Jesse Ferrell

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Storm Chasing in China? Three Typhoons in Five Days

August 08, 2012; 10:25 AM

Imagine, for a moment, this scenario. Two hurricanes are approaching the Southeast U.S. coast. They hit at the same time; one makes landfall in Miami, the other on Cape Hatteras. But even during their landfall, a third hurricane is developing in the western Atlantic and is forecast to make landfall on the Georgia coast just days later. Can you imagine the chaos? It sounds like a ludicrous futuristic prediction over the span of 700 miles of coastline, but that's just what happened in China this week.

I reported to you just five days ago how two simultaneous typhoon landfalls threatened the China coast. Incredibly, another storm (Typhoon Haikui) has made landfall near Shanghai overnight. That's three tropical systems in one week! I plotted their last typhoon strength locations, and landfall locations, using Google Earth and Unisys Hurricane data to produce the map above.*

The image above (showing the landfall location of Haikui) is similar to the one that I posted earlier this week showing Typhoon Damrey and Typhoon Saola; click on it to download an animation spanning from their landfall to today.

The Western Pacific, of course, averages many more tropical cyclones than the Atlantic and has them year-round (due to a larger surface area of warmer water). That is why (hopefully, unless you're a storm chaser) the Atlantic will never see such a fate. I don't know (because I don't have the data) how unusual this is for that basin, but I would assume it is rare.

*NOTE: The UNISYS data doesn't specify whether the storms were typhoons or tropical storms at landfall and I'm not even sure that information exists, so I'll leave that up to the interpretation of the reader for now.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.