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Tropical Storm Peter was a short-lived tropical storm that developed outside of the typical Atlantic hurricane season. Forming from an extratropical storm, Peter was initially a subtropical storm with minimal convection near its center. As it moved towards warmer waters, the system organized, and transitioned into a tropical cyclone on December 9. With the development of an eye feature, Peter approached hurricane status to reach peak winds of 70 mph (110 km/h), though upper level shear and cooler waters quickly weakened the storm. Peter became extratropical on December 11, and was absorbed by a cold front shortly thereafter.
For several days, tropical cyclone prediction models anticipated the development of a gale over the eastern Atlantic Ocean in early December 2003. By December 5, an extratropical cyclone had developed and was moving southward, isolated from the Westerlies. An area of convection developed near the center, and the system organized into a subtropical storm late on December 7, about 835 miles (1340 km) south-southwest of the Azores. The system moved southwestward over warmer waters, and deep convection continued to develop and concentrate near the center. Banding features also increased, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) declared the system Tropical Storm Peter on December 9 about 980 miles (1580 km) northwest of the Cape Verde islands.
Initially, the NHC did not anticipate any strengthening; however, an eye feature quickly developed within the convection, and the storm strengthened to reach peak winds of 70 mph (110 km/h) late on December 9. Usually the presence of an eye feature and Dvorak classifications of 75 mph (120 km/h) would indicate a tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity, but the eye feature was short-lived, and Peter remained a tropical storm. The storm turned northward ahead of the same frontal system that absorbed Tropical Storm Odette, and the combination of strong upper-level winds and cooler water temperatures caused quick weakening. By December 10, Peter degenerated into a tropical depression consisting of a tight low-level circulation of low clouds. As the system turned to the northeast over progressively cooler waters, Peter transitioned into an extratropical depression on December 11, and shortly thereafter was absorbed by the approaching cold front.
Impact and records
Peter remained over the open Atlantic Ocean for its entire lifetime, and did not affect land. With the development of tropical storms Peter and Odette, the 2003 season became the first year since 1887 that two storms developed in the month of December. The development of Peter marked the 2003 season being the sixth most active on record. Peter is one of only four Atlantic hurricane seasons to reach the "P" name since naming began in 1950.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Avila (2003). "Tropical Storm Peter Tropical Cyclone Report". NHC. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2003peter.shtml. Retrieved 2006-10-12.
- ↑ Avila (2003). "Tropical Storm Peter Discussion One". NHC. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2003/dis/al212003.discus.001.shtml?. Retrieved 2006-10-12.
- ↑ Hurricane Research Division (2006). "Hurdat Data for Tropical Cyclones 1851-2005". NOAA. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tracks1851to2005_atl.txt. Retrieved 2006-10-11.