2016 Pacific hurricane season

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2016 Pacific hurricane season
2016 Pacific hurricane season summary map.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed January 7, 2016
(record earliest)
Last system dissipated November 26, 2016
Strongest storm
Name Seymour
 • Maximum winds 150 mph (240 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure 940 mbar (hPa; 27.76 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions 23 official, 4 unofficial
Total storms 22
Hurricanes 13
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
6
Total fatalities 11 total
Total damage $96 million (2016 USD)
Related articles
Pacific hurricane seasons
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

The 2016 Pacific hurricane season was another active season that produced a total of 22 named storms, 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes. Although the season was very active, it was considerably less active than the previous season; featuring sporadic periods of inactivity, particularly at the beginning and towards the end of the season. It officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific; they both ended on November 30.[1] These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin. However, as illustrated by Hurricane Pali, which became the earliest Central Pacific tropical cyclone on record,[2] the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. After Pali, however, the active season had a slow start, becoming the first season since 2011 in which no tropical cyclones occurred in May, and also the first since 2007 that no named storms formed in the month of June.

Hurricane Darby brushed the Hawaiian islands as a tropical storm causing only minor damage; while hurricanes Lester and Madeline also threatened to make landfall in Hawaii but weakened significantly before approaching the islands. Tropical Storm Javier and Hurricane Newton both made landfall in Mexico, with the latter being responsible for at least nine fatalities as it came ashore near Baja California Sur. Hurricane Ulika was a rare and erratic storm which zig-zagged across 140°W a total of three times. Hurricane Seymour became the strongest storm of the season, forming in late October. Finally, in late November, Hurricane Otto from the Atlantic made an unusual crossing over Central America, emerging into the East Pacific as a moderate tropical storm but dissipated shortly after.

Seasonal forecasts[edit]

Record Named
storms
Hurricanes Major
hurricanes
Ref
Average (1981-2010): 15.4 7.6 3.2 [3]
Record high activity: 1992: 27 2015: 16 2015: 11 [4]
Record low activity: 2010: 8 2010: 3 2003: 0 [4]
Date Source Named
storms
Hurricanes Major
hurricanes
Ref
May 6, 2016 SMN 10 7 3 [5]
May 27, 2016 NOAA 13–20 6–11 3–6 [6]
Area Named
storms
Hurricanes Major
hurricanes
Ref
Actual activity: EPAC 20 11 6
Actual activity: CPAC 2 2 0
Actual activity: 22 13 6

On May 6, 2016, the Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN) issued its first outlook for the Pacific hurricane season, forecasting a below average season with 10 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes. On May 27, NOAA released their outlook, forecasting 13-20 named storms, 6-11 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes. NOAA admitted that this season would be difficult to predict because of changing conditions, but both organizations cited a dissipating El Niño and the formation of a La Niña event, which resulted in the prediction of a near-normal season in both basins. In the Central Pacific, about four to seven cyclones would form or enter within the basin, citing an equal 40% chance of an above-normal or near-normal season.

Seasonal summary[edit]

Hurricane OttoHurricane Newton (2016)Hurricane Madeline (2016)Hurricane Darby (2016)Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Four simultaneous tropical cyclones existed on July 22. From left to right: Darby, Estelle, Eight-E (which would soon become Georgette), and Frank

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index for the 2016 Pacific hurricane season was 183.0475 units (143.9775 units from the Eastern Pacific and 39.07 units from the Central Pacific).[nb 1]

As the new year began, Pali formed on January 7, two days before Tropical Storm Winona's formation in 1989. Pali subsequently surpassed Hurricane Ekeka's record and became a hurricane on January 11. When Pali reached a peak intensity of 100 mph, it surpassed Winona to become the strongest January tropical cyclone east of the dateline. Pali also reached a record low latitude of 2.0°N, beating Nine-C's record of 2.2°N to become the southernmost tropical cyclone on record in the western hemisphere. Although Pali formed in January, the season kicked off to a very inactive start; for the first time since 2011, no tropical depressions or storms formed during the month of May, and no named storms formed during June since 2007.[citation needed]

Agatha formed on July 2, the latest first named storm in the eastern Pacific proper since 1969. Despite this, the season set a record for the most number of storms during the first half of July. When Georgette formed on July 21, it became the seventh named storm to form in the month of July; equaling the previous record set in 1985 and 2015 for the most active July since reliable records began. And when Frank became a hurricane (after Georgette did so), it marked a record-high 5 hurricanes in July. Finally, Howard formed on July 31, however, was not named until August 1, one named storm shy of the record. Despite that, the season tied the record set in 1985 with the most named storms in July. Activity in August was slightly less active than July. Lester and Madeline threatened the Big Island at hurricane strength. Lester passed north of the islands, Madeline brought some rain as the storm dissipated south of Hawaii. Javier and Newton followed similar paths close to the Mexican coast, with both making landfall in the Baja California Peninsula in August and early September respectively. After Newton led off September; Hurricanes Orlene, Paine and Tropical Storm Roslyn followed forming far from land. Hurricane Ulika became the first tropical cyclone on record to cross 140°W three times; it also became the first named storm in the Central Pacific basin since Pali back in January. Ulika was the first storm since Ela in 2015 to form in the Eastern Pacific, but not be named until entering the Central Pacific. After an unusually quiet October, Hurricane Seymour became the sixth major hurricane of the season, as well as the strongest. Tropical Storm Tina formed close to the coast of Mexico in mid-November. In late November, Tropical Storm Otto entered the basin from the Atlantic, becoming only the eighteenth cyclone to do so; however, it dissipated quickly due to unfavorable conditions.[citation needed]

