You may have missed it but the broad low pressure area that was south of the southern New England coast was upgraded to a sub-tropical storm and given the name of Melissa.There was no doubt that Sub-Tropical Storm Melissa was a strong storm with the broad area of tropical storm force and even the chance of category one Hurricane force winds near the center of the low. According to the National Hurricane Center(NHC), Melissa did reach Tropical storm. Looking at the satellite imagery, it could have gone either way.
The National Hurricane Center has been using creative measures to identify storms in recent years. Sub tropical Storms and Potential Tropical cyclone and that is well well and good. I like the idea of bringing these storms to the publics attention. However must they give these non-tropical cyclones names? What is the harm in keeping a subtropical low classified with a number until the sub-tropical low actually develops clear tropical storm characteristic before a name is issued?
Are they trying to make sure the earlier predictions for total named storms are well within their predicted levels? Back in May the NHC predicted 9-13 named storms this year. In August, the numbers were increased to 10-17. Melissa is be the 13th named storm this year. With about 6-7 weeks of the Hurricane season left, the chances of future named systems decreases each day we don't have one. Is it for insurance purposes? Melissa was well out to sea and not going to affect any land areas. It was going to affect ships at sea, no doubt, but chances are the Captains of these vessels were well aware of the stalled low that eventually become sub-tropical Melissa and its eventual movement across the North Atlantic.
The good thing is that Sub-Tropical Storm or Tropical Storm Melissa has been moving eastward and weakening and should become post tropical on Monday/14th.