The year could not end without offering up one more Atlantic tropical cyclone, this time Tropical Storm Zeta:
Zeta _ the 27th named storm of the season and the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet _ was located about 1,065 miles southwest of the Azores, the National Hurricane Center reported at 4 p.m. EST Friday. Zeta had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving northwest near 7 mph.
Since record keeping began in 1851, only one other named storm has formed as late as Zeta, said Greg Romano, a National Weather Service spokesman. Tropical Storm Alice developed Dec. 30, 1954, and later became a hurricane before dissipating Jan. 5. Tropical storms develop when their winds exceed 39 mph, and hurricanes form when their winds exceed 74 mph.