Tag Archives: 13E

Kenneth Rapidly Intensifies Into a Hurricane

One time Tropical Storm Kenneth rapidly intensified into a hurricane on Sunday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Kenneth was located at latitude 16.2°N and longitude 128.4°W which put it about 1290 miles (2075 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Kenneth was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 980 mb.

The structure of Hurricane Kenneth improved significantly during the past few hours.  A small circular eye emerged at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds are occurring in this ring of thunderstorms.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms intensified south and east of the center.  Thunderstorms near the core of Kenneth were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.

Hurricane Kenneth will continue to move through an environment favorable for intensification on Monday.  Kenneth will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is near 28.5°C.  Hurricane Kenneth is moving through a region where the winds in the upper levels are weak and there is not much vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Kenneth could continue to intensify for another 12 to 24 hours.  The speed of the upper level winds could increase in a day or so, and more vertical wind shear would inhibit intensification.  Eventually Hurricane Kenneth will move over cooler SSTs and start to weaken.

Kenneth if moving south of a subtropical ridge which is steering the hurricane toward the west.  The ridge is forecast to continue to steer Kenneth westward for another 12 to 24 hours.  Hurricane Kenneth will turn toward the north when it reaches the western end of the ridge.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Kenneth would pose no direct threat to land.

Tropical Storm Kenneth Develops Southwest of Baja California

Tropical Storm Kenneth developed southwest of Baja California on Friday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Kenneth was located at latitude 15.0°N and longitude 119.1°W which put it about 810 miles (1305 km) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Kenneth was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.

A distinct center of circulation developed in a tropical wave southwest of Baja California on Friday.  Thunderstorms began to form near the center and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Kenneth, which was the 11th named tropical storm to form over the Eastern North Pacific during 2017.

A cluster of thunderstorms formed near the core of Tropical Storm Kenneth on Friday.  Even after thunderstorms formed near the core, the circulation of Tropical Storm Kenneth was asymmetrical.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms developed in the western half of the circulation.  The bands in the eastern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and low clouds.  Thunderstorms near the core of Kenneth were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Kenneth will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next several days.  Kenneth will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28.5°C.  An upper level ridge to the north of Tropical Storm Kenneth is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear which is probably the cause of the asymmetrical circulation of the tropical storm.  Even though there is moderate vertical wind shear, Tropical Storm Kenneth is likely to intensify and it could become a hurricane in a couple of days.

Tropical Storm Kenneth is begin steered toward the west by a subtropical ridge to the north of the tropical storm.  The subtropical ridge will continue to steer Tropical Storm Kenneth toward the west-northwest for another day or two.  When Tropical Storm Kenneth reaches the western end of the subtropical ridge, it will turn more toward the north.

Hurricane Lester Passing North of Hawaii

Hurricane Lester passed north of Hawaii on Saturday.  All Hurricane Watches were cancelled, although the surf on the north coasts of the islands should be increased by the waves generated by Hurricane Lester.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Lester was located at latitude 22.4°N and longitude 155.4°W which put it about 175 miles (285 km) east-northeast of Honolulu, Hawaii.  Lester was moving toward the west-northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (140 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 985 mb.

Hurricane Lester weakened slowly on Saturday as it moved north of the Hawaiian Islands.  An upper level trough northwest of Lester produced southwesterly winds that blew across the top of the hurricane.  The vertical wind shear tilted the circulation toward the northeast with height.  The wind shear also inhibited the upper level divergence to the south of the center of Lester.  Less upper level divergence meant that the hurricane could not pump out as much mass and the surface pressure slowly rose.

Hurricane Lester is moving through an environment that is likely to weaken it further.  Lester is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is 27°C.  So, there is enough energy to support the hurricane.  However, the upper level trough will continue to create vertical wind shear and the shear will continue to weaken Hurricane Lester.

Hurricane Lester is moving around the western end of a subtropical ridge which is steering toward the west-northwest.  That general motion is expected to continue for several more days.  When Hurricane Lester gets farther north the westerlies in the middle latitudes will turn it toward the northeast.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Lester will stay north of the Hawaiian Islands.

Hurricane Watch Issued for Hawaii as Hurricane Lester Moves Closer

As Hurricane Lester moved steadily closer to Hawaii on Thursday, a Hurricane Watch was issued for Hawaii County and Maui County including Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.

At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Lester was located at latitude 18.5°N and longitude 145.4°W which put it about 640 miles (1030 km) east of Hilo, Hawaii.  Lester was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 145 m.p.h. (235 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 960 mb.

The symmetrical circulation of Hurricane Lester is very well organized.  There is a circular eye with a diameter of 25 miles (40 km).  A ring of strong thunderstorms completely surrounds the eye.  Multiple spiral rainbands are rotating around periphery of the circulation.  Hurricane Lester is generating strong upper level divergence which is pumping mass out in all directions.

Hurricane Lester is currently moving through a favorable environment.  It is over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  The upper level winds are light and there is little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Lester will be moving over some of the same water that Hurricane Madeline passed over a few days ago.  If Madeline stirred any cooler water to the surface, it could cause Hurricane Lester to weaken.  When Hurricane Lester gets closer to Hawaii an upper level trough will produce stronger upper level southwesterly winds and the wind shear will increase.  Lester should weaken as it gets closer to Hawaii.

A subtropical ridge has been steering Hurricane Lester toward the west.  The western end of the ridge is expected to weaken and that will cause Lester to move more toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipate track Hurricane Lester could approach Hawaii on Saturday morning.