Systems[edit]

Hurricane Pali[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Pali 2016-01-13 Suomi NPP.jpg Pali 2016 track.png
Duration January 7 – January 15
Peak intensity 100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  977 mbar (hPa)

At the onset of 2016, the dissipating Tropical Depression Nine-C left behind a large area of moisture across the equatorial Pacific. A powerful westerly wind burst—a feature commonly associated with strong El Niño events—spurred cyclogenesis within the disturbance, resulting in the formation of an area of low pressure. Fueled by unusually high sea surface temperatures, estimated at 29.5 °C (85.1 °F), the system gradually coalesced into a tropical depression on January 7. This marked the earliest formation of a tropical cyclone on record in the Central Pacific, surpassing 1989's Tropical Storm Winona by six days.[7] It soon strengthened into a tropical storm, receiving the name Pali, becoming the earliest such system in the northeastern Pacific on record.[8] Then, on January 11, Pali strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, becoming the earliest hurricane on record in the northeast Pacific basin, beating the previous record set by Hurricane Ekeka in 1992.[9] Pali reached a minimum latitude of 2.0°N, making it the lowest latitude tropical cyclone on record in the Western Hemisphere, surpassing Tropical Depression Nine-C which attained a minimum latitude of 2.2°N just two weeks prior.[10][11] On January 12, Pali strengthened further into a Category 2 hurricane.[12] During the next few days, Pali rapidly weakened while turning back towards the south-southeast, before weakening into a remnant low early on January 15.[13]

Unrelated to Pali, Hurricane Alex developed over the Atlantic during the last few days of Pali's existence. This marked the first known occurrence of simultaneous January tropical cyclones between the two basins.[14]

Tropical Depression One-E[edit]

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
01E 2016-06-07 1708Z.jpg One-E 2016 track.png
Duration June 6 – June 8
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1006 mbar (hPa)

On June 4, the National Hurricane Center began monitoring an area for possible development.[15] Over the next few days, the chances of the storm forming were low. Unexpectedly, however, on June 6, advisories began to be issued on Tropical Depression One-E.[16][17] This led the Government of Mexico to issue a Tropical Storm Watch for its coast.[18] On June 7 the storm weakened slightly thus the watch was removed.[19] Early on June 8, the storm made landfall in Mexico near the Gulf of Tehuantepec and dissipated.[20]

As a precautionary measure, temporary shelters were opened across Chiapas.[21] The depression caused minor damage across Oaxaca, primarily within the Salina Cruz municipality. Heavy rains led to some street flooding and a sinkhole that damaged one home.[22]

Tropical Storm Agatha[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Agatha 2016-07-02 2130Z.jpg Agatha 2016 track.png
Duration July 2 – July 5
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

On June 30, the National Hurricane Center began to monitor an area for possible formation. On July 1, organization unexpectedly increased.[23] Seven hours later, early on July 2, the tropical disturbance strengthened into Tropical Depression Two-E. The system quickly organized, and later that day, the NHC upgraded Two-E into Tropical Storm Agatha.[24] Agatha slightly strengthened to peak intensity on July 3.[25] Winds topped off at 50 mph. Soon after, Agatha weakened slightly, with winds lowering to 40 mph later that day. The storm continued westwards over the next two days. Early on July 5, Agatha became post-tropical.[26]

With Agatha's naming nearly two months into the season (on July 2), the storm is the second-latest first named storm in the eastern Pacific proper — only Tropical Storm Ava, which reached tropical storm intensity on July 3, 1969, formed later in the season.[24]

Hurricane Blas[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Blas 2016-07-06 2155Z.jpg Blas 2016 track.png
Duration July 2 – July 10
Peak intensity 140 mph (220 km/h) (1-min)  947 mbar (hPa)

On June 27, the NHC began to monitor a tropical wave moving over Central America for possible development.[27] A low pressure area formed south of Mexico on June 30,[28] and early on July 3, the storm gained enough organization to be designated Tropical Depression Three-E.[29] Six hours later, amid a favorable environment with high sea surface temperatures and decreasing vertical wind shear, it intensified into Tropical Storm Blas.[30] Steady strengthening ensued, and Blas intensified into a hurricane on July 4.[31] Intensification stalled for the remainder of that day as dry air wrapped into the circulation;[32] however, Blas began to rapidly deepen on July 5, and it became the first major hurricane of the season that evening.[33] Blas quickly reached peak intensity at Category 4 strength on July 6.[34] Blas weakened to a Category 3 hurricane soon after, before transitioning into an annular tropical cyclone and maintaining intensity.[35] However, Blas soon passed over decreasing sea surface temperatures, resulting in a slow weakening trend; Blas weakened below major hurricane status late on July 7,[36] and down to a Category 1 hurricane by the next day.[37] Blas further degraded to a tropical storm on July 9,[38] as weakening accelerated amid a stable air mass and increasing southwesterly shear.[39] Over sea surface temperatures of 24 °C (75 °F), Blas weakened to a tropical depression on July 10,[40] and degenerated into a post-tropical cyclone soon after.[41]

