Hurricane Vince was so rare, it even confused officials

·2 min read
Hurricane Vince was so rare, it even confused officials
Hurricane Vince was so rare, it even confused officials

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


Hurricane Vince was an Atlantic storm that lasted from Oct. 8 - 11, 2005. Vince was rare because it organized in the far eastern area of the ocean. It developed into a hurricane farther east than any other storm on record.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Vince was also the first tropical storm to make landfall on the Iberian Peninsula.

The hurricane developed as a subtropical storm 930 km southeast of Lajes in the Azores on Oct. 8. At the time the water temperature was too cool, so the NHC didn't name the system.

On Oct. 9, the system organized into a tropical storm. It was near Madeira, Portugal, when it finally received its name.

Hurricane Vince on 2005-10-09, 1200
Hurricane Vince on 2005-10-09, 1200

"Hurricane Vince on 9 Oct., northwest of the Madeira Islands. For comparison, the main island of the Madeiras (the largest island pictured) is approximately 57 km long." Courtesy of Wolke~commonswiki/Wikipedia

Officials weren't sure whether Vince was tropical or subtropical, but later analysis showed that it was a tropical storm before it was named.

The storm continued to organize and strengthen, reaching its peak with 120 km/h winds. Regardless of internal conflicts and the hurricane's rare nature, the NHC forecasters concluded that "if it looks like a hurricane, it probably is, despite its environment and unusual location."

When Vince formed, it was the first time that a 21st sub/tropical storm had ever developed within an Atlantic hurricane season. It broke the record set in 1933 when 20 storms formed within the Atlantic season.

It was only until the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season when another V name was required for a tropical storm.

To learn more about Hurricane Vince, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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