Just for fun, read my post from a few days ago about the difference between Tropical and Extratropical, then read the post below from AccuWeather…
By Grace Muller, AccuWeather.com
Trees down, power out and flooding in the streets. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think a tropical storm had whipped through Florida Sunday night. It didn’t. But no, wait, really?
Around the web, people couldn’t believe that the National Hurricane Center didn’t classify the wild winds and rain as a tropical storm.
“Dang, you’d think a tropical storm went through Florida with the crazy wind and rain we had,” Twitter user Emmaadiva tweeted. “There are trees down everywhere and new lakes.” Twitter user pondlizard agreed. “I don’t care what the weatherman says, that was a tropical storm that come across Florida.”
Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center (NHC), stuck to his position, saying the storm lacked defining characteristics of a tropical storm.
In comparison to true tropical storms, “this thing is more akin to these lows that go up and down the East Coast,” Feltgen said.
“It was never warm core,” the NHC spokesman said. “There was never organized convection around a low-level center at the surface. [The] strongest winds were well removed from the center. That is not a tropical cyclone.”
AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist and Tropical Expert Dan Kottlowski agrees with the National Hurricane Center’s call that the rainstorm that pounded Florida over the weekend wasn’t a tropical storm. “The storm had more characteristics of a non-tropical storm,” Kottlowski said.
Here’s why those characteristics are key:
1. The storm didn’t have a warm core
A “warm core” happens with the center of the storm is warmer than the air around it. Tropical storms thrive off of warm air. In a non-tropical storm, or low pressure system, the core of the storm is colder than the air around it.
2. The storm didn’t have rain around the center
A characteristic of an organized tropical storm is that rain or thunderstorms surround the warm core at the center of the storm. The radar never showed precipitation to the southeast or southwest of the storm’s center.
3. The storm spins in a circle or pattern
Kottlowski said the radar hasn’t rotary circulation. The storm is open on the south side.
For people caught surprised by the amount of damage caused by an unnamed storm, Feltgen said that a named storm is “not necessarily more dangerous” than an unnamed storm. The NHC names storms for “easy to recall, easy to recognize identification,” not to indicate strength. Feltgen said that the local NHC offices issued dozens of storm and tornado warnings during the storm.