15th Anniversary of Category Five Hurricanes Elida, Hernan, and Kenna

Hurricane Elida near peak intensity on July 25, 2002
(NOAA)

On July 25, 2002, Hurricane Elida in the eastern Pacific reached Category Five status when its winds reached 155 mph (250 km/hr).  Elida became the first of three east Pacific Category Five hurricanes to form during that busy season.  It was followed by Hurricane Hernan (which became a Cat 5 on sept. 1st) and then Hurricane Kenna (reaching Cat 5 on Oct. 24th).  Of this trio, only Kenna made landfall on mainland Mexico, causing over US$100 million in damage and killing four people.

Data from flights into Hurricane Kenna were included in the paper:

Stern, D. P., G. H. Bryan, and S. D. Aberson, 2016: Extreme updrafts and wind speeds measured by dropsondes in tropical cyclones. Mon. Wea. Rev., 144, 21772204.