NOAA/NWS Hurricane Season Summary
The 2019 hurricane season featured five tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) area of responsibility, which is near the season average.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The Central Pacific basin extends from 140°W to the International Date Line. Four to five tropical cyclones occur during an average year.
Hurricane Erick was the first tropical cyclone of the season in the Central Pacific, moving into the basin from the east on July 30. Erick rapidly intensified to a major hurricane (category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) later that day, then steadily weakened as it passed far south of the main Hawaiian Islands.
Tropical Storm Flossie entered the basin on Aug. 3 and approached Hawai‘i from the east, eventually dissipating before reaching the islands.
Tropical Depression 12-E entered the basin on Sept. 4 and strengthened to Tropical Storm Akoni. Akoni was the first tropical cyclone to be named from the Central Pacific list of names since Hurricane Walaka in 2018.
Tropical Depression Kiko entered the basin on Sept. 24 and immediately dissipated.
Tropical Storm Ema, the second cyclone to be named from the Central Pacific list of names, developed southwest of the main Hawaiian Islands on Oct. 12. Ema dissipated over the southern portion of the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument shortly before crossing between French Frigate Shoals and Maro Reef.
Impacts to the State of Hawai‘i: Swells from Tropical Cyclone Barbara, which dissipated just before crossing into the Central Pacific basin, led to high surf along east-facing shores of the state during July 6-9. Remnant moisture from Barbara also led to heavy rain across Maui and Hawai‘i Counties during July 8-11.
Swells generated by Tropical Cyclones Erick and Flossie led to high surf along east- and south-facing shores during Aug. 1-6. Moisture associated with Erick also contributed to heavy rain over Hawai‘i County on Aug. 2, and across Kaua‘i County during Aug. 4-5.
Hurricane Season Outlook: NOAA’s 2019 hurricane season outlook issued on May 22, 2019, called for five to eight tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific basin, with a 70% chance of above-normal tropical cyclone activity, a 20% chance of near-normal activity and a 10% chance of below-normal activity.
The 2019 season started with an El Niño event that was expected to last through the fall. Instead, steady cooling commenced early in the summer leading to neutral conditions by the heart of the hurricane season.