Hurricane KIKO (Text)


Hurricane Kiko Discussion Number  11
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       EP132019
800 PM PDT Sat Sep 14 2019

Kiko has undergone a remarkable intensification over the past 24
hours. The initial intensity for this advisory is 100 kt, 55 kt
higher than last night's estimate at the same time. The hurricane
briefly developed a very clear eye earlier today, and although the
eye has become slightly obscured by an increase in eyewall
convection, it still has a very impressive satellite appearance.
The 100 kt intensity is based on a blend of recent subjective and
objective estimates that range from 90 to 105 kt.

There is no obvious reason why Kiko would stop strengthening in the
short term. The hurricane is clearly not being affected by any of
the dry air to its east, SSTs beneath the cyclone are warm, and the
shear is quite low. This should be the case for the next 36 h or
so, and Kiko is expected to at least maintain its current strength
through that period. Beyond that time, the intensity forecast is
quite complicated. Kiko will be moving nearly parallel to a strong
SST gradient. If the hurricane moves farther south than forecast,
it could maintain its strength for longer than indicated. But if it
moves farther north, it will likely weaken quickly. Kiko is also
forecast to slow down, and upwelling of colder water could also
become a factor in a few days, even if the hurricane stays on the
warm side of the SST gradient. The NHC forecast continues to show
gradual weakening beyond 36 h, but is on the high side of the
intensity guidance, most of which is tied to a forecast track north
of the latest NHC forecast.

The hurricane has slowed a little but is still moving west with a
motion of 270/8 kt. For the next couple of days a mid-level ridge
should keep Kiko moving generally westward at a similar forward
speed. Beyond that time, there is significant divergence between
the models. The GFS and regional hurricane models all show the
ridge weakening, allowing Kiko to turn northwestward. The ECMWF and
UKMET (as well as a clear majority of their ensembles) show no such
weakness forming and keep Kiko moving steadily westward through
mid-week. Unfortunately, no one solution appears superior at this
point, so the NHC forecast isn't fully following either group of
models. Instead it has been adjusted only modestly southward, and
remains close to the multi-model consensus. Needless to say,
confidence in the forecast is quite low.


INIT  15/0300Z 17.0N 120.1W  100 KT 115 MPH
 12H  15/1200Z 17.0N 121.2W  110 KT 125 MPH
 24H  16/0000Z 17.2N 122.4W  105 KT 120 MPH
 36H  16/1200Z 17.6N 123.6W  100 KT 115 MPH
 48H  17/0000Z 17.8N 124.5W   95 KT 110 MPH
 72H  18/0000Z 18.2N 126.2W   80 KT  90 MPH
 96H  19/0000Z 18.5N 128.0W   60 KT  70 MPH
120H  20/0000Z 18.5N 130.5W   45 KT  50 MPH

Forecaster Zelinsky


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Page last modified: Tuesday, 31-Dec-2019 12:10:04 UTC