Unusual Hurricane Facts
Posted by: Communications Team | August 24, 2020
Here we are with not one but two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico – both headed for Texas and Louisiana. While we are wondering about what’s next, we also did some research on hurricanes and found some unusual facts.
The Fujiwhara Effect is when two tropical cyclones spinning in the same direction come close enough to each other that they begin to interact, essentially doing a "dance" around their common center, according to the National Weather Service.
If the two storm systems are similar in strength, they may dance around each other for a while before spinning off in different trajectories. If one of the storms is much stronger than the other, then the larger system tends to absorb the smaller one, without necessarily increasing in size.
What is in a name?
Hurricane names are chosen from a list selected by the World Meteorological Organization.
There are six separate lists for Atlantic hurricanes, with one list used each year. Each list is repeated every 7th year.
Since the naming of Atlantic tropical cyclones ditched the phonetic alphabet in 1953, 89 of the Atlantic tropical cyclone names have been retired, including 2018's Florence and Michael, and 2017's Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate.
Only 19 seasons since 1953 have not had a name retired, most recently in 2014.
Want to know if your name is on one of these lists? Here’s the link: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml
Hurricanes in the Southern Hemisphere spin in a clockwise direction. Hurricanes in the Northern Hemisphere turn counterclockwise.
A hurricane makes “landfall” when its center, not its edge, crosses the coastline.
Clouds in a hurricane can reach 40,000 to 50,000 feet up into the sky.
Though the eye is the calmest part of the storm, over the ocean, it can be the most dangerous area. While waves in the eye wall travel in the same direction, waves in the eye converge from all directions, which often creates rogue waves.
A hurricane warning is issued when a hurricane is expected to arrive within 24 hours. A hurricane watch is issued when the storm is 24-36 hours away.
Now is a good time to make preparations for the two potential storms that may hit our area. For instructions on putting together a Hurricane Preparation Kit from FEMA, click here.
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Sources: Fact Retriever, Weather.com, Newsweek, FEMA.