The eye of the hurricane is a fascinating area of calm weather, in the midst of wild weather. But it happens that some hurricanes have not one, but two eyes!
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One of the characteristics of hurricanes is that they have an eye in their center. The gigantic rolling cloud, which can reach several hundred kilometers, ends up forming a hole: this hole is in fact an area where the currents plunge towards the ground. This usually measures 30 to 60 kilometres, but the largest stretch over 100 to 200 kilometres. The formation of a very well drawn eye always testifies to a violent cyclonic phenomenon.
But if the observation of one eye on satellite images is already impressive, some hurricanes actually have two! The eye of the hurricane has many surprises in store: in addition to moving within the hurricane, the eye can find itself side by side with another.
Two different processes to achieve the creation of two eyes
The phenomenon occurs in two different situations:
- When the eye renews itself, which can happen many times in a hurricane’s life cycle. It can then have two eyes very temporarily, a classic phenomenon in the Atlantic Ocean.
- When a hurricane “swallows” another that is on its way: the two phenomena end up forming a single system. This is what happens most often in the Pacific Ocean.
The merger of two hurricanes explained in animation, with the moment when the same system presents two eyes. © Insider Tech
Eyes can be positioned amazingly
Hurricanes with two eyes are not uncommon, but the phenomenon is often very short-lived and very often, the two eyes are not at all the same size: the first is perfectly visible and the second barely. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew featured two eyes, not aligned, but one surrounding the other. There were therefore two “eye walls” therefore, twice in a row, the transition to calm weather, then to ultra violent weather:
It’s rare for both eyes to be perfectly circular, but it has happened before with Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Hurricane Isaia in 2020, and Larry in 2021 (less noticeable).
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