1940–48 Pacific hurricane seasons

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The 1940–1948 Pacific hurricane seasons all began during late spring in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the central Pacific. They ended in late fall.

Before the satellite age started in the 1960s, data on east Pacific hurricanes is extremely unreliable. In a few years, there are no reported cyclones although many systems certainly formed.

1940 season[edit]

Late on June 17, west-northwest of Acapulco and close to the coast of Mexico, an area of thunderstorms formed into a tropical cyclone. The system was very small, and eventually became a hurricane. It headed west-northwest or northwest, and was last detected early on June 18. A ship in the eye measured a pressure of 97.90 kPa (28.91 inHg).[1]

On July 20, a tropical depression was observed southwest of Acapulco. Historical Weather Maps show this depression near 17N 102W. It intensified into a tropical storm on July 21, tracked northwest, and dissipated on July 24. A depression/remnant low was tracked until July 26. The low was last seen near 24N 129W on the 27th. The lowest pressure reported by a ship was 100.66 kPa (29.72 inHg).[2]


On July 29, a tropical cyclone was noticed. It traveled west-northwest or northwest, and dissipated sometime after July 30. A ship reported a pressure of 96.95 kPa (28.63 inHg).[2]


South of Acapulco, a tropical cyclone was spotted on August 3. Historical Weather Maps (HWM) show a low on August 2 near 11N 109W It rapidly tracked to the west-northwest, and was last seen on August 5. The low is carried on HMW until August 9 near 17N 135W. It is possible that this system retained Tropical Storm force winds until approximately August 7 A ship reported a pressure of 100.54 kPa (29.69 inHg).[3]


On September 4, a tropical cyclone was reported. It moved westward, and was lost track of on or after September 5. The lowest reported pressure was 100.31 kPa (29.62 inHg).[4]

A tropical cyclone was detected on September 22. The next day, it had intensified into a hurricane. By September 24, the hurricane was close to the Revillagigedo Islands. After that, no further observations were reported. A ship reported a pressure of 98.34 kPa (29.04 inHg) in association with this hurricane.[4]

A tropical cyclone existed well out to sea from October 6 to 11. It traveled northwesterly, and had a lowest recorded pressure of 29.25 inHg (99.1 kPa).[5]

Around October 21, a former typhoon that had previously impacted Wake Island crossed into the central north Pacific. It headed eastwards north of Midway Island. It gradually wheeled around to the southwest. It dissipated just east of Midway around October 22.[5]

Another tropical cyclone existed from October 26 to 28 off the coast of Central America. A ship recorded a pressure reading of 98.27 kPa (29.02 inHg).[5]

A tropical cyclone well southwest of Manzanillo was tracked from November 1 to 3. Due to a blocking area of high pressure, it took an unusual southwesterly track. Its lowest recorded pressure was 100.47 kPa (29.67 inHg).[6]

1941 season[edit]

On July 3, a tropical cyclone was spotted, and a pressure of 99.55 kPa (29.40 inHg) was reported. It possibly headed northeast, towards Cape Corrientes, as a tropical cyclone was spotted in that direction on July 6. However, it is possible that these observations were actually of two different tropical cyclones.[7]

A tropical cyclone was spotted on July 15, south of Mexico. The next day, another cyclone was spotted further to the west. On July 18, weather possibly associated with a tropical cyclone was reported south of Cabo San Lucas. It is unknown whether either one of these two latter observations are of the same system as reported on July 15.[7]

On July 21, a possible tropical cyclone was detected.[7]

On August 16, a tropical cyclone formed well off the coast of Mexico. It tracked generally northwest, and dissipated in the central Pacific north-northeast of the Hawaiian Islands on August 24. The lowest pressure reported by a ship was 29.34 inHg (99.4 kPa).[8]

A tropical storm was first reported on September 8. The storm quickly intensified, becoming a mid-level tropical storm the next day. Subsequently, the storm attained its lowest reported pressure of 1,001.4 mbar (29.57 inHg). It slowly moved northwestward, and entered the Gulf of California.[9] After slamming into the southern portion of Baja California Sur,[10] when winds were measured at 85 mph (135 km/h). The hurricane was last observed on September 12.[9]

Strong winds and heavy rain lashed the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula for 48 hours, lasting until late September 12. The wind destroyed poorer sections of La Paz and nearby villages. Two villages, Santiago and Triunfo, were completely destroyed. The torrential rains damaged many highways across the peninsula and left thousands homeless.[9] The tuna canning industry declined rapidly in San José del Cabo.[11]

The port town of Cabo San Lucas was washed away and mostly destroyed due to flooding[12][13] Furthermore, "great loss of life" was reported.[14] Initially following the system, activity among surrounding areas of the village ceased.[15] As of 1966, this tropical cyclone is regarded as one of the worst storms to affect the city. Meanwhile, one of the town's suburbs was forced to relocate 1 mi (1.6 km) inland.[13]

