The latest tropical system over the eastern Pacific is making a U-turn toward Mexico and eventually could enhance rain chances for Texas.
Rick Mathis of Austin was wondering if a hurricane from the Pacific has ever made it into the Gulf of Mexico and vice versa.
Not only can a hurricane go from the Atlantic to the Pacific but it can also go the other way. It doesn't happen very often. Hurricanes hate land because they lose their fuel from the warm ocean water and the mountains mess up the circulation and tear it apart.
However, if the hurricane is strong enough and moves fast enough it can do the crossover. Since 1900, this has happened 13 times.
The last time that a hurricane in the Atlantic moved over Mexico and into the Pacific was in July 1996. Cesar stayed over land for 18 hours but as it entered the very warm Pacific it quickly intensified into a category 4 storm. Since it was over the pacific it got a new name...Douglas. The National Hurricane Center has since changed the rule. Now tropical systems that crossover will keep their original name.
The last time that a Pacific hurricane turned into a storm over the gulf was in September 2010. A tropical depression in the Pacific barely survived the trip over Mexico as it drifted north. It turned into tropical storm Hermine that eventually soaked Central Texas with 10 to 16 inches of rain.
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