Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Kilo (left), Ignacio (center), and Jimena (right). Photo: NASA
for the first time in recorded history, a very rare meteorological event occurred on Saturday when three Category 4 hurricanes simultaneously emerged in the Pacific Ocean—two of which are inching toward the Hawaiian Islands.
According to the US Weather Channel, we haven’t seen anything close to this phenomenon before. Three simultaneous Category 3 hurricanes have yet to be recorded. While Hawaii appears to be the most immediate threat, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan are also on the radar of experts.
On Saturday night, Hurricane Kilo (135 mph) was located well southwest of the Hawaiian Islands followed by Hurricane Ignacio (140 mph) to the east of Hawaii and Hurricane Jimena (140 mph) in the eastern Pacific. However, by Sunday afternoon, both Kilo and Ignacio weakened and were classified as Category 3 hurricanes, while Jimena maintained its Category 4 status.
Infared satellite image. Photo: Unisys Weather
Infared satellite image. Photo: Unisys Weather
Currently, Ignacio poses the biggest threat to Hawaii. As of midnight on Sunday, it was about 280 miles to the southeast of the Big Island and is expected to travel north of the Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ignacio, which has winds of up to 135 mph, is unlikely to actually hit the coast, but meteorologists are saying residents should expect heavy rain and winds.
Hurricane Jimena, on the other hand, is expected to sustain its “major hurricane” status until the midweek, but so far, it poses no major threat to the islands just yet. This particular hurricane, however, is looking extremely promising in terms of swell for both the US West Coast and Hawaii.
This very rare meteorological event has been linked to a stronger than usual El Niño weather pattern, which meteorologists are saying we should start to get used to, as many more are expected in the future. For all of us in Southern California experiencing a severe water and swell shortage, we say bring it on, El Niño! Bring it on!