Subtropical Storm Otto Forms in the Atlantic, Impacts One Ship

October 6, 2010
(6:06 p.m. EDT) -- Subtropical Storm Otto formed in the Atlantic today, and already is impacting cruise ships, preventing Celebrity Solstice from calling in St. Maarten tomorrow. A subtropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, is a non-frontal low pressure that shares characteristics of tropical and extratropical cyclones and generally has a broad zone of winds located farther from its center than a tropical storm would have.

According to the NHC's 5 p.m. EDT update, Otto is located 215 miles northeast of Grand Turk and 665 miles south-southwest of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds have reached 60 miles per hour, and the storm is moving toward the north, with a turn to the northeast predicted for Thursday. Otto could become a tropical storm by Thursday and possibly a hurricane by Thursday night or Friday morning.

Forecasters are predicting an active end to 2010's hurricane season. To find out what to expect, read our article, It May Be October -- but Hurricane Season Ain't Over Yet.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Due to the storm, Celebrity Solstice is unable to dock in St. Maarten on Thursday. Instead, the ship will spend tomorrow at sea and will add a call in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Friday before returning to Fort Lauderdale as scheduled on Sunday.

Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports

NHC predictions show Subtropical Storm Otto staying to the east of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, and heading into the Atlantic, away from land. Still, heavy rainfall is likely over the next day or two in the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Stay tuned.

--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor