Category 4 Kenneth the strongest East Pacific late-season hurricane on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:43 PM GMT on November 22, 2011

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Hurricane Kenneth has intensified into an impressive Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds in the Eastern Pacific. Kenneth is by far the strongest hurricane to appear so late in the season in the Eastern Pacific; the previous record was held by Hurricane Winnie of December 5, 1983, a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds. There has not been an Atlantic hurricane as strong as Kenneth this late in the season, either; the latest of the seven November major hurricanes in the Atlantic was Hurricane Kate of November 21, 1985 (120 mph winds). Since 1949, here have been just three named storms that have formed in the Eastern Pacific after November 18. These three storms were an unnamed tropical storm on November 27, 1951; Tropical Storm Sharon on November 27, 1971; and Hurricane Winnie on December 5, 1983.

Kenneth is over 27°C waters and under light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, so could conceivably intensify further. However, I expect the storm has peaked, since it's tough for a hurricane to get much stronger than Kenneth's current intensity with ocean temperatures so close to the 26.5°C hurricane formation threshold. Satellite loops show an impressive storm with a large eye, good symmetry, and plenty of upper-level outflow. The relative lack of spiral bands and large, thick eyewall may qualify Kenneth to be a rare breed of hurricanes known as "annular". Annular hurricanes are a subset of intense tropical cyclones that are significantly stronger, maintain their peak intensities longer, and weaken more slowly than average tropical cyclones. The latest SHIPS model output indicates that Kenneth has passed the initial screening step to be considered an annular hurricane. Only 4% of all hurricanes are annular hurricanes.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Kenneth.

Unnamed tropical storm from September 2 brings the Atlantic's 2011 tally to 19
Re-analysis has shown that a tropical disturbance that formed between Bermuda and Nova Scotia on September 2 briefly attained tropical storm status, according to an article posted yesterday by Ken Kaye at SunSentinel.com, quoting NOAA's lead seasonal hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell. The addition of the unnamed tropical storm to the record books brings this year's tally of named storms to nineteen, tying 2011 with 2010, 1995, and 1887 as the 3rd busiest year for tropical storms. Only 2005 and 1933 had more named storms since record keeping began in 1851. An average season has just eleven named storms. Here's my blog entry from September 2 on the unnamed tropical storm:

A well-organized low pressure system with a surface circulation but limited heavy thunderstorm activity due to high wind shear is 450 miles south of Halifax, Canada. This disturbance, (94L), is headed northeast out to sea, and is being given a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by NHC. 94L is under a high 25 - 30 knots of wind shear, but this shear is expected to fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Saturday morning. However, sea surface temperature will fall from 27°C today to 25°C Saturday morning underneath 94L, and the storm will have a very short window of time to get organized enough to get a name. At this point, it's really a subjective judgement call on whether or not 94L is already a tropical storm.

In addition, the Atlantic has gained one more hurricane for the year, as Nate was upgraded to a hurricane in post-season analysis. Nate hit Mexico's Bay of Campeche coast near Veracruz on September 11 as a weak tropical storm. The storm killed five people and caused minor damage near Veracruz. Nate brings this year's tally of hurricanes to seven, one hurricane above average.


Figure 2. True-color MODIS image of Tropical Storm Nate taken at 12:45 pm EDT Friday, September 9, 2011. At the time, Nate was a tropical storm with 50 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Invest 99L in the Atlantic moving over colder waters
In the Atlantic, Invest 99L, an extratropical storm in the middle Atlantic that is generating tropical storm-force winds, has moved over colder waters of 24°C and is looking less tropical than yesterday. The storm is moving northeastwards out to sea and over even colder waters, and is not a threat to any land areas. NHC is giving 99L a 10% chance of becoming a named subtropical storm.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
Has not every EPAC system made it to at least CAT1 this season, with the exception of 1?


