Tropical storms are a common occurrence in certain areas of the world and are usually expected, but only once in history has a cyclone moved across the Atlantic into the Pacific. A cyclone forms when the sea cools quickly, causing moist air to rise, and this creating a low pressure system. Air moves toward this lower pressure area, and the cycle continue between the shifting of air, sometimes an incredibly fast cycle – a cyclone.
On this day September 20th, in 1971 Hurricane Irene evolves into Hurricane Olivia, becoming the first known system to go through the Atlantic and Pacific. Irene made landfall in Nicaragua and restrengthened as it approached Baja California.
Irene was the first of three Atlantic-to-Pacific crossover tropical cyclones in the 1970’s. The hurricane winds peaked at 115mph, causing serious damage to homes and leaving 1,200 homeless.