Major Hurricanes Madeline and Lester Moving Toward Hawaii

Hurricanes Madeline and Lester intensified quickly on Monday into Major Hurricanes as they moved toward Hawaii.  The approach of Hurricane Madeline prompted the Central Pacific Hurricane Center to issue a Hurricane Watch for Hawaii County.  Both hurricanes have the potential to affect the weather around Hawaii during the next few days.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Madeline was located at latitude 18.6°N and longitude 145.5°W which put it about 630 miles (1015 km) east of Hilo, Hawaii.  Madeline was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 135 m.p.h. (220 km/h).  That made Hurricane Madeline the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  The minimum surface pressure was 966 mb.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Lester was located at latitude 18.0°N and longitude 130.5°W which put it about 1375 miles (2210 km) west of the southern tip of Baja California.  Lester was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (215 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  That made Hurricane Lester a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  The minimum surface pressure was 951 mb.

Both Hurricanes Madeline and Lester are relatively compact hurricanes and the winds to hurricane force only extend out about 30 miles (50 km) from the center of circulation.  In Hurricane Madeline the Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) is 20.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 11.4 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 32.0.  Hurricane Lester is stronger, but slightly smaller.  The HII for Hurricane Lester is 25.1, while HSI is 10.3 and HWISI is 35.4.

Both hurricanes have well formed symmetrical eyes surrounded by rings of tall thunderstorms.  Each is producing well developed upper level divergence which is pumping out mass in all directions.  Hurricane Madeline has more spiral rainbands, and Hurricane Lester shows some indications that the structure might be assuming more of the shape of an annular hurricane.

Hurricanes Madeline and Lester responded to a favorable environment by intensifying rapidly on Monday.  The maximum sustained wind speed in Hurricane Madeline increased from 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h) during the past 24 hours.  The maximum sustained wind speed in Hurricane Lester increased from 85 m.p.h. (140 km/h) to 130 m.p.h. (215 km/h) during the past 24 hours.

Hurricanes Madeline and Lester will remain in a favorable environment during the short term.  They are moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are near 27.5°C.  The upper level winds are light and there is little vertical wind shear.  Thus, both hurricanes could maintain their intensity for another 12 to 24 hours.  When the hurricanes move closer to Hawaii, they will move over slightly cooler SSTs.  In addition, an upper level trough approaching from the northwest could increase the vertical wind shear later this week.  Hurricane Lester may also move over some cooler water mixed to the surface by Hurricane Madeline.

A subtropical ridge is steering Hurricanes Madeline and Lester toward the west and that general motion is expected to continue for the next several days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Madeline could approach Hawaii in a couple of days.  Hurricane Lester could approach Hawaii in about five days.

 

Tropical Storm Lester Forms West of Mexico

Tropical Storm Lester became the 12th named tropical storm to form over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean during 2016 on Thursday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Lester was located at latitude 16.9°N and longitude 113.4°W which put it about 470 miles (760 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Lester was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Storm Lester formed when a distinct center of circulation developed within a tropical wave.  The core of the tropical storm is still consolidating.  There are thunderstorms near the center of circulation and there are spiral bands rotating around the core of Tropical Storm Lester.  The thunderstorms near the center are generating upper level divergence which is pumping away may to the south of the tropical storm.  There are hints of the possible formation of an eye on some satellite images.

Tropical Storm Lester is moving through an environment that is generally favorable for intensification.  It is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is around 30°C.  An upper level ridge northwest of Lester is generating northerly winds which are blowing across the top of the tropical storm.  The northerly winds are producing some vertical wind shear, but the shear is only slowing the intensification process.  Tropical Storm Lester is expected to continue to intensify and it could become a hurricane.

A subtropical ridge is steering Tropical Storm Lester toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Lester will move farther away from Mexico and it currently poses no threat to land.

Trio of Cat. 4 Hurricanes Churn Across the Pacific

A trio of powerful Category 4 hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson Scale churned across the Central and Eastern North Pacific on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Ignacio was located at latitude 17.0°N and longitude 147.6°W which put it about 525 miles (845 km) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.  Ignacio was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h) and there wind gusts to 170 m.p.h. (275 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 951 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Jimena was located at latitude 13.3°N and longitude 127.5°W which put it about 1330 miles (2140 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.  Jimena was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 170 m.p.h. (275 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 945 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Kilo was located at latitude 18.4°N and longitude 176.2°W which put it about 680 miles (1095 km) south of Midway Island.  Kilo was moving toward the west-northwest at 9 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 135 m.p.h. (215 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 948 mb.

Ignacio is the only one of the three powerful hurricane to pose an imminent threat to land.  On its anticipated track Ignacio could be northeast of the Big Island of Hawaii in about 48 hours.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Hawaii County and Maui County including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.  An upper level trough passing north of Hawaii will cause westerly winds and increasing vertical wind shear over Ignacio as it moves closer to Hawaii.  Ignacio should weaken but it could still be a hurricane when it makes its closest approach to Hawaii.  Given the size of the circulation around Ignacio, Tropical Storm Watches were issued for some of the islands.

Jimena may be the most well organized of the three hurricanes.  It has concentric eyewalls and a very symmetrical structure.  Eyewall replacement cycles will cause fluctuations in the intensity of Jimena.  However, it is in a very favorable environment and it could reach Category 5 intensity at some point.  Fortunately, Jimena is about 1500 miles (2420 km) east of Ignacio and it is a long way from any land area.

After days when strong vertical wind shear kept Kilo a weak disorganized tropical depression, it intensified very rapidly during the past 48 hours.  Kilo is over warm Sea Surface Temperatures  and it could intensify a little more.  Kilo is not currently a threat to any land.