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Wanda becomes 21st named storm of Atlantic hurricane season

Minor impacts possible in shipping lanes

The system that flooded parts of the Northeast on Friday moved far into the Atlantic over the weekend. By Saturday night, it became Subtropical Storm Wanda, the 21st named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Based on where it is located and where it is forecast to go, Wanda will not be a direct threat to anyone on land. However, minor impacts on shipping lanes are possible and container ship captains will have to steer clear of the storm.

Wanda was still swirling around the north-central Atlantic as of early Monday morning, producing sustained winds of 50 mph, with higher gusts. The storm was centered about 1,300 miles east of Bermuda, approximately 1,800 miles of the U.S. East Coast, heading toward the southeast at just 7 mph. The National Hurricane Center is expecting a turn toward the northeast by Monday night, followed by a turn toward the north on Tuesday or Tuesday night.

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events. Subtropical Storm Wanda, 5 a.m. ET, Nov. 1, 2021. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

Little change in strength is likely Monday as Wanda meanders over the north-central Atlantic. However, Wanda could briefly become a tropical storm on Tuesday but will not likely intensify into a hurricane at any point. 

Subtropical storms are generally less dense and more spread out than tropical storms. They typically have large, cloud-free centers of circulation, with very heavy thunderstorm activity in a band located at least 100 miles from the center. Heavy thunderstorm activity in a tropical storm is mostly focused around the center, or eye wall.

The difference between a subtropical storm and a tropical storm is not that important as far as the winds they can generate, but tropical storms generate more rain. There is no such thing as a subtropical hurricane. If a subtropical storm intensifies enough to produce hurricane-force winds, then it must have become fully tropical.

Wanda is last on the primary list of Atlantic storm names this year, and the season officially ends Nov. 30. If another subtropical storm or tropical storm develops before the end of the season or in December, it will be called Adria, the first name on the alternate list.

Other notable weather this week

Snow continues to fall Monday in portions of the Plains, where a few inches already piled up early in the morning. An additional 2 to 4 inches are likely from southeastern Wyoming to central and southern Nebraska. This includes Wheatland and Cheyenne, Wyoming, as well as Scottsbluff, North Platte and Kearney, Nebraska. A winter weather advisory remains posted for these areas until early Monday afternoon.

Major lane of concern

• Interstate 80 from Kearney to Cheyenne.

Rain, sleet and snow will develop Tuesday and Wednesday in parts of the Rockies and central Plains, with showers and thunderstorms in the southern Plains. A few storms could produce severe winds, large hail or isolated tornadoes, but a widespread severe weather outbreak is unlikely. At the same time, areas of scattered rain and snow will move across sections of the Great Lakes and Northeast.

Heavy rain could hit the Pacific Northwest on Thursday and Friday, with showers and thunderstorms across the Gulf Coast and Southeast on the same days.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.