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List of Hawaii hurricanes

List of Hawaii hurricanes

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Encyclopedia
A Hawaiian hurricane is a tropical cyclone
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 that forms in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and affects the Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

. Hawaii lies in the central Pacific, where about four or five tropical cyclones appear each year, although as many as eleven have occurred, such as in the 1992
1992 Pacific hurricane season
The 1992 Pacific hurricane season was the most active Pacific hurricane season on record. The most notable storm was Hurricane Iniki, which caused billions of dollars of damage to the Hawaiian Islands. Hurricanes Lester, Virgil, Winifred, and Orlene also made landfall and killed several people, but...

 and 1994
1994 Pacific hurricane season
The 1994 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1994 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1994 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1994. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean...

 seasons; rarely do these storms actually affect Hawaii. Before the 1950s, when tropical cyclone records were not kept, many windstorms struck Hawaii; if these storms were in fact hurricanes, they were not so identified. This is a list of storms to affect the state.

List of tropical cyclones



This list contains every tropical cyclone that had a somewhat notable effect on the State of Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

.

Pre–1950

  • 1843: The earliest report of a tropical cyclone that could have affected Hawaii was recorded in 1843. On September 23, a German ship recorded a cyclone (known later as the "Cyclone of the Lark") near 17°N and 141°W. No further records are available, But extrapolation of the cyclones forward movement would have sent it directly into the southern coast of the Big Island
    Hawaii (island)
    The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...

     of Hawaii. Whether it even came close to Hawaii is unknown at this point.

  • August 1871: Excerpts from a Honolulu newsletter known as the Hawaiian Gazette describes a weather event that related closely to a tropical cyclone. Quotes from captains and civilians describe a severe windstorm that ravaged the islands for several hours. Damage is unrecorded.
  • November 1874: A possible tropical cyclone may have dropped over 20 inches (508 mm) of rain on Honolulu and southerly gales destroyed 23 homes, and damaging at least 50.
  • December 1902–January 1903: A low pressure system (known later as "The Froc Cyclone") that took a path similar to that of a tropical cyclone, passed through Kaulakahi Channel in late December 1902. No records of unusual weather were recorded, so the storm was likely still forming as it crossed Hawaii.
  • October 1906: A tropical cyclone passed about 60 miles (97 km) south of South Point. Heavy rains were recorded; "the heaviest in years". A little over 12 inches (305 mm) fell in 4½ hours.
  • November 1906: 90 miles (145 km) south of Honolulu on November 3, 1906, a tropical cyclone was recognized. The storm supposedly tracked northward, passing through the Kauai channel. This cyclone must have been abnormally small or very weak, because climatological records show no unusual rainfall, wind, surge
    Storm surge
    A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea...

    , or low pressure. The storm dissipated near British Columbia
    British Columbia
    British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

    .
  • August 1925: High seas and gusty winds were recorded in Hawaii from a nearby tropical cyclone.
  • August 1938: A possible tropical cyclone produced heavy wind and rain in the state.

1950s

  • August 1950: Hurricane Hiki passed north of the islands, bringing gale winds. 68 mph (110 km/h) winds were recorded in Kauai
    Kauai
    Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

    . Additionally, over 52 inches (1321 mm) of rain fell over 4 days in Kauai. One died from Hiki.
  • July 1957: Hurricane Kanoa
    1957 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1957 Pacific hurricane season was a moderately active year in which 13 tropical cyclones formed. The hurricane season ran through the summer and fall months which conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The first tropical...

    , after taking a long journey across the eastern Pacific, became a non-tropical circulation a few miles east of Hawaii. The remnants of Kanoa brought welcomed rain.
  • November–December 1957: Hurricane Nina
    1957 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1957 Pacific hurricane season was a moderately active year in which 13 tropical cyclones formed. The hurricane season ran through the summer and fall months which conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The first tropical...

    was a category one hurricane that formed south of Hawaii. Nina moved north and took a sharp turn to the west without actually striking the island state. Nina's closest approach to land, which was relatively far off the coast, was only about 120 miles (193 km) southwest of Kauai. Nina caused about $100,000 damage in Kauai and dropped over 20 inches (508 mm) of rain in 14 hours. In addition, Nina set a record for the highest wind gust ever recorded in Honolulu: 82 mph (132 km/h).
  • August 1958: On August 7, a tropical storm seemed to rapidly appear directly off the coast of Hilo. It moved across the islands, dropping considerable rainfall and causing about $500,000 of damage, dissipating thereafter.
  • August 1959: Hurricane Dot
    Hurricane Dot (1959)
    Hurricane Dot was a hurricane during August of the 1959 Pacific hurricane season that made a rare landfall in Hawaii, and one of only five tropical cyclones since 1950 to have caused serious damage to the islands. The storm's formation is unclear, owing to the poor technology of the time, but...

