List of Pacific hurricanes

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This is a list of notable Pacific hurricanes, subdivided by reason for notability. Notability means that it has met some criterion or achieved some statistic, or is part of a top ten for some superlative. It includes lists and rankings of Pacific hurricanes by different characteristics and impacts.

Characteristics include extremes of location, such as the northernmost or most equator-ward formation or position of a tropical cyclone. Other characteristics include its central pressure, windspeed, Category on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, cyclogenesis outside of a normal hurricane season's timeframe, or storms that remain unnamed despite forming after tropical cyclone naming began in 1960. Another characteristic is how long a system went from formation to dissipation. Impacts are what the cyclone did. These include the cost of damage, the number of casualties, as well as meteorological statistics such as rainfall point maxima.

Impact[edit]

Retired names[edit]


Additionally, Adolph and Israel were removed from the list of names during and after the 2001 season due to political sensitivities. Knut was removed from the list in 1988 for unknown reasons. Adele, Iva, and Fefa were also removed in 1970, 1988, and 1991 respectively for unknown reasons. Hazel was replaced in 1965.[1]

Unnamed but historically significant[edit]

Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
Name Year Notes
San Diego hurricane 1858 Strongest tropical cyclone to affect California[2]
California tropical storm 1939 Only known modern landfall in California[3]
Texas hurricane 1949 Most intense Pacific-Atlantic crossover[4]
Mexico hurricane 1959 Most intense landfall[5]

Notable tropical cyclones[edit]

Damage from Hurricane Iniki

All of these storms caused either over 100 million USD in damage and/or 100 deaths. Iniki and Iwa are central Pacific systems; the remainder are from eastern Pacific proper.

Name Dates active Peak classification Peak 1 - minute
sustained winds
Areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Refs
Iwa November 19 – 25, 1982 Category 1 hurricane 90 mph (150 km/h) Hawaii $312 million 4 [6][7][8]
Iniki September 5 – 13, 1992 Category 4 hurricane 145 mph (220 km/h) Hawaii $1.8 billion 6 [8][9]
Ismael September 12 – 16, 1995 Category 1 hurricane 80 mph (130 km/h) Northern Mexico $26 million 116 [10]
Pauline October 5–10, 1997 Category 4 hurricane 130 mph (215 km/h) Oaxaca, Guerrero $448 million 230-400
Paka November 28 – December 23, 1997 Category 5 hurricane 185 mph (295 km/h) Marshall Islands, Guam, Mariana Islands $584 million None [11]
Adolph May 25 - June 1, 2001 Category 4 hurricane 145 mph (230 km/h) Western Mexico None None [12]
Alma May 29 – 30, 2008 Tropical storm 65 mph (100 km/h) Nicaragua $3.5 billion 11
Kenna October 22 – 26, 2002 Category 5 hurricane 165 mph (270 km/h) Western Mexico, Southwestern United States $101 million 4 [13][14]
Manuel September 13 – 19, 2013 Category 1 hurricane 75 mph (120 km/h) Western Mexico $4.2 billion 123 [15]
$3760 Hurricane Paul 1982 Mexico, Central America
$2750 Tropical Storm Beatriz 1993 Mexico
$1123 Hurricane Norman 1978 California
$1170 Tropical Storm Agatha 2010 Central America
$1100 Tropical Storm Aletta 1982 Central America
$739 Hurricane Olivia 1982 California
$580 Hurricane Kathleen 1976 Mexico, California, Arizona [16]
$514 Tropical Depression Eleven-E 2010 Guatemala, Costa Rica [16]
$325 Hurricane Tico 1983 Mexico, Oklahoma [16]
$202 Hurricane Jova 2011 Mexico
$201 Hurricane Bridget 1971 Mexico [17]
$193 Tropical Storm Lidia 1981 Mexico
$180 Hurricane Norma 1981 Mexico, California
$125 Hurricane Nora 1997 Mexico, California, Arizona [18]
$113 Hurricane Lane 2006 Mexico [19]
"Mexico" 1959 1,800 [20]
Paul 1982 1,696 [21][22][23][24][25]
Liza 1976 1,108 [26][27]
Tara 1961 436 [28]
Aletta 1982 308 [29][30]
Pauline 1997 230–400 [31]
Agatha 2010 190 [32][33]
Tico 1983 141 [34][35]
"Lower California" 1931 110 [36][37]
"Mazatlán" 1943 100 [38]
Lidia 1981 100 [39]

