Breaking Updates: Hurricane Olaf Upgraded to Category 4
Hurricane Olaf, the 15th named storm of the eastern Pacific’s hurricane season, was upgraded to a Category Four hurricane on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 135 miles-per-hour (MPH) as of Monday evening. Olaf is well out to sea, over a thousand miles southeast of Hawaii’s Big Island, and while the storm doesn’t appear to be a threat to land, it is setting records.
National Hurricane Center (NHC) Specialist Eric Blake said on Monday that Olaf is the furthest south Category Four hurricane ever seen in the Northern Hemisphere. Olaf is also the 21st Category Four or Five storm in the Northern Hemisphere in 2015, breaking the previous record of 18 Category Four or Five Northern Hemispheric hurricanes from 2004, according to Dr. Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University.
Despite Olaf’s strength, the good news is the projected track keeps Olaf a strong storm but well away from Hawaii or any land.
However, due to the ongoing El Nino, event the Pacific Ocean has seen well above average tropical activity, and that is expected to continue. El Nino is simply the warming of Pacific Ocean sea-surface temperatures to above average levels, leading to a domino affect that affects weather worldwide.
Some long-range models hook some of Olaf’s leftover moisture into the Pacific Northwest next week, so be sure to stay tuned to WeatherNationTV.com for any forecast updates.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi
(Headline image: NASA)