    was a powerful hurricane in the year of 1959. Dot entered the Central Pacific as a Category 4 hurricane just south of Hawaii. On August 5, Dot had seemed to turn more northwest, aiming it directly at Kauai. On the 6th, Dot began weakening and at its landfall in Kauai, Dot was a mere category one. Despite being greatly weakened, the hurricane brought gusts of over 100 mph (161 km/h). In some areas of the island, palm trees had been snapped in half, suggesting winds were locally over 125 mph (200 km/h). Damages from Dot cost no more than a few million dollars, and rainfall was relavtively light; around 4 inches (101mm). There were no deaths as a result of Hurricane Dot.

1960s

  • September 1963: Tropical Storm Irah crossed the islands as a depression, bringing 36 mph (58 km/h) winds, but causing very little damage.
  • August 1966: Hurricane Connie brought heavy rain in the Big Island
    Hawaii (island)
    The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...

     and Maui
    Maui
    The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

     without making landfall.

1970s


  • August 1970: Tropical Storm Maggie
    1970 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1970 Pacific hurricane season began on May 15, 1970 in the east Pacific, and on June 1, 1970 in the central Pacific. It ended on November 30, 1970. These dates conventionally delimit the period of time when tropical cyclones form in the eastern Pacific Ocean.This season had an above average...

    passed just south of the Big Island
    Hawaii (island)
    The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...

    , dropping nearly 10 inches (254 mm) of rain.
  • January 1971: Although not having existed in the Central Pacific as a tropical cyclone, the extratropical low
    Extratropical cyclone
    Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are a group of cyclones defined as synoptic scale low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth having neither tropical nor polar characteristics, and are connected with fronts and...

     that was Tropical Storm Sarah
    1971 Pacific typhoon season
    The 1971 Pacific typhoon season has no official bounds; it ran year-round in 1971, but most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between June and December...

    in the West Pacific passed over Hawaii in mid January, causing high winds and heavy rain.
  • July 1971: Hurricane Denise
    1971 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1971 Pacific hurricane season began on May 15, 1971 in the east Pacific, and on June 1, 1971 in the central Pacific. It ended on November 30, 1971. These dates conventionally delimit the period of time when tropical cyclones form in the east Pacific Ocean....

    dissipated before reaching Hawaii, but brought beneficial rain of over one inch to dry farms and sugar plantations
    Sugar plantations in Hawaii
    Sugarcane was introduced to Hawaii by its first inhabitants in approximately 600 AD and was observed by Captain Cook upon arrival in the islands in 1778. Sugar quickly turned into a big business and generated rapid population growth in the islands with 337,000 people immigrating over the span of a...

    . Denise's outer winds also helped Sheila Scott
    Sheila Scott
    Sheila Scott OBE , was an English aviatrix.Born Sheila Christine Hopkins in Worcester, Worcestershire, England in 1922, educated at the Alice Ottley School, she broke over 100 aviation records through her long distance flight endeavours, which included a "world and a half" flight in 1971...

     while she was flying solo around the world, and a boat named Winward Passage win the Transpacific Yacht Race
    Transpacific Yacht Race
    The Transpacific Yacht Race is an offshore yacht race starting off Point Fermin, San Pedro, near Los Angeles, and ending off Diamond Head Lighthouse in Honolulu, a distance of around . Started in 1906, it is one of yachting's premier offshore races and attracts entrants from all over the world...

