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The Record Breaking Pacific Hurricane season 2015 comes to a close

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So, the 2015 Pacific Hurricane Season had come to a close. It was record breaking in many ways. A chap called Brenden Moses on Facebook has made a brilliant post highlighting all the shattered records, so I thought I'd share here.

 

"With this whirlwind of a season officially coming to a close today, I thought it appropriate to recap the many records broken/set throughout the year. Buckle up because this is quite an impressive list. If I've missed anything, which is quite possible given how many records fell, feel free to let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the list.

Throughout the 2015 season, 30 tropical depressions developed across the Pacific Ocean north of the equator and east of the International Dateline. This ties the record for most tropical cyclones set during 1992. Of these, 26 became named storms--the second-highest on record, just behind 1992. Sixteen further became hurricanes, tying the record shared by 1990, 1992, and 2014. A record breaking 11 major hurricanes, including a record 10 Category 4/5 storms, formed during the year, surpassing the previous record of 10 major hurricanes set during 1992. The 10 Category 4/5 storms produced during the year also contributed to a record-shattering 25 such storms across the Northern Hemisphere.

A record-shattering 15 tropical cyclones formed in or entered the Central Pacific (140W west to the Dateline); the previous record was 11 set during the 1992 and 1994 seasons. Additionally, a record eight storms were named by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC). This was double the previous record set during 1982.

This incredible activity was reflected in a near-record breaking accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) value of 287.0225 units; second only to (again) 1992 which produced and ACE of 296.83 units. Of 2015's total, 163.525 units were from the Eastern Pacific and a record 123.4975 units were from the Central Pacific.

>On June 2, Hurricane Blanca became the earliest instance of a season's second hurricane on record.

>On June 3, Hurricane Blanca reached major hurricane status and marked the earliest occurrence of a season's second such storm; previous record was set just last year on June 12.

>On June 5, moisture from Hurricane Andres resulted in Phoenix, Arizona, receiving rain for the first time on record on this date (records began in 1896).

>Records on this subject are not kept to my knowledge, but it's worth noting that Hurricane Blanca produced tremendous upwelling that left waters at least 9C (16.2F) cooler in its wake after stalling for three days.

>On June 8, Tropical Storm Blanca made landfall in Baja California Sur, marking the earliest such occurrence on record for the Baja California Peninsula.

>On June 10, moisture from Hurricane Blanca brought record rainfall to parts of southern California.

>One June 13, Hurricane Carlos marked the second-earliest third hurricane in a season.

>On July 9, Tropical Storm Ela became the third-earliest storm named by the CPHC and the earliest within a normal season (the two earlier storms were Ekeka on January 28 and Hali on March 29, both in 1992).

>On July 10, Tropical Depression Two-C (later Tropical Storm Iune) marked the earliest occurrence of the third tropical cyclone to form in or enter the Central Pacific. The previous record was July 21, set by Frank in 1992.

>On July 11, Tropical Storm Iune marked the earliest formation of the third CPHC named storm.

>On July 25, Typhoon Halola reached 129.3E, marking the farthest west a hurricane-force storm has traveled after crossing the dateline. The previous record was 129.5E set by Typhoon Oliwa in 1997. Due to discrepancies between the JMA and JTWC, it is also either the westernmost or second-westernmost (respectively) crossover storm, reaching 129.1E as a tropical storm. The previous record was set by Tropical Storm Winona in January 1989, reaching 127.0E according to the JMA or 120.8E according to the JTWC.

>On August 21, the designation of Tropical Storm Loke marked the record fifth storm to be named by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

>On August 27, Hurricane Ignacio marked the earliest occurrence of the eighth tropical cyclone to form in or enter the Central Pacific. The previous record was August 31, set by Kristy in 1994.

>On August 29, Hurricanes Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena existed simultaneously as major hurricanes (and briefly all at Category 4 intensity) while east of the dateline. This was the first such occurrence on record.

