It was only for the second time since the mid-1950s that meteorologists came up with pre-prepared names for cyclones over the Atlantic Ocean, and therefore had to resort to naming storms according to the Greek alphabet. The new subtropical storm, which formed over the Eastern Atlantic on Friday, is called Alpha.
According to the AP, the US authorities also announced that storm Sally, which hit the southern part of the USA a few days ago, claimed its second victim. According to the coroner of the Baldwin County in the state of Alabama, a man was involved in clearing the aftermath of the Sally storm, which hit the southern state on Wednesday, bringing with it record rains and floods. Other deaths were reported by authorities as early as Wednesday, when Sally was in a hurricane force. In Florida, however, a man who kayaked on a stormy day is missing.
Tropical storm Wilfred formed over the Atlantic on Friday, which, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), is located southwest of Cape Verde. It became the 21st cyclone of this year’s Atlantic season, accompanied by a wind speed of at least 63 kilometers per hour, and therefore earned its own name.
However, meteorologists thus exhausted the names prepared in advance for this year, and another system, which was formed west of Portugal, had to be named after the first letter of the Greek alphabet, ie Alpha, according to internationally established rules.
A similar move has taken place only once so far, during the devastating 2005 hurricane season, during which Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, for example. Meteorologists then used a total of six letters of the Greek alphabet, while storms Beta and Epsilon reached hurricane levels.
The current Alfa is currently located about 120 kilometers north of Lisbon and is accompanied by a wind speed of 85 kilometers per hour. However, it is forecast that it will probably disappear soon.
This year’s hurricane season is exceptionally active and, according to preliminary indicators, could surpass the record year 2005. At that time, the storm named after W did not appear until October 8, and the former Alfa storm formed less than two weeks later.