    . Both were headed to Honolulu.
  • August 1972: Hurricane Diana
    1972 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1972 Pacific hurricane season was an ongoing event in tropical cyclone meteorology. There were few notable storms this year. No one was killed and storm effects were generally not serious. The most notable systems were Hurricane Celeste and Joanne. Celeste was the strongest storm of the...

    dissipated a few miles off shore of the Big Island, dropping over 10 inches (254 mm) of rain in some parts.
  • September 1972: Hurricane Fernanda
    1972 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1972 Pacific hurricane season was an ongoing event in tropical cyclone meteorology. There were few notable storms this year. No one was killed and storm effects were generally not serious. The most notable systems were Hurricane Celeste and Joanne. Celeste was the strongest storm of the...

    may have caused a flash flood
    Flash flood
    A flash flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas—washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a storm, hurricane, or tropical storm or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields...

     near Waipio
    Waipio, Hawaii
    Waipio is a census-designated place located in the Ewa District of the Island of Oahu in the City & County of Honolulu. In Hawaiian, wai pio means "curved water". As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 11,672.The U.S...

     as it passed to the northeast.
  • August 1976:Tropical Storm Gwen
    1976 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1976 Pacific hurricane season was a very deadly and costly one. Hurricanes Kathleen, Liza, and Madeline were the most notable storms this year. Hurricane Kathleen caused death and destruction in California and Arizona due to flooding. Hurricane Liza was the deadliest storm of the season when it...

    passed north of Hawaii, dropping 1-2 inches (25 to 50 mm) of rain across the entire state.
  • July 1978: Hurricane Fico
    Hurricane Fico
    Hurricane Fico was the longest-lived hurricane of the 1978 Pacific hurricane season and at the time was the longest-lasting Pacific hurricane on record, the record being held today by Hurricane John of 1994. The sixth tropical storm, fourth hurricane, and third major hurricane, Fico developed from...

    created 15 foot (4.6 m) waves, felled trees and knocked out power across the island state.

1980s


  • July 1982: Hurricane Daniel
    1982 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1982 Pacific hurricane season officially started May 15, 1982 in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1982 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1982. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.The...

    passed through the islands as a tropical depression, causing little, if any, damage.
  • November 1982: Hurricane Iwa
    Hurricane Iwa
    Hurricane Iwa, taken from the Hawaiian language name for the frigatebird , was at the time the costliest hurricane to affect the state of Hawaii. Iwa was the twenty-third tropical storm and the twelfth and final hurricane of the 1982 Pacific hurricane season. It developed from an active trough of...

    was one of Hawaii's most damaging hurricanes. Although it was only a category 1 hurricane, it passed just miles west of Kauai
    Kauai
    Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

    , moving at a speed of nearly 50 mph (80 km/h). Severe property damage was inflicted on the island; up to $250 million (a record for that time). Iwa was the most damaging hurricane to ever hit Hawaii until Hurricane Iniki
    Hurricane Iniki
    Hurricane Iniki was the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. state of Hawaii in recorded history. Forming on September 5 during the strong El Niño of 1991–1994, Iniki was one of eleven Central Pacific tropical cyclones during the 1992 season. It attained tropical storm status on...

     took over the title 10 years later.
  • July – August 1983: Hurricane Gil
    1983 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1983 Pacific hurricane season officially started May 15, 1983 in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1983 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1983. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.This...

    passed over northern Hawaii as a tropical storm, causing minor damage.
  • October 1983: Hurricane Raymond
    1983 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1983 Pacific hurricane season officially started May 15, 1983 in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1983 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1983. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.This...

    took a similar path as Gil, but as a depression, causing no damage.
  • July 1985: Hurricane Ignacio
    1985 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1985 Pacific hurricane season was an event in tropical cyclone meteorology. It officially started on May 15, 1985 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1985 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1985...

    , although missing the islands, generated surf that measured from 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) causing reports of damage to coastal roads and structures. Only light rain was reported.
  • July 1986: Waves caused by Hurricane Estelle caused $2 million in damage when they destroyed five houses and damaged several others. Two people on Oahu
    Oahu
    Oahu or Oahu , known as "The Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous of the islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital Honolulu is located on the southeast coast...

     drowned in rough surf.
  • August 1988: Tropical Storm Gilma
    1988 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1988 Pacific hurricane season was a Pacific hurricane season that saw a below-average amount of tropical cyclones form, and that had only one landfalling storm. It officially began May 15, 1988 in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1988 in the central Pacific and lasted until November 30, 1988...

    moved through the island chain as a depression, dropping locally heavy rainfall of up to four inches (100 mm) in some places.
  • August 1988: Hurricane Uleki approached the state. Two drownings on Oahu are attributed to rough surf caused by the hurricane.
  • July 1989: Hurricane Dalilia
    1989 Pacific hurricane season
    -Tropical Storm Adolph:The first storm of the season developed out of a weak area of low pressure situated about 570 mi south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. Tracking towards the west, the circluation briefly dissipated on May 30, before redeveloping the following day into Tropical...

    dropped heavy rains over Hawaii, setting a new July record for the Honolulu International Airport
    Honolulu International Airport
    Honolulu International Airport is the principal aviation gateway of the City & County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii and is identified as one of the busiest airports in the United States, with traffic now exceeding 21 million passengers a year and rising.It is located in the Honolulu...

