Maui News

Central Pacific Hurricane Season Ends: Three Tropical Cyclones Tracked in 2021

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Tropical Storm Linda. Aug. 22, 2021. PC: NOAA/CPHC/NWS

Today marks the end of the Central Pacific Hurricane season, which began on June 1. Over the last six months, there were three tropical cyclones in the region, including Felicia, Jimena and Linda.

  • Tropical Depression Felicia was the first tropical cyclone of the season in the Central Pacific, moving into the basin from the east on July 20 and immediately being declared a remnant low. It had 35 mph sustained winds.
  • Tropical Depression Jimena followed a similar pattern, moving in from the east on Aug. 6 and also immediately being declared a remnant low. Moisture from former Tropical Cyclone Jimena moved across the state Aug. 10-11 and produced brief bursts of heavy rainfall over east Kauaʻi on Aug. 11. Hikers reported that Kapaʻa Stream rose rapidly at Hoʻopiʻi Falls but there were no reports of flood damage or injuries a a result. Heavy rainfall also affected the southern portion of the Big Island’s Kaʻu District later on the same day but did not produce any significant impacts.
  • Tropical Storm Linda crossed into the Central Pacific on Aug. 19 and became post-tropical on Aug. 20, then remained a post-tropical low for several days with gale-force winds just north of the center. Linda became a remnant low as it moved through the main Hawaiian Islands on Aug, 23. The system brought maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The low passed north of Maui, across Molokaʻi, and just south of Oʻahu during the day, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to portions of the area. Rain spread from east to west on Aug. 22-23 and produced minor flooding on the Big Island, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Oʻahu. There were no reports of significant flooding. There were also no reports of damage from the winds. Additional information about rainfall totals and wind gusts from the remnants of Linda is available here.

The three tropical cyclones are considered to be below the average of 4 to 5 tropical cyclones that develop or move across the Central Pacific basin each year.

Hurricane Season Outlook: NOAA’s 2021 hurricane season outlook issued on May 19, 2021, called for 2-5 tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific basin, with a 45% chance of an average season, a 35% chance of a below normal season, and a 20 % chance of an above normal season.

The 2021 season started with ENSO-neutral conditions in the equatorial Pacific that were expected to continue through the summer, with a potential transition to La Niña. Equatorial ocean temperatures steadily cooled during the summer, leading the Climate Prediction Center to declare that La Niña conditions were present in October.

2021 Hurricane Season Tropical Cyclone Track Map (Preliminary):

Central Pacific Hurricane Center. NOAA/NWS
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The following table outlines tropical cyclone names and highest classification, life cycle dates, and maximum wind speeds while in the central Pacific basin. Please note that these are preliminary values and may change following the post-season review for the official Tropical Cyclone Reports.

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Annual Comparisons (including out of season tropical cyclones):

The three tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific in 2021 were below the average of 4 to 5 tropical cyclones that develop or move across the central Pacific basin each year. NOAA/NWS.

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