Two Hurricanes in the Gulf at the same time? What would happen?
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As we hit the peak of hurricane season, there are two tropical systems in the Atlantic basin that have the potential to be hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico - at the same time.
But has this scenario happened before? There were some close calls, but no two hurricanes have been observed in the Gulf simultaneously during the satellite era.
There have also been questions about whether these two have been merging, including some questionable headlines on social media about these storms becoming “megastorms.” Will they merge to produce the most powerful and largest storm ever created?
No. No chance.
What would likely happen is something called the Fujiwhara Effect. In a nutshell, tropical cyclones that get close enough to each other can do more of a dance around one another with the weaker storm going around the stronger one. And this seems to happen more in the pacific than Atlantic.
As for “merging storms,” this doesn’t quite happen. But there was one instance in 1998 where a piece of a weaker sheared tropical storm was absorbed into a super typhoon as a rain band. Hurricane Wilma in 2005 also absorbed another decaying tropical system in the Atlantic basin.
A short thread of real-world examples of the Fujiwhara effect (tropical cyclones can interact when their centers move within ~900 miles of each other, meaning they affect each other's movement and may even merge).— 😷 Kim Wood (@DrKimWood) August 21, 2020
1) Wilma vs Alpha in 2005 -- Wilma absorbs the weaker Alpha pic.twitter.com/74ji662eYl
If the forecast as of Friday afternoon holds, there is a chance that these could do a little dance. This dance could impact the forecast path of one of these storms. It is worth keeping an eye on these systems through the middle of next week.
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