What is a subtropical storm?

Candace Campos outlines core differences between subtropical, tropical storm

Nicole makes her way to Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. – As we track Subtropical Storm Nicole, many are asking, “What is the difference between a subtropical and a tropical storm?”

A subtropical storm is a non-frontal low-pressure system that has characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones. They tend to be large and have a larger wind field, extending much further from their centers.

News 6 meteorologist Candace Campos has more details:

  • A subtropical storm has a cold core, while tropical storms have a warm core.
  • We tend to see subtropical systems develop in the cooler parts of the Atlantic or in the early and late parts of the season.
  • Tropical storms have a higher potential to quickly grow into hurricane, while subtropical storms do not.
  • If a subtropical storm remains over warm water for several days, it may eventually become fully tropical
  • Tropical storms tend to produce more rain compared to subtropical storms.
  • Subtropical storms could eventually gain full tropical characteristics. For example, the core of a subtropical storm could warm enough to become tropical storm or even a hurricane.
  • There is no such thing as a subtropical hurricane.
  • At the end of the day, when it comes to the winds they produce, there is not a big difference between a subtropical and tropical storm.

About the Author:

Candace joined the News 6 team as the weekend morning meteorologist and reporter. She comes to Central Florida from Miami.