    , 2.33 inches (592 mm) in 24 hours. Rain was heavier elsewhere, with up to 8 inches (203 mm) falling near the North Shore
    North Shore (Oahu)
    The North Shore, in the context of geography of the Island of Oahu, refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oahu between Kaena Point and Kahuku Point...

    .

1990s


  • August 1991: Hurricane Fefa
    Hurricane Fefa
    Hurricane Fefa was a major Pacific hurricane of the 1991 Pacific hurricane season that despite causing minimal effects its name was removed from the list of tropical cyclone names. The sixth tropical storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the season, the storm developed from a...

    dissipated shortly before landfall. Two people were injured by lightning. Locally strong winds occurred, with wind gusts reaching 58 mph (93 km/h) at some localities, mainly over Hawaii
    Hawaii (island)
    The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...

     and Maui
    Maui
    The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

    . Some very heavy downpours occurred, particularly on the Big Island. Localized flash flooding was reported in the Kohala and Hamakua districts.
  • July 1992: Hurricane Georgette
    1992 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1992 Pacific hurricane season was the most active Pacific hurricane season on record. The most notable storm was Hurricane Iniki, which caused billions of dollars of damage to the Hawaiian Islands. Hurricanes Lester, Virgil, Winifred, and Orlene also made landfall and killed several people, but...

    brought locally squally winds over the state as a depression. Several large waterspouts were sighted off Hapuna Beach in the South Kohala district.
  • September 1992: Hurricane Iniki
    Hurricane Iniki
    Hurricane Iniki was the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. state of Hawaii in recorded history. Forming on September 5 during the strong El Niño of 1991–1994, Iniki was one of eleven Central Pacific tropical cyclones during the 1992 season. It attained tropical storm status on...

    was likely the worst hurricane ever to affect Hawaii. It hit the island of Kauai
    Kauai
    Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

     as a Category 4 on September 11. Iniki caused almost $2 billion in damage, mainly to Kauai, and at the time was the costliest East/Central Pacific hurricane ever recorded, until it was surpassed by Hurricane Pauline
    Hurricane Pauline
    Hurricane Pauline was one of the strongest and deadliest Pacific hurricanes to make landfall on Mexico. The sixteenth tropical storm, eighth hurricane, and seventh major hurricane of the 1997 Pacific hurricane season, Pauline developed out of a tropical wave on October 5 about 250 miles ...

     in 1997. It remains to be the second costliest East/Central Pacific hurricane on record. Additionally, 6 died as a result of the hurricane. Iniki was the strongest hurricane to ever strike Hawaii, having winds of 140 mph (225 km/h). A Hawaiian hurricane has yet to surpass Iniki's extreme strength and cost.
  • September 1992: Hurricane Orlene
    1992 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1992 Pacific hurricane season was the most active Pacific hurricane season on record. The most notable storm was Hurricane Iniki, which caused billions of dollars of damage to the Hawaiian Islands. Hurricanes Lester, Virgil, Winifred, and Orlene also made landfall and killed several people, but...

    struck Hawaii as a tropical depression causing heavy rainfall, washing out roads, shortly after Iniki ravaged the island.
  • July 1993: Hurricane Eugene
    1993 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1993 Pacific hurricane season was a very active season that officially started May 15, 1993 in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1993 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1993...

    dropped appreciated rain on the state as it dissipated. There were some minor power outages and the rain made traffic conditions hazardous. One fisherman was reported missing after the storm.
  • August 1993: Hurricane Fernanda
    1993 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1993 Pacific hurricane season was a very active season that officially started May 15, 1993 in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1993 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1993...

    brought heavy surf of up to 15 feet (4.6 m) on the east facing beaches from the Big Island to Kauai. Some heights between 15 and 20 feet (4.6 m to 6.1 m) was reported on Kauai. There was some damage to shoreline roads on all islands and some homes had water enter into them.
  • July 1994: Hurricane Daniel
    1994 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1994 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1994 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1994 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1994. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean...

