BREAKING: 2018 hurricane forecast amended with new prediction

Flagler Drive is raked by wind, rain and water from the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach Sunday afternoon, September 10, 2017 as winds from Hurricane Irma rake the county. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Confidence that 2018 will experience a below normal hurricane season increased substantially this week as global forces align to temper tropical activity.

An updated forecast released Thursday by the federal Climate Prediction Center is now calling for a 60 percent chance of a less active storm season, a hefty jump from a May forecast that predicted only a 25 percent probability of below normal activity.

Gerry Bell, the center’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, said the growing likelihood that a storm-thwarting El Nino will form in the fall combined with tropical Atlantic water temperatures that are the coldest since the 1990s were key factors in making the new prediction.

The forecast comes as Florida enters the peak of hurricane season between mid-August through October when 95 percent of hurricanes form. Already four named storms  – Alberto, Beryl, Chris and Debby – have spun up this season. Beryl and Chris both mustered hurricane strength.

As of Thursday afternoon, Tropical Storm Debby was still churning harmlessly in the northern Atlantic.

And hurricane experts warned Thursday there will be more storms.

“It’s not dead,” said Stanley Goldenberg, a meteorologist with the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Storms can pop up quickly and we do expect more storms.”

STORM 2018: Hurricane Central

An average hurricane season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

RELATED: Will a hurricane be named after you this season? 

The hyperactive 2017 storm season produced 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes.

Bell said when the May forecast was released the chances an El Nino would form were only 45 percent.

An update this week puts the odds of an El Nino forming in the fall at 65 percent and up to 70 percent of a winter El Nino that could last into 2019. Bell compared this season to 2015, which had 11 named storms and 4 hurricanes.

“Please remember the hurricane seasonal outlooks are a general guide and do not predict landfalling storms,” Bell said. “Whether or not a storm strikes land is determined by the weather patterns in place when the storm approaches and those are generally not predictable until five to seven days in advance.”

Earth was put on an El Niño watch in June, but it’s not officially declared present until ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are more than 1 degree above normal and are expected to maintain that temperature for six months.

After that, it can take 30 to 60 days for the atmosphere to respond.

The onset of El Niño occurs in tandem with the relaxation of the trade winds — those Earth-skimming easterlies that have guided sailing ships across the world’s oceans for centuries.

With the trade winds reduced, warm water that has piled up in the western Pacific Ocean and around Indonesia rushes back toward the east. That movement of warm water shifts rainfall patterns and the formation of deep tropical thunderstorms. The exploding storms whose cloud tops can touch the jet stream disrupt upper air patterns so winds come more out of the west.

The west winds create shear in the Atlantic, which can be deadly to budding hurricanes.

“The main message should be that no matter what this or any other prediction says that people must treat this like the peak of hurricane season and be prepared,” Goldenberg said. “Remember, 1992 was overall a very slow year.”

Category 5 Hurricane Andrew – the first named storm of the 1992 season – devastated areas of South Florida when made landfall Aug. 24.

At least 20 research groups, private companies and universities churn out annual hurricane forecasts, including the University of Arizona, The Weather Co. and Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center.

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Climatology shows the hurricane season typically peaks in mid-August through October.

The El Niño forecast has changed, what it means for hurricane season

Tropical Storm Chris on June 10, 2018.

An El Niño watch issued last month will continue after the latest forecast for the global climate pattern increased its chances of appearing this fall or winter.

The Climate Prediction Center is now forecasting a 65 percent chance El Niño conditions will be in place by the fall, and up to a 70 percent chance by winter.

That’s up from a June forecast that predicted a 50 percent chance of a fall arrival, and 65 percent chance of a winter arrival.

For Florida, the periodic warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean can mean a less active hurricane season with fewer powerhouse Cat 5 tropical cyclones.

But it also leans toward stormier days during the darkest part of the year when the Sunshine State typically enjoys its dry season.

