WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

The South Does it Again...

Posted March 20, 2010

Not in the sense of the old Charlie Daniels Band song, here we're talking "South Atlantic" where for the second time in recent memory a reasonably well-documented tropical cyclone managed to reach "named storm" intensity off the South American coast, in this case near Brazil and Argentina. Because tropical storms and hurricanes are so rare in that basin, there is no warning and tracking system in place, and there is no list of names as in other parts of the world where they are more common and more of a threat. So, the system that formed back on March 8th and became extratropical again by March 13th lacks an official World Meteorological Organization-sanctioned name. Informally, some of the meteorological community in Brazil named it "Tropical Storm Anita." It made no landfall and did not produce any known damage. The image posted here is from March 11th, when the storm was east of Argentine and southeast of Brazil.

To see a few other images and more discussion of the storm, see the link I've included to a collection of posts from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

You might recall that back in March 2004, there was another unofficially named storm called "Catarina," that remains the only known hurricane to have developed in that area. Typically, vertical wind shear remains too strong across the South Atlantic basin during the southern summer and fall to allow tropical disturbances to become organized. In addition, there is not a favorable breeding ground in the form of the intertropical convergence zone, and while sea surface temperatures there can marginally support tropical systems, they tend to run a little cooler than in the North Atlantic.

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