1996 Pacific hurricane season

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1996 Pacific hurricane season
Season summary map
First storm formed May 13, 1996
Last storm dissipated November 11, 1996
Strongest storm Douglas – 946 mbar (hPa) (27.95 inHg), 135 mph (215 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 14
Total storms 9
Hurricanes 5
Major hurricanes (Cat. 3+) 2
Total fatalities 27-49
Total damage Unknown
Pacific hurricane seasons
1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998

The 1996 Pacific hurricane season was an event in tropical cyclone formation and the second least active Pacific hurricane season in recorded history, behind only 1977. It officially began May 15, 1996 in the eastern north Pacific and on June 1, 1996 in the central north Pacific. It ended on November 30, 1996. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

Few notable storms formed this season, however it was very eventful. Twelve tropical cyclones formed during this season, of which five made landfall and two other impacted land areas. Two tropical cyclones that formed in other basins entered the eastern north Pacific Ocean. Early in the season three tropical cyclones impacted Mexico in a ten day span, while the first cyclone of the season formed before it officially began. Hurricane Douglas was the strongest storm, reaching Category 4 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and had its beginnings in the Atlantic as Hurricane Douglas.

Storms[change | change source]

Hurricane Alma[change | change source]

Category 2 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration June 20 – June 27
Intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min),  969 mbar (hPa)

Alma was the first of three consecutive storms to come close to, or make landfall on, the Pacific coast of Mexico during a ten day span. Alma killed at least three people, and possibly twenty. Three were killed when a house near Lazaro Cardenas collapsed. There were unconfirmed reports that 17 people were killed by floods in Puebla from rains related to Alma. Trees were downed and power was knocked out to many places. Roads were flooded and covered with Debris.

Hurricane Boris[change | change source]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration June 27 – July 1
Intensity 90 mph (150 km/h) (1-min),  979 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Boris was the second consecutive storm to approach close to Mexico. It made landfall halfway between Acapulco and Lazaro Cardenas on June 29. It killed ten people. A flood caused by Boris on the San Jeronimo River left thousands homeless.

Tropical Storm Cristina[change | change source]

Tropical storm (SSHS)
Duration July 1 – July 3
Intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min),  991 mbar (hPa)

Cristina was the third cyclone to come close to Mexico in the space of ten days. It killed a fisherman when his boat was caught at sea off Oaxaca. At least 11 other fishing boats and 22 people were missing. Their fate is unknown.

Hurricane Douglas[change | change source]

Category 4 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration July 24 – August 6
Intensity 135 mph (215 km/h) (1-min),  946 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Douglas was a continuation of Atlantic Hurricane Cesar, which crossed Central America. Continuing Cesar's nearly due-west heading, it was still a tropical storm when it entered the Pacific on July 29, and quickly regained hurricane status.[1]

Douglas's strengthened over the next two days as it turned west-northwest, paralleling the coast of Mexico. It reached its peak intensity on August 1,with winds of 135 mph (215 km/h) and a central pressure of 946 millibars, making it the strongest hurricane of the season.>[1] It slow weakening began on August 2 as it entered cooler waters, and it officially dissipated on August 6, though like many Pacific hurricanes, a remnant circulation could be tracked westward for several days afterward.[1]

Hurricane Fausto[change | change source]

Category 3 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration September 10 – September 14
Intensity 120 mph (195 km/h) (1-min),  955 mbar (hPa)

The precursor disturbance to Fausto was first noticed over Venezuela as early as August 31, and may have been related to the tropical wave that spawned Hurricane Fran.[2] By September 4 the wave had crossed Central America into the Pacific; it steadily organized until it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Fausto on September 10. [2]

Fausto intensified rapidly after it reached hurricane intensity on the 12th, peaking with sustained winds of 120 mph (190 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 955 millibars. [2] The hurricane weakened as an approaching trough increased shear over the storm; this same trough also turned the storm north on the 13th, where it made landfall as a minimal hurricane Baja California that day. [2] On September 14, the storm turned northeastward across the Gulf of California, and dissipated inland over the Sierra Madre range after its second landfall as a hurricane. [2] Its extratropical remnants flared up briefly over northern Mexico and Texas, but otherwise soon lost their identity.

Damage in Mexico was relatively minor, with only a single casualty caused by a downed power line.[2]

Hurricane Hernan[change | change source]

Category 1 hurricane (SSHS)
Duration September 30 – October 4
Intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min),  980 mbar (hPa)

Hurricane Hernan made landfall in a thinly-populated region of Mexico. It washed out roads, and knocked down power lines and telephone poles. There were 100 injuries but no deaths.

Reference[change | change source]

Tropical cyclones of the 1996 Pacific hurricane season
Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5