Hurricane Kenneth has strengthened to a category 4 storm far from land in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, becoming the strongest late-season hurricane on record in that region, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.
Kenneth also is the first major hurricane (category 3 or higher) on record to have formed in the eastern North Pacific so late in the year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.
Kenneth, churning about 750 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexicoâ€™s Baja California and heading away from Mexico on Tuesday morning, presents no immediate threat to land. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.
The hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, was moving west at about 13 mph shortly before 7 a.m. PT, the hurricane center said. Category 4 storms have sustained winds of 131-155 mph.
The storm is expected to weaken and turn to the west-northwest on Wednesday, the hurricane center said.
When Kenneth became a tropical depression on Sunday, it became only the fourth named storm in the eastern North Pacific to have formed after November 18, according to the hurricane center. Before Kenneth, the most recent was Hurricane Winnie, which formed on December 4, 1983.
The eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November 30, with peak activity from July through September, according to NOAA. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and ends November 30.