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“The issue for the hurricanes is does El Niño develop in time and with sufficient strength to suppress the later part of the season,” said Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a June interview. “Conditions are evolving more toward an El Niño right now, but there is still a long way to go.”

Typical El Nino influence.

 

Hurricane researchers are considering El Niño in their updated forecasts.

NOAA’s May 24 hurricane forecast for this season called for between 10 and 16 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and up to four major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.

An average hurricane season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

STORM 2018: Hurricane Central

Bell said the low end of the NOAA forecast reflects the idea that El Niño was a possibility but that the clues weren’t strong enough in May to base the prediction on it.

Colorado State University reduced its July 1 forecast to 11 named storms, four hurricanes and one major hurricane of Category 3 or higher.

The team’s start-of-season forecast on May 31 had called for 14, six and two, respectively. The historical average is 12, 6 1/2, and two. The 2017 season saw 17, 10 and 6.

Phil Klotzbach, CSU hurricane researcher and lead writer of the forecast, said an unusually cool tropical Atlantic, paired with the possibility of a weak El Niño led to the reduced forecast.

“A colder than normal tropical Atlantic provides less fuel for developing tropical cyclones but also tends to be associated with higher pressure and a more stable atmosphere,” CSU’s July 1 forecast notes. “These conditions tend to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.”

RELATED: How El Nino boosts winter storms in Florida.

The onset of El Niño occurs in tandem with the relaxation of the trade winds – those Earth-skimming easterlies that have guided sailing ships across the world’s oceans for centuries.

With the trade winds reduced, warm water that has piled up in the western Pacific Ocean and around Indonesia rushes back toward the east. That movement of warm water shifts rainfall patterns and the formation of deep tropical thunderstorms. The exploding storms whose cloud tops can touch the jet stream disrupt upper air patterns so winds come more out of the west.

This GOES-East infrared image shows the remnants of Beryl in the lower right west of Puerto Rico with Chris off the coast of the Carolinas on July 9, 2018.

The west winds create shear in the Atlantic, which can be deadly to budding hurricanes.

Still, with three named storms, including two hurricanes – Beryl and Chris – already come and gone, this season is coming out of the gate strong.

On average, there are only 1.3 named storms through July 17 and no hurricanes, according to CSU.

Related: Watch funeral for the Godzilla El Nino 

Also, accumulated cyclone energy this season stands at 14.4 when the average for this time of year is 5.1. Accumulated cyclone energy, or ACE, is a way to measure the strength and longevity of tropical cyclones.

“So in terms of ACE, we are at 326% of normal activity for the date,” said University of Miami senior research associate Brian McNoldy in a column last week. “Another way to frame it is that the ACE is currently what it climatologically would be on August 14. And as I mentioned yesterday, the last time we had two hurricanes so early in the season was 2005.”

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BREAKING: Changes to harmful Lake O discharges coming

Water from Lake Okeechobee at the Port Mayaca locks appears to show no signs of algae on June 12, 2018. Discharges through the locks travel down the St. Lucie Canal into the St. Lucie River. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries will be reduced by the Army Corps of Engineers following a break in widespread rainfall.

It’s an unusual move a  month into South Florida’s rainy season, but the lake has reduced to 14.02 feet above sea level and has leveled off.

“The discharges over the past three weeks have stopped the rise in the lake,” said Col. Jason Kirk, the Jacksonville district commander for the Corps. “Inflows have also flowed since late May.”

But, the early morning announcement also follows an emergency order issued Wednesday by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that will allow the South Florida Water Management District to make more room for Lake O water to flow south.

RELATED: As algae concerns grow, Lake O reservoir analysis positive

Randy Smith, spokesman for the district, said district leaders will meet with the governor’s staff today to get more direction on the order.

But, in general, the order allows the district to request special permission from the Corps to put in temporary pumps that will increase flows out of water conservation areas 1 and 2A to  areas 3A and 3B.