>On September 1, Hurricane Jimena marked the earliest occurrence of the ninth tropical cyclone to form in or enter the Central Pacific. The previous record was September 6, set by Mele in 1994.

>Also on September 1, Hurricane Kilo became the record third tropical cyclone to cross the International Dateline.

>On September 14, moisture from Hurricane Linda helped produce the deadliest flash flood disaster in the history of Utah; 21 people died in two incidents, including 14 in the small town of Hildale.

>On September 24, Tropical Depression Six-C (later Tropical Storm Niala) marked the earliest occurrence of the eleventh tropical cyclone to form in or enter the Central Pacific. The previous record was October 22, set by Nona in 1994.

>On October 3, Tropical Depression Seven-C (later Hurricane Oho) marked the first occurrence of the twelfth tropical cyclone to form in or enter the Central Pacific.

>On October 18, Hurricane Olaf became the southernmost hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific, attaining this intensity at 9.4N. However, Ekeka in 1992 retains the record east of the dateline, reaching hurricane status at 6.0N.

>On October 19, Hurricane Olaf further became the southernmost major hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific, attaining Category 3 status at 9.9N. However, Ekeka in 1992 retains the record east of the dateline, reaching major hurricane status at 9.2N.

>Hurricane Patricia
>>Fastest intensification on record in the Western Hemisphere: 100 mb in 24 hours. The previous record was 97 mb in 24 hours set by 2005's Hurricane Wilma. This is also just shy of the global record of 100 mb in slightly less than 24 hours, set by Typhoon Forrest in 1983.
>>(Global) Highest reliably measured/estimated maximum sustained winds on record: 175 kt (200 mph).
>>Most intense hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere with a pressure of 879 mb. Previous record was 2005's Hurricane Wilma at 882 mb.
>>Most intense hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific (obviously).
>>Strongest landfalling hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific: 145 kt (165 mph). Previous record was the 1959 Mexico hurricane at 140 kt (160 mph); however, the intensity of the 1959 storm is believed to be overstated.
>>(Global) Warmest temperature observed in a tropical cyclone: 32.2C (90.0F) at the 758 hPa height.
>>Lowest reliably measured pressure on land in the Eastern Pacific at 937.8 mb, as recorded by Josh Morgerman of iCyclone; this broke the previous record of 943.1 mb during Hurricane Odile in 2014, also measured by Josh.
>>(Global) By virtue of its extreme intensity, Patricia produced more ACE in a 24-hour period--totaling 11.4375 units--than any other storm within reliable records.
>>I'm unsure of this one, but Patricia could very well be the fastest filling tropical cyclone on record. In just 24 hours, it weakened from its record peak of 175 kt and 879 mb to a remnant low with 25 kt and 1004 mb, a wind decrease of 150 kt and pressure rise of 125 mb.

>On October 26, Tropical Storm Olaf became the first storm on record to form in the Eastern Pacific, cross into the Central Pacific, and then double back into the Eastern Pacific.

>On November 25, Hurricane Sandra became the latest forming major hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere (north of the equator). This also marked the record-breaking eleventh major hurricane of the 2015 season. It further intensified to Category 4 status and became the most intense November hurricane on record in the Eastern Pacific with winds of 125 kt and a pressure of 935 mb. The previous record was 125 kt and 940 mb set by Hurricane Kenneth in 2011."

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Yes, this was definitely a shattering hurricane season in terms of records, thanks for sharing. I guess a whole book can be written about this hurricane season. But what would this hurricane season be without a final surprise? The GFS is insisting on developing another weak tropical storm in the Central Pacific.

 

gfs_z500_mslp_cpac_21.thumb.png.b2708cb0

GFS surface level pressure (contours) and 500 hPa heights (colours), T+120 (for Friday afternoon). Source: tropicaltibits.

The ECMWF is not developing anything out of this system, so uncertainty is still high. Yet, having a tropical storm developing in December in the Central Pacific is highly unusual to say the least.

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