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Hurricane Season 2005 Breaks All Records
­ Alpha Forms

Alpha Breaks Records

The 2005 Hurricane Season will go down in the meteorological history books as having the most named tropical cyclones in known history. Tropical depression number 25 formed on October 22 and strengthened into the twenty-second named tropical storm of the year. Never before has there been 22 named tropical cyclones.

Tropical Storm Alpha's track Image to right: This shows Tropical Storm Alpha's predicted track for the next three days. This display shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC's forecast intensity for that time. Credit: NHC/NOAA

Three of the tropical cyclones that formed during the 2005 never reached maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, which is what it takes to get a name. The 2005 Tropical cyclone name list for the Atlantic Ocean basin contained 21 names, because some of the letters such as X, Y, and Z don’t have enough names to fill a 6 year list, so they’re skipped each year. Now that the list has run out, the National Hurricane Center is using letters in the Greek alphabet.

At 11 p.m. EDT on Saturday, October 22, 2005, the center of Tropical Storm Alpha was located near latitude 17.7 north and longitude 70.1 west, or about 55 miles (90 km) south-southwest of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Alpha is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph. Forecasters expect this motion to continue, and it will take Alpha inland in the Dominican Republic early Sunday morning. After Alpha makes landfall, its expected to turn northward.

Alpha’s maximum sustained winds are now near 50 mph (85 km/hr) with higher gusts, and forecasters say that some strengthening is possible before it makes landfall. Alpha’s minimum central pressure is 998 millibars. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the entire coastlines of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks and Caicos and for the southeastern Bahamas.

The storm is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 Inches over much of Hispaniola with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches over mountainous terrain. These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

For the latest advisories on tropical cyclones, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at:

Rob Gutro
Goddard Space Flight Center