Ivan is back and Hurricane Jeanne is circling back, just two of the three new bursts of weirdness in a freakish, deadly, destructive hurricane season.
A resilient piece of Hurricane Ivan looped over the Atlantic, passed over Florida, returned to the Gulf of Mexico, redeveloped into a tropical storm and appeared poised Wednesday for another attack on the Gulf Coast as a system called Tropical Storm Ivan. Its likely destination: Louisiana or Texas.
"I don't think there is any question that if you could examine the DNA of this system, Ivan's DNA would be in there," said forecaster James Franklin of the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade County.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Jeanne is completing a 360-degree pirouette nearly 700 miles east of Florida. It is likely to head, again, toward the Bahamas and the mainland.
Forecasters issued low-level alerts for the Bahamas and the entire Southeast coast. They said the most likely target seemed to be the Carolinas, though much of Florida fell within the cone of probability.
High surf and riptides already swept South Florida's coast.
Far out to sea, Tropical Storm Lisa and a developing system that is not yet named are competing for dominance over the same sprawling patch of the Atlantic. One might win, essentially digesting the other. Or they could two-step around each other for a while.
Forecasters are shaking their heads about Ivan. This sort of thing rarely happens, especially involving a storm this ferocious and this long after it seemed dead.
Here is what happened: The lower portion of the spinning air at the center of Ivan broke away from the higher portion late last week and went its own way _ east and then south _ as the rest of the storm went north.
That piece of "vorticity" twisted itself over Florida, delivering rain Tuesday, then moved back over the Gulf of Mexico and began redeveloping in earnest Wednesday, producing thunderstorms and tropical-storm force gusts.