    dumped 5 inches (127 mm) of rain over the windward slopes of Big Island. Moderate surf of up to 6 feet (1.8 m) affected on the east and southeast shorelines on the Big Island.
  • July 1994: Hurricane Emilia
    1994 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1994 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1994 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1994 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1994. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean...

    caused damage to trees and foliage while passing south of Hawaii. There was high surf of up to 10 feet (3 m) along the Puna and Kau shorelines.
  • July 1994: The remnants of Tropical Storm Fabio
    1994 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1994 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1994 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1994 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1994. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean...

    brought heavy showers to Big Island and Oahu, with rainfall reaching up to 4 inches (101 mm).
  • August 1994: Tropical Depression One-C
    1994 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1994 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1994 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1994 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1994. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean...

    passed just south of the islands, causing severe flooding in Hilo.
  • August 1999: Hurricane Dora
    1999 Pacific hurricane season
    The 1999 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1999 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1999 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1999. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific...

    caused minor wind gusts of up to 58 mph (93 km/h) on the southern part of Big Island as it passed south of Hawaii.

2000s


  • August 2000: Hurricane Daniel
    2000 Pacific hurricane season
    The 2000 Pacific hurricane season was an event in tropical cyclone meteorology. There were few notable storms this year. Tropical Storms Miriam, Norman, and Rosa all made landfall in Mexico with minimal impact. Hurricane Daniel briefly threatened the U.S. state of Hawaii while weakening...

    passed north of the islands, bringing a few thunderstorms but no significant flooding. High surf with waves of up to 10 feet (3 m) impacted the eastern side of the island of Hawaii
    Hawaii (island)
    The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...

    .
  • August 2003: Hurricane Jimena
    2003 Pacific hurricane season
    The 2003 Pacific hurricane season produced an unusually large number of tropical cyclones which affected Mexico. The most notable cyclones the year were Hurricanes Ignacio and Marty, which killed 2 and 12 people in Mexico, respectively, and were collectively responsible for about...

    brought up to 10 inches (254 mm) of rain as it passed Big Island. High surf with heights of up to 15 feet (4.5 m) were reported on the windward sections of Big Island. A gust of 53 mph (85 km/h) kt was recorded at South Point.
  • August 2004: The remnants of Hurricane Darby
    Hurricane Darby (2004)
    Hurricane Darby was the first Eastern Pacific major hurricane since Hurricane Kenna in 2002. The sixth tropical cyclone, fourth named storm, and second hurricane of the 2004 Pacific hurricane season, Darby developed from a tropical wave that emerged from the west coast of Africa on July 12. After...

    passed over the islands and combined with an upper level trough to create unstable moisture in the air, dropping up to 5 inches (127 mm) of rain in a few hours in the Big Island, causing flooding and road closures. Rainfall up to 5 inches (127 mm) was also reported in Oahu.
  • September 2005: An upper level trough which had resulted in the remnants of Hurricane Jova brought unstable conditions to Hawaii, allowing locally heavy rainfall to occur.
  • September 2005: The remnants of Hurricane Kenneth
    Hurricane Kenneth (2005)
    Hurricane Kenneth was the strongest and longest-tracked hurricane of the 2005 Pacific hurricane season. The eleventh named storm and fifth hurricane of the season, Kenneth developed from a disturbance in the Intertropical Convergence Zone to the southwest of Mexico on September 14...

    brought locally heavy rainfall, with up to 12 inches (305 mm) falling on the Big Island of Hawaii. Intense rains over Oahu and Kauai caused flash floods on Kaukonahua Stream and the overflow of Lake Wilson at Wahiawa Dam. Flash floods occurred on Hanalei River forcing the closure of Kuhio Highway.
  • August 2007: Hurricane Flossie
    Hurricane Flossie (2007)
    Hurricane Flossie was a strong Category Four Hurricane which brushed the island of Hawaiʻi as it rapidly weakened to a tropical storm. Flossie was the ninth tropical cyclone and sixth named storm of the 2007 Pacific hurricane season. Flossie developed from an ill defined wave which formed off the...

    passed within 100 miles of the Big Island of Hawaii bringing rain and tropical storm-force winds to the island.
  • August 2008: The remnants of Hurricane Hernan
    Hurricane Hernan (2008)
    Hurricane Hernan was the ninth tropical depression, eighth named storm, fifth hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2008 Pacific hurricane season. Hernan developed out of a tropical wave that formed off the east coast of Africa on July 24. Over the next week, the wave traversed the Atlantic...

