DISCUSSION: As of 0300 UTC, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC), Hurricane Lane continues to propagate westward about 735 miles East Southeast of Hilo, and 950 miles East Southeast of Honolulu. Lane is producing maximum sustained winds at approximately 120 miles per hour (mph), making this system a significant Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
The CPHC has not currently issued any watches or warnings, however this will be a system to which the CPHC will monitor due to its proximity to the Hawaiian island chain. Some weakening is expected but errors still exist in the model forecast making the subtropical ridge a difficult feature to resolve.
The Global Forecast System (GFS) model has some indication that the storm will past to the south of the Hawaiian Islands and with the presence of a front to the West of the islands may push the system Thursday into the islands, providing a significant breakup of the system as it crosses the Koolaus, Waianae Range and Haleakala. Tuesday should provide some increased indication of model error in addition to the presence of hurricane hunters currently observing the storm. Data collected from the aircraft should assist in resolving localized errors.
Stay tuned for additional information on Hurricane Lane at the Global Weather and Climate Center!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jessica Olsen
US Department of Commerce, & NOAA. (2004, November 07). Central Pacific Hurricane Center - Honolulu, Hawai`i. Retrieved from http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/
Respect for the Recent Show which Hurricane Hector Put on! (credit: Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz)
DISCUSSION: Within the past two weeks and then some, the world had the opportunity to watch Hurricane Hector evolve in quite an impressive fashion. As is shown in the animated radar loop above per the radar site in southern Hawaii, there was quite an impressive radar display on-hand for all those who had the chance to observe this intense tropical cyclone evolve. As the above radar animation, you can see how at that point in time, Major Hurricane Hector was quickly approaching southern Hawaii at a distance of around 150 to 160 miles to the south. Thus, it was far enough away to minimize any and all impacts which were felt on the southernmost island in the state of Hawaii, but still close enough for the radar site to capture the shorter-term evolution of this intense tropical cyclone.
In taking a closer look at Hurricane Hector, you can see how Hector maintained a fairly tightly-wrapped and compact circulation which did not change its course all that much during the course of this radar animation. For that reason, this nearly consistent westerly motion allowed for some more reasonable visual analysis of additional features associated with Hurricane Hector to be studied. For example, as the eye of Hurricane Hector approached a position which was almost exactly perpendicular to the radar site in southern Hawaii, you can begin to see the deepest convection associated with the eye wall of what was a Major Hurricane Hector. In addition, you can also see the feature which is most commonly referred to as the moat of an intense tropical cyclone. The moat is the region which is most often found between the eye wall of a tropical cyclone and the first outer rain-band.
The only catch with Hurricane Hector was that Hurricane Hector was an annular tropical cyclone during most of its peak intensity period which allowed the tropical cyclone to have near-perfectly symmetric rain bands during this period of time. This is impressive since the large majority of tropical cyclones do not maintain a classic annular structure for a multi-day period since oceanic sea-surface temperatures as well as low/mid-level atmospheric environmental conditions have to be just right.
To learn more about other high-impact weather events occurring across Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean, be sure to click here!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz
DISCUSSION: There is no debate that over the past two weeks and then some, Hurricane Hector put on quite a show across the Eastern, Central, and now Western Pacific Ocean basins. Even at the present time, Hector still remains to be a tropical storm over in the Western Pacific Ocean basin. However, the main attraction when it comes to the 2018 Hurricane Hector was the performance this tropical cyclone put on across the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean basins since around 28 July through 11 August. During that time, Hurricane Hector went on to impress the global meteorological and non-meteorological communities alike with a very persistent ability to remain a powerful tropical cyclone. Moreover, during that period of time, it went on to pass well to the south of the state of Hawaii. In particular, Hurricane Hector ended up moving within 150 miles or so of the southern-most island which staved off the worst of the storm's impacts.
It also helped that the circulation of Hector was rather tightly-wrapped throughout its lifetime without much fluctuation in size throughout most of its existence as a hurricane across the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean basins. Furthermore, during a good portion of its time as a hurricane, it also developed and maintained what is referred to as an annular structure which is where there is nearly a perfect energy distribution through the storm's inner core. What was most impressive about Hurricane Hector was how long the annular structure persisted within this particular tropical cyclone. Often times, annular tropical cyclones form when a tropical cyclone moves over abundantly warm ocean water and very minimal shear with allows tropical cyclones to sometimes develop near-perfectly balanced energy distributions. However, there are often variations with respect to how long tropical cyclones maintain their annular structure for. Yet, in the case of Hurricane Hector, there was an unusually long persistence which was almost the perfect scenario for a tropical cyclone including the fact that there were little to impacts to land.
Attached above is a neat graphic (courtesy of Meteorologist Michael Lowry from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC)). In the above graphic, you can see the other hurricanes which have passed within 150 miles of Hawaii since 1949 which helps to put things in perspective in the context of the recent track of Hurricane Hector. Though it certainly was not the closest hurricane to approach and/or impact the U.S. state of Hawaii, there is still a lot of be said for the show this powerful tropical cyclone put on in the context of the state-of-the-art GOES-16 (i.e., GOES-East) satellite imager.
To learn more about other high-impact weather events occurring across the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean, be sure to click here!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz
Hurricane Preparedness, Before the Storm (Credit: National Hurricane Center Miami & Meteorologist Jessica Olsen)
Discussion: With the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami issuing advisories ahead of Hurricane Hector, a category 2 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, Hector is expected to move into the Central Pacific Hurricane Centers’ (CPHC) authority shortly.
The forecast advisory issued at 0300 UTC Friday August 3rd, 2018 by the NHC indicates that the hurricane center is located near 14.1N 126.9W with westward propagation at 11 knots (kt). It is approximately 1900 miles east-southeast of Hilo, and about 2095 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. Estimated minimum central pressure is 973 millibars (mb), with maximum sustained winds at 95kt with gusts to 115kt. Hector is expected to continue westward propagation over the next several days, especially with a ridge to the north helping to drive the hurricane towards the Central Pacific. Little change is expected after Hector’s recent rapid intensification due to the intrusion of some dry air, shear and the shift towards cooler ocean waters. GOES Visible also indicating a lack of clear eye identification at 0430 UTC (NHC Miami).
The National Weather Service has offered information regarding hurricane preparation:
Stay up to date with additional forecast and preparedness information at the Global Weather and Climate Center!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jessica Olsen
Beven. “National Hurricane Center.” NHC, 1 Jan. 2001, www.nhc.noaa.gov/?epac#Hector.
US Department of Commerce, and NOAA. “What to Do Before the Tropical Storm or Hurricane.” National Weather Service, NOAA's National Weather Service, 1 June 2018, www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-plan.