Hurricane season makes it through alphabet with formation of Subtropical Storm Wanda

Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

With just a little more than a month to go, the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season exhausted all of the letters in its alphabet with the formation of Subtropical Storm Wanda.

The system formed late Saturday to mark the 21st named storm of the season, going through all 21 letters of the annual tropical naming system set forth by the World Meteorological Organization. It skips the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. If another storm forms, the system will venture into a supplemental alphabet, with the first name to be Adria.

If that happens, it will be only the third time meteorologists have had to venture into a secondary naming system, first in 2005 and then in 2020 during that year’s record-breaking run that saw 30 named storms.

In both previous years, the hurricanes and tropical storms that came later in the season took on Greek alphabet names like Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Meteorologists made the switch to a non-Greek alphabet to avoid confusion among similar sounding names such as Eta and Theta.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Wanda was located about 895 miles west of the Azores with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph moving east-southeast at 8 mph.

“A turn to the southeast is expected today, followed by an eastward motion on Monday, then a turn to the northeast or north on Tuesday.” forecasters said.

It is no threat to land.


Tropical-storm-force winds extend out 105 miles from the system’s center. Models show the system could strengthen, with some forecasting it to transition to a tropical system, but the NHC maintains it is likely to remain subtropical with the cyclone remaining embedded in a cold upper-level trough.

The hurricane center is also tracking a broad area of low pressure in the eastern tropical Atlantic with a 30% chance of formation in the next two days.

Located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, the system continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms over a large area that could develop more as it moves west-northwestward from 10-15 mph in the next two days before it hits a region of strong upper-level winds.

The hurricane season lasts through Nov. 30.


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