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2002 Pacific hurricane season

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2002 Pacific hurricane season
2002 Pacific hurricane season summary map.png
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formed May 24, 2002
Last system dissipated November 16, 2002
Strongest storm
Name Kenna
 • Maximum winds 165 mph (270 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
 • Lowest pressure 913 mbar (hPa; 26.96 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions 19 official, 2 unofficial
Total storms 15 official, 1 unofficial
Hurricanes 8
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
6
Total fatalities 4 direct, 3 indirect
Total damage $101 million (2002 USD)
Related articles
Pacific hurricane seasons
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

The 2002 Pacific hurricane season was a slightly above average Pacific hurricane season that saw three tropical cyclones reach Category 5 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The strongest storm this year was Hurricane Kenna, which reached Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It made landfall near Puerto Vallarta, located in the Mexican state of Jalisco, on October 25. The hurricane killed four people and was one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever strike the western coast of Mexico, hitting with winds of 140 mph. Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Julio made landfall in Mexico, and Tropical Storm Boris dumped torrential rain along the Mexican coast, despite remaining offshore.

The season officially began on May 15 for the Eastern Pacific, and June 1 for the Central Pacific. It ended on November 30 for both regions. These dates delimit the time when most tropical cyclones form in this part of the Pacific Ocean. The first system formed on May 24 and the final depression dissipated on November 16.

Other storms were individually unusual. Hurricanes Elida and Hernan also reached Category 5 intensity, but neither caused any damage. Hurricane Fausto had no effect on land, but it regenerated into a weak tropical storm at an abnormally high latitude.

Season summary

Hurricane Kenna Hurricane Hernan (2002) Hurricane Fausto(2002) Hurricane Elida (2002) Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

There were 15 tropical storms in the eastern Pacific Ocean in the 2002 season. Of those, eight became hurricanes, of which six became major hurricanes by reaching Category 3 or higher on the Saffir Simpson Scale. Three reached Category 5 intensity,[1] a record shared with the 1994 season.[1][2][3] Four tropical depressions formed and dissipated before reaching the intensity of a tropical storm.[4] In the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility, one tropical storm and two hurricanes formed, with one of the hurricanes intensifying into a major hurricane.[1] In the eastern Pacific proper, the season saw below average activity in terms of the number of total storms and hurricanes, but about average activity in terms of major hurricanes.[5][6] Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is a measure of the activity of a hurricane season. It is calculated by squaring the windspeed of a cyclone with at least tropical storm-force winds every six hours, summing the results, and dividing that total by 104.[6] The total ACE of the season was 101*104 kn2 in the east Pacific proper. This qualifies the 2002 season as near to slightly above normal.[7]

A moderately strong El Niño, ongoing during the season, may have contributed to the disproportionate number of major hurricanes,[8] as well as reduced activity in the Atlantic.[9] Also of note was an unusual gap in storm formation during the first three weeks of August in this season,[1] histrocally a prime period for tropical cyclone formation.[10]

Only three systems, Tropical Storms Boris and Julio and Hurricane Kenna, had significant impact on land. Julio and Kenna caused the only two landfalls this year. Most of the season's impact, including all casualties and most of the damage, was caused by Kenna.[5]

In addition to the above systems, an area of convection persisted near a developing circulation about 575 mi (925 km) west-southwest of Johnston Atoll on July 18. An upper-level low to the northeast provided outflow, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued a tropical cyclone formation alert early on July 19.[11] Although not classified by the CPHC, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) remarked that a tropical depression had developed by early on July 20, just east of the International Date Line. Soon after, it crossed into the western Pacific and briefly intensified into Tropical Storm Kalmaegi.[12] Also on October 30, the JMA indicated that Tropical Storm Maysak moved into the basin and became extratropical few hours later.[13]

