Tropical Storm Vince weakened but did not break up over the cooler water of the far eastern Atlantic, and was expected to make landfall along the southern coast of Portugal or southwestern Spain on Tuesday.
The former Category 1 hurricane weakened to a tropical storm with top sustained winds near 45 mph in the evening, down from 60 mph earlier in the day. Vince was the 11th hurricane of the season, and the 20th named storm.
Forecasters said the storm should make landfall early Tuesday.
“It’s a very rare tropical cyclone making landfall in the Iberian Peninsula,” said Stacy Stewart, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The storm had been expected to dissipate into a frontal system by Monday night in cooler waters, forecasters said.
At 11 p.m. EDT, Vince was centered about 55 miles south-southwest of Cabo De Sao Vicente or the southwestern tip of Portugal. It was moving east-northeast at about 23 mph.
Vince formed Sunday between the Azores and the Canary Islands in waters that are up to 7 degrees cooler than the 80 degrees typically needed for a tropical storm, said Chris Sisko, a meteorologist at the hurricane center.
Only one other Atlantic season had more tropical storms and hurricanes since record keeping began in 1851 — 1933, when there were 21. The most hurricanes to form in a season were 12 in 1969.
The six-month season ends Nov. 30. While conditions for hurricane development get less favorable late in the season, about every other year a hurricane forms in November, hurricane specialist Richard Knabb said.
“People should be aware that the hurricane season doesn’t end till November and we could get more activity,” Knabb said.
Wilma is the only name left for storms this season. After that, storms are named after letters in the Greek alphabet — which has never happened in more than 50 years of regularly naming storms.
This season has been one of the deadliest and costliest in the U.S. in the last century. Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,100 people on the Gulf Coast and is expected to cause more than $34 billion in insured losses.