Subtropical Storm Alpha forms in the Atlantic; only 2nd time storm names have had to use Greek alphabet

Subtropical Storm Alpha Friday cone.
Subtropical Storm Alpha Friday cone. (National Hurricane Center)

MIAMI – Subtropical Storm Alpha formed Friday far east in the Atlantic.

It is only the second time the Hurricane Center has had to use the Greek alphabet after running out of its traditional storm names.

The only time they had done this before was in the deadly 2005 hurricane season, during which Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Alpha came just hours after Tropical Storm Wilfred formed in the eastern Atlantic, using the last of the traditional names for tropical systems.

That storm’s maximum sustained winds Friday morning were near 40 mph (65 kph). Slight strengthening was possible during the day but weakening should start over the weekend, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Wilfred was centered about 630 miles (1,015 kilometers) west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and was moving west-northwest near 17 mph (28 kph).

The prior record for the earliest 21st named storm was Wilma on October 8, 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.