings it toward East Coast of the United States.  90L is not as likely to become a tropical cyclone than a subtropical cyclone.  Subtropical cyclones are similar to tropical cyclones in nature, but have slightly different characteristics that prevent them from officially being considered a tropical cyclone.  Nonetheless, subtropical cyclones are classified nearly the same way as tropical cyclones; there are subtropical depressions (just like tropical depressions) and subtropical storms (like tropical storms).  When a tropical cyclone reaches winds that are 40 mph or higher, it is classified as a tropical storm and receives a name.  The same goes for subtropical cyclones.  Seeing that hurricane season has not even begun yet, no names have been used yet, and the first name on this year’s list is Alex.  According to the National Hurricane Center, Invest 90L has around a 30% percent chance of becoming a subtropical cyclone within the next two days.  The storm’s sustained winds are already at 45 mph, which means if it does become a subtropical cyclone, it most likely will skip depression status and go right to storm status (in this case, it will be assigned the name Alex).  Overall, southeastern states in the United States, such as the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida should all be on the look-out for this developing storm as it moves towards the United States.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting an above average season for 2010, saying we could possibly see one of the ten most active hurricane seasons ever recorded in the Atlantic ocean.  Areas that should definitely be prepared for tropical cyclones this summer… the Gulf Coast, the East Coast, and the Caribbean. 

This year’s list of names is:

  • Alex
  • Bonnie
  • Colin (replacing Charley)
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Fiona (replacing Frances)
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Igor (replacing Ivan)
  • Julia (replacing Jeanne)
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Matthew
  • Nicole
  • Otto
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tomas
  • Virginie
  • Walter

For more information, visit the National Hurricane Center.

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