IT’S never been seen before: three Category 4 hurricanes marching across the Pacific at the same time. It’s an event which has Hawaii battening down the hatches.
They’re named Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena.
An awesome image of all three parading across the Pacific was captured by NASA at the weekend.
The serene beauty of the scene belies the threat the trio pose to Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The US Weather Channel notes it is the first time three Category 4 hurricanes have been seen at the same time. It also represents something of a leap: Three concurrent Category 3 hurricanes have not yet been recorded.
IGNACIO: The Big Island of Hawaii is bracing for high winds, heavy rain and ocean swells of up to six metres as strengthening Hurricane Ignacio approaches the state. Ignacio has sustained winds of up to 217km/h. Forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said conditions are right for it to continue strengthening, but upper-level winds will weaken the storm later in the week.
That won’t be enough to prevent high winds and battering surf from hitting Hawaii. A tropical storm watch was issued for the Big Island, and forecasters warned that sustained winds there could potentially reach tropical storm force of 63km/h as early as tonight.
Swells generated by Ignacio along the east and southeast facing shores of the Big Island will increase, creating potentially life-threatening surf conditions, forecasters said.
The hurricane is expected to pass north of Hawaii in the coming week, but forecasters warn that there is still uncertainty about the storm’s path.
JIMENA: Following close on the heels of Ignacio is Hurricane Jimena, which has strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 225km/h. Jimena is expected to remain a major hurricane into midweek, but it will still be far from Hawaii. Forecasters warn, however, that that there is still uncertainty about Jimena’s path.
KILO: Safely situated in open water, Hurricane Kilo’s 220km/h winds are moving steadily westward at about 15 kilometres per hour. It is also expected to remain a major hurricane until at least Thursday.
The above NOAA satellite images show three hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean: Hurricane Kilo, left, Hurricane Ignacio and Hurricane Jimena. Source: NASA Source: Supplied