    brought moisture to the island of Hawaii causing cloud and shower activity.
  • August 2009: The remnants of Hurricane Felicia
    Hurricane Felicia (2009)
    Hurricane Felicia was the third strongest tropical cyclone of the 2009 Pacific hurricane season, as well as the strongest storm to exist in the eastern Pacific at the time since Hurricane Daniel in 2006. Forming as a tropical depression on August 3, the storm supported strong thunderstorm...

    brings light rainfall to the northern islands.
  • October 2009: Hurricane Neki
    Hurricane Neki
    Hurricane Neki was the final tropical cyclone of the 2009 Pacific hurricane season. It developed on October 18 as an unusually large disturbance from a trough south of Hawaii. Moving northwestward, it slowly organized at first due to its large size...

    caused minor damage to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
    Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
    The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or the Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian island chain located northwest of the islands of Kauai and Niihau. They are administered by the U.S. state of Hawaii except Midway Atoll, which has temporary residential facilities and is...

    , striking the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument as a tropical storm.
  • December 2010: Tropical Storm Omeka brushes Lisianski Island
    Lisianski Island
    Lisianski Island is one of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, with a land area of and a maximum elevation of above sea level. Honolulu is away, to the southeast. Linked to Lisianski are the extensive Neva Shoals...

     as a weak tropical storm, although no damage was reported.

Listed by month


38 tropical cyclones have affected Hawaii since 1949.
Month Number of recorded storms
affecting Hawaii
January 1
February 0
March 1
April 0
May 0
June 1
July 3
August 4
September 13
October 9
November 3
December 4




Deadliest storms


12 people have died in Hawaii as a result of tropical cyclones since 1949.
Name Year Number of deaths
Iniki 1992 6
Estelle 1986 2
Uleki 1988 2
Hiki 1950 1
Iwa 1982 1


Hawaii's apparent immunity to most hurricanes


The islands of Hawaii, with Kauai
Kauai
Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

 being the notable exception, appear to be remarkably immune from direct hurricane hits. The USGS states that "more commonly, near-misses that generate large swell and moderately high winds causing varying degrees of damage are the hallmark of hurricanes
passing close to the islands." This has also drawn some media attention.

One notion is that Hawaii’s volcanic peaks slow down or divert a hurricane. A partial source of this idea may be the long list of hurricanes in the above paragraphs that have dissipated into tropical storms or depressions upon approaching the islands. Recent satellite images of hurricane Flossie's breakup when approaching Hawaii Island fuels this idea. Another example may be hurricane Felicia which dropped from a Category 4 hurricane down to a tropical depression with residual winds predicted at only 35 mph.
Hawaii resident Philip Maise offered the theory that Hawaii's tall volcanoes remove a hurricane's heat by precipitating moisture into snow and by deflecting moisture up into the Jet stream
Jet stream
Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmospheres of some planets, including Earth. The main jet streams are located near the tropopause, the transition between the troposphere and the stratosphere . The major jet streams on Earth are westerly winds...

. It is his view that FEMA mis-classified the entire state of Hawaii as being hurricane-prone despite evidence that only Kauai seems to be regularly affected. Storms approaching Hawaii Island, even in the Summer, have been shown to leave snow on Hawaii's volcanoes.

Wind data in particular supports the USGS assertion that damages owing to hurricane winds have been low on all islands except for Kauai. Data collected by the Western Regional Climate Center show no hurricane-strength winds on any Hawaii Islands with the exception of Kauai. However, despite this weather data, FEMA classified all of Hawaii as being in a "Wind-Borne Debris Region".

Normally, a standard homeowner's policy with extended coverage will insure in the event of hurricane damage. However, FEMA's designation that the state of Hawaii is hurricane-prone forces residents who wish to obtain coverage to obtain a separate hurricane policy or endorsement. Residents with mortgages frequently have no choice but to btain such a separate policy if their lender insists.

See also

  • Central Pacific Hurricane Center
    Central Pacific Hurricane Center
    The Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the United States National Weather Service is the official body responsible for tracking and issuing tropical cyclone warnings, watches, advisories, discussions, and statements for the Central North Pacific Basin...

  • List of Pacific hurricanes
  • List of Pacific hurricane seasons
  • List of wettest tropical cyclones to affect Hawaii
  • Tropical Cyclone
    Tropical cyclone
    A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

  • Kona low

External links