One Tropical Storm… Two Different Names Aug 11, 2017

What happens to the name of a tropical storm or hurricane, when it crosses from one ocean, into another?  It’s a great question, with two possible answers.  And it looks like we may have a on-going example of the whole process.

Earlier this week, Tropical Storm Franklin made landfall on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.  It traveled westward, into the Bay of Campeche, and intensified into a Category 1 Hurricane.  It then continued to track west, making landfall again, near Veracruz, Mexico.  As it moved westward over Mexico, it gradually weakened below tropical storm status and lost its name.  The remnants of Franklin have since pushed off the west coast of Mexico into the Eastern Pacific.  The area is circled in the picture below, with a 90% chance of intensifying into a tropical storm once again.  But if it does, will it be called Franklin?  Or will it be renamed, using the list of tropical storm names designated for the  Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season?


The rule used to be, that if the tropical storm or hurricane moved into a different ocean, then it was renamed, using whatever name was next on the list for that ocean.  The last time that this happened, was in July 1996, when Atlantic basin Tropical Storm Cesar, moved across Central America, and was renamed Tropical Storm Douglas in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  The last time that a Eastern Pacific system moved into the Atlantic basin was back in June 1989 when Cosme became Allison.

However, these rules have changed at the National Hurricane Center.   If the system remains a tropical storm or hurricane, as it moves across Central America, then it will keep its original name.  However, if the tropical system weakens, with just a tropical disturbance remaining, the hurricane warning center will give the system a new name, if it becomes a tropical storm or hurricane once again, in its new ocean basin.

Therefore, if the remnants of Franklin becomes a named tropical storm, it would become Jova… pronounced… Hoe-Va.  Here’s the 2017 Eastern Pacific list of storm names:

And if you’re curious, here’s the list of names this season in the Atlantic Basin:

The hurricane season is just starting to ramp up.  It will be interesting to see how many named storms there are, before the season comes to an end, November 30th.

For WeatherNation – Meteorologist Matt Monroe.

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