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2013 hurricane season summary

(Image courtesy of NOAA)

(Image courtesy of NOAA)


The 2013 hurricane season in the Central Pacific was truly a tale of two distinct periods of activity.

A very busy stretch of activity began in late July and lingered through late August, while a prolonged quiet period settled in for the remainder of the season.

The initial season forecast of 1 to 3 tropical cyclones was exceeded, with a total of six tropical cyclones either forming in, or passing into the basin.

Only one of the tropical cyclones (Flossie) truly threatened land.

Here is a map of the Central & Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones for 2013. The cyclones impacting the Central Pacific Basin are highlighted in the red box.

The following table outlines the Central Pacific tropical cyclones, their lifecycle dates within the basin, and maximum wind speeds.

Name Dates Max Wind /mph/
Tropical Storm Flossie 27-30 July 65
 Tropical Storm Gil 5-6 August 40
 Hurricane Henriette 8-11 August 75
 Tropical Storm Pewa 16-17 August 65
 Tropical Storm Unala 18 August 40
 Tropical Depression 3-C 19-20 August 35

Neutral ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) conditions lingered throughout the season. Atmospheric conditions became favorable for development during the late July through late August time period and coincided with the increase in tropical cyclone activity.

Summaries of Central Pacific hurricane seasons back through the 1950’s can be found at:

The six Central Pacific tropical cyclones of 2013 represent an above average year. Normally, 4 to 5 tropical cyclones occur in the Central Pacific Basin each year during the hurricane season (June 1 – Nov. 30).

2013 was the second busiest year since 1997. The other busy year during this stretch (2009) was an El Nino year.

2013 was tied with 1971 and 1983, as the 6th highest number of tropical cyclones since 1970.

Here is a list of the top six seasons since 1970:

1. 1992 & 1994 (11)
2. 1982 (10)
3. 1997 (9)
4. 1985 (8)
5. 1972, 1978, 1986, 2009 (7)
6. 1971, 1983, 2013 (6)

August was once again the busiest month during the season.

Five tropical cyclones occurred during August 2013, and since 1970, 74 tropical cyclones have occurred during August. It is, by far, the busiest month of the season on average.

Since 1957, five or more August tropical cyclones has only occurred three times: 1978, 2009, 2013. August 2013 is tied with August 2009 for the second busiest August since 1957.

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