Fall Nor’easter Transitions to Sub-Tropical Storm Melissa

The nor’easter that has been battering the northeast coast of the US for several days transitioned to Sub-Tropical Storm Melissa on Friday. It is now the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Lingering offshore since Wednesday, states from the mid-Atlantic to New England have been feeling its impacts in the form of strong winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding. On Friday, its sustained winds were measured up to 60 mph.

Classified as subtropical, Melissa is a hybrid between a tropical storm and a regular low-pressure system. A tropical system is fueled by the latent heat released by the evaporation of ocean water while a regular storm is powered by the temperature contrast between air masses. Hybrids are able to access both energy sources.

The National Hurricane Center expects Melissa to become post-tropical and move further out to sea over the weekend.

Subtropical Storm Melissa swirling off the coast of New England. Credit: NOAA

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.