ORLANDO, Fla. – History has been made again in the Atlantic basin. For only the third time since the naming of tropical systems began in the 1950s, all of the names for the season have been used. This is the second consecutive year that all of pre-determined names have been exhausted. 2005 was the first occurrence.
Subtropical storm Wanda developed late Saturday evening in the North Atlantic. As of 11 p.m. Saturday, Wanda had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and is moving southeast at 21 mph. The storm is currently located approximately 1,020 miles west of the Azores.
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This system is part of the former Nor’easter that blasted the Northeast with flooding and and power outages earlier in the week.
This is not expected to be a threat to land as it meanders in the North Atlantic. Some strengthening is possible over the next several days before the storm lifts back north and weakens over cooler water. A complete transition from a hybrid subtropical system to a fully tropical storm is also possible over the coming days.
A subtropical storm is a hybrid storm that has both tropical and non-tropical characteristics. A non-tropical system is made up of fronts while a tropical system is not and gains its strength from warm water. A tropical system will maintain thunderstorm development around its center.
While no land impacts are likely, Wanda could be an issue for the now rescheduled Crew-3 launch from Cape Canaveral Wednesday.
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What happens next?
In years past, the Greek alphabet had been used as a backup in case of the seasonal names were exhausted. Starting this year, however, a new supplemental list of names will be used in the event another storm develops this year.
This was created due to the fact that you can’t retire an entire letter of the Greek alphabet if that particular storm qualifies for retirement, like Eta and Iota in 2020.
With satellite technology improving, the National Hurricane Center is naming more storms than in years and decades past. This increases the likelihood of using more names to identify storms, which also increases the chances a late-season storm would qualify for retirement.
Anything else out there?
Another disturbance near Africa has a 30% chance for development over the next five days.
The next name storm and first name on the new supplemental list is Adria. Hurricane season runs through November.