May
Hurricane Alma at strong category 2 hurricane status.
May 15
  • 0700 UTC (12:00 a.m. PDT) – The Eastern Pacific hurricane season officially begins.[14]
May 24
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression One-E forms 485 miles (900 km) south-southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico.[15]
May 26
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression One-E strengthens into Tropical Storm Alma.[15]
May 28
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Alma strengthens into a hurricane.[15]
May 29
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Alma reaches category 2 strength.[15]
May 30
  • 0600 UTC (11 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Alma becomes a major hurricane.[15]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Alma weakens into a category 2 hurricane.[15]
May 31
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Alma weakens into a category 1 hurricane.[15]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Alma weakens into a tropical storm.[15]
June
Tracking Map of Tropical Storm Boris.
June 1
  • The Central Pacific hurricane season officially begins.[14]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Alma weakens into a tropical depression.[15]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Alma dissipates.[15]
June 8
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Two-E forms 150 miles (280 km) west-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico.[16]
June 9
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Two-E strengthens into Tropical Storm Boris.[16]
June 10
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Boris weakens into a tropical depression.[16]
June 11
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Boris degenerates into a remnant low pressure area.[16]
June 27
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Three-E forms 970 miles (1795 km) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.[17]
June 29
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Three-E dissipates.[17]
July
Image of Tropical Storm Cristina at peak strength.
July 9
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Four-E forms 300 miles (555 km) south of Acapulco, Mexico.[18]
July 12
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Four-E strengthens into Tropical Storm Cristina.[18]
July 15
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Cristina weakens into a tropical depression.[18]
July 17
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Cristina dissipates.[18]
July 20
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Five-E forms 395 miles (730 km) south of Manzanillo, Mexico.[19]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Five-E strengthens into Tropical Storm Douglas.[19]
July 22
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Douglas becomes a hurricane.[19]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Douglas strengthens to become a category 2 hurricane.[19]
July 23
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Six-E forms 305 miles (565 km) south-southeast of Puerto Escondido, Mexico.[20]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Six-E strengthens into Tropical Storm Elida.[20]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Douglas weakens into a category 1 hurricane.[19]
Image of Hurricane Elida near peak strength.
July 24
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Elida strengthens into a hurricane.[20]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida strengthens into a major hurricane, skipping category 2 status.[20]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida strengthens into a category 4 hurricane.[20]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Douglas weakens into a tropical storm.[19]
July 25
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida becomes the first category 5 hurricane of the season.[20]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida weakens into a category 4 hurricane.[20]
July 26
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida weakens into a category 3 hurricane.[20]
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Douglas weakens into a tropical depression.[19]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida weakens into a category 2 hurricane.[20]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Douglas degenerates into a remnant low pressure area.[19]
July 27
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida weakens into a category 1 hurricane.[20]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Elida weakens into a tropical storm.[20]
July 29
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Elida weakens into a tropical depression.[20]
July 30
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Elida weakens into a remnant low pressure area.[20]
August
Tracking map of Hurricane Fausto.
August 6
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Seven-E forms 785 miles (1455 km) southwest of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.[21]
August 8
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Seven-E dissipates.[21]
August 21
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Eight-E forms 400 miles (740 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.[22]
August 22
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. August 21 PDT) – Tropical Depression Eight-E strengthens into Tropical Storm Fausto.[22]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Fausto becomes a hurricane.[22]
  • 1800 UTC (2 a.m. HST) – Tropical Depression One-C forms over 1000 miles (1850 km) south of Hawaii.[23]
Tropical Storm Alika at peak intensity.
August 23
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Fausto becomes a category 2 hurricane.[22]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Fausto becomes a major hurricane.[22]
August 24
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Fausto becomes a category 4 hurricane.[22]
August 25
  • 0000 UTC (2 p.m. August 24 HST) – Tropical Depression One-C strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Alika.[23]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Fausto weakens into a category 3 hurricane.[22]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Fausto weakens into a category 2 hurricane.[22]
Image of Tropical Storm Genevieve on August 28, 2002 at peak intensity.
August 26
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Nine-E forms 500 miles (925 km) south of the Baja Peninsula.[24]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Fausto weakens into a category 1 hurricane.[22]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Fausto weakens into a tropical storm.[22]
August 27
  • 0000 UTC (2 p.m. August 26 HST) – Tropical Depression Two-C forms about 1000 miles (1850 km) southwest of the Hawaiian Islands.[25]
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Nine-E strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Genevieve.[24]
  • 0000 UTC (2 p.m. August 26 HST) – Tropical Storm Alika weakens into a tropical depression.[23]
  • 0600 UTC (8 p.m. HST) – Tropical Depression Two-C strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Ele.[25]
Hurricane Ele as it moved out of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's Area of Responsibility.
August 28
  • 0000 UTC (2 p.m. August 27 HST) – Tropical Storm Ele strengthens into a hurricane.[25]
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Fausto weakens into a tropical depression as it crosses into the Central Pacific.[22]
  • 0600 UTC (8 p.m. August 27 HST) – Tropical Depression Alika dissipates.[23]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Fausto degenerates into a low.[22]
