Beacon Transcript – With hurricane season in full blast, all eyes seem to turn in Hurricane Matthew’s direction as it continues to tear its way down the United States coastline and new landfall is to be expected based on its path.
With warnings being issued, scared residents are emptying the store shelves or clearing the oil pumps in an attempt to get out of the state and away from Matthew’s menace. As the storm warnings continue to extend throughout Florida’s Atlantic coast and a brief landfall is expected to happen sometimes in the next two days, a new, quieter menace has formed, one that could alter Matthew’s course for the worse.
As Tropical Storm Nicole has been silently forming in the northeast borders of Matthew, the new storm could play a very important role as its winds carry the potential to pose a heavy influence in the hurricane’s path. The meeting of the two disruptive natural phenomena would result in something that is known as the Fujiwhara Effect.
The joining of the systems could determine Matthew to change its course, and instead of continuing its upward path towards the East Coast, it could instead make a comeback over Florida and potentially cause a new landfall. As the state is already facing difficulties because of the oncoming hurricane, it is hard to predict how it could handle it’s possible second passing.
The fate of the state is as yet unknown, with the possibility of such an event as the meeting of the two tropical forces still being almost a week away from hard evidence prediction. While some forecast models declare the encounter to be highly speculative and expect from the hurricane a new loop and then a further away trip, deep into the Atlantic, others seem to consider it as increasingly possible.
This is not a first-time situation, as Hurricane Ivan goes to show. Back in 2004, nearly 12 years ago, Ivan followed a very similar route to the one Matthew seems to be taking. After it formed far more in the south than it is typical for tropical systems, Ivan passed very close to South America before turning hard north. As opposed to Matthew, Ivan skipped the Caribbean and instead turned towards the Gulf of Mexico.
As Ivan made landfall in Alabama, it curved its way across the U.S. Southeast, returned to the Atlantic, made a comeback for Florida only to head west and visit the Gulf of Mexico for the second time. The storm eventually fizzled out but not before making a new landfall, its third one, in Louisiana.
As Hurricane Matthew continues to draw all eyes on it, only time will tell its course even as, for the moment, it is eerily similar to Ivan’s in as much that researchers are afraid of a new landfall, one that would spell even more trouble for Florida.
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