Seasonal activity and records[edit]

In the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's (CPHC) area of responsibility (AOR), the seasons with the most tropical cyclones are 1992 and 1994, each with 11 cyclones. A season without cyclones has happened a few times since 1966, most recently in 1979.[40]

Highest[edit]

Track map of the 1992 Pacific hurricane season, the busiest ever recorded
Year NHC's AOR CPHC's AOR Total
Tropical
storms
Hurricanes Tropical
storms
Hurricanes
Minor Major Minor Major
1992 season 10 16 9 1 0 2 28
1985 season 10 13 8 1 0 1 24
1982 season 8 12 5 3 1 0 23
1983 season 9 12 8 0 0 0 21
1984 season 8 13 7 2 0 1 21
1990 season 4 16 6 1 0 0 21

Lowest[edit]

Before 1971 and especially 1966, data in this basin is extremely unreliable. The geostationary satellite era began in 1966,[41] and that year is often considered the first year of reliable tropical records.[42] Intensity estimates are most reliable starting in the 1971 season. A few years later, the Dvorak technique came into use. Those two factors make intensity estimates more reliable starting in that year.[42] For these reasons, seasons prior to 1971 are not included.

Year NHC's AOR CPH's AOR Total
Tropical
storms
Hurricanes Tropical
storms
Hurricanes
Minor Major Minor Major
2010 season 4 1 2 1 0 0 8
1977 season 4 4 0 0 0 0 8
1996 season 4 3 2 0 0 0 9
1999 season 3 4 2 0 0 0 9
1995 season 3 4 3 0 0 0 10
1979 season 4 2 4 0 0 0 10

Naming history[edit]

Hurricane Iwa, the fourth system to receive a central Pacific name in 1982

Naming of tropical cyclones in the eastern north Pacific began in the 1960 season. That year, four lists of names were created. The plan was to proceed in a manner similar to that of the western Pacific; that is, the name of the first storm in one season would be the next unused one from the same list, and when the bottom of one list was reached the next list was started. This scheme was abandoned in 1965 and next year, the lists started being recycled on a four-year rotation, starting with the A name each year.[43] That same general scheme remains in use today, although the names and lists are different. On average, the eastern north Pacific sees about sixteen named storms per year.[44]

Named storms per month[edit]

Before 1971 and especially 1966, data in this basin is extremely unreliable. The geostationary satellite era began in 1966,[41] and that year is often considered the first year of reliable tropical records.[42] Intensity estimates are more reliable starting in the 1971 season. A few years later, the Dvorak technique came into use. Those two make intensity estimates more reliable starting in that year.[42] For these reasons, seasons before 1971 are not included in the lowest column.

Four of the September cyclones during the 2005 season, and the disturbance that developed into another
Month Most named Least named
Number Season Number Season
Pre-season 2 1992 0 Many†
Late May 2 1956
1984
2007
2012
2013
0 Many†
June 5 1985 0 2004
2006
2007
July 7 1985 0 1966
2010
August 9 1968
2009
0 1996
September 6 1966
2005
1 Many†
October 5 1992 0 Many†
November 2 2006 0 Many†
Post-season 1 1832
1902
1904
1925
1936
1983
1997
2010
0 Many†

† Shared by more than three seasons. Source:[45]

Off-season storms[edit]

A meteorological enigma, Hurricane Ekeka formed in January

Hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30.[46] Only systems that develop during the off-season in this basin are included.

