Meet Hurricane Jova, being described as “Western Hemisphere's strongest hurricane so far in 2023,” and presents the possibility of Category Five hurricanes in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans simultaneously.
It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that Hurricane Hilary drenched parts of southern California, even having been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit the state. And now another hurricane is threatening to arrive in California, as the Chronicle reports that a new Hurricane Jova is speeding through the Pacific Ocean, currently some 500 miles southwest of Baja, California.
Hurricane Jova, (pronounced “HO-vah”, like Jay-Z) seemingly came out of nowhere Wednesday, turning from a tropical storm to a Category Five hurricane in less than 24 hours. It’s winds reached sustained speeds of 160 miles per hour Wednesday night. Though as of Thursday morning, its wind speeds dropped slightly to an average of 155 miles per hour, making it a Category Four.
Still, the Chronicle points out that “The storm’s strength is expected to fluctuate,” though eventually weaken Thursday evening.
Thankfully, Accuweather says “the storm poses no immediate threat to land.” The Bay Area is not likely to see any rain from this system, though there will likely be rain from the outer bands of the hurricane in Monterey and San Benito Counties on Saturday. Las Vegas might even get rain from the storm. too. But it’s not anticipated to be anywhere near as bad as the impacts of Tropical Storm Hilary, which walloped several southern California cities with floods, as Hurricane Jova is so far out to sea.
“It’s going to remain quite far away from us,” National Weather Service Bay Area meteorologist Sean Miller said to the Chronicle Wednesday.
But Southern California may see some flooding from high surf, with he the highest risk in areas like Long Beach.
"Jova will track to the northwest through the weekend and is not expected to bring direct impacts to land," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham. "It will, however, bring rough surf and rip currents to the west coast of Mexico and potentially into coastal Southern California."
Accuweather is calling Hurricane Jova “the Western Hemisphere's strongest hurricane so far in 2023 ... for now.” That “for now” qualifier is added because there is yet another hurricane, Hurricane Lee, currently heading toward the Atlantic Coast. And as Accuweather points out, if Jova regains Category Five status, and Lee becomes a Category Five too, it would be the first time in recorded history that Category Five hurricanes occurred simultaneously in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Those records go back to 1960, when meteorologists started maintaining satellite records on hurricane strength.