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The twelfth tropical depression has formed in the west of the basin, where rather a lot of the activity seems to have been focused so far. Winds are at 30kts. 12E is on the verge of becoming a tropical storm, as shear is lessening and convection is building a little closer to the LLCC. Shear is forecast to become rather low over the next few days, and 12E will be moving over very warm water. Thus, intensification into a hurricane is expected. Beyond this, shear is set to increase and sea temps cool along track, causing weakening by day 4/5. This system is going to be yet another system that moves into the very active Central Pacific basin, and another to approach Hawaii. However, Hawaii is almost always well protected from tropical cyclones coming in from the east by shear and generally hostile conditions, so if there is any impact it will be from a weakened storm/depression.

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Ignacio has become the season's seventh hurricane with winds of 65kts. Ignacio is expected to become a major hurricane before weakening on approach to Hawaii, interestingly however, the official forecast has Ignacio still being a hurricane as it gets close to Hawaii...

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Ignacio strengthened to 80kts yesterday but has since stopped intensifying. Up until now, Ignacio had a very deep central dense overcast feature but no eye evident. It does appear an eye is clearing out now however, indicating that Ignacio may be strengthening once more. The hurricane's current track has Ignacio passing just northeast of Hawaii, but still close enough to provide weather impact.

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Ignacio has rapidly intensified to 100kts, a cat 3 major hurricane. An eye now distinctly visible as SB says. Further strengthening is possible over the next 24hrs before shear increases and waters cool along track.

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Ignacio has become a category 4 hurricane, with winds of 125kts. Interesting to note that Major Hurricane Kilo to the west has also become a category 4 hurricane; to have two simultaneous category 4 hurricanes in the Central Pacific is a very rare occurence indeed.

Ignacio has probably peaked, as the environment gradually deteriorates to the northwest. Track forecasts still indicate Ignacio should pass to the northeast of Hawaii.

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Shear has been pummelling Ignacio through the last 24hrs and winds are down to 90kts, cat 2. Further weakening is expected as shear persists on the northwesterly track northeast of Hawaii. When Ignacio passes to the north of Hawaii, shear is expected to ease, though Ignacio will be moving over cooler water by then. The net affect is slower weakening at this point. Ignacio is forecast to still be a strong tropical storm well north of Hawaii.

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Ignacio has weakened to 60kts. However, over the last few hours the storm has increased some in organisation, with much deeper, centralised convection and a banding eye evident. Ignacio is moving over warmer waters again, anomalously warm in fact, and into a region of reduced shear. Despite being so far north I wouldn't be surprised if Ignacio became a hurricane again. Impressive for a storm well north of Hawaii!

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Ignacio became a hurricane again after I posted, but has now transitioned into a strong extratropical storm at high lattitude. The extratropical remnants will curve east towards the west coast of Canada in the coming days.

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