“Today, I am directing DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein to issue a Secretarial Emergency Order urging the Army Corps and SFWMD to take emergency actions to lower lake levels and help redirect the flow of water out of Lake Okeechobee to the south,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a press release. “Two years ago, we saw the devastating impact of releases from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries which caused widespread algal blooms and led to the declaration of a state of emergency in four counties.”

The new target flow to the St. Lucie Estuary will be reduced to a seven-day average of 1,170 cubic feet per second as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam near Stuart. The Caloosahatchee Estuary see a reduced target of 3,000 cubic feet per second.

The Corps releases water from the lake when it gets too high and could damage the aging Herbert Hoover Dike, which protects Glades-area communities from flooding.

But the releases of freshwater into the brackish estuaries are harmful to the oyster beds and sea grasses that live in the higher-salinity water. Diluting the salinity levels also can encourage algae growth.

PHOTOS: Algae spreads along beaches in 2016

“By the time we got into mid-May, there was a very sudden dramatic decline in salinity levels so any chance we had for the recovery of oyster communities has been washed away with that freshwater inflow,” said Terrie Bates, director of water resources for the South Florida Water Management District. “Those oysters are likely not going to survive any of those conditions and that’s very disappointing.”

This spring, record rainfall flushed the estuaries with local basin runoff that had already turned them to nearly freshwater rivers. Adding the discharges June 1 from the lake could only make things worse.

By the first week in June, residents of the Treasure Coast were reporting algae on the St. Lucie River and fearing a repeat of 2016 when thick mats of smelly algae were widespread on the river.

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Algae collects along the the shore of Shepard Park on the St. Lucie River near downtown Stuart June 12, 2018. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The Corps’ announcement early this morning held a caveat. If heavy, widespread rains return, the discharges could also increase.

The reduction in discharges will begin Friday. They will be conducted in a “pulse” manner that hopefully will allow tidal flushes to return some salinity to the rivers.

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WATCH LIVE: SpaceX launches today with equipment to study sprites, blue jets and elves

An innovative climate observatory that will peer into the ethereal realm above Earth’s bristling thunderstorms launches today from Cape Canaveral aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

The Atmospheric Space Interactions Monitor, or ASIM, has been in the works since 2010 and will perch on the International Space Station to study those elusive “sprites”, “blue jets” and “elves” – all electrical light shows that occur in the stratosphere, mesosphere and ionosphere.

RELATED: Satellite to revolutionize weather forecasts.

Earth’s atmospheric layers. NASA

The launch is scheduled for 4:30 today, with the 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron giving the launch an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions. Concerns that could delay the launch are obstructions by cumulus clouds and a small chance of rain.

The launch can be watched live on NASA-TV, with a broadcast that begins at 4 p.m.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

SpaceX will have its own live webcast here. 

ASIM is part of a larger mission to resupply the space station,  and deliver investigations that include a study to better understand how the lack of gravity affects a metal manufacturing.

Also, continuing research on growing food in space will be aboard the Dragon CRS-14. The Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System tests a new way to give plants the boosts they need to thrive in space.

“We have 280 different experiments on board and this will help the progress of  more than 50 of them,” said Pete Hasbrook, associate program scientist for the International Space Station program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

RELATED: New weather satellite to improve severe and seven-day forecasts.

This is the 14th SpaceX commercial resupply mission to the ISS for NASA. The Dragon will carry 5,800 pounds of cargo.

The sprites, blue jets and elves that will be studied are more technically known as transient luminous events.

“The things we are looking for are newly discovered, perhaps we’ve known about them for 15 to 20 years,” said Torsten Neubert, principal investigator for ASIM. “They have been observed for a while from mountaintops and a few satellites, so we know about the physics, but we don’t know how they are generated.”

It’s believed the upward shots of light will happen more slowly than the lightning that bangs to Earth.

“On Earth, the lighting is happening so fast it’s gone before you are able to measure it, so what’s happening inside lightning, we don’t really know,” Neubert said.

