FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — It has been a record-setting 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and it looks like that trend will continue.
The National Hurricane Center is keeping close tabs on two systems with one being Tropical Storm Laura and the other one is Tropical Storm Marco.
The kicker here is that both tropical systems are aiming for the Gulf Coast at the same time.
The last time this sort of situation occurred was on September 5, 1993 when Hurricane Cuba-Brownsville (Category 3) moved into Texas while Tropical Storm Treasure Coast made landfall near Cedar Key.
On Sept. 5, 1933 at 4UTC, 2 named storms made landfall along the Gulf Coast simultaneously: Cuba-Brownsville as a Cat. 3 #hurricane near Brownsville & Treasure Coast near Cedar Key as 55kt tropical storm. Here's the US Weather Bureau daily weather map (valid 8am ET) that day. pic.twitter.com/t6YNBipCDT
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) August 20, 2020
Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Storm Marco's proximity to each other could cause what is known as the Fujiwhara Effect.
The Fujiwhara effect is an unusual weather phenomenon where two systems spin in the same direction and pass in close proximity.
When this occurs, the two systems begin to basically dance around a common center.
So, what could happen?
- If the two systems are equal in strength they can gravitate closer to each other. Once this happens, they could basically dance around each other.
- If one system is stronger than the other one, it will absorb the weaker one. It will NOT become a mega-storm.
- Both systems don’t feel like sharing the same space or energy and they will stay away from each other or go in opposite directions.
The Fujiwhara effect is not a new term by any means.
The last time this happened was in 2005 when Hurricane Wilma absorbed a much smaller and weaker tropical storm named Alpha.
The forecast for Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Storm Marco are not set in stone and the tracking will likely change.