Peak hurricane season may be officially over, and Florida has had its fill this year.
But forecasters say a rare subtropical storm in December could be forming in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in nearly a decade.
The National Hurricane Center issued a special tropical weather outlook Monday as a low-pressure system is “producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms” along the central Atlantic Ocean.
As of 8:45 a.m, ET, the system is located about 800 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean.
According to the NHC, by Thursday night or Friday, the low will move northeastward over cooler waters and interact with a mid-latitude trough, limiting subtropical or tropical development of the system.
What does this all mean?
Possibly an organized tropical depression or a subtropical storm, which according to the National Weather Service “typically has a large, cloud-free center of circulation, with very heavy thunderstorm activity in a band removed at least 100 miles from the center” and could also bring strong winds.
“This tropical system is expected to be large, spanning hundreds of miles. As a result, wind and rough seas can extend well away from the center of the storm,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Adam Douty.
The potential arrival of Owen, the next name on the list, comes after the Atlantic had just gotten over Hurricane Nicole, a late deadly storm that became a Category I and led to evacuation orders along Florida’s east coast, in November.
The gulf coast of Florida is still recovering from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on September 28, 2022. Landfall occurred along the southwestern coast of Florida near Cayo Costa around 3:05 pm EDT with winds near 150 mph, making Ian a high-end Category 4 hurricane.
On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis were joined by Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie to announce that up to $25 million in state funding to purchase building materials and up to $35.2 million in generous donations to the Florida Disaster Fund will be used to allow verified nonprofit organizations to conduct critical temporary repairs on homes damaged by Hurricane Ian.
Funds from the Florida Disaster Fund will also address unmet needs such as transportation, food assistance, housing aid, clothing, and household goods.