Hurricane Spawn
September 23, 2004 4:58 PM   Subscribe

The son of Hurricane Ivan ?. Apparently the forces which generated Ivan respawned a tropical storm near Texas. To mefi meteoreologist, is this a first time event or there's some precedent ?
posted by elpapacito to Science & Nature (7 answers total)
I wish I could back this up with a link, but earlier today I read an article that discussed how the good folks at the National Hurricane Center debated for quite a while if they should call the storm Ivan or just go to the next name on the list (Matthew). They decided that since the mass of thunderstorms had not fallen apart completely while it circled the southeast USA, they would go ahead and call it Ivan again. Since they had to have this discussion at all, I'd say this is rather unprecedented .
posted by Servo5678 at 6:35 PM on September 23, 2004

Servo5678: Is this the link you're after?
posted by arha at 6:51 PM on September 23, 2004

posted by arha at 6:51 PM on September 23, 2004

I'm an idiot. Ignore me.
posted by arha at 7:13 PM on September 23, 2004

> A resilient piece of Hurricane Ivan, the storm that viciously assaulted the Gulf Coast last week, looped over the Atlantic, passed over Florida, returned to the Gulf of Mexico, redeveloped into a tropical depression and appeared poised yesterday for another attack on the Gulf Coast as a system called ...

Well, the next tropical storm or hurricane should be called Matthew, but it took hours of debate to decide if this one was the next one or one of the last ones.

Forecasters finally decided last night that it had regained enough strength to require a name, and that they must call it Tropical Depression Ivan. Again. The return of Ivan....

Even forecasters are shaking their heads. This sort of thing rarely happens, especially involving a storm as ferocious as Ivan — and this long after everyone thought it was dead.

This is what happened: The lower portion of the spinning air at the center of Ivan broke away from the higher portion late last week and went its own way — east and then south — as the rest of the storm went north.

That piece of "vorticity" twisted itself over Florida, delivering some rain Tuesday, and then moved back over the Gulf of Mexico, where it began redeveloping in earnest yesterday, producing thunderstorms and tropical-storm force gusts.

As for what it would be called, forecasters spent much of the day examining the rule book.

"Our operating instructions say, 'Within a basin, if the remnant of a tropical cyclone redevelops into a tropical cyclone, it is assigned its original number or name,' " said Max Mayfield, the hurricane center's director.

Although note that sometimes Atlantic cyclones pass over Central America and become Pacific cyclones (because they passed out of the basin). Note that cyclone paths tend to be pretty noodly as it is, and that hurricanes occasionally "bounce" off coasts, so to speak, only to return later (usually at a different landfall). Other times hurricanes remain strong, consistent weather systems all the way up to the St. Lawrence and pass back out into the North Atlantic intact. And the geography of the lower US means that many, many tropical storms hit Florida first, pass over its very low heights, and make another landfall elsewhere on the Gulf Coast.

This is probably just the first time a storm quite this powerful has come back to roughly the same landfall.

The National Atlas has a nifty widget that you can play with to see all the major storm tracks of the last century or so. (Open Climate, choose the appropriate decade's worth of storms.)
posted by dhartung at 8:16 PM on September 23, 2004

it's happened at least once before: ...the remains of Category 5 Hurricane Mitch, which dissipated after hammering parts of Nicaragua for five days in 1998, crossed Central America and re-formed in the Pacific, where it was again named Mitch, Knabb said.
posted by amberglow at 8:41 PM on September 23, 2004

I'm just happy it passed me over this time.

Sorry for the people it's going to hit next, however.

I was 30 - 40 miles away from the eye of Ivan as he plowed his way through Alabama, and that was about 1,500 miles to close.

::starts looking into land in New Mexico::
posted by kamylyon at 12:17 AM on September 24, 2004

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