Terrestrial gamma ray flashes will also be studied by ASIM. The flashes are high-energy discharges in the Earth’s atmosphere, but the origin of events is unclear.

Sprite captured by astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Aug. 10, 2015.

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Cold front could bring severe weather on Monday; expect rain Sunday

A beachgoer seeks shelter from the rain after a morning on Midland Beach in Palm Beach, May 5, 2017. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

A cold front predicted to move through South Florida on Monday could bring severe weather, and leave chilly temperatures in its wake for several days, according to the National Weather Service.

SEE: Check The Palm Beach Post radar map

The storm prediction center has placed all of South Florida under “marginal risk” of severe thunderstorms on Monday, which could produce hail, strong winds, and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning.

There is a 60 percent of rain for the day, with the storms most likely to form after 1 p.m., forecasters say. Expect mostly cloudy skies and a westward wind at 6 to 13 mph.

Temperatures on Monday afternoon will reach the low 80s, but will drop to the low 50s at night once the cold front moves through. The chance for rain on Monday night is 20 percent, with mostly cloudy skies.

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The cold front will bring low temperatures through most of next week, with afternoon highs reaching the upper 60s to low 70s. At night, it’s expected to be in the low-to-mid 50s. Temperatures will start to warm up by Friday.

Forecasters expect Sunday will be mostly cloudy, with afternoon temperatures in the low 80s. Thunderstorms could develop before 10 a.m., with a 60 percent chance of rain, and winds out of the south at 5 to 10 mph.

On Sunday night, there is a 20 percent chance of showers, and temperatures are expected to drop to the high 60s. Skies will be mostly cloudy, with a mild southwest wind.

Landmark weather satellite joins sibling after successful Cape launch

Choking fields of wildfires, violent lightning storms and ghosting meadows of dense fog will be seen as never before after a landmark satellite joined its sibling in the silence of space.

The GOES-S satellite, a tech marvel with a 16-channel camera built by the Melbourne-based Harris Corp., launched at 5:02 p.m. from Cape Canaveral.

The launch followed the heralded November 2016 trip made by sibling satellite GOES-R, now GOES-16, when it rocketed into a position where it can more closely monitor the tropics.

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GOES-S will be positioned where it can observe most of the Western Hemisphere, from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand. This includes Alaska, Hawaii and the northeastern Pacific, where many weather systems that affect the continental U.S. form.

Full disk scan from the GOES-16, which launched in November 2016.

“The GOES-S satellite will join GOES-16 and NOAA-20 as NOAA continues to upgrade its satellite fleet,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross earlier this week. “The latest GOES addition will provide further insight and unrivaled accuracy into severe weather systems and wildfires in the western United States.”

GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, and the GOES-S is the latest in a series of GOES satellites that were first launched in 1975. Geostationary means that GOES-S will orbit with the Earth, keeping pace with the planet’s spin.

SEE: Check The Palm Beach Post radar map

The GOES satellites are identified by letters until they are launched and given numbers. GOES-S will become GOES-R17.

GOES-S will scan the Earth five times faster and with four times the resolution of current satellites. Its 16 camera channels are triple the number of the satellite it is replacing.

“GOES-S will provide high-resolution imagery of the western U.S. and eastern Pacific completing our satellite coverage to further improve weather forecasts across the entire country,” said Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Southeast region scan from GOES-16.

Lockhead Martin designed and built the 6,280-pound spacecraft that will orbit 22,500 miles above the Earth. The behemoth will be carried into space by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, which has a main engine and four beefy solid rocket boosters.

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This illustration depicts NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S). NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles for the GOES-R Series program.
Credits: Lockheed Martin

2017 was 3rd warmest for U.S., second warmest for Florida

Every state in the contiguous U.S. experienced above average warmth in 2017, leading this past year to come in as third warmest on record.

According to a report released this morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2017 had an annual average temperature of 54.6 degrees. That’s 2.6 degrees above the 20th century average, but fell behind the previous record warm years of 2012 (55.3 degrees) and 2016 (54.9 degrees).

