Science News

Hawaii May Be Struck By Hurricane Jimena From The Northeast In A Rare Event

Look out Hawaii, Hurricane Jimena might be coming your way.

Sitting out in the tropical latitudes in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is no stranger to hurricanes. The island chain has been affected by 51 tropical storms since 1950, the most destructive of which was Hurricane Iniki in September of 1992 which caused over $3 billion in damages.

So that a hurricane has its eyes set on the island is not all that remarkable. What is remarkable is the direction in which the storm may be approaching the islands — from the northeast.  Typically, tropical storms in this region accelerate northward and even curve northeastward as they die out.  Though a few storms have gone against this pattern, they’ve done so over open water, and none have made landfall on Hawaii in recorded history.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Hurricane Jimena peaked in intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale as a Category 4 for several days, with maximum sustained winds in excess of 130 mph.

The storm has since weakened, but it is still a Category 1 hurricane.

The short-term projected path predicted by the NHC is not that uncommon for a Pacific tropical system. As of September 1, Jimena was traveling to the west-northwest and was expected to gradually shift to a more northerly direction.

Here’s where things get interesting.

Today, the NHC’s projected path, also known as the “cone of uncertainty,” calls for a dramatic shift in track back to the west, perhaps even to the southwest.

Hurricane Jimena Projected Path

By 8 A.M. Sunday, Jimena will be positioned to the Northwest of Hawaii and as Accuweather‘s Alex Sosnowski reports, it is then that the storm may make an unusually rare turn to the southwest due to a nearby high pressure.

High pressure to the north is expected to strengthen and begin to alter the path of Jimena this weekend.

Since records began in 1950, Hawaii has never been struck by a tropical storm or a hurricane from the northeast, according to Accuweather‘s Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

There has never been a full-blown tropical storm or hurricane approach and strike Hawaii from the northeast, from that part of the Pacific, based on records since 1950.

The storm is expected to either maintain Category 1 strength or weaken into a tropical storm as it curves toward the Hawaiian Islands this weekend, according to The Weather Channel.  Depending on the strength of the high pressure that’s guiding the storm, it’s unknown if the storm will simply brush the islands or hit Hawaii head on.

In any event, with the weakening forecast to take place, the storm’s intensity is not expected to be nearly as strong as Hurricane Iniki was, and any damage that occurs should be minimal.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - We Would Love To Keep In Touch

If you liked this article then please consider joing our mailing list to receive the latest news, updates and opportunities from our team.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.