Categorized | Hurricane, News

List of Hawaii hurricanes dating to 1843

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

More than three dozen hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, have impacted the Hawaiian islands since 1950, causing at least 12 deaths.

Hawaii typically records four or five hurricanes each year, although as many as 11 have occurred, including during the 1992 and 1994 seasons.

Formal records were not kept before the 1950s.

Hurricane season runs June 1 to Nov. 30 each year.


* September 1843: The earliest report of a tropical cyclone that could have affected Hawaii was made in 1843. On Sept. 23, a German ship recorded a cyclone (known later as the “Cyclone of the Lark”). No further records are available, but extrapolation of its forward movement predicted that it would make landfall on the southern coast of the Big Island.

* August 1871: Excerpts from the Hawaiian Gazette described a weather event that at least resembled a tropical cyclone. Quotes from captains and civilians describe a severe windstorm that ravaged the islands for several hours. Damage is unrecorded.

* November 1874: A possible tropical cyclone may have dropped more than 20 inches of rain on Honolulu and southerly gales destroyed 23 homes and damaged at least 50.

* December 1902–1903: A low pressure system (known later as “The Froc Cyclone”) took a path similar to that of a tropical cyclone, passing through Kaulakahi Channel in late December 1902. No records of unusual weather were recorded, so the storm was likely still forming as it crossed Hawaii.

* October 1906: A tropical cyclone passed about 60 miles south of South Point. Heavy rains were recorded; “the heaviest in years.” More than 12 inches fell in 4 hours.

* November 1906: 90 miles south of Honolulu on Nov. 3, 1906, a tropical cyclone was recognized. The storm supposedly tracked northward, passing through the Kauai channel. The storm dissipated near British Columbia.

* August 1925: High seas and gusty winds were recorded.

* August 1938: A possible tropical cyclone produced heavy wind and rain across the state.


* August 1950: Hurricane Hiki passed north of the islands, bringing gale winds. 68 mph winds were recorded in Kauai. Additionally, more than 52 inches of rain fell over four days in Kauai. One person died.

* July 1957: Hurricane Kanoa, after taking a long journey across the eastern Pacific, became a non-tropical circulation a few miles east of Hawaii. The remnants of Kanoa brought rain.

* November 1957: Hurricane Nina was a Category 1 hurricane that formed south of Hawaii. Nina moved north and took a sharp turn to the west without actually striking the state. Nina’s closest approach to land was about 120 miles southwest of Kauai. Nina caused about $100,000 damage in Kauai and dropped more than 20 inches of rain in 14 hours. Nina set a record for the highest wind gust ever recorded in Honolulu: 82 miles per hour.

* August 1958: On Aug. 7, a tropical storm seemed to rapidly appear directly off the coast of Hilo. It moved across the islands, dropping considerable rainfall and causing about $500,000 of damage.

* August 1959: Hurricane Dot entered the Central Pacific as a Category 4 hurricane just south of Hawaii. On Aug. 5, Dot seemed to turn more northwest, aiming it directly at Kauai. On Aug. 6, Dot began weakening, and at its landfall in Kauai, Dot was only a Category 1 hurricane. Despite being greatly weakened, the hurricane brought gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour. In some areas of the island, palm trees snapped in half, suggesting winds were locally more than 125 mph. Damages from Dot cost no more than a few million dollars, and rainfall was relatively light; around 4 inches.


* September 1963: Tropical Storm Irah crossed the islands as a tropical depression, bringing 36 miles per hour winds, but caused little damage.

* August 1966: Hurricane Connie brought heavy rain to Big Island and Maui without making landfall.


* August 1970: Tropical Storm Maggie passed just south of the Big Island, dropping nearly 10 inches of rain.

* January 1971: Although not having existed in the Central Pacific as a tropical cyclone, the extratropical low that was Tropical Storm Sarah in the West Pacific passed over Hawaii in mid January, causing high winds and heavy rain.

* July 1971: Hurricane Denise dissipated before reaching Hawaii, but brought beneficial rain of more than one inch to dry farms and sugar plantations.

* August 1972: Hurricane Diana dissipated a few miles off shore of the Big Island, dropping more than 10 inches of rain in some parts.

* September 1972: Hurricane Fernanda may have caused flash flooding near Waipio as it passed to the northeast.

* August 1976: Tropical Storm Gwen passed north of Hawaii, dropping 1–2 inches of rain across the entire state.

* July 1978: Hurricane Fico created 15 feet waves, felled trees and knocked out power across the islands.


* July 1982: Hurricane Daniel passed through the islands as a tropical depression, causing little if any damage.

* November 1982: Hurricane Iwa was one of Hawaii’s most damaging hurricanes. Although it was only a category 1 storm, it passed just miles west of Kauai, moving at a speed of nearly 50 miles per hour. Severe property damage was inflicted on the island; up to $250 million (a record for that time). Iwa was the most damaging hurricane to hit Hawaii until Hurricane Iniki took over the title 10 years later.