Exception of 3: Fernanda, TD Eight-E, and TD Twelve-E
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 51 Comments: 1731
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Heat induced thunderstorms across N FL. Folks it is very hot here in FL. Wishing for cooler weather here as this November is the warmest that I can remember here in the orlando area.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting HurrikanEB:


My biggest question is how do they have more info in retrospect than they had at the time. I mean, excluding landfalling systems and systems that peaked in between advisories, wouldn't they still be working with the same data?

Reams of data are gathered about any storm as it's going on. As conscientious as the folks at the NHC try to be, it's sometimes impossible to process all those data in real time. But once the season is over--or at least winding down--each storm's data is looked over at leisure. And since the NHC tends to err on the side of being conservative the majority of the time, more often than not they discover new data after the fact that necessitates an upgrade.
Quoting DrBobLade:
I really don't like the practice of postmortem upgrading storms. I sometime wonder if it's being done to generate data to help correlate storm frequency and intensity with the global warming phenomenon. Probably just my paranoia, but I don't remember downgrading the status of any storms after the fact. Comments?

There were a number of storms last year that weren't downgraded, but did have their maximum windspeed lowered in the post-season.

If those evil meteorologists were going to "generate data to help correlate storm frequency and intensity with the global warming phenomenon", why would they stop at 19 storms? Why not manufacture a 2005 every year?

As some have noted before, for every person who wonders whether the NHC is classifying storms to fulfill some mysterious GW mandate, there's someone else who wonders whether the NHC is failing to classify storms for opposite but equally nefarious reasons. Maybe both sides should get together and talk out their differences. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13613
SNOW for tomorrow... yay!
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Quoting DrBobLade:
I really don't like the practice of postmortem upgrading storms. I sometime wonder if it's being done to generate data to help correlate storm frequency and intensity with the global warming phenomenon. Probably just my paranoia, but I don't remember downgrading the status of any storms after the fact. Comments?
Yeah that'd be your paranoia.

The reason storms are usually upgraded is because the NHC is conservative when it comes to classifying and analyzing storms. If something is on the border between TS/Cat1, they'll classify it as a TS and check back later to see. Main reason behind this is they don't want the public to lose their trust in them.

If anything, their conservative bias causes them to name fewer storms and hurricanes. Since they are considerably conservative during the season itself, when it comes to the post season analysis of storms they tend to upgrade more storms than downgrade them.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The National Hurricane Center will be debating the October system that affected Florida next week...So we may get 20 named storms.
I can't belive we got 19 storms back-to-back from one season to another.Has that ever happened before?(Starts researching).
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17487
Quoting washingtonian115:
So it looks like the atlantic got 19 named storms anyway.Lol.Impressive I may say.

The National Hurricane Center will be debating the October system that affected Florida next week...So we may get 20 named storms.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32532
So it looks like the atlantic got 19 named storms anyway.Lol.Impressive I may say.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17487
Quoting DrBobLade:
I really don't like the practice of postmortem upgrading storms. I sometime wonder if it's being done to generate data to help correlate storm frequency and intensity with the global warming phenomenon. Probably just my paranoia, but I don't remember downgrading the status of any storms after the fact. Comments?


My biggest question is how do they have more info in retrospect than they had at the time. I mean, excluding landfalling systems and systems that peaked in between advisories, wouldn't they still be working with the same data?

Edit: Katrina was down graded.. at landfall anyway.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I really don't like the practice of postmortem upgrading storms. I sometime wonder if it's being done to generate data to help correlate storm frequency and intensity with the global warming phenomenon. Probably just my paranoia, but I don't remember downgrading the status of any storms after the fact. Comments?
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Kenneth reached its peak this morning, and has now began to go on a downward trend.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32532
...CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE KENNETH FINALLY STOPS STRENGTHENING...

