Pacific Hurricane
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Pacific Hurricane
Cumulative average number of tropical cyclones in the north Pacific

A Pacific hurricane is a mature tropical cyclone that develops within the eastern and central Pacific Ocean to the east of 180°W, north of the equator. For tropical cyclone warning purposes, the northern Pacific is divided into three regions: the eastern (North America to 140°W), central (140°W to 180°), and western (180° to 100°E), while the southern Pacific is divided into 2 sections, the Australian region (90E to 160°E) and the southern Pacific basin between 160°E and 120°W.[1] Identical phenomena in the western north Pacific are called typhoons. This separation between the two basins has a practical convenience, however, as tropical cyclones rarely form in the central north Pacific due to high vertical wind shear, and few cross the dateline.

List of seasons

1950s

Year TD TS HU MH Strongest
storm
Deaths Damages
(USD)
Notes
1950 -- 7 6 0 Hiki 1 Unknown Includes the former second wettest tropical cyclone in the United States
1951 -- 9 2 0 Two and Eight 0 Unknown
1952 -- 7 3 0 Seven and Five 0 Unknown
1953 -- 4 2 0 One 0 Unknown
1954 11 11 3 0 Seven 40 Unknown
1955 -- 6 2 0 One 0 Unknown
1956 -- 11 7 0 One 0 Unknown
1957 -- 13 9 1 Twelve 21 $100,000
1958 14 14 5 0 Eleven 0 Unknown
1959 15 15 5 3 Patsy >1,800 $280 million First Category 4 hurricane in the Central Pacific basin
Includes deadliest tropical cyclone in the Eastern Pacific
>1,862 $280.10 million

1960s

Year TD TS HU MH Strongest
storm
Deaths Damages
(USD)
Notes
1960 8 8 5 0 Estelle 0 Unknown
1961 11 10 2 0 Iva 436 $16 million
1962 18 12 2 0 Doreen Unknown $11 million
1963 8 8 4 0 Mona Unknown Unknown
1964 6 6 2 0 Odessa Unknown Unknown Least active season since 1953
1965 11 10 1 0 Emily 6 $10 million
1966 18 13 8 0 Connie 9 $5.6 million Includes the farthest traveled storm in the Eastern Pacific
1967 17 17 6 1 Olivia 121 Unknown
1968 26 20 6 0 Rebecca 9 Unknown Tied with 2009 for having the most storms named in the month of August
1969 15 10 4 0 Doreen 10 Unknown Includes latest first named storm, which formed in July
591 $42.6 million

1970s

Year TD TS HU MH Strongest
storm
Deaths Damages
(USD)
Notes
1970 21 19 5 0 Lorraine 22 Unknown
1971 22 18 12 6 Olivia 52 Unknown Highest number of tropical cyclone landfalls in a single season
1972 20 14 9 4 Celeste 1 $75,000
1973 18 12 7 3 Ava 0 Unknown
1974 25 18 11 3 Maggie 18-33 Unknown Featured one of the most active periods of tropical cyclones on record with five existing simultaneously
1975 21 17 9 4 Denise 30 Unknown
1976 19 15 9 5 Annette 614-964 $360 million One of the deadliest seasons on record
1977 17 8 4 0 Florence Unknown $25 million Least active season until 2010
Featured no major hurricanes tied with 2003
1978 25 19 14 7 Fico, Hector, and Norman Unknown Unknown
1979 13 10 6 4 Ignacio Unknown Unknown Only year in which no tropical cyclones were formed in the Central Pacific
767-1,102 $385.075 million

