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Hurricane season comes to a quiet end : Big Island Now


Hurricane Darby was the only tropical cyclone to enter the Central Pacific during the 2022 hurricane season, which ran from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The Central Pacific basin extends from 140°W to the International Date Line north of the equator. Four to five tropical cyclones occur during an average year.

“Darby moved into the basin on July 14 as a Category 2 hurricane, weakened to a tropical storm on July 15, then dissipated south of Hawai‘i on July 17,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in a new hurricane season summary.

As Darby passed south of the state on July 16, it brought 1 to 3 inches of rain to the east side of the Big Island and also generated advisory-level surf of 8 to 12 feet for east-facing shores on July 16. There were no significant flooding problems reported.

The Central Pacific’s annual hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Only one tropical cyclone entered the region in 2022. Photo Courtesy: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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A historic south swell unrelated to Darby also occurred from July 13 through 19. The phenomenon, generated by a winter storm in the southern hemisphere, impacted property and damaged Ho‘one Road in Po‘ipū on the island of Kaua‘i.

In addition, moisture from former Tropical Cyclone Bonnie, which had dissipated in the East
Pacific earlier in the month, moved across the state on July 12-13. Several rainfall totals of 1 to
4 inches were observed along the windward slopes of the islands, with an event maximum of
over 6 inches occurring over the West Maui Mountains. No significant flooding problems were
reported.

Hawai‘i’s hurricane season may be over, but its current wet season continues. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center expects persisting La Niña conditions to continue through 2023.

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“Climate model consensus favors large scale above average rainfall for the wet
season, especially from December 2022 through April 2023,” according to a NOAA press release.

Heavy rainfall may focus primarily on the windward slopes of the state, while leeward
areas remain dry. Similar to 2021-2022, drought recovery is more likely on Kauaʻi and
Oʻahu. However, the possibility of drought will continue through the wet season, especially over the leeward areas of Maui County and the Big Island.

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