Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

Tropical Storm Nadine lived a long, storied life

She started out bashful and uncertain, a low-pressure system forecasters noticed lollygagging in the Atlantic like a sullen teenager without direction. They weren't sure she would amount to anything in the bustling 2012 hurricane season, let alone anything worthy of a name.

On Sept. 11, she grew focused enough to be born Nadine. A tropical storm. Nadine started exploring, spinning in typical fashion, working, moving, growing. By Sept. 15, her winds reached 80 miles per hour. Her eye was clear and she was organized. She was a hurricane.

But Nadine was never very secure in her new identity. She lost her zest the following day, enduring cooler oceans and stable winds. She was a tropical storm again, weaker but not resigned.

Maybe she would be known for something quieter, less destructive than other storms. Maybe she would make history by longevity. She had competition. In 1969, Inga almost made it to 25 days. In 1971, Ginger made it past 27. The record happened in 1899 at 28 days.

Nadine's steering currents were weak but present. Her waffling support system left her churning around the archipelago of the Azores. She fought, and on Sept. 28 became a hurricane again, lasting until Oct. 1 when she went back to her old ways.

By Wednesday, after 22 days and 85 advisories from the National Hurricane Center, forecasters said Nadine would die. She would likely leave rain across the central Azores, perhaps one or two inches, hitting with gale-force winds then crumbling into the waters from which she came.

Maybe.

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