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Hurricane Kiko Forecast Discussion


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000
WTPZ43 KNHC 150855
TCDEP3

Hurricane Kiko Discussion Number  12
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       EP132019
200 AM PDT Sun Sep 15 2019

Kiko has continued to strengthen overnight and is now characterized
by a cold ring of convection with cloud top temperatures below -70
degrees Celsius surrounding a clearing, well-defined eye.  Both
subjective and objective satellite intensity estimates have
increased, and a blend of these estimates indicate an initial
intensity of 110 kt.

The improved appearance and structure of Kiko over the past several
hours suggests that some additional strengthening is possible today,
and the official forecast makes Kiko a category 4 hurricane by this
afternoon.  The intensity forecast beyond that time becomes
challenging.  Dynamical and statistical guidance unanimously weaken
Kiko over the next few days.  However, other than a slight increase
in northeasterly shear indicated in SHIPS guidance, there are no
other environmental indicators that stand out as a good reason for
Kiko to weaken as quickly as shown by that guidance.  It is also
interesting to note that there is significant model spread in the
forecast position of Kiko by 72 hours.  Some of the guidance places
Kiko over cool SSTs by day 3, while some solutions keep Kiko over
warmer water.  The official foreast, which is similar to the
previous one, does indicate some weakening through 72 hours, but
at a slower rate than the majority of the guidance since the latest
forecast has trended southward over warm water.  After 72 hours,
increasing southwesterly shear from an upper-level trough to the
northwest of Kiko should cause steady weakening after that time.

Kiko is moving just south of due west, or 265/7 kt. A mid level
ridge to the north of the hurricane should keep it generally on a
west or west-northwestward track for the next couple of days. As
mentioned previously, the models diverge by 72 hours as they
differ in how they handle a mid to upper-level trough approaching
California from the west. The northernmost solutions produce a
break in the ridge with a sharper trough.  The southern solutions
keep the ridge in tact.  Based on the continuation of a slight
southward trend in the guidance, and the southward bias in the
actual track of the cyclone recently, I am placing a little more
weight on the southern solutions.  However, given the large spread
beyond 72 hours, the track confidence during that time is low.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  15/0900Z 16.9N 120.7W  110 KT 125 MPH
 12H  15/1800Z 16.9N 121.8W  115 KT 130 MPH
 24H  16/0600Z 17.2N 122.9W  105 KT 120 MPH
 36H  16/1800Z 17.5N 124.0W  100 KT 115 MPH
 48H  17/0600Z 17.6N 124.9W   95 KT 110 MPH
 72H  18/0600Z 17.8N 126.6W   80 KT  90 MPH
 96H  19/0600Z 18.1N 128.4W   65 KT  75 MPH
120H  20/0600Z 18.5N 131.0W   55 KT  65 MPH

$$
Forecaster Latto