List of off-season Pacific hurricanes

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Satellite image of Hurricane Ekeka in open sea. The tropical cyclone is somewhat elongated in appearance and has a visible albeit inconspicuous eye
Hurricane Ekeka, the most intense off-season tropical cyclone in the Eastern Pacific basin

There have been 20 recorded tropical and subtropical cyclones in the east Pacific basin outside the official Pacific hurricane season. The boundaries of the east Pacific stretch from North America westward to 140°W, while the central Pacific is from 140°W to the International date line, north of the equator. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) currently defines the season as starting May 15 in the eastern Pacific and June 1 for the central Pacific and ending on November 30 for both regions in each calendar year.[1] Occasionally, however, storms develop in late November and persist until December, such as Hurricane Nina of 1957.

Few off-season tropical cyclones in the east Pacific have affected land, and none of them have made landfall.[2] Only Hurricane Nina caused both property damage and fatalities. The strongest hurricane between December and May was Hurricane Ekeka in 1992, which reached winds of 115 mph (185 km/h). However, after Tropical Storm Paka crossed the International Date Line, it intensified into a typhoon with winds equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. The most recent off-season storm was Tropical Storm Aletta in May 2012.

The beginning of HURDAT, the official east Pacific hurricane database, is 1949. Since then, ten storms have occurred[2][3] between December 1 and May 14, or December 1 and May 31, outside the official bounds of hurricane season in the eastern and central north Pacific, respectively.[1] In addition, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center reports seven off-season storms from 1900–1952 with another off-season tropical cyclone occurring in 1832.[4][5] There have been documents published in the Monthly Weather Review reporting additional off-season storms within 2,000 mi (3,220 km) off the Mexican coastline, including one in December.[6][7]

Chronology[edit]

Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

The wind speeds listed are maximum one-minute average sustained winds. The category refers to the intensity on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale; TS stands for tropical storm, and TD for tropical depression.

Chronology of off-season Northeastern Pacific tropical cyclones
Storm Season Duration Peak classification Maximum
sustained winds
Notes
Unnamed 1832 December 1832 Unknown Unknown [5]
"Froc Cyclone" 1902 December 23, 1902 – January 2, 1903 Unknown Unknown [4]
"Zikawei Cyclone" 1904 November 26 – December 4 Unknown Unknown [4]
"Hurd Cyclone" 1904 December 23–30 Unknown Unknown [4]
"Gauthier Cyclone" 1906 May 3–10 Unknown Unknown [4]
Unnamed 1922 February 1922 Unknown Unknown [4]
Unnamed 1925 December 22–26 Unknown Unknown [4]
Unnamed 1936 December 4 Unknown Unknown [4]
Unnamed 1938 January 2–5 Unknown Unknown The Monthly Weather Review was uncertain if the storm was a tropical cyclone[8]
Nina 1957 November 29 – December 6 Category 1 hurricane 85 mph (140 km/h) Caused $100,000 in damage and four fatalities in Hawaii[9]
Carmen 1980 April 4–8 Tropical Storm 50 mph (80 km/h) [10]
Winnie 1983 December 4–7 Category 1 hurricane 90 mph (140 km/h) Strongest east Pacific tropical cyclone in the month of December[2]
Winona 1989 January 9–15 Tropical Storm 45 mph (70 km/h) [3]
Alma 1990 May 12–20 Category 1 hurricane 85 mph (140 km/h) [11]
Ekeka 1992 January 28 – February 3 Category 3 hurricane 115 mph (185 km/h) Strongest off-season east Pacific tropical cyclone[2][12]
Hali 1992 March 28–30 Tropical Storm 50 mph (80 km/h) [12]
One-E 1996 May 13–16 Tropical Storm 50 mph (80 km/h) Assumed to have caused two deaths after the ship Solar Wind was lost at sea[13]
Paka 1997 December 2–7 Tropical Storm 65 mph (105 km/h) Later became a super typhoon in the West Pacific[14]
Omeka 2010 December 18–22 Tropical Storm 60 mph (100 km/h) Latest formation of a tropical cyclone in the Eastern Pacific basin since reliable records began; was subtropical from December 18 – 20 in central Pacific, was in the western Pacific from December 20 – 22, and tropical on December 22 onward in the central Pacific[15]
Aletta 2012 May 14–19 Tropical Storm 50 mph (80 km/h) [16]

Impact and records[edit]

