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Hurricane Kiko Forecast Discussion Number 12

2019-09-15 10:55:11| National Hurricane Center (East Pacific)

Issued at 200 AM PDT Sun Sep 15 2019 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

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