Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters ,
Hurricane season is off to an odd start this year--check out Tropical Storm Adrian in the Eastern Pacific. Since 1966, only four tropical cyclones have made landfall in Guatemala or El Salvador in any month, with only one landfalling depression in May. And there is a distinct possibility Adrian could become that rarest of beasts, a multi-ocean tropical cyclone. The storm is currently on track to cross Central America over Honduras, but a wide area of mountains 2000 - 3000 meters high could destroy it before it has a chance to emerge over the Caribbean Sea. However, if Adrian manages to achieve hurricane strength before landfall, the storm should survive the crossing and emerge over the Caribbean Sea as a tropical depression.
Once over the Caribbean, the chances for re-intensification look poor, as water temperatures there are much cooler than over the Eastern Pacific, and the amount of wind shear is high.
Seven tropical cyclones have made the crossing from Atlantic to Pacific, but only two have crossed from the Pacific to the Atlantic since records began:
Northeast Pacific Hurricane Cosme became Atlantic Tropical Storm Allison (June 1989).
A Northeast Pacific tropical storm (September-October 1949) became Atlantic Hurricane Storm #10 and made landfall in Texas.
The first tropical storm in the Atlantic is due to be named Arlene this year, but I've read that Adrian will keep its name. I guess the folks at NHC didn't want all the Arlenes of the world getting hassled about if they really used to be a man named Adrian. The downside for all the Arlenes, though, will be that they'll have to wait until 2011 to have a storm named after them!
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