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Nadine the Zombie: This Tropical Storm Just Won't Die

An image of Tropical Storm Nadine obscured by ice on the camera of NASA's Global Hawk.
An image of Tropical Storm Nadine obscured by ice on the camera of NASA's Global Hawk. (Image credit: NASA)

Nadine has risen from the dead like some kind of meteorological zombie. 

Indeed, the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center begins this way: "Pesky Nadine forecast to turn southward."

The irrepressible storm, swirling over the eastern reaches of the Atlantic Ocean, seemingly cannot be killed, despite the storm-smothering conditions it has encountered.

Forecasters issued the first advisory for the storm on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Three days later, at 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, the storm became the eighth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Exactly one week later, at 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, forecasters at the NHC declared that Tropical Storm Nadine was no more.

Yet forecasters suspected they'd not seen the last of Nadine. In the Friday advisory, they wrote, "Regeneration possible in a couple of days." 

And, lo, the storm was not dead. Although Nadine had lost the signature thunderstorms required for classification as a tropical storm, it still possessed strong, 60-mph (95-kph) winds that extended nearly 300 miles (480 kilometers) from its center.

On Sunday morning, Tropical Storm Nadine was back.

From Friday into Saturday, the storm had crossed into unfavorable territory, said Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist at the NHC, and the man who wrote the prescient Friday advisory.

The storm had moved over ocean waters cooler than 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), and was ingesting colder, drier air — two conditions that can deprive a storm of its energy. "As a result it started to lose its thunderstorm activity," Beven told OurAmazingPlanet.

But by Sunday, the storm's persistent and vigorous winds had moved south.

"That brought it over warmer water and moved it away from the colder air," Beven said. "This allowed the thunderstorm activity to redevelop near the center, so we judged it to have gained the characteristic of a tropical storm."

It's not particularly unusual for a storm to dissipate and then come back to life, Beven said, yet he did note that Nadine did so at an unusually high latitude.

The resurrected, relentless storm shows no signs of weakening, Beven said. "We are forecasting a little bit of strengthening is possible in three or four days," he said.

So the Atlantic will have to put up with Nadine for a little while longer.

Reach Andrea Mustain at amustain@techmedianetwork.com, or follow her on Twitter @AndreaMustainFollow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter @OAPlanet. We're also on Facebook & Google+

Andrea Mustain was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012. She holds a B.S. degree from Northwestern University and an M.S. degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia University.