Several off-season tropical cyclones have affected land. Hurricane Nina in early December 1957 prompted evacuations in Hawaii and caused $100,000 (1957 USD) in damage in the state.[17] The storm also killed four people and produced 35 ft (10 m) waves.[18] Hurricane Winnie in December 1983 caused minor rainfall in parts of Mexico.[19] The unnamed tropical storm of 1996 was assumed to have killed two people when it sank a trimaran called the Solar Wind.[13] After becoming a typhoon, Paka caused significant damage in the Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Overall, Paka caused $580 million (1997 USD) in damage, enough to warrant retirement of the name.[20] None of these impacting systems made landfall.[2]

In the official east Pacific hurricane database, which dates back to 1949, the first storm to occur outside of the current season was Hurricane Nina in 1957. In the database, nine tropical cyclones have existed between December and May, most recently Tropical Storm Aletta in 2012.[2] Tropical Storm Winona in January 1989 was not listed in the database,[2] despite forming south of Hawaii.[3] In addition, there were at least eight tropical cyclones before the start of the official database, all of which existed near Hawaii.[4] Storms were most likely to occur in December, followed by May. Only one cyclone each was reported in the two months of March and April.[2] Of all off-season tropical cyclones, the "Froc Cyclone" lasted longest, spanning 12 days and two calendar years.[4] The year with the most off-season storms was tied between 1904 and 1992, with a total of two tropical cyclones. No Pacific hurricane season had both a pre-season and post-season storm.[2][4]

Monthly statistics[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dorst, Neal; Hurricane Research Division; Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. FAQ: Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Tropical Cyclones Subject: G1) When is hurricane season? (Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/G1.html. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Research Division; Central Pacific Hurricane Center (April 5, 2013). "The Northeast and North Central Pacific hurricane database 1949-2012". United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "1989 WINONA (1989010N16212)". International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship. 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Tropical Cyclones During the Years 1900–1952 (Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1900-52.php. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  5. ^ a b c Central Pacific Hurricane Center. "Tropical Cyclones in the 1800s". United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  6. ^ Tingley, F. G. (1922). "North Pacific Ocean" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review (United States Weather Bureau) 50 (3): 99. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1929)57<121:NPO>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0493. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  7. ^ Hurd, Willis E. (1929-04-21). "Eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review (United States Weather Bureau) 57 (2): 1–7. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1922)50<98:NPO>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0493. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  8. ^ a b Hurd, Willis E. (January 1938). "North Pacific Ocean, January 1938" (PDF). Monthly Weather Review (United States Weather Bureau) 66: 25–26. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1938)66<25:NPOJ>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 1520-0493. Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  9. ^ Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The 1957 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season (Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1957.php. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  10. ^ Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The 1980 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWSTM PR-22). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1980.php. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  11. ^ Case, Robert; National Hurricane Center (2002-01-23). Hurricane Alma (Preliminary Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. p. 2. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/epacific/ep1990/alma/prenhc/prelim02.gif. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  12. ^ a b Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The 1992 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWSTM PR-39). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1992.php. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  13. ^ a b Rappaport, Edward N.; National Hurricane Center (1996-11-07). Unnamed Tropical Storm (formerly Tropical Depression One-E) (Preliminary Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/1996unnamed.html. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  14. ^ Hablutzel, Benjamin C.; Weyman, James C.; Rosendal, Hans E.; Hoag, Jonathan D.; Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The 1997 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWSTM PR-44). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1997.php. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  15. ^ Thomas, Craig A.; Houston, Samuel H.. The 2010 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWSTM PR-57). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/2010.php. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  16. ^ Brown, Daniel P.; National Hurricane Center (2012-08-15). Tropical Storm Aletta (Tropical Cyclone Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/EP012012_Aletta.pdf. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  17. ^ Central Pacific Hurricane Center (2007). 1957 Central Pacific Hurricane Season Summary (Report). http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/summaries/1957.php. Retrieved 2007-03-08.
  18. ^ "Ship At Mercy of Hurricane Calls For Help". San Mateo Times. Associated Press. 1957. 
  19. ^ Roth, David M; Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. "Hurricane Winnie – December 4–8, 1983". Tropical Cyclone Point Maxima. United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  20. ^ Padgett, Gary; Beven, Jack; Free, James; Delgado Sandy; Hurricane Research Division; Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (2011-05-19). "Subject: B3) What storm names have been retired?". United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research. Retrieved 2011-10-17.