What Happens If Two Hurricanes Combine? A Fujiwhara Effect Forms
Yes, 2020 has brought us some of the weirdest left turns we thought we would never see. From a virus that shut down the entire world, murder hornets, a homosexual tiger enthusiast, and now double hurricanes. I have to be honest, at this point in 2020 when I saw the current forecast for two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time, I really wasn't that surprised. In fact, I am pretty sure I said, "Of course we will get two hurricanes at the same time."
Tropical Storm 13, although currently very disorganized, is expected to make its way over to the Florida area and be a Category 1 by the time it makes landfall early next week. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm 14 is crossing the Caribbean and headed toward Mexico and Texas. It also is a touch unorganized currently, but is expected to become a Category 1 by the time it makes its landfall early next week. That puts two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time and making landfall around the same time. My twisted brain decided to see if that is called something. I mean, its 2020. We ran out of toilet paper during a quarantine. Two hurricanes combining somehow seems like the next appropriate step in our current whirlwind of a year.
Meteorologist Sakuhei Fujiwhara is responsible for this notion and, as a result, they named it after him. It is called the Fujiwhara Effect. It basically describes how tropical storms interact with each other as they get closer to one another. If the two storms get close to each other and they are of equal size, they will begin to orbit around each other. The effect can begin as early as the storms being within 900 miles from each other. As long as the two storms stay the same size, their centers will orbit around each other. Once one becomes stronger than the other, they will merge and become one large storm. We aren't talking about that. However, we are staying with the orbiting hurricane theory. Why? Because it's 2020.
I am not saying this is going to happen. I only took a small weather class in middle school and faked most of the results because I never paid attention to how to read any of the instruments they let us use. I did Google the width of the Gulf of Mexico. It is approximately 930 miles wide. Stuff two hurricanes in there, and we just might see some 2020-esque orbiting hurricanes. Bet you didn't have that one on your Strange Stuff to Happen in 2020 chart!