Moisture associated with the remnants of Blas brought showers to Hawaii.[42] Peak daily rainfall totals primarily ranged between 1 to 2 in (25 to 50 mm) and did not cause any serious flooding.[43]

Hurricane Celia[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Celia 2016-07-12 2140Z.jpg Celia 2016 track.png
Duration July 6 – July 16
Peak intensity 100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  972 mbar (hPa)

On June 27, the NHC began monitoring a tropical wave over Central America.[44] The wave entered the East Pacific the following day, eventually gaining sufficient organization to be declared a tropical depression by 21:00 UTC on July 6.[45] The newly formed cyclone initially struggled to intensify with upwelling resultant from Hurricane Blas,[46] but a formative central dense overcast and several spiral bands prompted an upgrade to Tropical Storm Celia by 15:00 UTC on July 8.[47] Celia began to intensify after moving into warmer waters, obtaining Category 1 hurricane intensity by 21:00 UTC on July 10 and peaking as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph (155 km/h) the next afternoon.[48][49] Thereafter, progressively cooler waters caused the system to weaken: it fell below hurricane intensity by 09:00 UTC on July 13,[50] weakened to a tropical depression by 21:00 UTC on July 15 after entering the Central Pacific,[51] and degenerated into a remnant low well east-northeast of Hawaii six hours later.[52]

Although the remnants of Celia passed north of Hawaii, it disrupted the typical trade winds, resulting in higher humidity across the island group and brief, but heavy showers over central Oahu and the windward slopes of Maui and the Big Island on July 18.[43] Precipitation totals ranged form 1 to 2.5 in (25 to 65 mm), prompting flash flood advisories. In addition to the rain, large swells as high as 15 ft (4.6 m) generated by Celia and its remnants affected the east-facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands. resulting in high surf advisories. These swells produced rough surf that caused two drowning deaths on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu on July 16.[53]

Hurricane Darby[edit]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Darby 2016-07-16 1850Z.jpg Darby 2016 track.png
Duration July 11 – July 26
Peak intensity 120 mph (195 km/h) (1-min)  958 mbar (hPa)

In the first two weeks of July, five low pressure systems formed in the Eastern Pacific. The fourth of these was first noted by the National Hurricane Center on July 9; it was located in a favorable environment, and was expected to develop into a tropical storm.[54] On July 11, the low was upgraded into Tropical Depression Five-E.[55] On July 12, Five-E intensified into a tropical storm, and was assigned the name Darby; the next day it attained hurricane status. It later strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane on July 15. On July 16, despite traveling over cooler waters, Darby unexpectedly became a Category 3 hurricane.[citation needed] However, 6 hours later, Darby weakened back to a Category 2.[56] Over the next four days, Darby gradually degraded over cooler waters as the storm moved westwards, towards Hawaii.[citation needed] But, as it advanced closer towards the area, it strengthened again, prompting several Tropical Storm warnings and watches to be issued for the Hawaiian Islands.[57] At 00:00 UTC July 24, it made landfall near Pahala of the Big Island.[58] Crossing the island as a minimal tropical storm, it was the first to do so since Hurricane Iselle in 2014. Slight weakening occurred as Darby traversed the island, however the storm retained minimal tropical storm strength as the storm began to move northwestwards. On July 25, Darby was downgraded into a depression near Oahu and degraded into a remnant low 18 hours later.[citation needed]

Tropical Storm Estelle[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Estelle 2016-07-18 1835Z.jpg Estelle 2016 track.png
Duration July 15 – July 22
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

In the line of continuous tropical cyclones with the same path, the low that would become Estelle began to be monitored on July 14.[59] Less than a day after being designated as a low pressure system on July 15, it was upgraded to Tropical Depression Six-E.[60] Early on July 16, the fifth tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific season formed, being assigned the name Estelle.[61] By July 18, Estelle had strengthened into a 70 mph (110 km/h) storm, just below hurricane status, however, it slightly weakened afterwards.[62] Estelle continued to maintain its strength, however, by July 20, the storm was not forecast to strengthen into a hurricane and began degrading over cooler water northeast of Hawaii.[63] On July 22, Estelle weakened into a 40 mph (65 km/h) storm and degraded into a remnant low later that day.[64]

Hurricane Frank[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Frank 2016-07-26 2040Z.jpg Frank 2016 track.png
Duration July 21 – July 28
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  979 mbar (hPa)

On July 16, the NHC noted that an area of low pressure was forecast to form south of Mexico in a few days.[65] A broad area of low pressure formed well south-southeast of Acapulco, Mexico three days later,[66] eventually organizing into Tropical Storm Frank by 21:00 UTC on July 21.[67] Steered northwest and then west-northwest, the cyclone steadily intensified within a favorable environment; by July 25, however, Frank passed over cooler waters resultant from previous cyclones, which caused weakening.[68] The system re-intensified after entering warm waters, becoming the record-setting fifth hurricane during the month by 15:00 UTC on July 26 and peaking with winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) twelve hours later.[69][70] The negative effects of cooler waters began to impede on the system shortly thereafter, causing Frank to weaken to a tropical storm by 15:00 UTC on July 27,[71] fall to a tropical depression by 15:00 UTC on July 28,[72] and degenerate into a remnant low six hours later.[73]