Throughout the peninsula, 15 people were killed, and many were injured. According to press reports from Mexico City, the hurricane was considered the worst system to affect the state since the dawn of the 20th century.[9] Moisture from this hurricane passed into the southwestern United States, where it caused rain of up to 1 in (25 mm) in the mountains and deserts of California.[10] From September 16 to 22, cloudiness and showers were reported along the southern portion of the state.[16]

A storm was first spotted September 17, and another was reported nearby the next day. These two systems then merged. The combined tropical cyclone subsequently became a very intense hurricane on September 19. That day, a ship passing through the eye reported a rapidly falling pressure that bottomed out at 27.67 inHg (93.7 kPa). At that time, the low was the strongest hurricane in the basin since 1939 and second strongest ever recorded. The hurricane then weakened, and entered the Gulf of California on September 20, at which point it was lost track of by meteorologists.[9]

Later in the month, from September 21 to September 24, a tropical disturbance was noted south of the Mexican coast, but failed to developed further.[9]

A tropical storm was reported on November 2 and 4. A ship reported a pressure of 100.07 kPa (29.55 inHg).[17]

Another tropical storm was detected on November 3. It was reportedly very small. A ship reported a pressure of 100.44 kPa (29.66 inHg). This cyclone was unusually close to the equator, at latitude 7°30′.[17]

1942 season[edit]

There are no known tropical cyclones.

1943 season[edit]

A disturbance developed between the Revillagigedo Islands and the Marias Islands on October 8. It moved rapidly northeastward where it rapidly intensified, reaching pressures as low as 95.86 kPa (28.31 inHg). On October 9, as a major hurricane it struck the west coast of Mexico, a short distance south of Mazatlán. The next day, the hurricane dissipated inland.[18]

This hurricane caused damage in and around Mazatlán. It sank several vessels. The total cost of damage was $4,500,000 (1943 US dollars), and at least 106 people were killed.[18]

1944 season[edit]

A tropical storm that was a continuation of Atlantic Hurricane 8 crossed into the Gulf of Tehuantepec from the Gulf of Mexico, entering the Pacific on September 22.[19]

1945 season[edit]

A hurricane dissipated off the northern coast of the Baja California Peninsula. Its remnants moved northeast, and they brought rain to California on September 9 and 10.[10]

A tropical depression, a continuation of Atlantic Hurricane 10, entered the Pacific Ocean on October 5.[20] A circulation center associated with this cyclone moved along the Mexican coast, and remained recognizable until it was west of Acapulco. It caused heavy rain along its path.[21]

1946 season[edit]

A hurricane made landfall on the northern Baja California Peninsula. It dissipated over northern Baja California. Its remnants headed north, where they brought rain to the mountains of southern and central California on September 30 and October 1.[10]

1947 season[edit]

There are no known tropical cyclones.

1948 season[edit]

In mid-October, a hurricane moved into the Gulf of California, enabling a ship to be reported missing for 2 days.[22][23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hurd, Willis (June 1940). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  2. ^ a b Hurd, Willis (July 1940). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  3. ^ Hurd, Willis (August 1940). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  4. ^ a b Hurd, Willis (September 1940). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  5. ^ a b c Hurd, Willis (October 1940). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  6. ^ Hurd, Willis (November 1940). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  7. ^ a b c Hurd, Willis (July 1941). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  8. ^ Hurd, Willis (August 1941). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Hurd, Willis (September 1941). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  10. ^ a b c d Williams, Jack (2005-05-17). "Background: California's tropical storms". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  11. ^ Gothitoi, Niki (2011). Moon Baja: Including Cabo San Lucas. Moon Handbooks. 
  12. ^ "Desert Plant Life". 16-19. 1944. p. 151. 
  13. ^ a b Browne, John; Murray, Spence (1966). Explorations of Lower California. pp. 2, 14. 
  14. ^ Zwinger, Ann (1983). A desert country near the sea: a natural history of the Cape. p. 327. 
  15. ^ "About Cabo San Lucas". Explore around Mexico. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ Court, Arnold (1980). Tropical Cyclone Effects on California. California State University, Northridge. pp. 2, 4, 6, 8, 34. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Hurd, Willis (November 1941). "Weather on the North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  18. ^ a b Sumner, Howard (November 1943). "North Atlantic Hurricanes and Tropical Disturbances of 1943" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Archived from the original on 4 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  19. ^ "Hurricane #8" (GIF). Unisys. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  20. ^ "Hurricane #10" (GIF). Unisys. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  21. ^ Sumner, Howard (January 1946). "North Atlantic Hurricanes and Tropical Disturbances of 1945" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review. Archived from the original on 4 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  22. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=IuFhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4nQNAAAAIBAJ&pg=5150,1601661&dq=lower+california+hurricane&hl=en
  23. ^ "TREASURE YACHT' SAFE; Crew That Failed to Find Hoard Makes Port After SOS". New York Times. October 10, 1948.