MIAMI - Zeta again strengthened into a tropical storm Thursday and could break the record for the storm lasting the longest into January since record keeping began in 1851.
Zeta, the 27th and final named storm in a tumultuous, record-breaking hurricane season that officially ended more than a month ago, had sustained winds near 40 mph at 10 a.m., up from 35 mph earlier in the day, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Winds had reached 65 mph on Wednesday.
Zeta posed no threat to land.
Its first incarnation as a tropical storm lasted from Dec. 30 to around 4 a.m. Thursday. Its second stint as a tropical storm was not expected to last more than a day, because another weather system is likely to "decapitate" it with strong wind shear, hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said.
"This thing has been very tenacious," he said. "It's probably its last gasp."
Zeta is only the second Atlantic storm in recorded history to survive into January, joining Hurricane Alice in 1955. After Zeta dissipates, Stewart said, forecasters will review records to determine whether it or Alice lasted longest into January.
Weird weird weather over the past decade....