Hurricane Michael recently hit Florida as a Category 4 storm, and after the remnants passed across a great deal of the east coast of the United States it appears to have re-emerged into the Atlantic Ocean as a "tropical storm" with some models predicting it will cross the Atlantic and a couple even suggesting it will then turn south and possibly loop back west again. Unfortunately the model I saw predicting the full turn has been overwritten by a new forecast, so I can't put a link here but it is intriguing as a possibility.

Has any hurricane or other tropical storm ever managed to hit land deeply as Michael did, where most of the storm has been inland for more than a couple hundred miles, and then re-emerge over the same ocean and reform into a substantial storm in the same ocean? If it struck two different land masses, did a whole loop across a basis hitting a second time close to the first area, or if regained most of or more than its former strength that would also be notable but not required.

This page mentions hurricanes that have crossed from one ocean to another but does not mention storms that have reformed in the same Ocean (with the Caribbean counting as part of the Atlantic). One reason I'm not wanting to count these storms is that to cross between oceans like this requires a relatively small jump over land, especially if done across Central America, such that a significant part of the storm may always be close enough to water to fuel it, whereas Michael seems to have traveled at least 800 miles across land without much ocean support and is still being reported by multiple weather sources as being "tropical storm" strength and projected to possibly be a tropical storm all the way across the Atlantic, for instance in this forecast: enter image description here

(This copy is here because this image is from this link and will likely be overwritten as soon as the next forecast is run.)

  • $\begingroup$ Do you happen to know about what date (and perhaps the model) that showed the loop back? Not too important to the question, and wound up not happening, but figured I could add an image link to show it to round out the details for people reading :) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ Also a key note: it doesn't appear it has ever been forecast to remain a tropical storm into the Atlantic... this image from NHC shows the forecast matching your image (others available here). Looks like Unisys' color scale doesn't distinguish whether it's a tropical storm or a tropical storm strength extratropical cyclone. Tropical storm strength non-tropical lows are quite common up that way, and what becomes of most systems. But the question remains useful! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ @JeopardyTempest sorry, i don't recall the specifics... it was linked from trackthetropics.com, probably not more than 24 hours before I posted the question. $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 23:19

1 Answer 1


Since you don't seem interested in Atlantic-Pacific crossovers, of which there are several good examples.....

2004's Hurricane Ivan made landfall on the Gulf Coast, degraded into a tropical depression and was eventually declassified while crossing the southeast US. After coming back into the Atlantic, Ivan tracked back south, re-formed into a tropical depression, then hit the Atlantic coast of Louisiana.

Ivan track. Source: NOAA via Wikipedia

The key was the southward track in the Atlantic. Hurricanes weaken when they're that far north; they're away from the warm ocean waters that generated them in the first place. But because Ivan tracked south into warmer waters it was able to strengthen a little. It may have been pushed by a cold front. But also, the next hurricane, Jeanne, was already approaching Florida, so Ivan may have been sucked into the circulation around it. Jeanne did its own loop-de loop out the in the Atlantic, so the jet stream may have affected both.

  • $\begingroup$ Here's a satellite animation of the full life (lives) of Ivan. It never became too much the second time. It's fairly rare to get huge redevelopment in the Atlantic basin after passing over US-sized landmasses, because it's usually pretty high up into the cooler region for redevelopment... but does occasionally happen. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ @JeopardyTempest The key was the southward track; I don't know how much of my speculation about why Ivan did that is true... $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ Absolutely, a key to true deep reformation after US landfall is a southward track (could feasibly see a cyclone redevelop a bit over the Gulf Stream moving back off the US east coast, but not as much warmth overall)... and a southward track is fairly rare. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ With Ivan, don't remember the specifics, just that its reformation got a lot of attention. They would have had to be pretty close to really start notable Fujiwara [few hundred miles]... so a tad skeptical it had a ton of impact, but not sure. Hard to find great data without work now! wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/dailywxmap/index_20040921.html suggests they were a fair distance apart later on, but aren't shown great earlier. Certainly the main idea with both storms is they were pulled N by a trough/front/"jet", but the trough left too quickly to finish the process, and so a turn back W. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 17:05

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