HomeOutdoorsWeatherSubtropical Winter Storm Expected to Form for the First Time in a Decade

Subtropical Winter Storm Expected to Form for the First Time in a Decade

by Megan Molseed
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(Photo by: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Weather experts are looking at a rare subtropical winter storm headed for land. A December storm like this one is very unusual, the experts note. The last time a storm like this one occurred was nearly a decade ago.

This storm, which has been dubbed Owen may be hitting land later this week, wreaking havoc along the Atlantic coast, per USA Today. Hurricane experts predict that tropical storm Owen could make it onto Florida’s coast if it remains strong enough.

However, the areas that Owen is most likely to hit along the Atlantic include the Bermuda and Azores areas. The Azores is an island chain that is located just west of Portugal.

The system is bringing in low pressure which produces what weather experts define as “disorganized showers and thunderstorms.”

The Subtropical Winter Storm Is Expected To Span Hundreds Of Miles

Adam Douty, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather notes that subtropical system Owen is “expected to be large, spanning hundreds of miles.” Because of this, the meteorologist notes, winds and the accompanying rough seas are likely to “extend well away from the center of the storm.”

A tropical weather outlook was issued early this week by the National Hurricane Center. The weather experts track the storm at about 800 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. This system is what the experts define as an organized tropical depression, or a subtropical storm.

These weather phenomena “typically have a large, cloud-free center of circulation,” the National Weather Service says. “With very heavy thunderstorm activity in a band removed at least 100 miles from the center.”

The Area Has Only Just Begun To Heal After November’s Hurricane Nicole

With the potential arrival of Owen, weather researchers note that the subtropical winter storm system is likely going to grow into a “subtropical cyclone.” Hitting the areas within the Atlantic that have only just gotten past Hurricane Nicole. Nicole hit the Atlantic coast just a few weeks ago, growing into a Category I storm by the time it made landfall.

“Environmental conditions appear conducive for this system to acquire some subtropical characteristics while it drifts northeastward during the next few days,” experts at the hurricane center explain. 

“By Thursday night or Friday, however, the low is expected to move over cooler waters,” the statement continues. “Ending its chances of becoming a subtropical cyclone.”

The last major storm to make it to subtropical status this late into the winter season hit back in 2013. This system, however, remained unnamed, explains officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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