‘Zombie storm’: Paulette comes back to life as tropical storm

What are Tropical Storms?

It’s 2020, so nothing should be a surprise. Not even a zombie tropical storm.

The National Weather Service coined the phrase in a tweet Tuesday, referring to Paulette, which regained tropical storm status.

The 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season has already been active, with the National Hurricane Center resorting to naming storms with Greek letters for only the second time since 1953. Paulette dissipated in the Atlantic Ocean last week, but the remnants of showers reorganized Monday night.

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She’s back.

“Paulette expected to become post-tropical later tonight or Wednesday morning -- again,” the National Hurricane Center reported on its website Tuesday evening.

Paulette formed earlier this month as one of five active tropical systems in the Atlantic. It was only the second time in history that five named storms had existed simultaneously in the Atlantic basin. From Sept. 11-14, 1971, storms named Edith, Fern, Ginger, Heidi and Irene swirled in the Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center has already issued 43 advisories since the storm formed. As a hurricane, Paulette made landfall as a Category 1 storm and strengthened to a Category 2 on Sept. 14, CNN reported. The storm then lost its punch and was downgraded to a post-tropical low-pressure system.

Paulette then regained strength Monday about 300 miles off the coast of the Azores islands.

It is not the first time a tropical system has had Lazarus-like qualities. Hurricane Ivan, one of the major hurricanes of 2004, hit the Pensacola, Florida, area as a Category 3 storm. The storm formed Sept. 2 and reached Category 4 status as it brushed past Jamaica, then grew to a Category 5 as it passed the western tip of Cuba. After hitting the Florida Panhandle, Ivan lost its tropical characteristics. The storm moved eastward into the Atlantic Ocean and looped back to cross Florida and re-enter the Gulf as a regenerated storm. Ivan finally dissipated on Sept. 25, 2004.

The system that had been Paulette was not renamed Gamma because meteorologists were still able to track the center of the storm, CNN reported.

Paulette’s rejuvenation is expected to be short-lived. The National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to become “a remnant low” by Wednesday morning.

That should be the end of Paulette. We think.