Weirdly ‘Whirling Elegantly’

August 31, 2015

3-hurricanes-cphc-honoluluBright sunshine and a warm, gentle sea breeze this Monday morning on California’s north coast — supposedly up into the low-70s today, and appears so for the rest of the week.

Way-beyond our so-called “supermoon” last night — dazzlingly-clear and seemingly transparent-looking from my vantage point, an original event: ‘This is the first recorded occurrence of three Category 4 hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific basins at the same time.’

In the illustration, from EarthSky on Saturday, the storms can be seen ‘…whirling elegantly across the ocean…‘ with Kilo at the top, set at about 1,200 miles west-southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii; Ignacio, the middle one, is closest to land, located about 515 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii: and Hurricane Jimena, at the bottom, was set about 1,800 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
Forecasters say Ignacio should pass northeast of Maui on Monday, then northeast of the smaller islands Tuesday.

As with a lot of shit, these weird whirling storms are most-likely further fueled by our approaching/if-not-already-here El Niño event, which in part be worsened, or heightened, by climate change. Three big hurricanes at once is freakish.
Via today’s Washington Post:

Even more astonishingly, if you add the easternmost Hurricane Jimena to the mix, Sunday was the first time that three Category 4 hurricanes have been present at the same time in the entire northeast Pacific Ocean.
Hurricane Jimena is a thing of beauty on satellite — near-meteorological perfection and spinning like a top as a Category 4 with sustained winds of 150 mph.
Jimena is forecast to maintain its Category 4 intensity through Tuesday evening before gradually weakening as it turns northwest and away from Hawaii.
The best part of it all is that none of these storms threaten landfall.

Unless you include heavy rains/winds, rip currents and rough seas across the Hawaii islands off Ignacio — the other two are predicted to peter-out in empty ocean, making threats just to shipping.
Meanwhile, another rare hurricane weirding — via WunderBlog, also this morning:

For the first time since 1892, a full-fledged hurricane is pounding the Cape Verde islands, as Hurricane Fred heads northwest at 12 mph through the islands in the far eastern North Atlantic.
The eye of Fred passed just southwest of Boa Vista Island in the Republic of Cabo Verde (formerly called the Cape Verde Islands) near 8 am EDT Monday, with the northeastern eyewall likely hitting the island.

Despite their name (which translates to “green cape” in English), the Cape Verde islands have a semi-desert climate, with an average annual rainfall of only around 10 inches.
The torrential rains of 4 – 6″ predicted from Fred, with isolated totals of up to 10”, are likely to cause unprecedented flood damage on the islands.
Fred may well turn out to be the Republic of Cabo Verde’s most expensive natural disaster in history.

When Fred became a hurricane at 2 am EDT Monday at 22.5°W longitude, this was the easternmost formation location for any hurricane in the historical record; the previous record was held by Hurricane Three of 1900, which became a hurricane at 23°W, south of the Cape Verde islands.

A prelude to the ‘new normal.’
From the NOAA this past June:

Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11 percent according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario).
This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.
There are better than even odds that anthropogenic warming over the next century will lead to an increase in the numbers of very intense hurricanes in some basins — an increase that would be substantially larger in percentage terms than the 2-11 percent increase in the average storm intensity.
This increase in intense storm numbers is projected despite a likely decrease (or little change) in the global numbers of all tropical storms.

And the whirl-bird go…

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