The first time, in recorded history of hurricanes, comes this rare simultaneous occurrence of three “Category-IV” hurricanes over the Pacific Ocean. The hurricanes, named as Hurricane Ignacio, Hurricane Jimena and Hurricane Kilo, have been classified as Category IV, by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Category IV signifies the second highest classification on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
The Hurricanes are seen approaching the Big Island of Hawaii. Bureau of Meteorology is currently keeping a close watch on the coast of Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan, which are likely to be hit the worst.
Hurricane Ignacio that was about 450 km to the southeast of the Big Island at midnight last Sunday poses the biggest threat to Hawaii. It is expected to travel north of Hawaii by Tuesday or Wednesday. Even though the hurricane may lose wind force as it approaches the coast, residents could expect a very heavy shower of rain starting tonight with rip currents and swelling sea waters. Warnings have been given not to approach the water. Weathermen are unable to predict the direction Ignacio could take once it has swept past Hawaii.
Hurricane “Jimena”, given its power and wind swirls, is to retain the category IV status up until mid week. Unknown is its path to the weather forecasters at this stage.
The third hurricane “Kilo” is the least threatening of the three, safely churning up the open waters of the Pacific with its 220 km/h winds.
Sea surface temperatures are extremely warm, averaging 2 to 5 degrees above normal and this anomaly of ocean warming associated with a typical El Niño is well known. Researchers feel there could be many more such simultaneous storms in the future due to ocean warming.