2003 Pacific hurricane season

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2003 Pacific hurricane season
2003 Pacific hurricane season summary.jpg
Season summary map
Seasonal boundaries
First system formedMay 19, 2003
Last system dissipatedOctober 26, 2003
Strongest storm
Name Nora
  Maximum winds105 mph (165 km/h)
(1-minute sustained)
  Lowest pressure969 mbar (hPa; 28.61 inHg)
Seasonal statistics
Total depressions17
Total storms16
Hurricanes7
Major hurricanes
(Cat. 3+)
0 (record low; tied with 1977)
Total fatalities23 total
Total damage$129 million (2003 USD)
Related articles
Pacific hurricane seasons
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

The 2003 Pacific hurricane season was the first season to feature no major hurricanes – storms of Category 3 intensity or higher – since 1977. It produced an unusually large number of tropical cyclones which affected Mexico. The most notable cyclones during the year were Hurricanes Ignacio and Marty, which killed 2 and 12 people in Mexico, respectively, and were collectively responsible for about US$1  billion (2003 USD) in damage. Three other Pacific storms, two of which were hurricanes, and three Atlantic storms also had a direct impact on Mexico. The only other significant storm of the season was Hurricane Jimena, which passed just to the south of Hawaii, the first storm to directly threaten Hawaii for several years.

1977 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1977 Pacific hurricane season was, at the time, the least active in recorded history. Only eight tropical storms formed, and four hurricanes; they would be tied and surpassed, respectively, by the 2010 Pacific hurricane season. There were no major hurricanes; the next time this happened would be the 2003 season. In addition, there was just one storm in each of May, June, July, August, and October, which is also low; the other three storms were in September. Activity in the central Pacific was zero, as no storms formed there nor moved in from the east.

Tropical cyclone Rapidly rotating storm system

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; while in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".

Hurricane Ignacio (2003) Category 2 Pacific hurricane in 2003

Hurricane Ignacio was the latest-forming first hurricane of a Pacific hurricane season since reliable satellite observation began in 1966. The ninth tropical storm of the 2003 Pacific hurricane season, Ignacio developed out of a tropical wave on August 22 a short distance off the coast of Mexico. It was initially predicted to track out to sea and remain a weak tropical storm, though it unexpectedly organized rapidly to attain peak winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) on August 24 while located a short distance southeast of southern Baja California. Land interaction weakened Ignacio to an 80 mph (130 km/h) hurricane by the time it made landfall near La Paz, and it dissipated on August 27 in the central region of the Baja California peninsula.

Contents

The season officially started on May 15, 2003, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and on June 1, 2003, in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 2003. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The season saw 16 tropical storms form, of which 7 became hurricanes, which is about average.

Seasonal summary

Predictions of tropical activity in the 2003 season
RegionDateTropical
storms
HurricanesMajor
hurricanes
EasternAverage1694
EasternJune 12, 200311–156–92–5
EasternActual activity1670
CentralAverage4–51
CentralMay 19, 20032–3
CentralActual activity110

Preseason forecasts

On June 12, 2003, NOAA published a forecast for the East Pacific hurricane season, the first time it had done so. The scientists predicted a 50% chance of below normal activity this season, due to the expectation that La Niña conditions would develop. La Niña conditions generally restrict tropical cyclone development in the northeast Pacific, which is the opposite of its effect in the Atlantic. [1]

La Niña A coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is the counterpart of El Niño

La Niña is a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is the counterpart of El Niño as part of the broader El Niño–Southern Oscillation climate pattern. The name La Niña originates from Spanish, meaning "the little girl", analogous to El Niño meaning "the little boy". It has also in the past been called anti-El Niño, and El Viejo. During a period of La Niña, the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 3 to 5 °C. In the United States, an appearance of La Niña persists for at least five months. It has extensive effects on the weather in North America, even affecting the Atlantic and Pacific hurricane seasons.

On May 19, 2003, NOAA published its forecast for the Central Pacific hurricane season. The forecast called for a slightly below-average level of activity in 2003, due to the same forecast of the onset of La Niña which would later prompt the low forecast for the Eastern Pacific. [2]

Seasonal activity

Hurricane Olaf (2003)Hurricane Nora (2003)Hurricane Marty (2003)Hurricane Jimena (2003)Hurricane Ignacio (2003)Tropical Storm Carlos (2003)Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale2003 Pacific hurricane season

There were 16 named storms and 7 hurricanes during the 2003 Pacific hurricane season, which is comparable with the long-term averages. However, there were no major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale); this was the first time this had happened in the eastern Pacific since 1977, and is well below the long-term average of four. The first hurricane, Ignacio, formed on August 24. This is the latest formation of the first hurricane of a season recorded in the east Pacific since reliable satellite observation began in 1966. [3]

Track map of all eight Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes that struck Mexico 2003 landfalling mexico hurricanes.png
Track map of all eight Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes that struck Mexico