The outer rainbands of Frank brought heavy rains to Nayarit. In Tepic, several neighborhoods were flooded and 135 homes were damaged.[74] A total of 200 families were rendered homeless, and forced to seek shelter.[75] The remains of Frank passed near the island chain on August 3 and 4. Enhanced showers over the windward slopes resulted in daily rainfall totals over 1 in (25 mm) in isolated locations but no reported flooding problems.[76]

Hurricane Georgette[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Georgette 2016-07-25 0640Z.jpg Georgette 2016 track.png
Duration July 21 – July 27
Peak intensity 130 mph (215 km/h) (1-min)  952 mbar (hPa)

On July 15, the NHC noted that an area of low pressure was forecast to form well south of Mexico early the subsequent week.[77] An area of disturbed weather became established south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec the following day,[78] organizing sufficiently to be deemed a tropical depression by 21:00 UTC on July 21.[79] Despite moderate northeasterly wind shear, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Georgette by 15:00 UTC on July 22 and was further upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by 03:00 UTC on July 24.[80][81] Over a 24-hour period ending at 03:00 UTC July 25, the cyclone's maximum winds increased from 75 mph (120 km/h) to a peak of 130 mph (215 km/h) as convection became more symmetric and an eye cleared.[82] Progressively cooler waters and a more stable environment, however, caused Georgette to begin weakening soon thereafter: it fell below hurricane intensity by 15:00 UTC on July 26 and further degenerated into a remnant low well west-southwest of Baja California a day later.[83][84]

Remnant moisture from Georgette brought heavy rain to Oahu on July 31 but caused only minor flooding.[43]

Tropical Storm Howard[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Howard 2016-08-02 1930Z.jpg Howard 2016 track.png
Duration July 31 – August 3
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  998 mbar (hPa)

On July 29, the NHC noted that an area of low pressure was forecast to form well south of Mexico.[85] A large mass of convection developed south of Acapulco, Mexico two days later,[86] eventually coalescing into the record-tying eighth tropical cyclone to form in the East Pacific during the month of July.[87] The depression intensified into Tropical Storm Howard by 09:00 UTC on August 1,[88] and although the cyclone struggled with westerly wind shear and upwelling, it ultimately attained peak winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) a day later.[89] Continuing on its west-northwest path, Howard entered cooler waters and a more stable environment, and the combination of the two factors caused the cyclone to degenerate into a remnant low well west of Baja California by 21:00 UTC on August 3.[90] The remnants of the system moved across the main Hawaiian Island group on August 7, dropping up to 2 in (51 mm) of rain over portions of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, with minor flooding occurring on northwestern Oahu and northern sections of Maui.[76]

Tropical Storm Ivette[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Ivette 2016-08-04 1920Z.jpg Ivette 2016 track.png
Duration August 2 – August 8
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

On July 25, the NHC highlighted an area well southwest of Baja California for tropical cyclone formation potential over the following week.[91] A broad area of low pressure formed south of Manzanillo, Mexico two days later,[92] eventually gaining ample organization to be declared a tropical depression by 21:00 UTC on August 2.[93] The depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ivette twelve hours later as banding increased.[94] Despite initial forecasts calling for a strong Category 1 hurricane,[94] moderate wind shear only allowed the cyclone to attain peak winds of 60 mph (95 km/h).[95] Continued wind shear and a more stable environment caused Ivette to weaken to a tropical depression by 03:00 UTC on August 8 as it entered the Central Pacific,[96] and 18 hours later it degenerated into a remnant low well east of Hawaii.[97]

Tropical Storm Javier[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Javier 2016-08-08 2000Z.jpg Javier 2016 track.png
Duration August 7 – August 9
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)

On August 2, the NHC noted that an area of low pressure in association with the remnants of Hurricane Earl could further develop into a tropical cyclone off the southwestern coastline of Mexico over subsequent days.[98] An area of disturbed weather formed south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec two days later,[99] eventually acquiring sufficient organization to be declared a tropical depression by 06:00 UTC on August 7.[100][101] Surface observations from Manzanillo, Mexico by 16:00 UTC indicated that the depression had intensified into Tropical Storm Javier.[102] Steered northwest by a mid-level ridge over Texas, Javier initially struggled to intensify as a result of easterly wind shear;[103] by August 8, however, a reconnaissance aircraft found that the cyclone had strengthened to reach peak winds of 65 mph (100 km/h).[104] Drier air, increased wind shear, and land interaction caused Javier to quickly weaken thereafter; wind speeds had dropped to 50 mph (85 km/h) when Javier made landfall near San José del Cabo the next day at 03:30 UTC.[100] Javier weakened to a tropical depression by 12:00 UTC that day and degenerated to a remnant low six hours later.[100][105][106] The circulation of Javier dissipated late on August 10.[100]

