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Three Hurricanes Threaten Pacific Islands

During the weekend, three Category 4 hurricanes roared across the North Pacific: Kilo (left), Ignacio and Jimena. Fortunately, Ignacio, which is the closest to Hawaii, has now downshifted to a Category 2, with max sustained winds of ‘only’ 105 mph.

© 2015 NOAA

Since posting our report Friday on Tropical Storms Ignacio and Jimena, both have increased substantially and are still angling toward the Hawaiian Islands. Farther west, Hurricane Kilo threatens the tiny, remote atoll of Midway.

Early this morning, Category 2 Hurricane Ignacio was 335 miles east of Hana, Maui, and 460 miles east of Honolulu, packing max sustained winds of 105 mph as it moved northwesterly at 10 mph. Although the island chain is under storm watch, if Ignacio follows its current trajectory, it should pass well east of land. The best news about Ignacio, however, is that it has downgraded substantially from its Category 4 status during the weekend. 

As this illustration shows, Ignacio is expected to pass far from land as it tracks NW.


Hurricane Jimena, however, could eventually become a greater threat to the Hawaiian Islands. Now a ‘Major’ Hurricane of Category 4 status with max sustained winds of 150 mph — that’s only 6 mph short of the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson Scale — it is moving west toward Hawaii this morning at 16 mph. Hopefully, it too will arc to the northwest and spare the islands major impacts. 

As you can see by this wind prediction graphic, Jimena is big, bad and ugly. 


Meanwhile, more than 1,000 miles west of Hawaii, Category 4 Hurricane Kilo now has max winds of 135 mph as it travels NNW at 10 mph toward Midway.  

And, as if that weren’t enough meteorological excitement for one day, a yet-unnamed area of low pressure roughly 750 miles south of Cabo San Lucas is showing the potential of forming into a tropical depression (the precursor of a tropical storm), later today or tomorrow. To track this system and others see the websites of the National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Centers.

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