August 29
  • 0600 UTC (8 p.m. August 28 HST) – Hurricane Ele strengthens into a category 2 hurricane.[25]
  • 1800 UTC (2 a.m. HST) – Hurricane Ele strengthens into a major hurricane.[25]
August 30
  • 0000 UTC (2 p.m. August 29 HST) – Hurricane Ele moves out of the Central Pacific and into the West Pacific where the JMA takes up warning responsibility.[25]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Ten-E forms 340 miles (630 km) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.[26]
  • 1200 TC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Ten-E strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Hernan.[26]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Genevieve weakens into a tropical depression.[24]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Fausto regenerates about 430 miles (795 km) north of the Hawaiian Islands.[22]
August 31
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Hernan becomes a hurricane.[26]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan strengthens into a category 2 hurricane.[26]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan strengthens into a major hurricane.[26]
September
September 1
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan strengthens into a category 4 hurricane.[26]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Genevieve dissipates.[24]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan strengthens into a category 5 hurricane.[26]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Fausto re-strengthens into a tropical storm.[22]
Tracking map of Hurricane Hernan.
September 2
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan weakens into a category 4 hurricane.[26]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan weakens into a category 3 hurricane.[26]
September 3
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan weakens into a category 2 hurricane.[26]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Fausto is absorbed by an extratropical low.[22]
September 4
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan weakens into a category 1 hurricane.[26]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Hernan weakens into a tropical storm.[26]
September 5
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Hernan weakens into a tropical depression.[26]
September 6
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Eleven-E forms 120 miles (220 km) southwest of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico.[27]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Hernan weakens into a remnant low pressure area.[26]
September 8
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Eleven-E weakens into a remnant low pressure area.[27]
September 15
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Twelve-E forms 270 miles (500 km) south of Manzanillo, Mexico.[28]
Image of Tropical Storm Iselle at peak intensity.
September 16
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Twelve-E strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Iselle.[28]
September 19
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Iselle weakens into a tropical depression.[28]
September 20
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Iselle weakens into a remnant low pressure area.[28]
Tracking map of Tropical Storm Julio.
September 25
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Thirteen-E forms 175 miles (325 km) southwest of Acapulco, Mexico.[29]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Thirteen-E strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Julio.[29]
September 26
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Julio makes landfall west-northwest of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico with winds of 45 mph (70 km/h).[29]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Julio weakens into a tropical depression.[29]
  • 1800 UTC (11 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Julio dissipates.[29]
October
October 22
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Fourteen-E forms 325 miles (600 km) south of Acapulco, Mexico.[30]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. October 21 PDT) – Tropical Depression Fourteen-E strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Kenna.[30]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Fifteen-E forms in the western portion of the Eastern Pacific.[31]
October 23
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. October 22 PDT) – Tropical Depression Fifteen-E strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Lowell.[31]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Kenna strengthens into a hurricane.[30]
Hurricane Kenna at peak intensity off Mexico.
October 24
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. October 23 PDT) – Hurricane Kenna strengthens into a category 2 hurricane.[30]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. October 23 PDT) – Hurricane Kenna strengthens into a major hurricane.[30]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Kenna strengthens into a category 4 hurricane.[30]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Kenna strengthens into a category 5 hurricane.[30]
  • 1800 UTC (11 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Lowell weakens into a tropical depression.[31]
  • 1800 UTC (2 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Three-C forms south of the Hawaiian Islands.[32]
Tracking map of Tropical Storm Lowell.
October 25
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. October 24 PDT) – Hurricane Kenna becomes the strongest of the season with winds of 165 mph (265 km/h) and a pressure of 913 mbar (26.96 inHg).[30]
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Kenna weakens into a category 4 hurricane.[30]
  • 1630 UTC - Hurricane Kenna makes landfall near San Blas, Mexico with winds of 140 mph (225 km/h), only the 1959 Mexican hurricane and Hurricane Madeline of 1976 are stronger at landfall.[30]
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Hurricane Kenna weakens into a category 3 hurricane.[30]
October 26
  • 0000 UTC (2 p.m. October 25 HST) – Tropical Depression Three-C strengthens into a tropical storm and is named Huko.[32]
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Hurricane Kenna rapidly weakens into a tropical storm over Mexico.[30]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Kenna dissipates.[30]
October 27
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Lowell re-strengthens into a tropical storm.[31]
October 28
  • 1800 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Huko strengthens into a hurricane.[32]
October 29
  • 1200 UTC (5 a.m. PDT) – Tropical Storm Lowell again weakens into a tropical depression.[31]
October 30
  • 0000 UTC (2 p.m. October 29 HST) – Hurricane Huko weakens into a tropical storm.[32]
Hurricane Huko at peak intensity on November 1.
October 31
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Lowell dissipates.[31]
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. October 30 HST) – Tropical Storm Huko again strengthens into a hurricane.[32]
November
November 3
  • 0600 UTC (8 p.m. November 2 HST) – Hurricane Huko moves out of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's Area of Responsibility.[32]
November 14
  • 0000 UTC (5 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Sixteen-E forms 370 miles (685 km) south of Acapulco, Mexico.[33]
November 16
  • 0600 UTC (11 p.m. PDT) – Tropical Depression Sixteen-E weakens into a remnant low pressure area.[33]
November 30
  • The Eastern and Central Pacific hurricane seasons officially ends.[14]