1980s

Year TD TS HU MH Strongest
storm
Deaths Damages
(USD)
Notes
1980 16 15 7 3 Kay 0 Unknown
1981 17 15 8 1 Norma 79 $134 million
1982 30 23 12 5 Olivia 2,005 $2.4 billion Fourth most active season on record
Includes second deadliest hurricane in the Eastern Pacific
1983 26 21 12 8 Kiko and Raymond 170 $773.8 million Tied with 1984 for the fourth most active season at the time
Longest season recorded at the time
One tropical storm was formed in December
1984 26 21 13 7 Douglas 0 Unknown Tied with 1983 for the fourth most active season at the time
1985 28 24 12 8 Rick 1 $1 million Third most active season on record
1986 26 17 9 3 Roslyn 2 $352 million
1987 20 20 10 4 Max 3 $144.22 million Last year in which the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center was the primary warning center for tropical cyclones in the eastern Pacific Ocean
1988 23 15 7 3 Hector 25 Unknown Hurricane Joan crossed over Central America and was named Miriam in the Eastern Pacific basin
1989 25 18 9 4 Raymond 14 $1.75 million
2,299 $3.8 billion

1990s

Year TD TS HU MH Strongest
storm
Deaths Damages
(USD)
Notes
1990 27 21 16 6 Trudy 18 Unknown Fifth most active season on record and third most active in terms of ACE indies
Tied with 1992, 2014, and 2015 for the most number of hurricanes in a single season
1991 16 14 10 5 Kevin 1-3 Unknown
1992 30 27 16 10 Tina 22 $1.85 billion Most active Pacific hurricane season on record
Tied with 1990, 2014, and 2015 for the most hurricanes in a single season
Includes the costliest hurricane in the Central Pacific, Hurricane Iniki
Includes the longest-lasting Pacific hurricane
Hurricane Ekeka is the most intense off-season hurricane in the Pacific basin
1993 18 15 11 9 Lidia 50 ~$1.74 billion
1994 23 20 10 5 Gilma 26 $735 million Tied with 2002 for the most number of category 5 hurricanes in a single season
Includes both the farthest distance and longest-lasting tropical cyclone ever observed
1995 11 10 7 3 Juliette 124 $31 million Least active season since 1979
1996 14 9 5 2 Douglas 41 Unknown Saw a record of four Pacific hurricanes strike Mexico, the most in a single season
Hurricane Cesar crossed over from Central America and was renamed Douglas in the Pacific basin
1997 24 19 9 7 Linda 261-531 $551 million One of the most active, deadliest and costliest seasons in the Pacific basin
Two category 5 hurricanes formed
Hurricane Linda was the most intense hurricane in the Pacific basin until Patricia of 2015
1998 16 13 9 6 Howard 22 $10 million
1999 14 9 6 2 Dora 16 Unknown
581-853 $4.9 billion

2000s

Year TD TS HU MH Strongest
storm
Deaths Damages
(USD)
Notes
2000 21 19 6 2 Carlotta 18 $14 million
2001 19 15 8 2 Juliette 13 $401 million The World Meteorology Association retired the name Adolph for future concerns of political insensitive
2002 21 16 8 6 Kenna 7 $101 million Tied with 1994 for having the most number of category 5 hurricanes in a single season
Includes the fourth most intense hurricane in the Pacific basin
2003 17 16 7 0 Nora 23 $129 million Featured no major hurricanes tied with 1977
2004 18 12 6 3 Javier 0 Unknown
2005 17 15 7 2 Kenneth 6 $12 million
2006 25 19 11 6 Ioke 14 $355.1 million Most active since 2000
Includes the most intense hurricane in the Central Pacific basin
Three storms developed in the month of October, the most since 1961
2007 15 11 4 1 Flossie 42 $80 million
2008 19 17 7 2 Norbert 45 $152.5 million
2009 23 20 8 5 Rick 15 $188.7 million Most active since 1994
Tied with 1968 for having the most storms named in the month of August
Includes the third most intense hurricane in the Pacific basin
183 $1.4 billion

