2 Sep 2015

A hurricane that has travelled into the future, sort of…

Former Hurricane Kilo, now Typhoon Kilo, spinning around in the Pacific Ocean, has achieved what can be considered no mean feat for a powerful storm of tropical origin.

It has crossed westwards over the International Date Line, putting it in a meteorological paradox of time, space and identity.

Not only has it travelled into tomorrow, it has also changed from a hurricane to a typhoon, as well as straddling today and tomorrow at the same time!


Kilo’s birth

Hurricane Kilo started off as an area of low pressure south of Hawaii on 20 August, before quickly strengthening into a tropical storm, temporarily easing, before becoming a hurricane.

By 29 August, over very warm tropical water, Kilo became a major category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 140mph and stronger gusts.

Known as a fish storm – a hurricane that stays over open waters and won’t affect land – Kilo has continued to drift further westwards.


Travelling into the future

In fact it moved so far west, that on 1 September it crossed westwards over the International Date Line.

When this happens, the storm not only skips a day and moves into tomorrow, but it also becomes a typhoon rather than a hurricane, as it moves into the western Pacific Ocean.

Technically there is no difference between a hurricane and typhoon, other than the naming convention used, depending on which ocean basin the storm is located in.

Rather more impressively, as the storm crossed the International Date Line, the right half of it was in today, with the left hand side of it in tomorrow.

Thankfully, there was no disruption to the space-time continuum and the storm successfully completed its transition through time and space without harm.

Typhoon Kilo is expected to continue to move westwards in the western Pacific Ocean, strengthening to a category 4 equivalent storm in the coming days.

Its growth will be fuelled by the unusually warm waters caused by El Nino. However, for now, it will remain over open water and pose no threat to land.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on Typhoon Kilo’s progress and posting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

Images: NOAA, JMA

Tweets by @liamdutton