Systems

Tropical cyclones of the 2002 Pacific hurricane season

3 Alma
TS Boris
TD Three-E
TS Cristina
2 Douglas
5 Elida
TD Seven-E
4 Fausto
TS Alika
TS Genevieve
3 Ele
5 Hernan
TD Eleven-E
TS Iselle
TS Julio
5 Kenna
TS Lowell
1 Huko
TD Sixteen-E
2002 Pacific hurricane season summary.jpg
Timeline

Hurricane Alma

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Alma 2002.jpg Alma 2002 track.png
Duration May 24 – June 1
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  960 mbar (hPa)

A complex formation involving a tropical wave and a gale over the Gulf of Tehuantepec formed Tropical Depression One-E on May 24. It slowly strengthened into the first tropical storm of the season two days later. Alma then turned north, moving near the edge of a subtropical ridge over Mexico. Its rate of intensification picked up, and Alma became a hurricane on May 28. Alma reached Category 3 intensity on May 30. The hurricane began to weaken almost immediately thereafter under the influence of wind shear and cool water. Alma rapidly fell apart, and degenerated into a weak low pressure area by June 1.[34]

The hurricane did not impact land.[34] A special feature about Alma was that it was one of only five Pacific major hurricanes in May.[1]

Tropical Storm Boris

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Boris of 2002.JPG Boris 2002 track.png
Duration June 8 – June 11
Peak intensity 60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)

On June 8, an area of disturbed weather that had absorbed a tropical wave spawned Tropical Depression Two-E. It became a tropical storm the next day. After peaking on June 9, with a pressure of 997 mb, steering currents collapsed and Boris stalled out in the ocean between two ridges of high pressure. Shear increased, and the cyclone weakened to a depression on June 10. The next day, Boris degenerated into a remnant low. The remnant drifted east and then southeast before dissipating on June 12.[35]

Boris dumped heavy rains on sections of the Mexican coast. The maximum amount was 10.60 inches (269 mm) at San Felipe Usila.[36] These rains damaged several homes at an unspecified location. In addition, rainfall damaged several homes in Tequila, Jalisco, but the National Hurricane Center believes that Boris likely did not cause the rain. No deaths were attributed to this storm.[35]

Tropical Depression Three-E

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Three-E 2002-06-27 1925Z.jpg 3-E 2002 track.png
Duration June 27 – June 29
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1006 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave that crossed Central America organized and developed into a tropical depression on June 27.[37] Contrary to forecasts,[38] the depression did not strengthen further because of strong wind shear. By June 29, the depression had become a remnant low, which was observed as a swirl of clouds for a few more days before dissipating.[37]

Tropical Storm Cristina

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical Storm Cristina 2002.jpg Cristina 2002 track.png
Duration July 9 – July 16
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  994 mbar (hPa)

An area of disturbed weather near Panama drifted to a location south of Puerto Ángel, Oaxaca, and organized into Tropical Depression Four-E on July 9. It moved westward through a hostile environment of strong shear. The wind shear disrupted the cyclone's convection and weakened its circulation. Despite the shear, the depression strengthened into a tropical storm early on July 12 and was named Cristina. This broke down the steering ridge, and Cristina turned to the north and peaked on July 14. Then, the wind shear won out and Cristina quickly weakened. Cristina dissipated into a swirl of clouds on July 16, without ever threatening land. No impact was reported.[39]