The outer fringes of the storm brought flooding to Colima. Landslides occurred along Lazaro Cardenas and Mexican Federal Highway 200.[107] In Manzanillo, a bridge collapsed and numerous federal highways were damaged while the city's port closed due to high waves.[108] Shortly after attaining tropical storm status, a "green" alert was issued for the multiplicity of Los Cabos.[109] Officials opened 18 shelters across the southern Baja California Peninsula, while also closing ports.[110] When Javier was forecast to become a hurricane, an "orange" alert was issued for the entire state of Baja California Sur.[111] In the municipalities of La Paz and Los Cabos, authorities delayed the start of the school year.[112] Six flights were canceled to and from San Jose del Cabo.[113] In Sonora, a "blue" alert was declared.[114]

Tropical Storm Kay[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Kay 2016-08-21 1825Z.jpg Kay 2016 track.png
Duration August 18 – August 23
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

Late on August 15, the NHC began highlighting an area south of Baja California for the potential for tropical cyclone development over the subsequent week.[115] A broad area of low pressure developed well south of Manzanillo, Mexico the following day,[116] steadily organizing to be deemed a tropical depression by 21:00 UTC on August 18.[117] Despite modest northeasterly shear, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Kay twelve hours later on its northwesterly trek.[118] While easterly shear osculated in strength, Kay peaked with winds of 50 mph, after a microwave data indicated the development of a mid level-eye. Soon after, however the separation between the mid and lower level centers caused Kay to become disorganized. The next day, Kay re-intensified, again reaching peak intensity. That intensity did not last for long, Kay entered water cooler than 26 °C later that day. Drier air and a stable environment weakened Kay into a depression by 1200 UTC on the 23rd, before Kay ultimately degenerated into a remnant low soon after. The low continued westwards, before dissipating about 585 miles west of Cabo San Lucas.[119]

Hurricane Lester[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Lester 2016-08-29 2325Z.jpg Lester 2016 track.png
Duration August 24 – September 7
Peak intensity 145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  944 mbar (hPa)

On August 24, a well organized low-pressure system was upgraded into Tropical Depression Thirteen-E. Entering a favorable environment, the depression quickly intensified into Tropical Storm Lester. Moving steadily west-northwestwards, intensification continued, and Lester rapidly intensified on August 26 into a hurricane. Intensification continued throughout the day, with Lester reaching Category 2 strength the following day. By August 29, Lester had strengthened into the fourth major hurricane of the season. On August 30, Lester started to go through a weakening stage, at which point the storm began accelerating towards Hawaii. Late on August 30 Lester re-intensified to a Category 4 hurricane. The storm did not maintain this intensity, however, and on the next day dropped below major hurricane status as its eye filled with clouds. On September 1, Lester's eye cleared, and it once again became a Category 3 hurricane. Lester also moved very close to the Hawaiian islands, but passed safely to the east and quickly lost strength over cooler waters.[120]

The outer rainbands from Lester produced heavy showers and minor flooding over the leeward slopes of the Big Island and portions of east Maui on September 3. Winds were light, however.[121]

Hurricane Madeline[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Madeline 2016-08-29 2325Z.jpg Madeline 2016 track.png
Duration August 26 – September 3
Peak intensity 130 mph (215 km/h) (1-min)  950 mbar (hPa)

On August 21, the NHC noted that an area of low pressure could form well south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California over subsequent days.[122] An area of disturbed weather developed a few hours later,[123] slowly organizing into a tropical depression by 21:00 UTC on August 26.[124] With an impressive spiral band and improved inner core, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Madeline six hours later.[125] Steered northwestward into the central Pacific, the cyclone initially struggled with moderate wind shear; however, an eye feature developed within the storm's central dense overcast by 09:00 UTC on August 29, prompting an upgrade to hurricane intensity.[126] Madeline began a period of rapid intensification thereafter, and with a cloud-filled eye surrounded by a ring of deep convection, was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane by 21:00 UTC before ultimately peaking as a 130 mph (215 km/h) Category 4 hurricane early the next day.[127][128]

An upper-level trough responsible for the cyclone's northwest trajectory moved north of the Hawaiian Islands on August 30, causing a subtropical ridge to the north of the cyclone to build southward. As a result, Madeline turned west and then southwest.[128] Under increasing wind shear, Madeline's cloud pattern became less rounded and the storm's eye became obscured, signaling its fall below major hurricane intensity.[129] The continued effect of strong westerly shear weakened Madeline to a tropical storm by 00:00 UTC on September 1,[130] to a tropical depression six hours later,[131] and further to a remnant low by 21:00 UTC on September 2 west-southwest of Hawaii. Madeline brought just a few damage and flooding to the big island of Hawaii.[132] The remnant low ultimately dissipated southwest of Kauai the next day.

