Cyclone Chapala Update: Just Part of a Record Cyclone Year

November 4, 2015

Weather Channel:

A record 22 hurricanes or typhoons have reached Category 4 or 5 strength in the Northern Hemisphere this year.

The record was broken on Oct. 17 when Koppu became the nineteenth storm to reach this intensity prior to slamming into the Philippines as a super typhoon. Since then, Super Typhoon Champi, Hurricane Olaf and Hurricane Patricia added to the total.

The old record for the Northern Hemisphere was 18 set in 2004, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University and blogger for wunderground.com. For perspective, an average of 12.5 Category 4 or 5 storms have been recorded during the 1990-2014 period, Klotzbach added.

Category 4 and 5 hurricanes or equivalent typhoons are the two most extreme classifications on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Most of the typhoons or hurricanes in 2015 that have maxed out at Category 4 or 5 strength have been in the western, central or eastern Pacific basins. Hurricane Joaquin is the only Atlantic hurricane to reach Category 4 intensity this season.

This is different than 2004, which had four hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Karl) contribute to the aforementioned Northern Hemisphere record of 18 Category 4 or 5 storms in a calendar year.

El Niño is likely playing a role in the very active Pacific that we’ve seen this year, partially by reducing the amount of wind shear in the central and eastern Pacific. The Pacific tropical activity can also be attributed to the impressively warm ocean water that we’ve seen.

2 Responses to “Cyclone Chapala Update: Just Part of a Record Cyclone Year”

  1. indy222 Says:

    Would be great to see a graph on that progression through time; Cat 4+5’s vs date. Useful in my classes for sure.


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