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

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

Share this Blog
20
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 275 - 225

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6Blog Index

275. SPLbeater
3:00 AM GMT on December 06, 2011
looky what i found xD

WTXS21 PGTW 060300
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
RMKS/
1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN 120 NM EITHER SIDE OF A LINE 16.9S 69.9E TO 17.5S 65.5E WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DUES NOT JUSTIFY THE ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME. WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 28 TO 30 KNOTS. METSAT IMAGERY AT 060000Z INDICATES THAT A CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED NEAR 17.0S 69.6E. THE SYSTEM IS MOVING WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD AT 06 KNOTS.


well...#2 time 98S has done this, and if it develops it will go completely against the outlook i gave and the JTWC gave.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
274. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:29 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Hey, everybody! They moved the party to next door! New blog.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4745
273. Patrap
4:07 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Williwaw

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In meteorology, a williwaw is a sudden blast of wind descending from a mountainous coast to the sea. The word is of unknown origin, but was earliest used by British seamen in the 19th century. The usage appears for winds found in the Strait of Magellan, the Aleutian Islands and the coastal fjords of the Alaskan Panhandle, where the terms outflow wind and squamish wind are also used for the same phenomenon. On Greenland the word piteraq is used.

The williwaw results from the descent of cold, dense air from the snow and ice fields of coastal mountains in high latitudes, accelerated by the force of gravity. Thus the williwaw is considered a type of katabatic wind.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
272. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:02 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Guysgal:
Fascinating article from NYT that gives one hope as our climate changes! Link


The problem is, for Texas, we are running out of trees.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4745
271. ycd0108
3:54 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Guysgal:
I bookmarked that article for the folks here to read. We are discussing "Selective Logging" on 20 acres here. I ran a "Skidder" for a while and I don't want what I did then in "My Back Yard".
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 179 Comments: 4633
270. islander101010
3:53 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
records have not been around for long especially the epac happy turkey weekend to everyone
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4728
269. Guysgal
3:40 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Fascinating article from NYT that gives one hope as our climate changes! Link
Member Since: May 9, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 218
268. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:28 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:

If it wasn't frontal...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
267. ycd0108
3:27 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Question:
Can anyone add to the explanation of the wind phenomenon: Williwa?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williwaw
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 179 Comments: 4633
266. WxGeekVA
3:27 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Tazmanian:




%100 likey it wont get name today


Postseason it is then.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3475
265. CybrTeddy
3:22 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24175
264. Patrap
3:07 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
.."Dont touch the TRIM"
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
263. Tazmanian
3:02 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting WxGeekVA:


If it doesn't get named today I am willing to bet 99L will be classified as a subtropical storm in postseason analysis.




%100 likey it wont get name today
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
262. TampaSpin
2:35 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
261. WxGeekVA
2:25 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:
Partial pass of 99L by ASCAT this morning..



If it doesn't get named today I am willing to bet 99L will be classified as a subtropical storm in postseason analysis.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3475
260. SPLbeater
2:21 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
well, the good thing is radar estimated my city picked up around just over a quarter inch of rain...and trust me, it looks it outside in the yard lol. puppy was slidin all over the place lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
259. WeatherNerdPR
2:16 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5690
258. StormTracker2K
2:11 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting MTWX:
Read somewhere this morning the GFS is bringing snow into the picture Monday for the SE!


I don't know about that but I'm sure it's possible with such a strong ULL. We've seen this happen time & time again and sometimes these events can be huge wet snow makers on the NW side of the ULL.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
257. StormTracker2K
2:07 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
256. StormTracker2K
2:04 PM GMT on November 23, 2011


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
255. StormTracker2K
2:02 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Stormy WX for the SE US with a big time severe potential across N & C FL either Sunday night or Monday.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
254. MTWX
2:00 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Read somewhere this morning the GFS is bringing snow into the picture Monday for the SE!
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1393
253. SPLbeater
1:50 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:
Cambridge University is now predicting 2015 as the year of the first Arctic sea ice free summer..


i had read about a solar eclipse in 2017 too, heh :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
252. Skyepony (Mod)
1:39 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Partial pass of 99L by ASCAT this morning..

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38171
251. StormTracker2K
1:39 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Kenneth is going POOF! As I said yesterday cold water wasn't that far away.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
250. SPLbeater
1:33 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Kenneth 5:30 AM PST Nov. 23

CI#/ Pressure/ Vmax
5.1/ 972.3mb/ 92.4kt

Raw T# Adj T# Final T#
3.8 4.4 4.7

Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
249. Skyepony (Mod)
1:32 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Cambridge University is now predicting 2015 as the year of the first Arctic sea ice free summer..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38171
248. Bobbyweather
1:23 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
99L is still subtropical according to SSD
23/1145 UTC 31.9N 39.7W ST1.5 99L
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 89 Comments: 2655
247. StormTracker2K
1:10 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
Stormy night across N FL and S GA.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
246. WxGeekVA
12:09 PM GMT on November 23, 2011
OMG You killed Kenny! You *******

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3475
245. Bobbyweather
8:30 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:
And Katia's report is now complete! Boring Lee is next.


