There are three storms this week in the Pacific, and two of them are hurricanes expected to be locked in a ‘fatal dance’ later this week.

Hilary may have outlasted Don, but could Irwin do her in?

A pair of eastern Pacific storms — Hilary and Irwin — are forecast to be locked into an ultimately fatal dance this week, with each spinning around like a meteorological fidget spinner.

Hurricane Hilary and soon-to-be Hurricane Irwin will pivot around a specific point by mid-week in a phenomenon meteorologists call the Fujiwhara effect. One storm should then eventually absorb the other. 

The effect describes the rotation of two storms around each other. It’s most common with tropical cyclones such as typhoons or hurricanes, but also occurs in other cases.

“Think of the teacup ride at Disney or the Tilt-a-Whirl at your local county fair, but with tropical systems instead,” Weather Underground said, describing the phenomenon.

WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue wryly tweeted that “Hurricane Hilary on clear path west to victory … then comes Hurricane Irwin with ‘Fidget Spinner’ and wreck.” 

The National Hurricane Center thinks the “winner” in the Hilary-Irwin battle could be Hilary, but admits the storm’s “long-range forecast is a mess with the likelihood of some binary interaction with Tropical Storm Irwin.”


As is typical with many Eastern Pacific hurricanes, neither Irwin or Hilary are likely to impact any land areas. 

And although Hilary’s maximum winds are forecast to be around 126 mph, making it a Category 3 storm, it likely won’t be the world’s strongest tropical cyclone so far…