Hurricane Kay and California’s Wacky Weather Patterns

Gloomy clouds next to a blue sky.
Photo credits: Audrey Huynh

By Audrey Huynh

Sept. 19, 2022

SAN JOSE CALIF. — The weather is about to take another wild turn as Hurricane Kay brushes the west coast, almost two weeks after the worst heat wave California has ever recorded.

History was made in California as it endured a record smashing heat wave this past month. The scorching heat, which peaked at 109 degrees on Sept. 5, persisted for the entire week. Schools adjusted their curriculum so that no students would be outside longer than necessary. Power outages occurred up and down the state as residents raced to turn on their air condition units and stay inside.

Simultaneously on Sept. 5, Hurricane Kay, which was swiftly developing, was classified as a tropical storm by meteorologists. At its climax, the storm falls under a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 miles per hour. 

The hurricane, which developed on Aug. 31 off the coast of Guatemala, started out with winds of 15 miles per hour. Mexico and Baja California were the only pieces of land standing on the path of destruction. The eye of the storm stayed well out in the Pacific Ocean, and instead, the arms were the only parts that extended out to land. 

Throughout the course of the hurricane, the wind speed progressively reduced until it stopped altogether. Hurricane Kay hit South California the day after it reached its peak. There was a lot of rain in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. Officials from the Riverside fire departments announced that the rain aided the firefighters in containing the Fairview Fire. Containment of the flames had increased from 5% to 40%.

The winds have also made it to North California, where there has been some light precipitation. On Sept. 11, the storm parted ways with the west coast and headed back to the Pacific Ocean, where it stayed until it died out the following morning. Three people died in total, all of whom were from Guerrero, Mexico.

San Jose received a couple days with rainy weather following the passing of Hurricane Kay. The heat picked right back up after, though the numbers are not as high as they were during the heatwave.

“The weather is very bipolar,” an anonymous Silver Creek student states. “We had crazy heat, and I thought we could cool off with a few days of rain, but now it’s starting to get hot again. I can’t wait for winter to come.” 

Until it inevitably gets cooler as winter approaches, it will reportedly continue to be hot and breezy with highs in the 90s and lows in the 50s.

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