Freak storm could become April's first 'tropical'

April 23, 1992|By Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A freak subtropical storm is chugging toward Bermuda, getting a five-week jump on the official start of the hurricane season.

If the storm develops into a tropical storm today, it could become the first one recorded in April, says Bob Sheets, director of the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane season runs June 1 to Nov. 30.

The oddball storm's 50-mph winds are strong enough to rank it as a tropical storm, but the storm's center is not organized tightly enough for it to be considered "tropical."

"It's definitely an unusual little quirk," says Dean Churchill, a University of Miami meteorology professor. "It sounds like a little bit of an odd duck of a storm."

"It does have some potential to possibly threaten Bermuda, but at this stage we don't think it will," Mr. Sheets says.

It is not a tropical storm, the type that forms in the summer. And it is not an extratropical storm -- like the one that whipped the U.S. East Coast last Halloween. It is a mixture, meteorologists say.

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