Five states had their top warmest year in records that date back to 1895, including Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Carolina.

A cold snap in mid-December knocked Florida off track for 2017 being its warmest year, pushing it to second place.

“Just the fact that every state had above average temperatures is significant and there were numerous states where it was the warmest it has ever been on record,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. “Above average temperatures spanned the nation from coast to coast.”

The report also looked at the 16 weather and climate-related disasters with losses that exceeded $1 billion.

Total costs nationwide for the disasters that ranged from tropical cyclones to wildfires is an estimated $306 billion.

That shatters the previous record of $215 billion set in 2005 that was largely attributed to hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Hurricane Irma, a March freeze in the southeast and a tornado outbreak in January 2017, were listed as disasters that cost Florida and other states $52 billion in losses. Irma accounted for $50 billion of that estimate.

“The Florida Keys were heavily impacted, as 25 percent of buildings were destroyed while 65 percent were significantly damaged,” the report says about Irma. “Severe wind and storm surge damage also occurred along the coasts of Florida and South Carolina. Jacksonville, Fla. and Charleston, SC received near-historic levels of storm surge causing significant coastal flooding.”

Deke Arndt, monitoring section chief for NOAA’s NCEI, noted that the loss data only goes back to 1980 when public and private data is most accurate.

The 16 billion-dollar events ties 2011 for the record number of billion-dollar disasters for an entire calendar year.

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Winter solstice this week, but will it mean cooler weather?

South Florida will be swaddled in spring-like heat this week despite winter’s dark debut Thursday when the sun reaches its southernmost destination of the year.

Daytime temperatures surrounding this winter solstice are forecast to climb into the low 80s and sink only to the high 60s overnight. That’s between 5 and 10 degrees above what’s normal for mid-December, and more like early April than the twilight of the year.

The National Weather Service in Miami said the patchy sunshine and warmth will continue at least through the weekend as an area of high pressure remains near Florida. Air caught in the clock-like swirl of high pressure sinks, warming and evaporating clouds as it makes its way toward Earth.

Related: There’s still time to catch some of the Geminids meteor shower.

“Nothing’s changing,” said meteorologist Barry Baxter. “It will be over us through the week, late weekend, next week.”

Baxter said forecast models are still slightly at odds for Christmas Day with one predicting a continuation of sunny skies and warmth, while another tries to pull a cool front into South Florida that would bring a few showers and push temperatures back toward normal.

“The models are splitting, but hopefully we’ll get a better handle Wednesday or Thursday for what it will be like Christmas Day,” Baxter said. “Last week, we were in a bit of a different pattern.”

The low temperature Thursday was a chill 42 degrees. That’s a whopping 18 degrees below normal, but a more wintertime feel than what is expected this Thursday when the sun will shine directly on the Tropic of Capricorn, marking the first day of winter and shortest day of the year.

West Palm Beach will see 10 hours and 27 minutes of daylight on Thursday – three hours and 22 minutes less than on the June 21 summer solstice when daylight lasted 13 hours and 49 minutes.

Image of Earth from top left during the winter solstice, spring equinox, summer solstice and fall equinox. Courtesy NASA

The exact moment of solstice on Thursday happens at 11:28 a.m.

Check The Palm Beach Post’s weather radar.

“For all of Earth’s creatures, nothing is so fundamental as the length of daylight,” said Earth and Sky Editor in Chief Deborah Byrd in her column on the solstice. “After the winter solstice, the days get longer, and the nights shorter. It’s a seasonal shift that nearly everyone notices.”

This year, the solstice corresponds with the peak of the Ursid meteor shower, which should be most robust on Thursday night, according to Earth and Sky.

The Ursid shower comes on the tail of the more robust Geminids, and both should be visible in areas with clear dark skies. Ursid meteors radiate from near the star Kochab, in the bowl of the Little Dipper.

There will be no need to bundle up to watch the Ursid shower with this week’s warm temperatures.