Across the Big Island of Hawaii, the storm was accountable for 5 to 11 in (125 to 280 mm) of rain but were spread out over a long period which mitigated serious flooding impacts. A few low-lying, flood-prone roads in Hilo were inundated briefly but no significant damages were reported.[76]

Hurricane Newton[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Newton 2016-09-06 1825Z.jpg Newton 2016 track.png
Duration September 4 – September 7
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  977 mbar (hPa)

On August 27, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) first mentioned the potential for low pressure area to develop south of Mexico as an area for tropical cyclogenesis.[133] An area of disturbed weather formed on August 31 offshore western Guatemala,[134] which developed into a low-level trough the next day.[135] Favorable environmental conditions allowed the system to organize and develop a distinct low pressure area on September 2, which produced a widespread area of disorganized thunderstorms.[136] A circulation began organizing within the system,[137] leading to the NHC classifying it as Tropical Depression Fifteen-E late on September 4 about 220 mi (355 km) southwest of Manzanillo, Colima.[138]

With warm waters, moderate wind shear, and adequate moisture, the system continued to organize after formation,[138] strengthening to Tropical Storm Newton by early on September 5. The storm moved northwestward, steered by a ridge that over Texas.[139] Late on September 5, an eye was visible on satellite imagery, and the Hurricane Hunters observed flight-level winds of 85 mph (137 km/h); based on these observations, the NHC upgraded Newton to hurricane status.[140] With continued low wind shear and warm waters, Newton intensified further to a peak intensity of 90 mph (150 km/h) early on September 6.[141] That day, the large wind field and 52 mi (83 km) eye failed to organize more, and the hurricane made landfall near Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, near peak intensity like Hurricane Odile did in 2014.[142]

Rounding the western periphery of the ridge, Newton turned northward and weakened over the Baja California Peninsula. The eyewall deteriorated and fell apart while the convection waned.[143] On September 7, Newton made a second landfall on mainland Mexico near Bahía Kino, Sonora, and weakened to tropical storm status. The storm curved to the northeast ahead of a broad trough,[144] with increasing wind shear exposing the center from the waning convection.[145] At 21:00 UTC on September 7, the NHC discontinued advisories on Newton, assessing that the storm degenerated into a post-tropical cyclone before crossing into southern Arizona.[146] The residual circulation continued northeastward,[147] dissipating by early on September 8.[148]

Hurricane Orlene[edit]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Orlene 2016-09-12 2040Z.jpg Orlene 2016 track.png
Duration September 11 – September 17
Peak intensity 110 mph (175 km/h) (1-min)  967 mbar (hPa)

On September 5, a tropical wave that had traversed the Atlantic basin moved into the Eastern Pacific.[149] Passing south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the disturbance gradually organized, and by September 10, satellite images showed that a surface circulation has formed, however, thunderstorm activity was too disorganized to be classified as a tropical cyclone. It is estimated that Tropical Depression Sixteen-E formed at 00:00 UTC on September 11 about 700 miles (1,100 km) south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, after s curved banding feature developed near the center.[149] The center became embedded in a central dense overcast, and six hours later, it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Orlene.

Moving north-northwest around a ridge of high pressure, Orlene entered an area of warm sea surface temperatures and low wind shear, prompting a period of rapid intensification as a well-defined eye became visible at the center, and Orlene became a hurricane at 06:00 UTC September 12.[149] The hurricane eventually reached its peak intensity as a high-end Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 mph (180 km/h) at 18:00 UTC that day. The storm then moved into an area of cooler waters, which caused Orlene to weaken back to a tropical storm as it slowed down due to a trough approaching it and eventually replaced with a ridge. It began to turn west, and re-strengthened to a hurricane again before eventually succumbing to increasing wind shear and weakening again commenced. Orlene deteriorated into a remnant low by September 17, which persisted for another 12 hours before dissipating.[149] Trailing deep tropical moisture from the remnants of Orlene passing north of the island chain produced moderate to heavy rainfall and minor flooding along the windward slopes of Haleakala on September 23.[121]

Hurricane Paine[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Paine 2016-09-19 2100Z.jpg Paine 2016 track.png
Duration September 18 – September 20
Peak intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min)  979 mbar (hPa)

The origins of Paine were complex, having originated from several tropical waves. On September 10, the first one moved into the Eastern Pacific.[150] It moved westwards over the next few days, spawning a small area of low pressure as a result. Convection remained disorganized due to easterly shear, which inhibited development. By September 16, another wave which had formed overtook the small low and absorbed it into its circulation.[150] The system became better organized with a large area of convection, but the circulation was elongated. Over the next day, wind shear decreased and convection became better organized, and it is estimated that a tropical depression formed at 00:00 UTC on September 18, about 325 miles (523 km) west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, becoming a tropical storm about six hours later and assigned the name Paine.[150]

Almost immediately, the cyclone underwent a period of rapid intensification as it moved northwestwards around the periphery of a subtropical ridge that was over Mexico.[150] Banding features developed in association with a central dense overcast (CDO) that produced very deep convection. Early on September 19, Paine became a hurricane and shortly afterwards achieved its peak intensity around 18:00 UTC.[150] As fast as it became a hurricane, it weakened at a similar pace due to decreasing sea surface temperatures, and Paine degraded into a remnant low only a day after reaching its peak intensity. The remnants of Paine continued to move northwards before dissipating just offshore of the Baja California peninsula.[150]