Whilst the total activity was below average, there was an unusually high number of landfalls in Mexico. A total of eight Pacific and North Atlantic tropical cyclones had a direct impact in Mexico in 2003, second only to 1971, when 9 did so. This is well above the long-term average of 4.2 Atlantic and east Pacific storms affecting Mexico. Five Pacific storms impacted Mexico, of which Hurricanes Ignacio and Marty both hit the state of Baja California Sur as hurricanes. [3] The combined damage from the two hurricanes totaled about US$1 billion (2003 USD). [4] Two other storms hit mainland Mexico as tropical storms and a third as a tropical depression. [3] Three storms hit Mexico within a very short space of time, the Pacific hurricanes Nora and Olaf, and the Atlantic Tropical Storm Larry. As a result of the flooding caused by these storms, disaster areas were declared in 14 states. [5]

Landfall event of a storm moving over land after being over water

Landfall is the event of a storm or waterspout moving over land after being over water.

Hurricane Marty (2003) Category 2 Pacific hurricane in 2003

Hurricane Marty was the deadliest tropical cyclone of the 2003 Pacific hurricane season. Forming on September 18, it became the 13th tropical storm and fourth hurricane of the year. The storm moved generally northwestward and steadily intensified despite only a marginally favorable environment for development, and became a Category 2 hurricane before making two landfalls on the Baja California peninsula and mainland Mexico.

Baja California Sur State of Mexico

Baja California Sur, officially the Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California Sur, is the second-smallest Mexican state by population and the 31st admitted state of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, make up the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico.

Activity in the Central Pacific was below average, with only one tropical depression forming in the basin and one hurricane entering the basin from the east Pacific. In addition, a third system, Tropical Storm Guillermo, weakened to a remnant low just to the east of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility. Although activity was generally low, Hurricane Jimena was the first direct threat to the Hawaiian Islands for several years and a hurricane watch was issued for the island of Hawaii. Jimena passed to the south, but still brought tropical-storm-force gusts and heavy rain to the island. [6]

Central Pacific Hurricane Center

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) of the United States National Weather Service is the official body responsible for tracking and issuing tropical cyclone warnings, watches, advisories, discussions, and statements for the Central Pacific region: from the equator northward, 140°W–180°W, most significantly for Hawai‘i. It is the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for tropical cyclones in this region, and in this capacity is known as RSMC Honolulu.

Hawaiian Islands An archipelago in the North Pacific Ocean, currently administered by the US state of Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Formerly the group was known to Europeans and Americans as the Sandwich Islands, a name chosen by James Cook in honor of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The contemporary name is derived from the name of the largest island, Hawaii Island.

Tropical cyclone warnings and watches are two levels of alert issued by national weather forecasting bodies to coastal areas threatened by the imminent approach of a tropical cyclone of tropical storm or hurricane intensity. They are notices to the local population and civil authorities to make appropriate preparation for the cyclone, including evacuation of vulnerable areas where necessary. It is important that interests throughout the area of an alert make preparations to protect life and property, and do not disregard it on the strength of the detailed forecast track. Tropical cyclones are not points, and forecasting their track remains an uncertain science.

Systems

Tropical Storm Andres

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Andres 2003-05-20 1800Z.jpg   Andres 2003 track.png
DurationMay 19 – May 25
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave developed into a tropical depression on May 19 well to the south of Mexico as it moved west. A good outflow developed and it became a tropical storm the next day, before reaching its peak strength with winds of 60 mph (95 km/h). Increasing shear prevented any further development as the storm moved quickly west-northwest. On May 25, the shear and a reduction in water temperatures weakened Andres to a tropical depression, and it dissipated soon after. The storm did not approach land. [7]

Tropical Storm Blanca

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Blanca 2003-06-18 2020Z.jpg   Blanca 2003 track.png
DurationJune 17 – June 22
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997  mbar  (hPa)

Tropical Depression Two-E formed when an organized tropical wave interacted with another disturbance near the southwestern Mexican coast early on June 17. The storm strengthened and became Tropical Storm Blanca 12 hours later. The storm moved slowly to the west and reached its peak on June 18 with 60 mph (95 km/h) winds. Although Blanca never developed a true eye, at its peak there was a ring of convection resembling one. Under the influence of strong shear from the southeast, Blanca began to weaken and move erratically. The storm degenerated to a remnant low on June 22 and lasted a further two days. There were no effects from Blanca on land. [8]

Tropical Storm Carlos

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Carlos 2003-06-26 1930Z.jpg   Carlos 2003 track.png
DurationJune 26 – June 27
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  996  mbar  (hPa)

Tropical Storm Carlos formed on June 26 from a tropical wave to the south of Mexico. It quickly strengthened as it approached the coast, and early on June 27 Carlos moved ashore in Oaxaca with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h). The storm rapidly deteriorated to a remnant low, which persisted until dissipating on June 29. [9] Carlos brought heavy rainfall to portions of southern Mexico, peaking at 337 mm (13.3 in) in two locations in Guerrero. [10] Throughout its path, the storm damaged about 30,000 houses, with a monetary damage total of $86.7 million pesos (2003  MXN, US$8 million 2003 USD). [11] At least nine people were killed throughout the country, seven due to mudslides and two from river flooding; there was also a report of two missing fishermen. [12] [13]

