A ‘near normal’ hurricane season wraps up in the Central Pacific

A ‘near normal’ hurricane season wraps up in the Central Pacific
Hurricane Erick on satellite imagery on August 1. Image: NOAA.

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 2019 hurricane season saw five tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific, which is near the season average, according to the National Weather Service.

The central Pacific basin usually sees four to five tropical cyclones in a normal year.

The 2019 hurricane season outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted five to eight tropical cyclones. There were six during last year’s hurricane season.

The season in the Central Pacific runs from June 1 to November 30.

This year’s tropical cyclones included:

  • Major Hurricane Erick, July 30-August 4, max winds 130 miles mph: Erick rapidly intesified into a major Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale as it moved into the basin from the east on July 30. It steadily weakened as it passed far to the south of the Hawaiian islands.
  • Tropical Storm Flossie, August 3-5, max winds 60 mph: Flossie entered the basin on August 3 and approached Hawaii from the east but dissipated before reaching the islands.
  • Tropical Storm Akoni, September 4-6, max winds 40 mph: Akoni entered the Central Pacific as Tropical Depression 12-E before strengthening and becoming the first tropical cyclone with a Hawaiian name (from the Central Pacific list of names) since Hurricane Walaka in 2018.
  • Tropical Depression Kiko, September 24, max winds 35 mph: Kiko entered the Central Pacific on September 24 and immediately dissipated.
  • Tropical Storm Ema, October 12-14, max winds 50 mph: Ema was the second tropical cyclone of the year to get its name from the Central Pacific list of names. It developed southwest of the main Hawaiian islands. Ema dissipated over the southern portion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Other hurricanes and tropical storms had an indirect impact on the islands.

Swells from Tropical Cyclone Barbara, which dissipated before crossing into the Central Pacific, brought high surf to east-facing shores from July 6-9. Remnant moisture from Barbara also brought heavy rain to Maui County and the Big Island.

Erick and Flossie generated swells that brought high surf to east and south-facing shores during August 1-6. Moisture from Erick also brought heavy rain over parts of the Big Island on August 2, and to Kauai August 4-5.

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