1994 Pacific hurricane season

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1994 Pacific hurricane season
Season summary map
First storm formed June 18, 1994
Last storm dissipated October 26, 1994
Strongest storm Gilma-920 mbar
20
Total fatalities 4-8
Total damage $20 million (1994 USD)
seasons
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996

The 1994 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1994 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1994 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1994. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

Of note in this season is an unusual spree of very intense storms. Hurricanes Emilia, Gilma, John, and Olivia all reached a pressure below 930 millibars. Elsewhere, Hurricane Rosa killed several people in Mexico.

Activity[change | change source]

This season had slightly above average activity. Five hurricanes reached Category 2 intensity or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. In addition, there were four other hurricanes and eight tropical storms. In the Central Pacific, two tropical storms and one hurricane formed.

Hurricane Emilia[change | change source]

Hurricane Emilia was a powerful Category 4 storm. It briefly threatened the Hawaiian Islands near peak strength, but instead encountered wind shear and weakened. There was minor damage to roofs and some downed trees, and moderate rainfall.

Hurricane Gilma[change | change source]

Hurricane Gilma was the strongest storm of the season, and the first Category 5 storm in the East Pacific since Ava in 1973. It is also the strongest July storm in the east Pacific, and is the fifth strongest overall.

Hurricane/Typhoon John[change | change source]

Satellite image
Storm track
John satellite image and storm path

Hurricane John was the longest lasting and most continuous tropical cyclone on Earth in recorded history. Its life began on August 11 south of Mexico, and 31 days later the storm became extratropical south of Alaska, after reaching Category 5 strength and passing the International Date Line twice. John caused $15 million (1994 USD) in damage on Johnston Island.

Tropical Depression One-C[change | change source]

An area of disturbed weather organized into a tropical depression on August 9 while located 740 miles (1190 km) southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. The depression moved westward without organizing, and dissipated on the 14th. Moisture from the system produced heavy rainfall over the island of Hawaii, totaling to over 15 inches.[1] The flooding closed all major roads in Hilo, and was considered the worst flooding in 40 years. The rainfall destroyed 2 homes and damaged 214, 14 severely. It also damaged roads and businesses. Damage throughout the island totaled to $5 million (1993 USD)[1]. Flooding occurred in Maui as well, where landslides blocked portions of the Hana Highway.

Hurricane Olivia[change | change source]

Satellite image
Storm track
Olivia satellite image and track map

Hurricane Olivia was the second strongest storm of the season. It is one of the ten most intense east Pacific hurricanes ever recorded. At the time, it was the strongest October storm.

Hurricane Rosa[change | change source]

An area of disturbed weather organized into a tropical depression at midday on October 8. It had trouble organizing, and advisories were discontinued for a while. The cyclone finally became a tropical storm on October 11 and was named Rosa. It moved glacially, but eventually a trough steered Rosa north and then northeast. Rosa intensified quickly, peaking at Category 2 intensity just before landfall near La Concepcion on the morning of October 14. Rosa quickly decayed over the mountains of Mexico, and its cloud shield rapidly accelerated northward through the Plains and Mississippi Valley, moistening the atmosphere enough in Texas ahead of a slow moving occluded cyclone to help set the stage for a significant flood event in east Texas on the October 17.

Four deaths, two in each of Nayarit and Durango, were reported. Four people were missing in Sinaloa. More than 100,000 people had their homes damaged in Nayarit. Telephone poles and power lines were downed in Sinaloa. Rain caused landslides and flash-flooding in mountainous areas.

References[change | change source]


Tropical cyclones of the 1994 Pacific hurricane season
Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5


* Central Pacific system