Tropical Storm Roslyn[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Roslyn 2016-09-26 2105Z.jpg Roslyn 2016 track.png
Duration September 25 – September 29
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  999 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave moved into the Eastern Pacific on September 17, spawning a broad area low pressure as it moved to the west. The disturbance lacked any significant organization until September 24, when shower and thunderstorm activity became a little more organized, although the system lacked a well-defined circulation. After gradually becoming better organized, it is estimated from satellite data that a tropical depression formed at 1200 UTC about 700 miles (1,100 km) southwest of the tip of Baja California. It moved northward and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Roslyn the next day at 00:00 UTC. Moderate wind shear and dry air prevented any significant strengthening, and by 18:00 UTC it attained a peak intensity of 50 mph (80 km/h). On September 27, southwesterly wind shear started to weaken Roslyn slowly over the next two days, weakening to a tropical depression on September 29 and degraded to a remnant low shortly afterwards, dissipating the next day a few hundred miles west of Cabo San Lazaro.[151]

Hurricane Ulika[edit]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Ulika 2016-09-27 2240Z.jpg Ulika 2016 track.png
Duration September 26 – September 30
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

On September 26, the NHC upgraded a long-tracked tropical wave into Tropical Depression Nineteen-E. Within hours of formation, the depression moved into the Central Pacific and was upgraded into Tropical Storm Ulika.[152] Ulika was upgraded into a Category 1 hurricane at 2:00 a.m. PDT (09:00 UTC) on September 28, making it the twelfth Pacific hurricane of the season.[153]

Hurricane Ulika is noted to be only one of two tropical cyclones to form in the Eastern Pacific basin, then move into the Central Pacific basin, and then back into the Eastern Pacific basin. The other known tropical cyclone to do this is Hurricane Olaf of the previous year. Ulika is also the first tropical cyclone on record to cross from the eastern to the central Pacific twice, as it crossed 140°W a total of three times. Also, Ulika is only the sixth storm to form in the Eastern Pacific, but not be named until entering the central Pacific. The others were 1984's Lala, 1992's Iniki, 1994's Li, 2009's Lana and 2015's Ela.[citation needed]

Hurricane Seymour[edit]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Seymour 2016-10-26 0605Z.jpg Seymour 2016 track.png
Duration October 23 – October 28
Peak intensity 150 mph (240 km/h) (1-min)  940 mbar (hPa)

On October 11, a fast-moving tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa, and traversed the Atlantic without development. By October 20, the disturbance emerged into the Pacific Ocean.[154] The next day, a weak surface circulation developed in response to a Gulf of Tehuantepec wind gap event. Organization continued further over the next two days, and after deep convection became more concentrated and the low became better defined, it is estimated that Tropical Depression Twenty-E formed around 06:00 UTC on October 23 about 360 miles (580 km) south of Manzanillo, Mexico, later strengthening into a tropical storm six hours later and assigned the name Seymour, accordingly.[154]

Moving westward, Seymour began developing banding features and an eye was becoming evident on satellite. The hurricane later entered a period of rapid intensification due to very favorable conditions, which included low wind shear, a moist atmosphere, and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of around 29–30 °C (84–86 °F).[154] The eye of Seymour later contracted to around 10 miles (16 km). By late on October 25, Seymour reached its peak intensity as a high-end category 4 major hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a pressure of 940 millibars (28 inHg). Shortly after peaking in intensity, the cyclone rapidly weakened in response to increasing wind shear, drier air and decreasing sea surface temperatures due to upwelling as it turned northwestwards around the edge of a subtropical ridge.[154] By 18:00 UTC on October 27, Seymour had weakened to a tropical storm, shortly before degenerating into a remnant low early the next day. The low continued to drift northwards before dissipating on October 30 about 500 miles (800 km) west of Puerto Cortes, Baja California Sur, Mexico.[154]

Tropical Storm Tina[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tina 2016-11-13 1800Z.jpg Tina 2016 track.png
Duration November 13 – November 14
Peak intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1004 mbar (hPa)

A tropical disturbance broke off from a low- to mid-level trough over the northern Caribbean Sea on November 2, moving southwestwards into the Eastern Pacific by November 8. That same day, a low pressure area formed within the disturbance. Persistent deep convection significantly increased over the next few days, attributed to the passage of a convectively coupled Kelvin wave. Turning northwards due to a mid-level high, convection continued to increase despite increasing southwesterly wind shear. By November 12, a low-level circulation center formed within the much broader, though disorganized, system. Eventually, the circulation became sufficiently well-defined to be declared Tropical Storm Tina at 06:00 UTC on November 13. Due to the strong wind shear, however, Tina remained weak throughout the day, with winds never rising above 40 mph (65 km/h). As the low- and mid-level circulations began to decouple, Tina turned westwards the next day as it weakened to a tropical depression. Amid strong shear and a dry atmospheric environment, convection could not be sustained and Tina degenerated to a remnant low just 30 hours after its formation. The remnant low continued drifting westwards for the next four days, before dissipating completely on November 18.[155]

Tropical Storm Otto[edit]

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Otto 2016-11-25 1645Z.jpg Otto 2016 track.png
Duration November 25 (Entered basin) – November 26
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  993 mbar (hPa)