Did you write the report?
I couldn't find it from the NHC, nor your blog.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 89 Comments: 2655
244. winter123
7:25 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
So for those wondering about this Sept. 2 storm, here you go (Java loop)
Link

If it was ever a tropical or even a subtropical storm, it was VERY short lived, around 12Z Sept. 2. For most of it's life (Aug 31st-Sept 3) it was a naked swirl embedded within a front and what must have been a 40kt jet stream!

Also, Kenneth's weakening is fascinating me. The outflow is taking all the convection and it is moving around the center in a clockwise fashion. So just by satellite appearance (ignoring the surface winds) it looks like a southern hemisphere Tropical Storm!
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1797
243. CaicosRetiredSailor
6:32 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, you're talking about where I lived.


Lived??
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6049
242. Grothar
6:27 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


I wouldn't be able to live in these conditions


It's not so bad, only if you work the "Night Shift" You can be at work for 3 months.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26481
241. Grothar
6:20 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Tazmanian:
Details:

After a long slow dawn, the Sun was rising above the horizon for one of the last times of the year today. Me and my girlfriend went out to say a last goodbye to the Sun and minutes after sunrise the dusk began, marking the onset of the polar night. Here in Tromsø the polar night period last from November 25 - January 17, but because of the surrounding mountains, the last day of Sun is "set" to November 22. Together with several other people who was out with to pay a last farewell to the Sun today, we say thank you for 2011 Sun, and welcome back in January. Nikon D3, AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, 1/640 sec, f 13, ISO 200.








Hey, you're talking about where I lived.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26481
240. trHUrrIXC5MMX
6:00 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Tazmanian:
Details:

After a long slow dawn, the Sun was rising above the horizon for one of the last times of the year today. Me and my girlfriend went out to say a last goodbye to the Sun and minutes after sunrise the dusk began, marking the onset of the polar night. Here in Tromsø the polar night period last from November 25 - January 17, but because of the surrounding mountains, the last day of Sun is "set" to November 22. Together with several other people who was out with to pay a last farewell to the Sun today, we say thank you for 2011 Sun, and welcome back in January. Nikon D3, AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, 1/640 sec, f 13, ISO 200.








I wouldn't be able to live in these conditions
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
239. Tazmanian
5:54 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Details:

After a long slow dawn, the Sun was rising above the horizon for one of the last times of the year today. Me and my girlfriend went out to say a last goodbye to the Sun and minutes after sunrise the dusk began, marking the onset of the polar night. Here in Tromsø the polar night period last from November 25 - January 17, but because of the surrounding mountains, the last day of Sun is "set" to November 22. Together with several other people who was out with to pay a last farewell to the Sun today, we say thank you for 2011 Sun, and welcome back in January. Nikon D3, AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm, 1/640 sec, f 13, ISO 200.






Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
238. trHUrrIXC5MMX
5:50 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:
And Katia's report is now complete! Boring Lee is next:

Hurricane Katia

August 29 - September 10

Katia was a Cape Verde hurricane which briefly reached Category 4 strength over the western Atlantic. It did not affect land.

Katia developed from a tropical wave which emerged off the west coast of Africa on August 27. The wave almost immediately began showing signs of curavture in the associated convection as it marched westward across the tropical Atlantic. The system became a tropical depression near 0000 UTC August 29 while located about 450 miles south of the southern Cape Verde Islands. The depression became a tropical storm near 0600 UTC August 30 while centered about about 550 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. Katia is estimated to have become a hurricane near 0000 UTC September 1 while about 1200 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Katia was only briefly a hurricane, however, as westerly shear, associated with an unseasonably strong mid-tropospheric trough, impinged upon the cyclone. Based on satellite and scatterometer data, Katia is estimated to have weakened to a tropical storm near 1200 UTC September 1 while located about 1000 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

The weakening was short-lived, however, and Katia regained hurricane strength around 1200 UTC September 2. Residual southwesterly shear prevented significant intensification as Katia passed north of the Leeward Islands. Although it is possible that Katia briefly weakened to a tropical storm again on September 3, satellite images were still fairly impressive, the pulsating nature of the convection notwithstanding, and any weakening that took place appears to have been too brief to be meaningful. Katia eventually overcame the shear and became a major hurricane near 1200 UTC September 5. At this time, the hurricane was centered approximately 500 miles south-southeast of Bermuda. Katia continued to strengthen, reaching its peak intensity of 115 kt near 0000 UTC September 6 while centered roughly 465 miles south of Bermuda. The strengthening was short-lived, however, and Katia began to weaken almost immediately thereafter, with the previously well-defined eye disappearing around 0600 UTC. Katia dropped below major hurricane status near 1800 UTC. Katia continued to weaken as an amplifying trough over the western Atlantic inflicted southwesterly shear and dry air into the circulation. However, the large size of the circulation prevented this weakening from being rapid, and Katia would retain winds of hurricane force until dissipation on September 10.

