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Rare subtropical December storm may form in Atlantic for first time in nearly a decade

If the system develops, it'll be the first December named storm in nine years and just the 11th December named storm on record since 1950. 
NOAA satellite image showing a storm over the Atlantic.
NOAA satellite image showing a storm over the Atlantic.NOAA

A rare subtropical December storm could form in the Atlantic this week, marking the first in nearly a decade.

Although the Atlantic hurricane season ended Nov. 30, an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms in the central tropical Atlantic have a 40% chance of developing into a subtropical storm in two days, and a 50% chance in five days. 

The last time there was a December subtropical storm was nine years ago in 2013. This would be just the 11th December named storm on record since 1950. 

The next name on the list for a storm is Owen, following Hurricane Nicole which pummeled the east coast of Florida last month.

The system poses no threat to land as the large area of low pressure is located about 800 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean over open water, according to the National Hurricane Center

However, by Thursday night or Friday, as the system moves northeastward over cooler waters, its development will be limited, per the weather agency. 

A subtropical storm has a maximum sustained surface wind speed of 39 mph, according to the weather agency. Such storms have a well-defined center and very heavy thunderstorms and have a radius of maximum winds relatively far from the center, usually greater than 60 nautical miles.