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Potential for 2 storms in the Gulf - what happens?

3 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, August 20 2020 Aug 20, 2020 August 20, 2020 4:45 PM August 20, 2020 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

On par for 2020, there is the potential for two tropical cyclones to be in the Gulf of Mexico, at the same time, early next week.

Many have asked, when was the last time we had two named storms in the Gulf at the same time?

It has only happened on two occasions: September 5, 1933 and June 18, 1959, according to Philip Klotzbach from Colorado State University.

In 2002, a similar case occurred. Tropical Storm Fay made a track towards Texas, while Tropical Depression Edouard was coming off the western coast of Florida. Tropical Depression Edouard ended up being absorbed by more intense Tropical Storm Fay.

While uncertainty remains as far as the track and intensity of both tropical depression #13 and #14, some are also asking the question - could these storms collide and make one big, powerful storm?

Not necessarily.

There is something called the Fujiwhara Effect, studied and founded by Sakuhei Fujiwhara.

He discovered that when two hurricanes pass close to each other, they begin to "dance" around their common center. If one is stronger than the other, the smaller one will orbit it and eventually collide with the more intense storm.

If the two storms are closer in strength, they will gravitate towards each other until they reach a common point and merely spin each other around before going on their own paths.

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