Name Formation date Reference
Unnamed December 1832 [47]
Unnamed December 23, 1902 [48]
Unnamed December 23, 1904 [48]
Unnamed May 3, 1906 [48]
Unnamed February 6, 1922 [49]
Unnamed December 22, 1925 [50]
Unnamed December 4, 1936 [51]
Carmen formed April 4, 1980 [52]
Winnie December 4, 1983 [45]
Winona January 9, 1989 [53]
Alma May 12, 1990 [45]
Hurricane Ekeka January 26, 1992 [9]
Tropical Storm Hali March 28, 1992 [45]
One-E May 13, 1996 [45]
Tropical Storm Omeka December 20, 2010 [45]
Tropical Storm Aletta formed May 14, 2012 [45]

Unnamed storms[edit]

The unnamed hurricane of 1975 near the Pacific Northwest

Tropical cyclones have received official names in the east-central Pacific region since 1960. Since this time, 6 systems that have formed in this area have not received a name, plus another possible unnamed subtropical or tropical system in 2006.

† Unofficially was a tropical or subtropical cyclone.

Strength[edit]

Category 5[edit]

Since 1959, only 14 Pacific hurricanes are known to have reached Category 5 and only one made landfall while at this intensity.[45]

Category 4[edit]

Since 1900, 95 Pacific hurricanes have attained Category 4 intensity, of which four made landfall at that strength.[45]

Duration records[edit]

This lists all Pacific hurricanes that existed as tropical cyclones while in the Pacific Ocean east of the dateline for more than two weeks continuously. Hurricanes John and Dora spent some time in the west Pacific before dissipating. John spent eleven days west of the dateline; if that time was included John would have existed for a total of 30 days and 18 hours, a world record, while including Dora's time in the west Pacific would mean that it existed for 18 days.[45] One Atlantic hurricane, Hurricane Joan, crossed into this basin and was renamed Miriam,[54] giving it a total lifespan of 22 days,[55] but not all of that was in the Pacific. 1993's Greg formed from the remnants of 1993's Tropical Storm Bret.[54] Its time as an Atlantic system is excluded.

All of these systems except Trudy, Olaf, and Connie existed in both the east and central Pacific, and all except Olaf were hurricanes. Hurricane Trudy of 1990 is thus the longest lived eastern Pacific hurricane to stay in the eastern Pacific. Tropical Storm Olaf of 1997 is hence the longest-lived eastern Pacific tropical cyclone not to reach hurricane intensity.[45]

No known tropical cyclone forming in the central north Pacific lasted for longer than 14 days without crossing into another basin.[45] The tropical cyclone forming in the central Pacific that spent the most time there was 1988's Hurricane Uleki at 11.5 days from formation to crossing the dateline.[56]

Hurricane Tina, the longest lasting Pacific hurricane east of the international dateline
Duration (days) Name Season
24.50 Tina 1992
20.00 Fico 1978
19.00 John 1994
17.50 Kevin 1991
16.75 Trudy 1990
16.50 Guillermo 1997
16.50 Olaf 1997
16.25 Kenneth 2005
16.25 Celeste 1972
16.25 Doreen 1973
16.00 Daniel 1982
15.25 Connie 1974
14.50 Kay 1980
14.00 Marie 1990
14.00 Greg 1993
14.00 Dora 1999
Source:[45]

Before the weather satellite era began, the lifespans of many Pacific hurricanes may be underestimated.[42]

Crossover storms from Eastern Pacific to Atlantic[edit]

This includes only systems which stayed a tropical cyclone during the passage or that maintained a circulation during the crossover.

