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After hurricane season’s official end, forecasters eye tropical disturbance

The National Hurricane Center released a special tropical weather outlook Monday on a large low pressure system over the central Atlantic Ocean.
The National Hurricane Center is watching a large area of low pressure in the central subtropical Atlantic on Monday. The rare December disturbance will likely dissipate by Friday after it meets cooler waters, the Hurricane Center said.
The National Hurricane Center is watching a large area of low pressure in the central subtropical Atlantic on Monday. The rare December disturbance will likely dissipate by Friday after it meets cooler waters, the Hurricane Center said. [ The National Hurricane Center ]
Published Dec. 5, 2022

Less than a week after the official end to the hurricane season, a rare December tropical disturbance popped in the Central Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center released a special tropical weather outlook on a large, low-pressure system over the central subtropical Atlantic on Monday that is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms.

“It doesn’t really pose any threat to Florida or the United States at all,” said Christianne Pearce, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay office. “It’s moving northeast into even cooler waters.”

Forecasters said the disturbance was about 750 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands Monday morning and is expected to drift northeastward during the next few days. Conditions in the Atlantic are conducive for the system to develop some subtropical characteristics, however the system will likely dissipate by Friday, the Hurricane Center said.

Related: Nicole kept Florida and Tampa Bay in a rainy, windy grip on Thursday

The Hurricane Center gave the system a 30% chance of becoming a tropical depression in two days and a 40% chance in the next five. However, by Friday, forecasters expect the disturbance to move over cooler waters, tamping down any chance of the low pressure becoming a subtropical cyclone.

“The probability of having a storm this late in the season is very low because the waters out there are a lot cooler,” Pearce said. “We just have different atmospheric phenomenon happening that kind of put a damper on those things developing.”

The official Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30 each year. The 2022 season ended with 14 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes — an overall average hurricane season.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tropical storms have formed every month outside of the hurricane season. The administration said May is the most active month outside the official season.

“While it’s unusual, all it takes is the right combination of atmospheric conditions and warmer ocean waters for a tropical cyclone to form, regardless of the date,” the administration said.

Related: How storm surge kills: Hurricane Ian showed Florida why we’re told to leave

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