2010s

Year TD TS HU MH Strongest
storm
Deaths Damages
(USD)
Notes
2010 13 8 3 2 Celia 268 $1.62 billion Least active Pacific hurricane season on record tied with 1977
2011 13 11 10 6 Dora 42 >203.67 million
2012 17 17 10 5 Emilia 8 $27.9 million
2013 21 20 9 1 Raymond 135 $4.201 billion Costliest season in Eastern Pacific history
2014 23 22 16 9 Marie 45 >$1.402 billion Fourth most active season on record
Tied with 1990, 1992, and 2015 for the most number of hurricanes in a single season
2015 31 26 16 11 Patricia 44 $563 million Second most active season on record
Patricia became the most intense hurricane in the pacific basin, western hemisphere, and the second lowest globally
Tied with 1990, 1992, and 2014 for the most number of hurricanes in a single season
2016 27 22 13 6 Seymour 11 $96 million Earliest start in the Pacific basin
Fourth most active season on record
First time since 2011 that no tropical cyclones formed in the month of May
Hurricane Otto crossed over Central America and into the Pacific basin, the first time in over 20 years
2017 20 18 9 4 Fernanda 33 $3.9 million Record earliest start in the East Pacific
586 $8.1 billion

History

Tracks of East Pacific tropical cyclones

Documentation of Pacific hurricanes dates to the Spanish colonization of Mexico, when the military and missions wrote about "tempestades". In 1730, such accounts indicated an understanding of the storms. After observing the rotating nature of tropical cyclones, meteorologist William Charles Redfield expanded his study to include storms in the eastern North Pacific Ocean in the middle of the 19th century. Between June and October 1850, Redfield observed five tropical cyclones along "the southwestern coast of North America", along with one in each of the three subsequent years. In 1895, Cleveland Abbe reported the presence of many storms between 5° to 15°-N in the eastern Pacific, although many such storms dissipated before affecting the Mexican coast. Two years later, the German Hydrography Office Deutsche Seewarte documented 45 storms from 1832 to 1892 off the west coast of Mexico.[2]

Despite the documentation of storms in the region, the official position of the United States Weather Bureau denied the existence of such storms. In 1910, the agency reported on global tropical cyclones, noting that "the occurrence of tropical storms is confined to the summer and autumn months of the respective hemispheres and to the western parts of the several oceans." In 1913, the Weather Bureau reinforced their position by excluding Pacific storms among five tropical cyclone basins; however, the agency acknowledged the existence of "certain cyclones that have been traced for a relatively short distance along a northwest course... west of Central America."[2]

After California became a state and the discovery of gold there in 1848, shipping traffic began increasing steadily in the eastern Pacific. Such activity increased further after the Panama Canal opened in 1914, and the shipping lanes moved closer to the coast. By around 1920, Pacific hurricanes were officially recognized due to widespread ship observations, radio service, and a newly created weather network in western Mexico. Within 60 years, further studies of the region's tropical activity indicated that the eastern Pacific was the second most active basin in the world.[2]

During the 1920s, a few documents in the Monthly Weather Review reported additional storms within 2,000 mi (3,200 km) off the Mexican coastline.[3][4]

The Eastern and Central Pacific hurricane database

The Eastern Pacific hurricane best track database was initially compiled on magnetic tape in 1976 for the seasons between 1949 and 1975, at the NHC to help with the development of two tropical cyclone forecast models, which required tracks of past cyclones as a base for its predictions.[5][6] The database was based on records held by the United States Navy and were interpolated from 12 hourly intervals to 6 hourly intervals based on a scheme devised by Hiroshi Akima in 1970.[7][8] Initially tracks for the Central Pacific region and tracks for tropical depressions that did not develop into tropical storms or hurricanes were not included within the database.[8] After the database had been created Arthur Pike of the NHC made some internal adjustments, while in 1980 a review was made by Arnold Court under contract from the United States National Weather Service and resulted in additions and/or modifications to 81 tracks in the database.[7][9] Between 1976-1987, the NHC archived best track data from the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center (EPHC), and in 1982 started including information on Central Pacific tropical storms and hurricanes started to be included in the database based on data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and research done by Samuel Shaw of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in 1981.[5][7]