Season Storm (Pacific) Storm (Atlantic)
1842 Unnamed Unnamed[57]
1902 Unnamed tropical depression Unnamed[58]
1923 Unnamed Unnamed[59]
1949 Unnamed Unnamed[54]
1961 Simone Inga (see below)[60]
1965 Unnamed tropical depression Unnamed[61]
1989 Cosme Allison[54]

In addition to those, there are apparently two additional ones. One existed before 1856 and made it to the Gulf of Mexico.[62] Another Pacific tropical cyclone crossed over central Mexico and also made it to the Gulf sometime after September 9, 1924.[62]

With reanalysis, doubt has arisen over whether Tropical Storm Simone, the renamed Hurricane Hattie, recrossed the North American continent and actually became Tropical Storm Inga.[60]

It used to be that when a Pacific named storm crossed North America and made it to the Atlantic (or vice versa), it would receive the next name on the respective basin's list. This policy has since been changed to a tropical cyclone keeping its name if it remains a tropical cyclone during the entire passage. Only if it dissipates and then re-forms does it get renamed.[63]

Crossover storms from Eastern Pacific to Western Pacific[edit]

2003's Hurricane Jimena existed in all three north Pacific tropical cyclone basins

Neither eastern Pacific tropical cyclones passing 140°W, nor central Pacific tropical cyclones crossing the Dateline, are notable events. However, very few eastern Pacific proper cyclones that enter the central Pacific make it to the dateline.

Name Season
Georgette 1986[64]
Enrique 1991[65]
Li 1994[66]
John 1994[67]
Dora 1999[68]
Jimena 2003[69]

† System ceased to be a tropical cyclone before crossing the dateline and subsequently reforming.

‡ Hurricane/Typhoon Li formed in the eastern Pacific, right at the boundary with the central, but was not named until it crossed into the central Pacific.

Intensity records[edit]

Ten most intense[edit]

Hurricane Linda, the most intense Pacific hurricane on record

The apparent increase in recent seasons is spurious; it is due to better estimation and measurement, not an increase in intense storms. That is, until 1988, Pacific hurricanes generally did not have their central pressures measured or estimated from satellite imagery.

Rank Hurricane Year Pressure
1 Linda 1997 902 mbar*
2 Rick 2009 906 mbar*
3 Kenna 2002 913 mbar‡
4 Ava 1973 915 mbar†
Ioke 2006 915 mbar*
6 Guillermo 1997 919 mbar*
7 Gilma 1994 920 mbar*
8 Elida 2002 921 mbar*
Hernan 2002 921 mbar*
Celia 2010 921 mbar*
Source:[45]

* Estimated from satellite imagery

‡ Measured and adjusted

† Measured

~ Pressure while East of the International Dateline

Strongest landfalls[edit]

1976's Hurricane Madeline is the Pacific hurricane with the third-highest winds at landfall
Landfalling Pacific major hurricanes
Intensity is measured solely by wind speed
Hurricane Season Landfall winds Source
Unnamed 1959 160 mph (255 km/h) [70]
Kenna 2002 150 mph (240 km/h) [13]
Unnamed 1957 145 mph (235 km/h) [70]
Iniki 1992 145 mph (235 km/h) [9]
Madeline 1976 145 mph (235 km/h) [71]
Lane 2006 125 mph (200 km/h) [72]
Olivia 1967 125 mph (200 km/h) [70]
Tico 1983 125 mph (200 km/h) [73]
Kiko 1989 120 mph (195 km/h) [74]
Olivia 1975 115 mph (185 km/h) [75]
Liza 1976 115 mph (185 km/h) [71]

Strongest storm in each month[edit]

Month Name Year Minimum pressure
January Ekeka 1992 unknown‡ mb (hPa)
February Unnamed 1922 unknown mb (hPa)[49]
March Hali 1992 unknown mb (hPa)
April Carmen†* 1980 unknown‡ mb (hPa)[52]
May Amanda 2014 932 mb (hPa)
June Ava 1973 915 mb (hPa)
July Gilma 1994 919 mb (hPa)
August Ioke 2006 915 mb (hPa)
September Linda 1997 902 mb (hPa)
October Rick 2009 906 mb (hPa)
November Kenneth 2011 940 mb (hPa)
December Omeka 2010 997 mb (hPa)
Source (except where another is given):[45]

† This tropical cyclone is the strongest to form in its month by virtue of its being the only known system.

Unusual landfall locations[edit]

California[edit]

Hawaii[edit]

Hurricane Iniki over Hawaii

Wettest tropical cyclones[edit]

All of these values are point maxima.