Based on the satellite signature, Katia is estimated to have made the transition to an extratropical cyclone near 1200 UTC September 10 while centered about 350 miles east-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Post-tropical Katia remained quite vigorous, eventually bringing hurricane force winds to the British Isles and portions of Scotland.



yes. she was boring
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
237. ycd0108
5:46 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
RIP Kenneth!
Good to see you, though.
K
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 179 Comments: 4633
236. Tazmanian
5:45 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Walshy:




you have too up lode that too imshack if you post it like that you are this showing us a black box of nothing
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
235. Tazmanian
5:44 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting Walshy:



we cant see nothing
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
234. Walshy
5:41 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Link
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
233. KoritheMan
5:19 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
And Katia's report is now complete! Boring Lee is next:

Hurricane Katia

August 29 - September 10

Katia was a Cape Verde hurricane which briefly reached Category 4 strength over the western Atlantic. It did not affect land.

Katia developed from a tropical wave which emerged off the west coast of Africa on August 27. The wave almost immediately began showing signs of curavture in the associated convection as it marched westward across the tropical Atlantic. The system became a tropical depression near 0000 UTC August 29 while located about 450 miles south of the southern Cape Verde Islands. The depression became a tropical storm near 0600 UTC August 30 while centered about about 550 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. Katia is estimated to have become a hurricane near 0000 UTC September 1 while about 1200 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Katia was only briefly a hurricane, however, as westerly shear, associated with an unseasonably strong mid-tropospheric trough, impinged upon the cyclone. Based on satellite and scatterometer data, Katia is estimated to have weakened to a tropical storm near 1200 UTC September 1 while located about 1000 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

The weakening was short-lived, however, and Katia regained hurricane strength around 1200 UTC September 2. Residual southwesterly shear prevented significant intensification as Katia passed north of the Leeward Islands. Although it is possible that Katia briefly weakened to a tropical storm again on September 3, satellite images were still fairly impressive, the pulsating nature of the convection notwithstanding, and any weakening that took place appears to have been too brief to be meaningful. Katia eventually overcame the shear and became a major hurricane near 1200 UTC September 5. At this time, the hurricane was centered approximately 500 miles south-southeast of Bermuda. Katia continued to strengthen, reaching its peak intensity of 115 kt near 0000 UTC September 6 while centered roughly 465 miles south of Bermuda. The strengthening was short-lived, however, and Katia began to weaken almost immediately thereafter, with the previously well-defined eye disappearing around 0600 UTC. Katia dropped below major hurricane status near 1800 UTC. Katia continued to weaken as an amplifying trough over the western Atlantic inflicted southwesterly shear and dry air into the circulation. However, the large size of the circulation prevented this weakening from being rapid, and Katia would retain winds of hurricane force until dissipation on September 10.

Based on the satellite signature, Katia is estimated to have made the transition to an extratropical cyclone near 1200 UTC September 10 while centered about 350 miles east-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Post-tropical Katia remained quite vigorous, eventually bringing hurricane force winds to the British Isles and portions of Scotland.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 584 Comments: 20829
232. sunlinepr
5:04 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
231. Skyepony (Mod)
4:55 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Fresher oceansat that missed but check that 2nd broad surface circulation trying NE of 99L. Models have hinted at this.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38171
230. Skyepony (Mod)
4:51 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
ASCAT of 99L
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38171
229. Skyepony (Mod)
4:46 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
TRMM hasn't passed Kenneth i two days. Got 99L today.. A very high reaching storm for an invest.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38171
228. SPLbeater
4:41 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
night all. tell Kenneth he looks pathetic, lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
227. SPLbeater
4:18 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
so, here it what i find for Kenneth:

CI#/Pressure/Vmax
6.1/951.8mb/117.4kt

Raw T# Adj T# Final T#
4.4 5.5 5.6

Scene Type:UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

sorry if i am posting stuff yal already seen...still excited, LOL
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
226. SPLbeater
4:12 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
i feel like a big boy now lol. i just found 5-10 day satellite and 850mb vorticity loops. also found ADT , and all the stuff i had looked at just from fellow bloggers. YAY I FOUND IT!! LOL
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4486
225. Tazmanian
4:09 AM GMT on November 23, 2011
Quoting HurrikanEB:

Tell you one thing...

This:


is Not 10mph weaker than This:




that is not a cat 4 at lest not any more are hurricane is weaking and fast it could be a TS by wed AM and poof by thursday AM mid day if this rate of weaking keeps up
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239

Viewing: 275 - 225

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6Blog Index

Top of Page

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.