Jul 25, 2016

Flurry of Eastern Pacific Storms Coming to an End

Pacific Ocean
by
Andrea Thompson
,
WxShift
Image: WxShift
Image: WxShift

It has been a July for the record books in the eastern Pacific Ocean, as the basin tied records for both the most named storms and the most major hurricanes to form in that month. And all after no activity during the first few weeks of the season.

Over the last few days, Tropical Storm Darby dumped rain on Hawaii and Hurricane Georgette became a tiny powerhouse.

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In all, seven storms formed and reached tropical storm strength, the point at which they receive a name. Those seven — Agatha, Blas, Celia, Darby, Estelle, Frank, and Georgette — tied the record for most storms to form in July, set in 1985.

Three of them — Blas, Celia, and Georgette — tied the record for most major hurricanes (those of Category 3 or higher) to form in the basin in July.

“This July has been especially impressive,” Blake said. “Only July of 1992 will likely end up with more ACE in the eastern pacific.” (ACE is a measure of a basin’s total hurricane energy over a season, taking into account the size, wind speed and longevity of each storm.)

All seven storms formed off the west coast of Mexico and Central America — a prime storm nursery — with all but one heading out to sea.

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As the world warms, the most intense hurricanes are expected to become a bigger proportion of all hurricanes, even if the total number of those storms worldwide decreases slightly. How warming might impact particular basins is still an area of research, though there are suggestions that Hawaii might see more storms hit its islands as temperatures rise