Hurricane Dora makes history without making landfall

Dora crosses into western Pacific as a Typhoon
Hurricane Dora makes history without making landfall on Hawaii.
Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 10:13 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 11, 2023 at 10:14 PM HST

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hurricane Dora is now technically Typhoon Dora, going the distance.

Before Hurricane Dora entered our waters over the Pacific Ocean, it started as a cluster of clouds over the Atlantic, where it first began as a tropical wave. From where it started as disorganized thunderstorms to where it is right now over the International Date Line; it traveled more than 9,800 miles starting over the Atlantic starting its voyage in late July. It eventually crossed into the Eastern Pacific.

With El Nino strengthening and warm ocean temperatures, it quickly intensified and grew into a strong hurricane as the original cluster of clouds traveled over the Eastern Pacific. It was steered by a large area of high pressure to the Central Pacific. Traveling over the Pacific for more than 5,200 miles.

It will go down in the history books as the longest-lasting Category 4 hurricane on record in the Pacific Ocean. Usually, the waters over the Central Pacific are cooler compared to the Eastern Pacific and it weakens considerably when entering our waters. But with no friction or anything in its way it became a symmetrical powerhouse of a storm where you can clearly see the eye of the Category 4 hurricane day after day.

It is known as an annular hurricane and has very powerful winds at its center. It was about 490 miles south of Hawaii Island during its closest approach on Tuesday, August 8, when the fires broke out on both Maui and Hawaii Island.

Hurricane Dora has made national headlines this week for potentially being a key factor along with a large area of high pressure to the north to developing unprecedented winds that brought on Red Flag Warnings to the state and unfortunately fanned fires with more than 60 mph gusts in Lahaina and up to 80 mph winds on Hawaii Island and even over the mountains on Oahu.

Now, after 3 weeks since it developed, it continues to cross basin to basin over the Pacific. From Atlantic to Eastern Pacific to Central Pacific and now to Western Pacific. It has officially reached the international date line, which makes it one of two storms to do this on record.

Hurricane John made such a trip over the Pacific in 1994 which holds the original record for longest-lasting tropical cyclone.

Since it is now over the Western Pacific it technically a typhoon - which is the same as a hurricane but that is what it is called on that side of the international date line and on this side of the globe. We will see how much farther Typhoon Dora travels as it now spins over the Western Pacific.

Dora is expected to weaken quite a bit and eventually fall apart, but looking back at its journey and impacts to the islands with its influence on our winds, it is a reminder of how powerful mother nature can be and it is a reminder how far these elements may originate from originally; traveling thousands of miles. The nature of tropical cyclones, is long distances but this one is for the history books.

We continue to watch the Eastern Pacific as more tropical cyclones will likely develop according to long range weather models into next week. Right now, they don’t appear to be a threat to Hawaii.