Is hurricane season already over? Not if December’s subtropical storm emerges

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  • A new subtropical storm, Owen, could wreak havoc along the Atlantic this week.
  • A low-pressure system is producing “disorganized showers and thunderstorms,” ​​according to hurricane officials.
  • It’s possible the storm could travel as far west as the Atlantic coast of Florida if strong enough.

Peak hurricane season may officially be over, but a rare subtropical storm in December could form in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in nearly a decade – and it already has a name.

The National Hurricane Center issued a special tropical weather forecast on Monday as a low pressure system “produced showers and disorganized thunderstorms” along the central Atlantic Ocean. As of 8:30 p.m. ET, the system is located about 800 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands in the northern Caribbean.

What does all this mean? Possibly an organized tropical depression or subtropical storm, which according to the National Weather Service “usually has a large cloudless circulation center, with very intense thunderstorm activity in a band at least 100 miles away from the center” and could also bring high winds.

“This tropical system is expected to be vast and stretch for hundreds of miles. As a result, wind and rough seas may extend well away from the center of the storm,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty. .

The potential arrival of Owen, the next name on the list, comes after the Atlantic just weathered Hurricane Nicole, a late deadly storm that became a Category I and led to evacuation orders along from the east coast of Florida in November.

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“Environmental conditions appear favorable for this system to acquire subtropical characteristics as it drifts northeast over the next few days,” the hurricane center said. “By Thursday evening or Friday, however, the depression is expected to move over cooler waters, ending its chances of becoming a subtropical cyclone.”

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The areas most likely to be affected by the storm as it envelopes the Atlantic this week will be Bermuda and the Azores, a chain of islands west of Portugal, said Courtney Travis, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.

But it’s possible it could get as far west as the Atlantic coast of Florida if the storm gets strong enough, Travis said.

The last storm to turn subtropical at the end of a calendar year was an unnamed system in 2013, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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