What is a subtropical storm vs. a tropical storm?

Hawaii forecasters watching Tropical Storm Lane

It will be a subtropical storm and it would be given the next name on the 2018 Atlantic Tropical Season list, which is Ernesto.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 miles per hour with higher gusts, and Lane is forecast to become a hurricane on Friday and could become a major hurricane on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center says.

This general motion, with a slight increase in speed, is expected later Wednesday.

A subtropical storm is similar to a tropical storm in that it develops over the open ocean waters and, like a tropical storm, it has winds of at least 39 miles per hour. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 160 miles from the center.

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Lane is forecast to become a hurricane on Friday and could become a major hurricane on Saturday.

Ernesto will spend the next day over marginally warm sea surface temperatures and in a low-shear environment - which will lead to some strengthening.

You may recall that in 2017, what was then Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia was moving through the northeast Atlantic - toward Ireland. But forecasters are urging Hawaii residents to watch Lane closely as it marches closer to the Central Pacific. The subtropical ridge to the north of Lane is forecast to weaken slightly over the next few days, which will likely steer the cyclone to the west or west-northwest throughout the period.

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