November 22, 2019

Tropical Storm Sebastien Keeps Fighting The Odds To Survive In The Atlantic Ocean

Tropical Storm Sebastien is still trucking along in the central Atlantic Ocean with maximum sustained winds of 65 MPH. Forecasters expected the storm to absorb into a cold front by Thursday morning, didn't! It kept going, and going, and going. Thankfully, it's safe to gawk and laugh at the relative tenacity of this storm—it's far out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and it poses no threat to land.

Sebastien formed on Tuesday morning from a tropical disturbance that found a pocket of favorable conditions a few hundred miles northeast of the Caribbean Sea. As I documented over at Forbes early Wednesday morning, the storm was originally expected to be a short-lived blip that just padded the 2019 hurricane season's numbers.

But it persisted.

We're now in day 4 of Tropical Storm Sebastien's joyride over the central Atlantic. It looked like the storm was going to absorb into a cold front moving across the western Atlantic Ocean and that would be that. What happened instead, however, is that Sebastien both slowed down and managed to stay ahead of the encroaching cold front, keeping it in a favorable environment much longer than expected.

The good folks at the NHC keep expressing their astonishment at the storm's persistence. The advisory headlines from Friday evening read "more of the same from Sebastien" and "tenacious Sebastien does not know it's November and refuses to weaken."

Tropical Storm Sebastien is still a fairly lopsided storm. Wind shear has kept all of its thunderstorm activity on northeastern side of the center of circulation, leaving a well-defined but totally naked surface swirl visible on satellite imagery.

The storm's luck will run out soon. Sebastien is running out of warm water to fuel its thunderstorms, and we'll eventually see the thunderstorms weaken enough that wind shear rips them away from the center of circulation, killing the storm once and for all. The NHC's forecast calls for Sebastien to weaken this weekend and finally dissipate on Sunday.

[Top Image: NOAA]

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I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. I contribute to The Weather Network as a digital writer, and I've written for Forbes, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, Popular Science, Mental Floss, and Gawker's The Vane. My latest book, The Skies Above, is now available. My first book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, arrived in October 2015.