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Category 4 Kenneth Most Powerful November Hurricane

By , Senior Meteorologist
Nov 23, 2011; 12:01 AM ET

This satellite image, courtesy of the Naval Research Lab, shows powerful Hurricane Kenneth over the eastern Pacific Tuesday morning.

Hurricane Kenneth formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean early this week, a rare feat for this time of year. What is even more impressive is how strong it has become.

Kenneth, which gained monster Category 4 status, is the strongest hurricane ever so late in the season for the basin.'s Jesse Ferrell reports that no other major (Category 3 or greater) hurricanes have been observed in the eastern Pacific during the month of November since records began in the 1800s.

Ferrell has more images and details in his blog. Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski recently suggested that the eastern Pacific would have one last hurrah before hurricane season ends on November 30. That notion came true late Saturday afternoon.

The Atlantic Basin may follow suit in the upcoming days.

Tropical Depression 13-E took shape Saturday afternoon and strengthened into Tropical Storm Kenneth about 24 hours later. During Monday morning, Kenneth became a hurricane. By Tuesday morning, the storm had exploded into a major Category 4 hurricane.

This image was captured from a high resolution animation of the eye of Hurricane Kenneth from CIMSS.

The Hurricane Center has the latest statistics on Kenneth.

Not since Hurricane Winnie in 1983 has a tropical storm in the eastern Pacific formed this late in the season. Winnie took shape on Dec. 4 of that year.

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "Rain and waves from Kenneth will not reach Southern California."

No land masses lie in the projected westward path of Kenneth. However, shipping lanes will be threatened.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "Freighters will want to steer clear of Kenneth when approaching or heading away from the Panama Canal in the eastern Pacific.

As Kenneth remains a powerful storm, residents and vacationers along Mexico's southwestern coast may notice an increase in wave action.

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