Early on November 25, the center of Tropical Storm Otto from the Atlantic basin emerged into the Eastern Pacific, becoming the first to do so since Hurricane Cesar–Douglas in 1996.[156] Due to crossing over the mountainous terrain of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, Otto weakened somewhat as it moved westwards, with possible indications of its circulation being tilted. Continuing to move westwards due to the influence of a subtropical ridge to its north, Otto eventually encountered more hostile environmental conditions, as wind shear began to increase dramatically. The circulation of Otto became disrupted, and Otto opened up into a trough of low pressure on November 26.[157]

Other systems[edit]

On August 11, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported that a tropical depression had developed near the International Dateline about 2,000 km (1,245 mi) to the northwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.[158] Over the next day, the system moved northwestwards and was last noted before it moved into the Western Pacific basin.[159] On September 12, the JMA had reported that another tropical depression had developed east of the International Dateline,[160] while the CPHC assessed it as having a low chance of formation in the next 48 hours. However, the system dissipated soon after amid unfavorable conditions.[citation needed] On October 3, according to its best track, the JMA started tracking a tropical depression to the east of the International Dateline. The system moved into the West Pacific, where it eventually became Typhoon Songda.[161] On October 15, the JMA started to track a tropical depression just east of the International Dateline, however, the tropical depression moved into the Western Pacific basin six hours later.[citation needed]

Storm names[edit]

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the northeastern Pacific Ocean during 2016. No names were retired during the 39th session of the RA IV hurricane committee on March 26, 2017; as such, they will all be reused in the 2022 season.[162] This was the same list used in the 2010 season, except for the name Ivette, which replaced Isis, after it became synonymous with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.[163] Therefore, the name Ivette was used for the first time this year.

  • Agatha
  • Blas
  • Celia
  • Darby
  • Estelle
  • Frank
  • Georgette
  • Howard
  • Roslyn
  • Seymour
  • Tina
  • Virgil (unused)
  • Winifred (unused)
  • Xavier (unused)
  • Yolanda (unused)
  • Zeke (unused)

Otto entered the northeastern Pacific basin from the Atlantic basin, retaining its name by having survived its passage over Central America as a tropical cyclone. However, the name "Otto" was later retired due to its significant impacts in Central America.[164]

For storms that form in the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility, encompassing the area between 140 degrees west and the International Date Line, all names are used in a series of four rotating lists.[165] The next four names slated for use are shown below, though only two were used during the season.

  • Pali
  • Ulika
  • Walaka (unused)
  • Akoni (unused)

Season effects[edit]

This is a table of all the storms that have formed in the 2016 Pacific hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, landfall(s), denoted in parentheses, damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low, and all the damage figures are in 2016 USD. Impacts in the Atlantic and western Pacific basins are excluded.

Saffir–Simpson scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
2016 Pacific hurricane season statistics
Storm
name
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Refs


Pali January 7 – 15 Category 2 hurricane 100 (155) 977 None None None
One-E June 6 – 8 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1006 Southwestern Mexico Minor None
Agatha July 2 – 5 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1002 None None None
Blas July 2 – 10 Category 4 hurricane 140 (220) 947 Hawaii None None
Celia July 6 – 16 Category 2 hurricane 100 (155) 972 Hawaii None 2
Darby July 11 – 26 Category 3 hurricane 120 (195) 958 Hawaii Minor None
Estelle July 15 – 22 Tropical storm 70 (110) 990 None None None
Frank July 21 – 28 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 979 Baja California Peninsula, Nayarit None None
Georgette July 21 – 27 Category 4 hurricane 130 (215) 952 Hawaii None None
Howard July 31 – August 3 Tropical storm 60 (95) 998 Hawaii None None
Ivette August 2 – 8 Tropical storm 60 (95) 1000 None None None
Javier August 7 – 9 Tropical storm 65 (100) 997 Western Mexico, Northwestern Mexico, Baja California Peninsula Minor None
Kay August 18 – 23 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1000 None None None
Lester August 24 – September 7 Category 4 hurricane 145 (230) 944 Hawaii None None
Madeline August 26 – September 3 Category 4 hurricane 130 (215) 950 Hawaii Minor None
Newton September 4 – 7 Category 1 hurricane 90 (150) 977 Baja California Peninsula, Northwestern Mexico, Southwestern United States 96 9
Orlene September 11 – 17 Category 2 hurricane 110 (175) 967 None None None
Paine September 18 – 21 Category 1 hurricane 90 (150) 979 Baja California Peninsula, Southwestern United States Unknown None
Roslyn September 25 – 29 Tropical storm 50 (85) 999 None None None
Ulika September 26 – 30 Category 1 hurricane 75 (120) 992 None None None
Seymour October 23 – 28 Category 4 hurricane 150 (240) 940 Baja California None None
Tina November 13 – 14 Tropical storm 40 (65) 1004 Western Mexico None None
Otto November 25 – 26 Tropical storm 70 (110) 993 None (after crossover) None None
Season Aggregates
23 systems January 7 – November 26   150 (240) 940 96 11  

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The totals represent the sum of the squares for every (sub)tropical storm's intensity of over 33 knots (38 mph, 61 km/h), divided by 10,000. Calculations are provided at Talk:2016 Pacific hurricane season/ACE calcs.

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