The nor’easter – a non-tropical low-pressure system – that pounded New England yesterday is heading toward the central Atlantic. The system is huge with a robust spin. There are no signs of any tropical characteristics with the system at this point, but warmer ocean water is ahead.
In the next few days, the storm is forecast to dip south over marginally warm water in the middle of the Atlantic. It might hang around there long enough that a somewhat tropical core can form in the middle of the big circulation. If the system maintains top winds over 40 mph like it’s currently producing, it would be named Wanda.
The storm won’t affect anybody, but it would nicely use up the last name on the main list of tropical names. The World Meteorological Organization, which oversees the lists, doesn’t try to find names that begin with Q, U, X, Y or Z. So the 21st name, in this case Wanda, is the bottom barrel.
For the first time this year, a supplemental overflow list is standing by. The first two names are Adria and Braylen. The odds of our needing to tap that supply of names are low, but not zero.
While is seems very unlikely that another tropical system would affect the U.S. and surrounding areas, it’s not impossible that something could spin up in the deep southern Caribbean or way out in the Atlantic.
The end of the hurricane season is, in practice, in the eye of the beholder. Technically it ends when the last advisory on the last system has been written. But functionally it ends when the last tropical system of consequence effects land. For Florida, the Bahamas, the Gulf coast and the U.S. East Coast, that time has likely come.
The long-range computer models show no significant tropical development well into November.