Mexico[edit]

Rainfall data from 2001's Hurricane Juliette
Wettest Pacific tropical cyclones in Mexico
Highest known recorded totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref
Rank mm in
1 1011 39.80 Juliette 2001 Cuadano/Santiago [85]
2 686.0 27.01 Pauline 1997 San Luis Acatlan [86]
3 628.1 24.73 Odile 1984 Costa Azul/Acapulco [87]
4 610.1 24.02 Isis 1998 Caduano/Santiago [88]
5 570.0 22.44 Flossie 2001 Suchixtlahuaca [89]
6 566.9 22.32 Greg 1999 Tecoman [90]
7 531.9 20.94 Nora 1997 La Cruz/Elota [91]
8 525.3 20.68 Eugene 1987 Aquila [92]
9 523.0 20.59 Lidia 1981 El Varonjal/Badiraguato [93]
10 500.1 19.69 Ignacio 2003 Yeneca/Los Cabos [94]

Hawaii[edit]

Wettest tropical cyclones and their remnants in Hawaii
Highest known totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref
Rank mm in
1 1321 52.00 Hiki 1950 Kanalohuluhulu Ranger Station [48]
2 985 38.76 Paul 2000 Kapapala Ranch 36 [95]
3 635 25.00 Maggie 1970 [96]
4 519 20.42 Nina 1957 Wainiha [97]
5 516 20.33 Iwa 1982 Intake Wainiha 1086 [98]
6 476 18.75 Fabio 1988 Papaikou Mauka 140.1 [98]
7 381 15.00 TD 01C, 1994 Waiakea Uka, Piihonua [66]
8 372 14.63 Felicia 2009 Oahu Forecast National Wildlife Refuge [99]
9 323 12.70 Makawao 1906 Makawao, Maui [48]
10 305 12.00 Diana 1972 [100]
10 305 12.00 "B" 1967 [101]
10 305 12.00 Kenneth 2005 [102]

Continental United States[edit]

Radar image of Hurricane Nora
Wettest tropical cyclones on the Continental United States
Highest known totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref
Rank mm in
1 533.7 21.01 Norma 1981 Breckenridge, Texas [103]
2 430.5 16.95 Tico 1983 Chickasha, Oklahoma [104]
3 374.9 14.76 Kathleen 1976 San Gorgonio, California [105]
4 350.5 13.80 Roslyn 1986 Matagorda Texas #2 [106]
5 305.1 12.01 Nora 1997 Harquahala Mountains [91]
6 304.8 12.00 Octave 1983 Mount Graham [107]
7 302.8 11.92 Norma 1970 Workman Creek [108]
8 294.6 11.60 Unnamed 1939 Mount Wilson [77]
9 288.3 11.35 Paine 1986 Fort Scott, Kansas [109]
10 216.7 8.53 Ismael 1995 Hobbs, New Mexico [110]

Overall[edit]

Wettest tropical cyclone within the Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone basin
Highest known totals
Precipitation Storm Location Ref
Rank mm in
1 52.00 1321 Hiki 1950 Kanalohuluhulu Ranger Station, Hawaii [48]
2 39.80 1011 Juliette 2001 Cuadano/Santiago, Mexico [85]
3 38.76 984.5 Paul 2000 Kapapala Ranch, Hawaii [95]
4 27.01 686.0 Pauline 1997 San Luis Acatlan, Mexico [86]
5 25.00 635.0 Maggie 1970 Hawaii [96]
6 24.73 628.1 Odile 1984 Costa Azul/Acapulco, Mexico [87]
7 24.02 610.1 Isis 1998 Caduano/Santiago, Mexico [88]
8 22.44 570.0 Flossie 2001 Suchixtlahuaca, Mexico [89]
9 22.32 566.9 Greg 1999 Tecoman, Mexico [90]
10 21.01 533.7 Norma 1981 Breckenridge, Texas, USA [103]

Worldwide cyclone records set by Pacific storms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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