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Possible Fujiwhara Effect: Two tropical storms could form in Gulf of Mexico

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Posted at 9:42 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 10:18:56-04

A possible Fujiwhara Effect could happen early next week in the Gulf of Mexico.

A Fujiwhara Effect is when two nearby cyclonic vortices orbit each other and close the distance.

It is possible we will have two tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico early next week. This has happened twice before on record, in September of 1933 and June of 1959.

Tropical Depression Thirteen strengthened into Tropical Storm Laura Friday morning and is approaching the Leeward Islands. Laura is centered about 305 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands and moving WNW at 21 mph. On the forecast track, Laura is expected to move near or north of the northern Leeward Islands later Friday, near or north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday, and near or north of Hispaniola Saturday night.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 35 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast.

Tropical Depression Fourteen approaching the Honduras/Nicaragua border coast. TD 14 is centered about 30 miles NNE of the Honduras/Nicaragua border and moving WNW at 12 mph. On the forecast track, the center of the system will move near or just offshore the coasts of northern Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras Friday and approach the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on Saturday.

The center is then expected to cross the Yucatan Peninsula Saturday night and move into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later Friday.

The system is forecast to be near or at hurricane strength when it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico late Saturday. Some weakening is expected as it traverses the Yucatan Peninsula. Restrengthening is forecast on Sunday as it moves offshore and enters the southern Gulf of Mexico.