Busiest hurricane season for Hawaii ends Monday

Busiest hurricane season for Hawaii ends Monday

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rushing waterfalls and flooded streets were some of the outcomes of the busiest hurricane season on record for the Aloha State.

Fortunately there were no landfalls thanks to strong upper level wind shear that helped weaken storms as they came close to the islands; however, it was a season full of close calls.

"None of us has seen a season that has been this busy," said Robert Ballard of the National Weather Service and Central Pacific Hurricane Center.  "We didn't have any direct impacts from any of the tropical cyclones, but we did see a lot of peripheral effects that caused it to get very humid very muggy. Probably the most humid everybody remembers."

Fifteen tropical cyclones that originated over both the Eastern and Central Pacific Basins churned over our waters.  Eight of these storms were given Hawaiian names since they developed over the Central Pacific.  The above average activity over the Central Pacific Basin allowed Hawaii to get out of a drought due to the record rainfall associated with storms.

"We had heavy rain that caused flash flooding," said Ballard.  "A couple of noteworthy ones were Kilo and Ignacio. They brought showers and thundershowers to the islands that brought flash flooding."

A strong El Nino was a major driving force behind this year's above average season where the warmer sea surface temperatures fueled these storms. And with an ongoing intense El Nino, there is a slight chance storms may still develop even after the calendar season.

"After November 30, we can still have tropical cyclone activity in the basin and an example we want to remind everyone of Hurricane Nina in 1957," said Ballard.  "It brought damaging wind gusts to Kauai and Oahu that was the end of November in beginning of December."

With looking at the tracks on the map as a whole, it is a reminder why preparation is key every season.

"We are a very isolated island chain in the middle of the Pacific," said Ballard. " When you look at the 2014 season we had a normal number of tropical cyclones in the basin, but we had one that made landfall, so that just goes to show you that the number of systems in the basin does not necessarily correlate to whether or not the Hawaiian islands will get hit. As we say every year, it only takes one."

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