Gaston Becomes a Remnant Low

Most eyes are currently on Hurricane Earl as it begins impacting the mid-Atlantic coast.  However, given that this blog is primarily written for South Florida readers, I’ll answer the question “What is a remnant low?” that several people have asked in relation to former Tropical Storm Gaston.

NOAA GOES image from 5:45 pm EDT September 2, 2010

 The above satellite image shows Hurricane Earl off the North Carolina coast, Tropical Storm Earl between Puerto Rico and Bermuda, and the remnant low that was previously Tropical Storm/Tropical Depression Gaston centered about 1500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.  The National Hurricane Center (NHC) recently wrote the last advisory saying that Gaston had weakened and was now classified a “Remnant Low.”

The NHC definition of a remnant low is “A post-tropical cyclone that no longer possesses the convective organization required of a tropical cyclone…and has maximum sustained winds of less than 34 knots. The term is most commonly applied to the nearly deep-convection-free swirls of stratocumulus in the eastern North Pacific.”

The satellite imagery clearly indicates that the thunderstorm activity has mostly dissipated in association with Gaston.

5-day NHC forecast on remnant low issued at 5:00 pm EDT September 2, 2010

Although the deep convection has mostly dissipated with what was previously Gaston, the NHC still issued a 5-day forecast.  It should be noted that NHC stated “This is the last public advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center on Gaston…UNLESS REGENERATION OCCURS.”   Some of the global models continue to indicate that this system could restrengthen as it gets closer to the Caribbean. 

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