The format of the database was completely revised by the NHC during 1984, so that the format could resemble the Atlantic database before they took over the warning responsibility from the EPHC for the Eastern Pacific during 1988.[7][9][10] During 2008 and 2013 several revisions were made to the database to extend tracks in land, based on reports in the Mariners Weather Log and extrapolation of the tracks since the EPHC stopped issuing advisories on systems before they made landfall.[11] The archives format was significantly changed during 2013 to include non-synoptic best track times, non-developing tropical depressions and wind radii.[12] During February 2016, the NHC released the 1959 Mexico hurricane's reanalysis, which was the first system to be reassessed, using methods developed for the Atlantic reanalysis process.[13]

Climatology

The presence of a semi-permanent high-pressure area known as the North Pacific High in the eastern Pacific is a dominant factor against formation of tropical cyclones in the winter, as the Pacific High results in wind shear that causes environmental conditions for tropical cyclone formation to be not conducive. Its effects in the central Pacific basin are usually related to keeping cyclones away from the Hawaiian Islands. Due to westward trade winds, hurricanes in the Pacific rarely head eastward, unless recurved by a trough. A second factor preventing tropical cyclones from forming during the winter is the occupation of a semi-permanent low-pressure area designated the Aleutian Low between January and April. Its presence over western Canada and the northwestern United States contributes to the area's occurrences of precipitation in that duration. In addition, its effects in the central Pacific near 160° W causes tropical waves that form in the area to drift northward into the Gulf of Alaska and dissipate. The retreat of this low allows the Pacific High to also retreat into the central Pacific, leaving a warm and moist environment in its wake. The Intertropical Convergence Zone comes northward into the East Pacific in mid-May permitting the formation of the earliest tropical waves,[14] coinciding with the start of the eastern Pacific hurricane season on May 15.[15]

Eastern North Pacific

Historical East Pacific Seasonal Activity, 1971-2007. Data on ACE is considered reliable starting with the 1971 season

Hurricane season runs between May 15 and November 30 each year.[16] These dates encompass the vast majority of tropical cyclone activity in this region.

The Regional Specialized Meteorological Center for this basin is the United States' National Hurricane Center. Previous forecasters are the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center and the Joint Hurricane Warning Center. The RSMC monitors the eastern Pacific and issues reports, watches and warnings about tropical weather systems and cyclones as defined by the World Meteorological Organization.

This area is, on average, the second-most active basin in the world. There are an average of 16 tropical storms annually, with 9 becoming hurricanes, and 4 becoming major hurricanes.[17] Tropical cyclones in this region frequently affect mainland Mexico and the Revillagigedo Islands. Less often, a system will affect the Continental United States or Central America. Northbound hurricanes typically reduce to tropical storms or dissipate before reaching the United States: there is only one recorded case of a Pacific system reaching California as a hurricane in almost 200 years of observations--the 1858 San Diego Hurricane.[18]

Most east Pacific hurricanes originate from a tropical wave that drifts westward across the intertropical convergence zone, and across northern parts of South America. Once it reaches the Pacific, a surface low begins to develop, however, with only little or no convection. After reaching the Pacific, it starts to move north-westward and eventually west. By that time, it develops convection and thunderstorm activity from the warm ocean temperatures but remains disorganized. Once the tropical wave becomes organized, it becomes a tropical depression. Formation usually occurs from south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec to south of Baja California with a more westerly location earlier in the season. In the eastern Pacific, development is more centered than anywhere else. If wind shear is low, a tropical cyclone can undergo rapid intensification as a result of very warm oceans, becoming a major hurricane. Tropical cyclones weaken once they reach unfavorable areas for a tropical cyclone formation. Their remnants sometimes reach Hawaii and cause showers there.[]

There are a few types of Pacific hurricane tracks: one is a westerly track, another moves north-westward along Baja California and another moves north. Sometimes storms can move north-east either across Central America or mainland Mexico and possibly enter the Caribbean Sea becoming a North Atlantic basin tropical cyclone, but these are rare.[]

Central Pacific

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with a strong peak in August and September. However, tropical cyclones have formed outside those dates.[16] Should a tropical cyclone enter the central north Pacific from the western north Pacific, where they occur year-round, or from the eastern north Pacific, where the season starts in May, it is not known if such a system will be considered out of season or not.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is the RSMC for this basin and monitors the storms that develop or move into the defined area of responsibility. A previous forecaster was the Joint Hurricane Warning Center.

