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article imagePacific Ocean's warm waters spawn another big hurricane

By Karen Graham     Aug 18, 2018 in Environment
La Jolla - Hurricane Lane is barreling west across the Pacific Ocean on a course that will bring it close to Hawaii next week. As of 8:00 p.m. PDT, Hurricane Lane is now a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
As Lane continues to strengthen in the East Pacific and could become a Category 4 storm by the time it crosses into the Central Pacific basin sometime on Saturday, according to officials with the National Hurricane Center.
Now the sixth named hurricane of the Pacific hurricane season, Lane intensified into a Category 3 storm Friday afternoon, with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour (195 kilometers per hour). As of 8:00 p.m. tonight, Lane was located about 1855 miles (2985 kilometers) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California, moving west at 16 mph (26 kph).
The storms minimal central pressure at 8:00 p.m. was 964 MB or 28.47 inches. The hurricane is expected to continue moving in a westerly direction, followed by an eventual turn to the west-northwest over the next few days, with the storm forecast to cross into the central Pacific basin on Saturday.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center while tropical-force winds extend outward from the center 105 miles (165 km). During the next 12 hours, Lane is expected to intensify to a Category 4 hurricane. “Lane’s cloud pattern improved significantly this morning, and the cyclone is currently undergoing rapid intensification,” the NHC said earlier today, according to the Washington Post.
The Pacific Ocean's rising temperatures
While the Atlantic hurricane season has been somewhat quiet this year, so far, anyway - the Pacific hurricane season may end up being a whole lot more active this year. And the concerns center around the rising seawater temperatures in the Pacific.
According to CBS News, scientists at the Scripps Pier in La Jolla, San Diego, California have been recording historic temperatures in the Pacific Ocean as high as 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit. That's about 10 degrees above normal. The temperature was recorded on August 1, and is the highest reading in the pier’s 102-year history, according to UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
"It shows that we have been right at or outside of the record temperatures that were already set back in the 30s. So we know we are experiencing a very extreme temperature event," said Clarissa Anderson, executive director of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System.
Another concern for California is the possibility of having to deal with a hurricane. Hurricanes that form in the eastern Pacific Ocean usually don't make it past Baja, California, although one did back in 1858, reaching as far as San Diego. "It could happen, especially if the ocean temperatures continue to stay in this anomalously warm state," said Art Miller, an oceanographer.
More about Pacific ocean, Hurricane Lane, major hurricane, category 3, Hawaii
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