Vince, the 20th named tropical storm in the Atlantic this year, is the first storm of its type to reach Spain in recorded history, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.
"Vince is the first tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in Spain," the NHC, a government body, said in a bulletin.
"The historical record shows no tropical cyclone ever making landfall on the Iberian peninsula," added NHC meterologist James Franklin.
Tropical Storm Vince briefly was upgraded to hurricane status Sunday, making it the 11th hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic season, before it lost steam as it churned toward Portugal's Madeira islands.
In a sign of this year's busy storm season, Vince has the distinction of being the first storm in the Atlantic Basin to begin with the letter "V" since storms began acquiring names in 1953, the NHC said.
The US forecasters said that Vince was now a tropical storm, packing winds of 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour and little rain.
Vince formed Sunday between the Azores and Canary islands, in an area where water temperatures are between 73 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23-24 degrees Celsius), cooler than the ideal storm-generating temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This latitude usually spawns subtropical storms, which are not fed by warm water and humidity but by clashing horizontal layers of cold and hot air in the upper atmosphere.
The emergence of Vince made this year's hurricane season the second busiest on record with 20 named storms.
However, the greatest number of unnamed storms in a single season was 21 in 1933, according to NHC hurricane statistics that date back to 1851.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially closes on November 30.
Only one name -- Wilma -- remains on this year's list. If that one is used and more storms form they will be named using the Greek alphabet, beginning with Alpha.
The list of names is maintained by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization, of which the NHC's parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an active member.
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