Posted by: mrpeatie | September 25, 2008

Subtropical Storm Kyle?

Today’s windy and rainy weather is brought to us by a suspiciously large, swirling mass of low pressure and clouds right off our coast. If you look at a recent satellite image it looks a heck of a lot like a tropical storm or hurricane. Many folks along the Carolina coast will see tropical storm force conditions over the next day or so as this system figures out what it wants to do.

Technically this system is subtropical or extratropical. I even saw it called a hybrid subtropical storm. So what makes a storm subtropical? Well where it forms is one thing. If it forms north (like this one did) or south of the latitude range for a tropical system, it may be categorized as subtropical. In subtropical systems, the heaviest winds and rain aren’t concentrated around the center and the core of the storm may consist of cold air, where tropical systems have warm air in their core and the heaviest rains and winds are close to its center. The designation of tropical vs. subtropical is somewhat subjective and it really doesn’t matter to you and me. It will be rainy and windy for the next 24 hours no matter what they dub this thing.

With the heaviest rain and winds away from its core, Hanna was almost categorized subtropical

With the heaviest rain and winds away from its core, Hanna was almost categorized subtropical

This storm should serve as a reminder that hurricane season is not over. Now that the temperatures have cooled and summer has officially ended, it is easy to forget that tropical systems can still form and cause damage for another two months. The hurricane season technically ends at the end of November, but the 2005 hurricane season should remind us that storms can form later then that. Tropical Storm Zeta developed on December 29 that year and continued into January.



  1. Well they didn’t name this one, but a different Kyle did form out in the Atlantic.

  2. Hi Chris, I’m a hydrologist with the National Park Service in south Florida, … and a fellow “water” blogger …

    Is this the part of the season that storms are more likely to strike New England? Also, in terms of storms making it across the Atlantic, does that happen more towards the fall also?

    Just curious.

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