Tropics off to an early start with Subtropical Depression One - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tropics off to an early start with Subtropical Depression One

Tropical activity is starting early this year in the Atlantic with a subtropical depression forming on Wednesday. Tropical activity is starting early this year in the Atlantic with a subtropical depression forming on Wednesday.
Subtropical... what's that? It's somewhere between tropical and extratropical. Subtropical... what's that? It's somewhere between tropical and extratropical.
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

With the official start to hurricane season more than a month away, tropical activity is beginning to kick up in the Atlantic.

A low pressure system formed into a subtropical depression on Wednesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The system, called Subtropical Depression One, was located about 800 miles southwest of the Azores in the central Atlantic Ocean and was moving to the north-northeast at 8 miles per hour on Wednesday morning with maximum wind speeds of 35 miles per hour.

Should we be concerned?

Subtropical Depression One is expected to bring no threat to North America.

One will become absorbed by a larger cyclone on Thursday, completely losing its tropical characteristics, according to NHC.

"Thankfully, no impacts are expected here in the United States with the system located over a thousand miles away from our country," said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams. "But, it is interesting to see tropical activity firing up a little ahead of schedule. Perhaps it's a sign of warmer water temperatures," 

Why is this system called subtropical? What's the difference between subtropical, tropical, and extratropical systems?

A subtropical system is somewhere between a tropical system and an extratropical system.

"Think of it like a hybrid," Williams explained.

"A tropical system is the type of storm that gets its energy from warm water," said Williams. "We know these very well on the Gulf Coast as they can rapidly intensify into a hurricane."

"An extratropical system is different," Williams went on. "It's a more common type of storm that many are very familiar with; they're the ones that you often hear about pushing cold fronts and warm fronts across the country. These extratropical systems cannot intensify into a hurricane."

"Also, the structure and wind field of each system is organized differently: tropical systems typically pack their strongest storms and winds near the center of the circulation whereas extratropical systems spread their strongest winds spread across a large area extending well away from the system's center," continued Williams.

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st.

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