A rare late season tropical cyclone, named hurricane Kenneth formed this past weekend, and is located about 685 miles south of Baja California, in the eastern Pacific Ocean
It’s getting very close to the end of the 2011 hurricane season, so that it’s unusual to find not only a hurricane spinning in the eastern Pacific…but also one that may attain the major hurricane designation over the next day or so. Since 1949, there have been just three eastern Pacific named storms that formed after November 18. If in fact Kenneth were to reach the major hurricane status, it would be the latest such occurrence in the eastern Pacific since the beginning of the satellite era!
The good thing about the location of this strengthening hurricane, is that it’s staying away from the Mexican coast, and isn’t likely to impact any land areas through the remainder of its life cycle.
Here’s the official National Hurricane Center’s graphical track map
This NASA loop of the eastern Pacific is a long one, which towards the end shows Kenneth coming into view
Here’s the NOAA current tropical cyclone formation probability graphic, showing the current hurricane in the far eastern Pacific, and the area that the NHC is giving a 60% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic.
This is the computer forecast model runs for Kenneth…provided by Florida State University.
This is the eastern Pacific sea surface temperature map…provided by Weather Underground
The NHC forecasts for hurricane Kenneth show it strengthening over the next 24 hours, reaching 95 knot sustained winds, with gusts to near 115 knots. As this hurricane continues more or less westward in direction, it’s expected to move over progressively cooler sea water temperatures, as well as moving under stronger shearing winds aloft. The combination of these two weather factors will weaken the system, bringing it back down to a tropical storm level within 120 hours (5 days).
Considering the location of the Hawaiian Islands, Kenneth poses no danger at this point certainly, and likely will have no influence in the future. There’s always that chance that some portion of the remnant moisture from a dissipated Kenneth, could eventually be carried our way on the easterly trade winds…which wouldn’t be until well into next week if at all.