1:00 PM PST Tue Nov 22
Location: 12.6N 114.9W
Max sustained: 145 mph
Moving: W at 12 mph
Min pressure: 943 mb

if it was any other time of the year he probably would have gone straight for cat5.
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111. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
yay! for lessons learned. =D
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PHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!i tried going to my blog to undo it, and saw this: "You have chosen to ignore this blog" so, using the link HadesGodWyvern had, i got to my list and got my name the heck off there!!LESSON LEARNED
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
109. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
fun, huh. LOL
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my comments are gone. SPLbeater has ignored himself
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
107. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
heh
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Quoting Articuno:

I would laugh if someone tried it and couldn't undo it.
XD


here i go. if you dont here from me for 24 hours, that means i couldnt undo it and are making SPLbeater2 lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


http://www.wunderground.com/blog/(username)/ignor euser.html

adding your username to the list. (Remember, this is not recommended) XD

I would laugh if someone tried it and couldn't undo it.
XD
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i am bored. has ANYBODY noticed 99L lately?

99L is a nothing.
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103. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Quoting Articuno:

how? LOL


http://www.wunderground.com/blog/(username)/ignor euser.html

adding your username to the list. (Remember, this is not recommended) XD
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Quoting SPLbeater:



maybe we should make another account and talk trash to ourselves xD

LOL
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Quoting Articuno:

how? LOL



maybe we should make another account and talk trash to ourselves xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
yup you can, but you have to be very careful and able to get back to your ignore list to undo this action.

how? LOL
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
Has not every EPAC system made it to at least CAT1 this season, with the exception of 1?
hard to believe
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Quoting MTWX:

LOL! Nothing but a good bit of rain and some thunder. Tuscaloosa is looking to get some winds from the stronger storms though. The reports are pouring in from that strong band just to the south of me.

Severe wx reports for Nov 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, One and All.
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yup you can, but you have to be very careful and able to get back to your ignore list to undo this action.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
you can ignore yourself to.. how funny.

Action: Quote | Modify Comment
Nope.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
you can ignore yourself to.. how funny.



u sure? all i see is quote and modify comment, lol. if i could ignore myself, i probably would for a test LOL
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
EP132011 - Major Hurricane KENNETH

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery/Loop

..click image for Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Last frame looks like a real eye...

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
you can ignore yourself to.. how funny.
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
Quoting SPLbeater:


hmm. didnt know i could quote myself xD


I didnt either ROFL
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting SPLbeater:


i am bored. has ANYBODY noticed 99L lately?


hmm. didnt know i could quote myself xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I made a comment on KoritheMan's blog

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/KoritheMan/comme nt.html?entrynum=242


I nailed it!
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I made a comment on KoritheMan's blog

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/KoritheMan/comme nt.html?entrynum=242
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Quoting MTWX:

LOL! Nothing but a good bit of rain and some thunder. Tuscaloosa is looking to get some winds from the stronger storms though. The reports are pouring in from that strong band just to the south of me.


i am bored. has ANYBODY noticed 99L lately?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting aspectre:
Okay, 'fess up. One of you called for a Cat.4 yesterday, and I wanna know who.


I did
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84. MTWX
Quoting SPLbeater:
This might get random thumbs up

LOL! Nothing but a good bit of rain and some thunder. Tuscaloosa is looking to get some winds from the stronger storms though. The reports are pouring in from that strong band just to the south of me.
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This might get random thumbs up
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting Tazmanian:
YAWN

lol ikr i am sooooo bored and it stinks that its rainy out
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YAWN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
6.2 earthquake in Bolivia.
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79. MTWX
Under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning now... Lets see what she does!
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Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 2355
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1249 PM CST TUE NOV 22 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...NERN AL...NWRN GA...MIDDLE/ERN TN

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH UNLIKELY

VALID 221849Z - 222045Z


ONLY A MINIMAL SVR THREAT WILL EXIST THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS NERN
AL...NWRN GA...AND MIDDLE/ERN TN...AND THE ISSUANCE OF A WW IS
UNLIKELY.

