Season’s first subtropical depression forms in Atlantic


Advisories were initiated for Subtropical Depression One on Wednesday. (Credit: NHC)

The season’s first subtropical depression formed in the deep Central Atlantic Wednesday, a 995-mb system that was moving toward the north-northeast with maximum winds of 35 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

It was expected to be short-lived and not affect land.

“It is anticipated that shear and cold waters will not allow intensification, and the subtropical depression is expected to become absorbed by a large extratropical cyclone in about 36 hours or sooner,” forecaster Lixion Avila said in a forecast discussion.

Subtropical Depression One was plotted at 31.9N 40.9W — several hundred miles south-southwest of the Azores — and was moving north-northeast at 8 p.m.

91L satellite

(Credit: NOAA)

The system had a good spin on radar, but the NHC’s Eric Blake said on Twitter: “These marginal things are always the toughest decisions.”

Tropical and subtropical storms are rare in April. The last one was Tropical Storm Ana in 2003.

Only five April storms — including depressions — have been recorded by NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division since record keeping began in 1851, although subtropical systems were not recognized until 1972.

Also note that experts say that an early start to the season is not an indication of an active season. Forecasts for 2017 are for a below normal hurricane season due to the brewing El Niño in the tropical Pacific, which tends to increase wind shear in the tropical Atlantic.


Author: jnelander

Freelance writer and editor

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