“We won’t see any abnormally cold weather anytime soon into the Palm Beaches,” said Dan Kottlowski, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather. “People want to go to Florida to vacation for Christmas so they can stay warm, and this holiday season will cooperate.”

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New moon makes way for Leonids meteor shower this week

The vain moon clears the nighttime stage this week, making way for the Leonids meteor shower to shine at its peak.

While known for producing robust storms of thousands of meteors per minute, the Leonids this year are expected to be more humble with a meager 10 to 15 meteors per hour.

But, unlike the 2016 Leonids peak, which had to contend with a bright lunar distraction, the moon this year will be new, leaving a blackened sky to highlight the streaks of light.

Check The Palm Beach Post radar map.

The Leonids should be most plentiful in the dark hours before dawn on Friday and Saturday. Although they appear to radiate from the powerful constellation Leo the Lion, hence the name, they can be viewed in all parts of the sky.

Old woodcuts depicting the 1833 Leonid meteor storm.

“The Leonids should be worth watching this year,” said Deborah Byrd, editor-in-chief of the online astronomy magazine Earth and Sky. “The new moon Nov. 18 guarantees a dark sky for this year’s shower.”

Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 33 years, is the source of the Leonids. It was discovered in 1865 by Ernst Tempel, and again independently in 1866 by Horace Tuttle.

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“Since both Ernst Tempel and Horace Tuttle discovered this comet, it is named for them,” NASA explains in an online overview. “The letter P indicates that Tempel-Tuttle is a periodic comet.”

Periodic comets have orbital spans of less than 200 years.

Leonid meteors viewed from space in 1997, image courtesy NASA.

As Earth crosses Tempel-Tuttle’s trail of debris, comet crumbs shoot into the atmosphere, burning up to create fiery streaks as they fall.

About every 33 years, when Tempel-Tuttle reaches its closest approach to the sun, the Leonids meteor shower becomes a storm that can produce at least 1,000 meteors per hour. Byrd writes that prolific Leonid storms were seen in 1833, 1866, 1867, 1966 and 2001.

“The Leonids are often bright meteors with a high percentage of persistent trains,” according to the International Meteor Organization. “Unfortunately, it appears that the Earth will not encounter any dense clouds of debris until 2099.”

Leonids travel at speeds 44 miles per second, and are known for creating Earth grazers – meteors that streak close to the horizon with long and colorful tails.

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Tropical Storm Rina may form today, and why there are no Q-named storms

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on tropical depression 19, which could become Rina today.

The depression, which is 900 miles east of Bermuda, is no threat to the U.S., but notable during this busy hurricane season for its potential to become the 17th name storm of the year.

Hurricane center forecasters have been watching this area for formation since Friday, but designated the system a depression this morning with 35 mph winds. It is moving east at 6 mph.

Check out The Palm Beach Post’s live storm tracking map here. 

The last time a hurricane season saw an “R”-named storm was in 2012 when Hurricane Raphael was followed by Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Tony.

Would-be Rina is not forecast to become a hurricane, but any tropical system this late in the season is noteworthy as Atlantic waters cool to temperatures not often conducive for formation.

Tropical Depression 19 could become Tropical Storm Rina today.

If you’re keeping track, the last storm this season was Tropical Storm Philippe, which hit South Florida Oct. 28.

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So what happened to the “Q”-named storm?

There isn’t one.

2017 tropical cyclone names

Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said storm names are derived from names common in the basin where they form.

In the Atlantic basin, that includes mostly names of English, Spanish and French origin.

“For the Atlantic, there are not enough names beginning with the letter Q that can be included in a six-year rotating name list and have enough replacements in case a name has to be retired,” Feltgen said. “The same is true for the letters U, X, Y and Z.”

Here is the rotating list of names used by the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane names are selected by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The group also makes the annual decision on which names will be removed from the rotation based on the amount of destruction wrought.

The 2017 season has a hefty pool of contenders for deletion, including Harvey, Irma and Maria.

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