A SSW-NNE-ORIENTED BAND OF WAA-INDUCED ELEVATED CONVECTION CONTINUES
ACROSS NERN AL INTO SRN PARTS OF MIDDLE TN AHEAD OF A SEWD-SURGING
OUTFLOW BOUNDARY THAT RECENTLY PASSED THROUGH HUNTSVILLE WHILE
ARCING SWWD TOWARD COLUMBUS MS. DESPITE SLY/SWLY FLOW OF 25-35 KT
JUST ABOVE THE SFC PER HUNTSVILLE VWP DATA YIELDING 0-1-KM SRH
VALUES AOA 250 M2/S2...ANY CONVECTION LIKELY WILL REMAIN ROOTED
ABOVE THE STABLE BOUNDARY LAYER RESULTING FROM WIDESPREAD CLOUD
COVERAGE. WHILE A BRIEF UPTICK IN CONVECTION MAY BE NOTED DURING THE
NEXT FEW HRS OWING TO THE INTERACTION OF THE OUTFLOW BOUNDARY WITH
LEADING CONVECTION/WAA ASCENT...AND AS THE SRN FRINGES OF STRONGER
DEEP-LAYER ASCENT BRUSH ACROSS THE REGION...BOUNDARY-LAYER
DESTABILIZATION NORTH OF TORNADO WATCH 895 WILL BE GREATLY LIMITED
BY THE LACK OF INSOLATION AND IMPEDED NWD BOUNDARY-LAYER MOISTURE
FLUX. STABILIZATION WILL BE FURTHER REINFORCED THROUGH THE AFTERNOON
BY AN APPROACHING AREA OF STRATIFORM PRECIP LEADING THE PRIMARY
SYNOPTIC COLD FRONT INVOF THE MS RIVER...WITH VERY LOW CHANCES FOR
DEVELOPMENT OF DEEP CONVECTION ALONG THIS COLD FRONT. THUS...WHILE
ONE OR TWO LEWP STRUCTURES CAPABLE OF PRODUCING GUSTY WINDS CANNOT
BE COMPLETELY RULED OUT IN ADVANCE OF THE STRATIFORM PRECIP
AREA...THE OVERALL SVR THREAT APPEARS MINIMAL. SVR PROBABILITIES
ACROSS PORTIONS OF TN MAY BE REDUCED IN THE UPCOMING 20Z-ISSUANCE OF
THE DAY-1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK.

..COHEN.. 11/22/2011
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todays poteintial for severe weather aint what some thought it would be. the SPC mentioned that in todays outlook: "WIDESPREAD CLOUDS AHEAD OF THE CONVECTION...COUPLED WITH SLOWLY RETURNING LOW LEVEL MOISTURE AND WEAK LOW LEVEL LAPSE RATES SUGGEST THAT THE OVERALL SEVERE THREAT TODAY IS RATHER LIMITED. ALSO...THE MAIN LARGE SCALE ASCENT ASSOCIATED WITH THE UPPER TROUGH IS SPREADING NORTHEASTWARDS INTO THE OH VALLEY AND AWAY FROM THE PRIMARY WARM SECTOR. ALL OF THESE ISSUES SUGGEST THAT... WHILE ISOLATED GUSTY/DAMAGING WIND REPORTS MAY OCCUR LATER TODAY WITH THE LINE OF STORMS...A MORE WIDESPREAD SEVERE EVENT IS NOT EXPECTED.  updated of course recently, not what i heard last night lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting Cotillion:
"Nate brings this year's tally of hurricanes to seven, one hurricane above average."

While I don't like the continual references to the long term average without qualification, it does bring up a good point. Despite the seeming saturation of tropical storms, seven hurricanes is only just below the post-95 AMO+ average of eight. Brings it into perspective a little bit.

Fresh round of hacked climate science emails leaked online.

Climategate II?


Nop. Bunch of stuff held back from the first hack. Blatant attempt to poison the water before upcoming conference.

22 November 2011 Last updated at 12:19 ET

'New release' of climate emails

By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.