2011 season suddenly gains a hurricane and a storm

Sun Sentinel

Just like that, the 2011 Atlantic season has become one of the top three busiest on record, as forecasters have added a hurricane and a tropical storm to the list of this year’s systems.

Thanks to a reanalysis of storms that already have formed this year, the National Hurricane Center has upgraded Tropical Storm Nate to a hurricane. The system emerged in Bay of Campeche and hit Mexico on Sept. 11.

The center also has upgraded a short-lived disturbance, which formed between Bermuda and Nova Scotia in early September, to a tropical storm. That system will remain unnamed, Gerry Bell, lead hurricane forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

Forecasters at the hurricane center routinely restudy storm data to ensure their initial estimates of a system's strength and status are correct.

In perhaps the most high-profile instance, the center upgraded Hurricane Andrew from a Category 4 to a Category 5 in August 2002. That was 10 years after the system walloped south Miami-Dade County in August 1992.

With the additional system, 2011 now has seen 19 storms, tying it with 2010, 1995 and 1887 as the third busiest season on record. Nate brings the number of hurricanes to seven this year.

Meanwhile, a disturbance in the central Atlantic was given a high chance of growing into a subtropical storm within the next day or two. If so, it would be named Tammy.

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