Hurricane Douglas

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Douglas 2002.jpg Douglas 2002 track.png
Duration July 20 – July 26
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  970 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave exited the west coast of Africa on July 8 and crossed the Atlantic without much development. In the Caribbean, showers increased, but wind shear prevented development. The wave crossed into the eastern Pacific on July 16, and wind shear decreased to allow the convection to organize. Tropical Depression Five-E developed on July 20 about 395 miles (636 km) south of Manzanillo, Mexico.[40] At that time, gradual strengthening was anticipated.[41] The depression quickly intensified into Tropical Storm Douglas.[40] Around that time, most of the deep convection was situated south of the atmospheric circulation.[42] Initially expected to become a hurricane only briefly,[43] late on July 21, the NHC reported that Douglas had become a hurricane.[44] Upon becoming a hurricane, Douglas was situated in low wind shear environment; however, Hurricane Douglas was expected to reach cold waters in 36 hours, and thus was not predicted to become a major hurricane.[45] Douglas became a Category 2 hurricane on July 22, reaching peak winds of 105 miles per hour (170 km/h).[46] Douglas held this intensity for 18 hours as it traveled westward.[40] When Douglas weakened from its peak intensity, it had an organized cloud pattern, but the thunderstorm activity was weakening, typical of most Pacific hurricanes that reach cooler waters.[47] The weakening briefly stopped after Douglas went through an eyewall replacement cycle,[48] but Douglas was downgraded to a tropical storm late on July 24 as the storm only had a small area of deep convection left.[40] Tropical storm Douglas briefly stopped weakening as convection increased, only to fade away again hours later.[49] The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression early on July 26,[40] and later that day degenerated into a remnant low pressure area.[50] The remnant low dissipated the next day.[40]

Hurricane Elida

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
Elida Jul 24 2002.png Elida 2002 track.png
Duration July 23 – July 30
Peak intensity 160 mph (260 km/h) (1-min)  921 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave generated into Tropical Depression Six-E on July 23. It moved westward and reached storm strength 12 hours after it formed. Elida rapidly deepened, developing a pinhole eye, and becoming a hurricane on July 24 and further reaching major hurricane intensity six hours later. Elida's rapid intensification continued, becoming a Category 5 hurricane for six hours on July 25.[51]

Despite moving over warm waters, Elida began to weaken because it began an eyewall replacement cycle. When the cycle ended, the cyclone was over cooler water and unsteadily weakened. Elida fell to a tropical storm on July 27, then degenerated into a remnant low and turned to the northeast. The remnant dissipated over the open ocean about 535 mi (861 km) west of Los Angeles.[51]

Elida is one of the fastest intensifying eastern Pacific hurricanes. Its rate of intensification is rivaled only by 1997's Linda and 2015's Patricia. Elida had no direct impact on land. However, it did send heavy waves along the shores of Mexico. No one was killed and no damage was reported.[51]

Tropical Depression Seven-E

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Seven-E 2002-08-06 1835Z.jpg 7-E 2002 track.png
Duration August 6 – August 8
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1008 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave that had reached the Eastern Pacific from Africa was first spotted on July 23. The wave continued westward with little development occurring until August 3, when convection increased. After additional slow organization, the wave was classified as Tropical Depression Seven-E on August 6 near the tip of Baja California. The system did not strengthen much, and development was halted when wind shear destroyed the system on August 8. The depression never came near land and hence no one was killed or injured.[52] Like Tropical Depression Three-E, this cyclone was forecast to reach tropical storm intensity, but it never did.[53]

Hurricane Fausto

Category 4 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane fausto 2002 August 24.jpg Fausto 2002 track.png
Duration August 21 – September 3
Peak intensity 145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  936 mbar (hPa)

After a rather lengthy lull punctuated by only Tropical Depression Seven-E, a tropical wave formed Tropical Depression Eight-E on August 21. Initially taking a westward track, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Fausto on August 22. It turned to the west-northwest and stayed on that path for the next six days. Fausto steadily strengthened and intensified into a hurricane on August 22. It continued to intensify, peaking as a Category 4 on August 24, and also substantially increased in size. The hurricane began to weaken thereafter, and was a minimal tropical storm by the time it entered the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility on August 27.[54] The tropical cyclone dropped to a depression and degenerated into a non-convective swirl of clouds on August 28.[55]

Fausto's remnants passed north of the Hawaiian Islands uneventfully until they interacted with a tropical upper-tropospheric trough (TUTT) on August 30. In combination with warm waters, a tropical depression with some subtropical features developed. At this time it was located around latitude 30°N. By September 1, Fausto had redeveloped into a tiny but tropical ministorm. Its rebirth was brief, however, as a mid-latitude cyclone absorbed the system early on September 3.[54]

Fausto's regeneration north of Hawaii was unusual but not unprecedented. The other time this happened since 1966 was in the 1975 season. That time, another TUTT absorbed the remnant of Hurricane Ilsa, which led to the formation of an unnamed hurricane at high latitude. Other tropical cyclones have strengthened north of Hawaii, but the actual formation of one is rare.[55]

Tropical Storm Alika

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Alika 2002-08-25 2045Z.jpg Alika 2002 track.png
Duration August 22 – August 28
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  995 mbar (hPa)

