MIAMI – Less than a day after making the storm season the second-busiest on record, the former Hurricane Vince (search) began to break up Monday over the cooler waters of the far eastern Atlantic, forecasters said.
Vince weakened to a tropical storm, with top sustained wind near 45 mph at 11 a.m., down from 60 mph earlier in the day, the National Hurricane Center (search) said.
It was centered about 740 miles east-southeast of the Azores and about 175 miles northeast of the Madeira Islands (search). It was moving east at about 21 mph, according to the hurricane center.
Forecasters said it was moving toward Portugal and Spain, but likely would not make landfall. Vince's eye had disintegrated, and the storm was expected to dissipate within 24 hours, forecasters said. Wind shear also was tearing Vince apart.
Vince became the 11th hurricane of the season on Sunday between the Azores and the Canary Islands in waters that are up to 7 degrees cooler than the 80 degrees typically needed for a tropical storm, said Chris Sisko, a meteorologist at the hurricane center.
Vince, the season's 20th named storm, had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, slightly above minimal strength for a hurricane.
Only one other Atlantic season had more tropical storms and hurricanes since record keeping began in 1851 — 1933, when there were 21. The most hurricanes to form in a season were 12 in 1969.
The six-month season ends Nov. 30. While conditions for hurricane development get less favorable late in the season, about every other year a hurricane forms in November, hurricane specialist Richard Knabb said.
"People should be aware that the hurricane season doesn't end till November and we could get more activity," Knabb said.
Wilma is the only name left for storms this season. After that, storms are named after letters in the Greek alphabet — which has never happened in more than 50 years of regularly naming storms.
This season has been one of the deadliest and costliest in the U.S. in the last century. Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,100 people on the Gulf Coast and is expected to cause more than $34 billion in insured losses.