* July–August 1983: Hurricane Gil passed over northern Hawaii as a tropical storm, causing minor damage.

* October 1983: Hurricane Raymond took a path similar to Gil’s, but as a depression, causing no damage.

* July 1985: Hurricane Ignacio, although missing the islands, generated surf that measured from 10 to 15 feet causing damage to coastal roads and structures. Only light rain was reported.

* July 1986: Waves caused by Hurricane Estelle caused $2 million in damage when they destroyed five houses and damaged several others. Two people on Oahu drowned in rough surf.

* August 1988: Tropical Storm Gilma moved through the island chain as a depression, dropping locally heavy rainfall of up to 4 inches in some places.

* August 1988: Hurricane Uleki approached the state. Two drownings on Oahu were attributed to rough surf caused by the hurricane.

* July 1989: Hurricane Dalilia dropped heavy rains over Hawaii, setting a new July record for Honolulu International Airport, 2.33 inches in 24 hours. Rain was heavier elsewhere, with up to 8 inches falling near the North Shore.


* August 1991: Hurricane Fefa dissipated shortly before landfall. Two people were injured by lightning. Locally strong wind gusts reached 58 miles per hour at some localities, mainly over Maui and the Big Island. Localized flash flooding was reported in the Kohala and Hamakua districts.

* July 1992: Hurricane Georgette brought locally squally winds over the state as a depression. Several large waterspouts were sighted off Hapuna Beach in South Kohala.

* September 1992: Hurricane Iniki caused more damage than any other hurricane to affect Hawaii since records began. It hit Kauai as a Category 4 on Sept. 11. Iniki caused almost $2 billion in damage, mainly to Kauai. It remains the second costliest East/Central Pacific hurricane on record, only behind Hurricane Paul in 1982. Six died as a result. Iniki brought winds of 140 miles per hour.

* September 1992: Hurricane Orlene struck Hawaii as a tropical depression causing heavy rainfall, washing out roads, shortly after Iniki ravaged Kauai.

* July 1993: Hurricane Eugene dropped valuable rain on the state as it dissipated. Minor power outages and rain made traffic conditions hazardous. One fisherman was reported missing.

* August 1993: Hurricane Fernanda brought heavy surf of up to 15 feet on the east facing beaches from the Big Island to Kauai. Wave heights between 15 and 20 feet was reported on Kauai. Shoreline roads on all islands were damaged and some homes flooded.

* July 1994: Tropical Storm Daniel dumped 5 inches of rain over the windward slopes of Big Island. Moderate surf of up to 6 feet affected the east and southeast shorelines on the Big Island.

* July 1994: Hurricane Emilia damaged trees and foliage while passing south of Hawaii. Surf reached 10 feet along the Puna and Ka‘u shorelines.

* July 1994: The remnants of Tropical Storm Fabio brought heavy showers to Big Island and Oahu. Rainfall accumulated to 4 inches.

* August 1994: Tropical Depression One-C passed just south of the islands, causing severe flooding in Hilo.

* August 1999: Hurricane Dora caused minor wind gusts of up to 58 miles per hour on the southern part of Big Island as it passed south of Hawaii.


* August 2000: Hurricane Daniel passed north of the islands, bringing a few thunderstorms but no significant flooding. High surf with waves of up to 10 feet impacted the eastern side of the Big Island.

* August 2003: Hurricane Jimena brought up to 10 inches of rain as it passed the Big Island. High surf with heights of up to 15 feet were reported on the windward sections of Big Island. A gust of 53 miles per hour was recorded at South Point.

* August 2004: The remnants of Hurricane Darby passed over the islands and combined with an upper level trough to create unstable moisture, dropping up to 5 inches of rain in a few hours on the Big Island, causing flooding and road closures. Rainfall up to 5 inches was also reported in Oahu.

* September 2005: An upper level trough which had resulted in the remnants of Hurricane Jova brought unstable conditions to Hawaii, allowing locally heavy rainfall to occur.

* September 2005: The remnants of Hurricane Kenneth brought locally heavy rainfall, with up to 12 inches falling on the Big Island. Intense rains over Oahu and Kauai caused flash floods on Kaukonahua Stream and the overflow of Lake Wilson at Wahiawa Dam. Flash floods occurred on Hanalei River forcing the closure of Kuhio Highway.

* August 2007: Hurricane Flossie passed within 100 miles of the Big Island, bringing rain and tropical storm-force winds.

* August 2008: The remnants of Hurricane Hernan brought moisture to the Big Island, causing cloud and shower activity.

* August 2009: The remnants of Hurricane Felicia brought light rainfall to the northern islands.

* October 2009: Hurricane Neki caused minor damage to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, striking the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as a tropical storm.


* July 2013: Tropical Storm Flossie passed through the central Hawaiian islands as a minimal tropical storm.

Deadliest Storms

* 1992 – Iniki – 6
* 1986 – Estelle – 2
* 1988 Uleki – 2
* 1950 – Hiki – 1
* 1982 – Iwa – 1

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