The beautiful (marginally) annular (category five!) Hurricane Celia

June 24, 2010

(Post title edited to change question mark after “category five to exclamation mark), see below

Fairly significant development in the saga of 93L this afternoon, but let us take a glance in the Pacific, for a moment.

The guilt that often haunts admirers of the natural beauty of hurricanes is the knowledge that it is going to bring harm to people.  This evening, admirers can have a guilt-free experience by looking at Hurricane Celia,  which is deep in the eastern Pacific and not a threat to anybody.

In a post earlier this week, when Celia first became a hurricane, I commented on how the National Hurricane Center forecast was ahead of guidance in predicting Celia to become a major hurricane.  Despite being correct in that, the NHC still fell short because of what has happened today:

At the 5 AM advisory Celia was estimated to have 110 mile per hour winds. After/in the midst of a round of rapid intensification, estimates suggest that Celia has winds in the range of 150-160 mph,which is  at or very near category five strength.   In the eastern Pacific record books (authoritative going back 40 years or so), there has only been category five June hurricane, Ava of 1973.

In addition to its high intensity, the objective Annular Hurricane Index, which is built into the SHIPS model to screen storms for the potential of being annular, observed that Celia meets the basic criteria of being an annular hurricane . However, on a scale of 1-100 of annularity, it only merited a 1.

Annular or not, it is pretty

UPDATE : 11 pm advisory makes it official that Celia is the second eastern Pacific hurricane on record to make category five in the month of June.

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