Tropical Storm Alpha
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Tropical Storm Alpha

April 23, 2013
While Hurricane Wilma was bringing high winds and rain to western Cuba, newly formed Tropical Storm Alpha was raining on eastern Cuba and the island of Hispaniola. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this image at 1:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on October 23, 2005. At this time, Alpha had developed into a tropical storm and was weakening back into a less-powerful tropical depression, even though some of the spiral structure characteristic of tropical storms can be seen in this image. Sustained winds in the storm ran as high as 55 kilometers per hour (35 miles per hour), and the storm brought substantial rains to the area. This heavy rain was responsible for three deaths reported in Haiti, in which individuals were drowned when flash flooding overwhelmed them. Alpha is the 22nd named storm of the 2005 hurricane season, exhausting the entire alphabetical list of names chosen by the National Hurricane Center. (Letters for which there are only a few possible names, such as “X” and “Q”, are not used in the list of names). The naming system moves on to naming storms by letters of the greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, and so on). This season is the first time this part of the naming system has been called into use. Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.

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