Active 2014 Season in Eastern Pacific

Stormy Season Has Already Yielded Five Major Hurricanes Including One Cat 5

While the Atlantic has been very quiet so far in 2014, the Eastern Pacific has been very busy. Although the El Nino that was forecasted earlier this year has not developed yet, the Eastern Pacific’s tropical waters have been a fertile breeding ground for tropical storms and hurricanes. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been 13 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes. Three of those major hurricanes have reached Category Four strength while another, the most recent Hurricane Marie, had strengthened to become the first Category Five hurricane in the region since 2010.

Most of these storms did not directly impact land along the Mexican West Coast, Baja California, or Central America. Some storms have trekked further west in the Central Pacific zone while others have affected relatively uninhabited islands such as Socorro and Clarion. Tropical Storm Genevieve, Hurricane Iselle, and Hurricane Julio all went into the Central Pacific, and even threatened Hawaii. Genevieve went to the south of the island chain, Iselle went passed to the south of Maui County on the Big Island, and Julio moved to the north of the islands. Recently, Hurricane Marie impacted Clarion Island.

Most of these storms, particularly the major hurricanes, have created high surf and tremendous waves along Baja California, Southern California, and Hawaii. The season started off with a bang as Hurricane Amanda became the first storm of the season quite early (May 22nd), and eventually peaked at Category Four intensity with 150 mph winds. After Tropical Storm Boris developed and dissipated, Hurricane Cristina developed within the second week of June, and rapidly intensified into a Category Four storm with 145 mph winds on June 12th. The storm would peak with 150 mph winds a few hours later on the 12th.

Four tropical storms and a Category One Hurricane followed with Douglas, Elida, Fausto, Genevieve, and Hernan before Iselle developed. The storm fluctuated in between Category Two and Three intensity on August 3rd before becoming a Category Four Hurricane on the morning of the 4th. After that, the storm gradually lost strength as it entered cooler waters and moved out of the Eastern Pacific zone on August 5th. The storm eventually reached the Big Island of Hawaii on Friday, August 8th. Right on its tail was Hurricane Julio, which formed originally on the evening of August 3rd, and didn’t reach major hurricane strength until it moved out of the EPAC basin on the evening of August 7th. Julio would reach peak intensity at 120 miles per hour on that same evening. The storm then entered cooler waters, and stayed to the north of the islands as it passed by on August 9th.

Then, there was Karina, Lowell, and Marie. All three storms were active at the same time at one point in the Eastern Pacific (August 21st) and all three later became hurricanes with Marie becoming the strongest of the trio. Marie became a major hurricane early in the morning on August 24th, and a Category Five Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale later that Sunday afternoon. The storm has since moved into cooler waters and gradually weakened to a Category Two storm as of the time of this article on Tuesday afternoon, August 26th. There is still a ways to go in this season in the Eastern Pacific so there could be many more storms and powerful hurricanes on the way.