3 Hurricanes Create Art, Swell & History Around Hawaii

1 Sep 2015 0 Share

It's kinda cool when you see weather patterns as big as small countries via satellite. Get excited, because this week the mighty Pacific ocean is brewing something special. 

It's an extreme, history-making Hurricane chain that is spreading over the Hawaiian Islands. The three storm cells, (L-R Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena) are all classed as category 4 meaning they will average wind speeds up to 200 Km/h. No three Hurricanes have ever been recorded simultaneously making this not only a great Van Gough interpretation from space but also a scientifically significant weather system.

On average the Hawaiian / Pacific region experiences up to 26 Hurricanes (or tropical storms) per year. Not all reach landfall but the ones that do and even those that sit off land for a couple of hundred miles can create great surf conditions if winds work with the swell concurrently. See the recent Twin Typhoons hitting Japan and the Philippines and The Typhoon Diaries wrap up of this swell event.

(ABOVE - LEFT image: Satellite of 3 active tropical systems surrounding Hawaiian Islands. Typhoon Kilo (left), Hurricane Ignacio (center), and Hurricane Jimena (right) Source: NOAA National Weather Service) - RIGHT Image: Buoy located W of Hawaii shows Jimena swell source: NOAA NWS (Nat. Weather Service)

So what impact will this have on the swell rolling into Hawaii? Coastalwatch Marine Forecaster Kathryn Jackson has been tracking the systems.

Large swell from ex-Hurricane Ignacio hit north and eastern coasts of all Islands Monday with reports of the surf peaking at 20ft on the east coast of Kauai. The ENE swell from Ignacio is now decreasing with a shift of north swell direction and buoys indicating surf decreasing 8-10ft Wednesday (Hawaiian time).

A new E swell from Hurricane Jimena is about to reinforce large surf across southeast coasts of the Big Island and Maui once again Wednesday night. Hurricane Jimena’s ESE swell is generated by wind speeds of 105kt and gusts of 130kt today. This will show a longer period swell of 14-16 seconds to peak by the early hours of Thursday with potential to return 10-15ft waves on east coasts. 

(ABOVE: LEFT Image: Tropical Storm force wind speeds of the three active systems (exceeding 34 knots) Source: NOAA NWS; RIGHT Image: Buoy 5100 located NE of Hawaii shows Ignacio swell spike Tuesday morning Source: NOAA National Data Buoy Center)

Jimena’s E swell holds large surf across east coasts of the Hawaiian Island chain through the weekend.  As well, the northward track of Jimena midweek will progressively move the swell direction NE and gradually strengthen wave heights with the closer proximity of the hurricane.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, Hurricane Kilo is also tracking across the date line today and has changed into “Typhoon” status (due to the location of the storm now in the West Pacific). Kilo will continue to be monitored by the RSMC Tokyo as it dissipates tomorrow

Meanwhile, an active eastern Pacific Ocean remains fuelled by warm sea surface temperatures. Recent satellite images show an area of interest for future Tropical Storm development this week from Tropical Depression 14-E. While forecast currently indicate that TD 14-E has at least a few days before it can strengthen, there is now doubt the early indication of El Nino with the warming trend influencing a stream of hurricane activity. 

Stay tuned for an updated Swell Diary later this week live from Hawaii.

Tags: topnews , hawaii , hurricanes , kilo , jimena , Ignacio , swell (create Alert from these tags)

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