Central Pacific hurricanes are rare and on average 3 or 4 storms form or move in this area per year. Most often, storms that occur in the area are weak and often decline in strength upon entry. The only land masses impacted by tropical cyclones in this region are Hawaii and Johnston Atoll. Due to the small size of the islands in relation to the Pacific Ocean, direct hits and landfalls are rare.

Steering factors

Hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific tend to move westward out to sea, harming no land. However, hurricanes can recurve to the north or northeast, hitting Central America or Mexico early and late in the hurricane season.

See also

References

  1. ^ Chris Landsea (2011-07-15). "Subject: A1) What is a hurricane, typhoon, or tropical cyclone?". Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ a b c Arnold Court (1980). Tropical Cyclone Effects on California. Northridge, California: California State University. pp. 2, 4, 6, 8, 34. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ Tingley, F. G. (1922). "North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. American Meteorological Society. 50 (3): 99. Bibcode:1929MWRv...57..121H. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1929)57<121:NPO>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0493. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ Hurd, Willis Edwin (1929-04-21). "Eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. American Meteorological Society. 57. Bibcode:1922MWRv...50...98T. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1922)50<98:NPO>2.0.CO;2. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ a b Neumann, Charles J; Leftwhich, Preston W (August 1977). Statistical Guidance for the Prediction of Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Motion -- Part I (PDF) (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS WR-124). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service -- Western Region. p. 14. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ Brown, Gail M; Leftwhich, Preston W; National Hurricane Center (August 1982). A Compilation of Eastern and Central North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Data (PDF) (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS NHC 16). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Blake, Eric S; Gibney, Ethan J; Brown, Daniel P; Mainelli, Michelle; Franklin, James L; Kimberlain, Todd B; Hammer, Gregory R (2009). Tropical Cyclones of the Eastern North Pacific Basin, 1949-2006 (PDF). Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Leftwhich, Preston W; Brown, Gail M (February 1981). Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Occurrences during Intra Seasonal Periods (PDF) (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS WR-160). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service -- Western Region. pp. 2-3. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Davis, Mary A.S.; Brown, Gail M; Leftwhich, Preston W; National Hurricane Center (September 1984). A Tropical Cyclone Data Tape for the Eastern and Central North Pacific Basins, 1949-1983: Contents, Limitations, and Uses (PDF) (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS NHC 25). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. pp. 2-3. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  10. ^ Sheets, Robert C (June 1990). "The National Hurricane Center -- Past, Present, and Future" (PDF). Weather and Forecasting. 5 (2): 197. Bibcode:1990WtFor...5..185S. doi:10.1175/1520-0434(1990)005<0185:TNHCPA>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0434. 
  11. ^ National Hurricane Center (April 2015). Revisions made to EPAC HURDAT (Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Retrieved 2015. 
  12. ^ Landsea, Christopher W; Franklin, James L; Blake, Eric S; Tanabe Raymond (April 2013). The revised Northeast and North Central Pacific hurricane database (HURDAT2) (PDF) (Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  13. ^ "Re-analysis of the 1959 Manzanillo Mexico Hurricane Landfall intensity changed from category 5 to category 4" (PDF) (Press release). United States National Hurricane Center. February 4, 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  14. ^ Longshore, David (2009). Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones, New Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-4381-1879-6. 
  15. ^ Dorst, Neal (2010-01-21). "TCFAQ G1) When is hurricane season?". Hurricane Research Division. United States: Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. Retrieved . 
  16. ^ a b "Tropical Cyclone Climatology". FAQ. Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ National Hurricane Center. Tropical Cyclone Climatology. Retrieved on 2008-04-19.
  18. ^ Michael Chenoweth and Chris Landsea. The San Diego Hurricane of 2 October 1858. Retrieved on 2008-04-19.

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