An area of convection acquired a closed circulation and became Tropical Depression One-C on August 22. It stayed disorganized for the next several days. It organized more fully and intensified into a tropical storm on August 25 and was named Alika. After peaking as a moderately strong tropical storm on August 25, wind shear caused by the pre-Ele tropical depression and an upper-level low near Hawaii weakened the storm to a depression on August 27. Alika dissipated the next day, having never threatened land.[55]

Tropical Storm Genevieve

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Genevieve 2002.jpg Genevieve 2002 track.png
Duration August 26 – September 1
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  989 mbar (hPa)

A tropical wave formed Tropical Depression Nine-E on August 26. It was upgraded to a tropical storm and named Genevieve the next day. It moved westward and nearly strengthened to a hurricane, peaking in intensity on August 28. At that point, the cyclone encountered cooler waters, which caused it to weaken slowly, weakening to a depression on August 30. The depression hung on until it lost convection on the September 2. A swirl of remnant clouds persisted for a few more days. Genevieve had no impact on land, with no reports of casualties or damage being received by the National Hurricane Center.[56]

Hurricane Ele

Category 3 hurricane (SSHWS)
Typhoon Ele 30 aug 2002 2240Z.jpg Ele 2002 track.png
Duration August 27 – August 30 (Exited Basin)
Peak intensity 125 mph (205 km/h) (1-min)  945 mbar (hPa)

An eastern extension of the monsoon trough south of Hawaii organized into Tropical Depression Two-C on August 27 and strengthened into Tropical Storm Ele six hours later. Despite the nearby presence of Alika, Ele developed rapidly and strengthened into a hurricane on August 28. After contributing to the dissipation of Alika, Ele continued intensifying. It reached Category 2 intensity late on August 28 and quickly became a major hurricane six hours later. The hurricane then crossed the International Date Line and became a typhoon in the 2002 Pacific typhoon season. Typhoon Ele turned to the northwest after crossing the dateline and continued to strengthen. It reached Category 4 before turning north and weakening again. After briefly restrengthening back into a Category 4, the typhoon weakened and turned to the northwest. Ele was downgraded to a tropical storm on September 7, a depression on September 9, and then dissipated shortly afterwards. Ele did not affect land.[55]

Hurricane Hernan

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane hernan 2002.jpeg Hernan 2002 track.png
Duration August 30 – September 6
Peak intensity 160 mph (260 km/h) (1-min)  921 mbar (hPa)

A weak wave in the ITCZ organized into Tropical Depression Ten-E on August 30. It headed west-northwest and quickly intensified into a tropical storm and eventually, a hurricane. Hernan then began rapidly deepening, reaching Category 5 intensity on September 1. It maintained that intensity for 12 hours before tracking over cooler waters. The storm weakened steadily, with wind shear contributing to its deterioration. Hernan then degenerated into a remnant low on September 6. The low turned to the southwest and dissipated three days later.[57]

Hernan passed close enough to Socorro Island to bring strong winds to the island.[57] In addition, the hurricane's large and powerful wind field caused waves between 12 foot (3.7 m) and 20 foot (6.1 m) in height and strong rip currents on the southwest coast of California.[58] Other than the aforementioned regions, Hernan had no significant impact on land.[57]

Tropical Depression Eleven-E

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Eleven-E 2002-09-06 2055Z.jpg 11-E 2002 track.png
Duration September 5 – September 8
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1006 mbar (hPa)

Of the four tropical depressions this season that did not become named storms, only Eleven-E threatened land. An area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave formed into a tropical cyclone on September 5. It tracked northwestward, before turning southwest. It weakened into a remnant low on September 8. The remnant turned north and dissipated on September 10 offshore of the Baja California peninsula. The cyclone was nearly a tropical storm when it peaked on September 6. It was forecast to become a tropical storm and pass close to the peninsula. This prompted a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch. With the weakening of the cyclone the watch and warning were discontinued. No damage or casualties were reported in association with this tropical cyclone.[59]

Tropical Storm Iselle

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Iselle 2002-09-17 Aqua.jpg Iselle 2002 track.png
Duration September 15 – September 20
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  990 mbar (hPa)

Part of the same tropical wave that formed Tropical Depression Seven in the Atlantic basin organized into Tropical Depression Twelve-E on September 15. It strengthened further into Tropical Storm Iselle the next day. The storm headed northwest and paralleled the coast of Mexico, nearly strengthening into a hurricane late on September 17. While near its peak intensity, a trough abruptly recurved the system to the northeast. Wind shear also increased, and Iselle consequently fell apart on satellite imagery. It weakened to a depression on September 19. Iselle then degenerated into a remnant low the next day and rapidly degenerated, dissipating on September 20. Iselle never made landfall.[60]

