Wesley's Blog: Subtropical or tropical... what's the difference? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Wesley's Blog: Subtropical or tropical... what's the difference?

Tropical Storm Ana 2015 Saturday Morning Advisory Tropical Storm Ana 2015 Saturday Morning Advisory
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX/AP) -  Early Saturday morning, Ana transitioned from a subtropical storm to a fully tropical storm. The forecast for Tropical Storm Ana remains the same... generally maintaining its strength before it makes its landfall near the Carolina coast on Sunday morning, then weakening and continuing mainly northward up the east coast early next week.

But, what exactly is a subtropical storm and how is it different from a tropical storm?

As far as overall impacts, there is little difference between a tropical storm and a subtropical storm: they both produce strong winds and heavy rain. It's mainly a technical change in the structure of the storm. 

There are three different types of cyclones: tropical, subtropical, and extratropical. 

Extratropical cyclones are the big red 'L's that we are used to seeing on the weather map across the US every day. They are cold-core weather systems that can form over land or water. They typically have a cold front or warm front associated with them. Winds in an extratropical cyclone can be less than 35 mph and can exceed 74 mph; their maximum winds can be located throughout a broad area away from their centers.

Tropical cyclones are warm-core weather systems that only form over water. They have no fronts associated with them but typically generate more rain than extratropical cyclones. Their strongest winds are located near their center, or sometimes, eye. Tropical systems have more enhanced thunderstorm activity concentrated immediately surrounding their center. And, given the right conditions, these tropical cyclones can quickly become strong hurricanes.

Subtropical cyclones are a cross between an extratropical and a tropical cyclone, having characteristics of both. They can be warm- or cold- core. As long as a subtropical cyclone remains subtropical, it cannot become a hurricane. A few tropical facts: Ana is the earliest forming tropical or subtropical cyclone in the Atlantic since a storm of the same name in April 2003. However, since 2000... Tropical Storms Alberto (5/18/12), Beryl (5/25/12), Arthur (5/30/08), Barry (5/30/07) and Subtropical Storm Andrea (5/6/07) also formed during the month of May.

So, seeing named storms before the official start to the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1) is not typical, but not unheard of. And keep in mind that just because a named storm forms before hurricane season officially begins, it doesn't necessarily mean that the season will be more or less active.

The WLOX Weather Team will inform you of south Mississippi's temperature forecast on air, online, and using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope.

You can like us on Facebook: Carrie Duncan WLOX MeteorologistMeteorologist Joel YoungMeteorologist Wesley Williams and Tommy Richards.

Follow us on Twitter: @carrieduncanwx@JoelWLOX@WesWilliamsii and @TommyWLOX.

Also, you can download the new Periscope app and watch us behind the scenes: @carrieduncanwx and @joelwlox.

Copyright 2015 WLOX.All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly