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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

Wanda wandering around way out in the Atlantic

Subtropical Storm Wanda is strolling south toward somewhat warmer waters. Later this week, it will loop north into the cold North Atlantic, and we will be done with it… and perhaps with hurricane season.

Wanda is still in a hybrid status – caught between a wintertime and a tropical storm structure. It’s still involved with an upper-level disturbance, which is a feature of wintertime storms, but that is forecast to change in the next day or so. The upper disturbance is moving on, which should allow Wanda to fully morph into a tropical storm.

These are all technicalities, however. The 50 or 60 mph storm is going to drift around the north-central Atlantic for the next few days, and then be swept off to the north. That’s the bottom line.

In the tropics off the coast of Africa, the disturbance we have been watching is losing its chance to develop. It’s running into increasingly dry air and hostile upper winds. If it doesn’t get it’s act together today, it’s likely nothing will happen.

It would be highly unusual for a tropical system to develop in that part of the ocean this time of year, so development wouldn’t be expected just based on history.

For just the third time, we’ve used up all 21 names on the primary list in one hurricane season. There are no Q, U, X, Y, or Z names, which is why we have only 21. The other two hyperactive seasons were 2005 and, of course, last year.

Storm naming in the Atlantic began in the 1950s, so our historical view starts there. Before that, we know that the 1933 hurricane season was super-busy as well. We only know about 20 storms that would have been named that year. But in those years before satellites, we couldn’t see half the ocean. So the names that year would almost certainly have gone into overtime.

The new overflow list of names begins with Adria and Braylen. As of now, it looks unlikely that we’ll have to tap into that. Though, there’s still plenty of warm water in the southern Caribbean, so a spin-up can’t be 100% ruled out.

For Florida and the rest of the U.S. coast, however, the odds are the hurricane season is over.


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