Iselle threatened parts of southwestern Mexico and warnings and watches were issued for that area. Heavy rains were reported over parts of the Baja California Peninsula.[60] The highest amount of rainfall was 6.16 inches (156 mm) at Guadeloupe and Mulege, Baja California Sur.[61] There were no reports of damage or casualties.[60]

Tropical Storm Julio

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Julio 2002-09-25 1945Z.jpg Julio 2002 track.png
Duration September 25 – September 26
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1000 mbar (hPa)

An area of convection and disturbed weather, possibly related to outflow from Hurricane Isidore in the Atlantic basin, developed a circulation on September 23 and organized into Tropical Depression Thirteen-E on September 25. The depression headed northward and strengthened into a tropical storm that same day. Julio turned to the northwest and peaked in intesty as a minial tropical storm near Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán. On September 26, Juli made landfall. The storm rapidly dissipated over Mexico.[62]

Three fatalities were reported from Julio. However, in Guerrero, around 100 houses in Acapulco and Zihuatanejo were damaged or washed away by flash flooding.[62] The highest rainfall reported was 16.10 inches (409 mm) at Zihuatanejo and La Unión, Guerrero.[63]

Hurricane Kenna

Category 5 hurricane (SSHWS)
HurricaneKenna2002.jpg Kenna 2002 track.png
Duration October 22 – October 26
Peak intensity 165 mph (270 km/h) (1-min)  913 mbar (hPa)

A disturbance possibly associated with a tropical wave organized into Tropical Depression Fourteen-E on October 22. It strengthened into a tropical storm that same day and a hurricane on October 23. The next day, Kenna became the third Category 5 hurricane of the season. A trough over Mexico recurved the hurricane, and it started accelerating towards Mexico. Despite moving over waters that were still warm, wind shear weakened the system to a minimal Category 4 by the time of its landfall over Mexico late on October 25. Mountainous terrain rapidly weakened Kenna, and the system dissipated early on October 26.[64]

Hurricane Kenna was the third-strongest Pacific hurricane to make landfall on record.[64] It was also the second-strongest October hurricane in any season, and the third strongest Pacific hurricane overall.[1] In San Blas, Nayarit, 8,800 people were affected; 1,540 houses were damaged or destroyed,[65] which was 80% to 90% of houses in the town.[64] In Santiago Ixcluintla, 3,770 houses were damaged. Agriculture in the affected area was disrupted. Farmers required aid, and many fruit crops were destroyed. Tourism in Puerto Vallarta was disrupted,[65] with much of the damage to hotels. Insurance companies reported that Kenna's total damage was $96 million (2002 USD).[66]

Kenna killed four people in Mexico and injured over a hundred. The low death toll is likely due to massive evacuations in San Blas, Nayarit, and elsewhere ahead of the hurricane.[64]

Tropical Storm Lowell

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
TS Lowell 2002.jpg Lowell 2002 track.png
Duration October 22 – October 31
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1002 mbar (hPa)

A weak tropical wave located over the open Pacific Ocean organized into Tropical Depression Fifteen-E on October 22. It strengthened into a tropical storm the next day. Shortly afterwards, wind shear increased. Lowell's convection was disrupted, and its center of circulation became exposed. The cyclone crossed into the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility on October 26. The shear relaxed, and the depression restrengthened into a tropical storm. Lowell drifted in slow steering currents until it approached Hurricane Huko. The proximity of Huko caused a gradual weakening in Lowell, and it dissipated on October 31.[67]

Hurricane Huko

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Huko 2002.jpg Huko 2002 track.png
Duration October 24 – November 3 (Exited basin)
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  980 mbar (hPa)

In late October, an active monsoon trough persisted south of Hawaii along 10°N latitude, developing an area of convection on October 24. Later that day, the disturbance was classified as Tropical Depression Three-C about 850 mi (1,370 km) south-southeast of Honolulu. Initially poorly organized, it moved to the north and steadily intensified, becoming Tropical Storm Huko early on October 26 while turning northwestward. Late on October 28, Huko reached hurricane strength, but its close proximity to Tropical Storm Lowell and a brief increase in wind shear weakened it back to a tropical storm on October 30. Shortly after turning to the west, conditions allowed for Huko to re-attain hurricane strength on October 31 while it was passing around 140 mi (225 km) south of Johnston Atoll. On November 2, a ridge caused the hurricane to accelerate, and the next day it crossed the International Date Line into the Western Pacific, becoming a typhoon.[55][68]

