Hurricane Records Broken As 3 Major Pacific Hurricanes Coexist

On August 29, 2015, for the first time on record, three *major* hurricanes were active simultaneously in the central/eastern Pacific (east of the International Date Line, 180ºW).  A major hurricane is defined as a category 3 or higher.  Yet another record was set at 10 pm CDT.

8 pm CDT 8/29: Three Major Hurricanes Set a Pacific Record

  • Hurricane Kilo: Max sustained winds of 125 mph (Cat 3)
  • Hurricane Ignacio: Max sustained winds of 135 mph (Cat 4)
  • Hurricane Jimena: Max sustained winds of 140 mph (Cat 4)

10 pm CDT 8/29: Another Record Broken; Three Category 4 Hurricanes

All three storms were category 4 as of 10 pm CDT. This is yet another record. This is the first time in the historical record that three or more hurricanes category 4 or stronger existed simultaneously in the same basin (this record includes both basins: the Pacific east of the IDL and the North Atlantic).  Hurricane Kilo rapidly intensified on August 29 to a category 4.

  • Hurricane Kilo: Max sustained winds of 135 mph (Cat 4)  [Note: After crossing 180ºW on 9/1/15, Kilo became a Typhoon]
  • Hurricane Ignacio: Max sustained winds of 145 mph (Cat 4)
  • Hurricane Jimena: Max sustained winds of 140 mph (Cat 4)

Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies & 3 Major Hurricanes

As of 8 pm CDT, three major hurricanes were active simultaneously in the central and eastern Pacific. As mentioned above, this is the first time on record for such an event in the Pacific basin east of the International Date Line (180ºW).  Sea surface temperatures are extremely warm, averaging 2 to 5 degrees above normal.  This anomaly is well north of the oceanic warming associated with a typical El Niño.

Three major hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific at the same time for the first time on record

Water Vapor Loop of Pacific Hurricanes Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena

Water vapor imagery on August 29, 2015

Water vapor imagery on August 29, 2015

Streamline animation over the central and eastern Pacific

Model-simulated streamlines (animation) over the central and eastern Pacific

Infrared Satellite Loop (August 29, 2015)

My friend Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center tweeted this earlier.

My friend Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center tweeted this earlier.

The Typical El Niño

This is what a typical El Niño looks like.  A comparison with the current temperature anomalies in the illustration above reveals that a very rare event is currently underway.

What is El Niño? This illustration shows what a typical event looks like.

What is El Niño? This illustration shows what a typical event looks like.

Return to the top

In a future post, we will delve into the potential impacts of El Niño on the weather pattern for North Texas and the Southeast.  Go to the forecast for DFW

Tagged .