Thursday, May 30, 2013

Barbara could become Andrea?

Mother Nature is giving us a glimpse at a would-be tropical rarity.  We could see a storm born in the Pacific, cross over Mexico, and then emerge in the Gulf.

I'm talking about what once was Hurricane Barbara which made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 1 system on the Southern Pacific Coast of Mexico.

It has been battering the region with copious amounts of rainfall leading to localized flooding with land and mudslides.

Barbara is presently falling apart as it aims to reach the Gulf of Mexico. It was downgraded to a depression earlier Thursday morning. But what next?

NHC says:

  • Global models insist the system will fall apart soon, BUT, a remnant low is forecast to develop within 12 hours in the Bay of Campeche, in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
  • Satellite imagery suggests that new thunderstorms are popping up within this weak low
  • If the system survives its trek over land, and emerges in the Gulf, the advisories will be changed from a "Pacific" storm to an "Atlantic Basin" storm.
  • If Barbara falls apart completely, but then re-organizes, it will be re-named "Andrea", the first name on the list of Hurricanes for the Atlantic Season. NHC says that to be considered the same tropical cyclone, an identifiable center of circulation must be tracked continuously and the cyclone must have been of at least tropical storm strength in both basins . 

Has this cross-over happened before?
Yes, but not often.

Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm Alma (May 2008) became a remnant low in the Atlantic where it merged with another tropical wave which generated Atlantic Tropical Storm Arthur.

Northeast Pacific Hurricane Cosme became Atlantic Tropical Storm Allison (June 1989).

A Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm (September-October 1949) became an Atlantic Hurricane (Storm #10) and made landfall in TX.

A Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm (October 1923) became an Atlantic Hurricane (Storm #6) and made landfall in LA.

There have been others that did the opposite, moving from the Atlantic into the Pacific.

Atlantic Hurricane Iris (October 2001) become a remnant low over Central America and regenerated in the Northeast Pacific as Tropical Storm Manuel.

Atlantic Hurricane Cesar (July 1996) became Northeast Pacific Hurricane Douglas.

Atlantic Tropical Storm Bret (August 1993) became Hurricane Greg in the Northeast Pacific.

Atlantic Hurricane Joan (October 1988) became Northeast Pacific Hurricane Miriam.

Atlantic Hurricane Greta (September 1978) became Northeast Pacific Hurricane Olivia.

Atlantic Hurricane Fifi (September 1974) became Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm Orlene.

Atlantic Hurricane Irene (September 1971) became Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm Olivia.

Atlantic Hurricane Hattie (October-November 1961) after dissipating over Guatemala contributed to the formation of Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm Simone which crossed the isthmus of Teuhantepec and merged with other disturbed weather which later formed Atlantic Tropical Storm Inga.

The above historical information is courtesy of NOAA's hurricane research division.

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