While passing near Johnston Atoll, the outer rainbands of the hurricane produced wind gusts up to 30 mph (48 km/h) and locally heavy rainfall.[68] The remnants of Huko later reentered the basin, eventually affecting California. The system was responsible for heavy rains, causing flooding along a small stream in Bakersfield. Total damage was approximately $23,000 (2002 USD).[69]

Tropical Depression Sixteen-E

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
Sixteen-E 2002-11-14 2105Z.jpg 16-E 2002 track.png
Duration November 14 – November 16
Peak intensity 35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1006 mbar (hPa)

Tropical Depression Sixteen-E formed from a disturbance in the intertropical convergence zone. Despite being located in a hostile environment, it managed to organize into a tropical depression on November 14.[70] It was briefly forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm.[71] However, wind shear prevented that from occurring. Consequently, the depression degenerated into a remnant low on November 16 and dissipated soon after that.[70]

Storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean during 2002. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 2008 season. This is the same list used for the 1996 season.[1] Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Iselle
  • Julio
  • Kenna
  • Lowell
  • Marie (unused)
  • Norbert (unused)
  • Odile (unused)
  • Polo (unused)
  • Rachel (unused)
  • Simon (unused)
  • Trudy (unused)
  • Vance (unused)
  • Winnie (unused)
  • Xavier (unused)
  • Yolanda (unused)
  • Zeke (unused)

For storms that form in the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility, encompassing the area between 140 degrees west and the International Date Line, all names are used in a series of four rotating lists. The next four names that were slated for use in 2002 are shown below. Three of them, Alika, Ele, and Huko, were used throughout the course of the year.

  • Alika
  • Ele
  • Huko
  • Ioke (unused)

Retirement

On March 31, 2003, at the 25th session of the RA IV hurricane committee, the World Meteorological Organization retired the name Kenna from its rotating name lists due to the deaths and damages it caused, and it will not be used again for another Pacific hurricane. Kenna was replaced with Karina for the 2008 Pacific hurricane season.[72][73]

Season effects

This is a table of all the storms that have formed in the 2002 Pacific hurricane season. It includes their duration, names, landfall(s), denoted in parentheses, damages, and death totals. Deaths in parentheses are additional and indirect (an example of an indirect death would be a traffic accident), but were still related to that storm. Damage and deaths include totals while the storm was extratropical, a wave, or a low, and all the damage figures are in 2002 USD.

Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5
2002 Pacific hurricane season statistics
Storm
name
Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affected Damage
(USD)
Deaths Refs


Alma May 24 – June 1 Category 3 hurricane 115 (185) 960 None None None
Boris June 8 – June 11 Tropical storm 60 (95) 997 Southwestern Mexico Minimal None
Three-E June 27 – June 29 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1006 None None None
Cristina July 9 – July 16 Tropical storm 65 (100) 994 None None None
Douglas July 20 – July 26 Category 2 hurricane 105 (165) 970 None None None
Elida July 23 – July 30 Category 5 hurricane 160 (260) 921 None None None
Seven-E August 6 – August 8 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1008 None None None
Fausto August 21 – September 3 Category 4 hurricane 145 (230) 936 Hawaiian Islands, Aleutian Islands, British Columbia None None
Alika August 22 – August 28 Tropical storm 65 (100) 995 None None None
Genevieve August 26 – September 1 Tropical storm 70 (110) 989 None None None
Ele August 27 – August 30 Category 3 hurricane 125 (205) 945 Johnston Atoll, Wake Island None None
Hernan August 30 – September 6 Category 5 hurricane 160 (260) 921 Socorro Island, California None None
Eleven-E September 5 – September 8 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1006 Baja California Peninsula Minor None
Iselle September 15 – September 20 Tropical storm 70 (110) 990 Baja California Peninsula Minimal None
Julio September 25 – September 26 Tropical storm 45 (75) 1000 Southwestern Mexico Minimal (3)
Kenna October 22 – October 26 Category 5 hurricane 165 (270) 913 Southwestern Mexico, Western Mexico, Southern United States, Revillagigedo Islands, Socorro Island, Texas 101 4
Lowell October 22 – October 31 Tropical storm 50 (85) 1002 Hawaii None None
Huko October 24 – November 3 Category 1 hurricane 85 (140) 980 None None None
Sixteen-E November 14 – November 16 Tropical depression 35 (55) 1006 None None None
Season Aggregates
19 systems May 24 – November 16   165 (270) 913 101 4 (3)  

See also

References

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External links

  • NHC 2002 Pacific hurricane season archive
  • CPHC 2002 season archive
  • HPC 2002 Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Pages
  • Unisys archive
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