Tropical Storm Dolores

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Dolores 2003-07-05 1800Z.jpg   Dolores 2003 track.png
DurationJuly 6 – July 8
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1005  mbar  (hPa)

Convection developed within an area of low pressure embedded in a tropical wave as it moved west. The disturbance organized into Tropical Depression Four-E on July 6 well to the south-southwest of the tip of the Baja California Peninsula. It soon strengthened further into Tropical Storm Dolores as it moved to the northwest and reached its peak as a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). However, wind shear had an adverse effect on Dolores, and it weakened back into a depression 12 hours after becoming a tropical storm. The northwest motion brought it over colder water and it dissipated on July 9. [14]

Tropical Storm Enrique

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Tropical storm enrique (2003).jpg   Enrique 2003 track.png
DurationJuly 10 – July 13
Peak intensity65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  993  mbar  (hPa)

On July 10, a tropical wave formed into Tropical Depression Five-E. The storm became more organized and was named Tropical Storm Enrique the next day at an unusually high latitude. The storm continued to strengthen and at one point was forecast to briefly become a hurricane. [15] This did not occur as the storm reached its peak strength with 65 mph (100 km/h) winds. It maintained this strength before moving over significantly cooler water late on July 12. Due to the cold water temperatures Enrique rapidly weakened, despite favorable atmospheric conditions. The storm degenerated into a remnant low late on July 13 and continued to move west before dissipating after a further 3 days. Enrique had no effects on land, but there were two ship reports of tropical storm force winds. [16]

Tropical Storm Felicia

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Felicia 2003-07-18 2035Z.jpg   Felicia 2003 track.png
DurationJuly 17 – July 23
Peak intensity50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1000  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave passed over Central America on July 12 and started to become more organized two days later. It formed into a tropical depression on July 17 as it continued to move to the west. The depression became Tropical Storm Felicia the next day and as there was low shear over the system, the NHC predicted that it would become a minimal hurricane. [17] However, the storm remained disorganized and peaked with 50 mph (85 km/h) winds late on July 18. The storm gradually weakened under increasing shear as it headed west, weakening back to a tropical depression on July 20. The remnant low entered the central Pacific before dissipating on July 24 well to the east of Hawaii. Felicia had no effect on land. [18]

Tropical Storm Guillermo

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Guillermo 2003-08-08 2050Z.jpg   Guillermo 2003 track.png
DurationAugust 7 – August 12
Peak intensity60 mph (95 km/h) (1-min)  997  mbar  (hPa)

A weak surface low developed within a tropical wave on August 6 and the convection associated with it became isolated from that of the wave. The circulation of the system became better defined and a Tropical Depression, Seven-E, formed early the next day. Although the depression was initially forecast to dissipate quickly, [19] it became more organized as it moved to the west. On August 8 it became Tropical Storm Guillermo and it reached its peak strength with 60 mph (95 km/h) winds that day. It maintained this strength for a full day, until outflow from the developing Tropical Storm Hilda to its east disrupted its convection. The remnant low entered the central Pacific shortly before dissipating on August 13. [20]

Tropical Storm Hilda

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Hilda 2003-08-09 1835Z.jpg   Hilda 2003 track.png
DurationAugust 9 – August 13
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1004  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave developed persistent thunderstorm activity on August 5, which soon became more organized, forming into Tropical Depression Eight-E to the south of Cabo San Lucas. An impressive outflow pattern caused the NHC to predict an intensification to hurricane strength, [21] but strong easterly shear affected the system. The depression became Tropical Storm Hilda on August 10 but did not get any stronger than a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h). Hilda moved west-northwest before it moved over colder waters, which caused it to weaken. Low-level flow forced the weakening cyclone westwards and it dissipated on August 13, having never approached land. [22]

Tropical Depression One-C

Tropical depression (SSHWS)
One-C 2003-08-16 2320Z.jpg   1-C 2003 track.png
DurationAugust 15 – August 17
Peak intensity35 mph (55 km/h) (1-min)  1009  mbar  (hPa)

The only tropical cyclone to form in the central Pacific in 2003 developed on August 15, and resulted from an interaction between remnants of Tropical Storm Guillermo and a non-tropical low. Unfavorable wind shear prevented the development of the depression and weakened as it drifted to the west. It weakened to a remnant low on August 17 and never regained depression strength. The remnant passed just south of Johnston Atoll before it crossed the International Date Line on August 20. The storm had a minimal effect on the weather of the Hawaiian Islands. [6]

Hurricane Ignacio

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane ignacio (2003).jpg   Ignacio 2003 track.png
DurationAugust 22 – August 27
Peak intensity105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  970  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave organized into a distinct area of disturbed weather just south of the Mexican port of Manzanillo, Colima, on August 22 and gradually moved to the northwest. It became Tropical Depression Nine-E off Cabo Corrientes in the state of Jalisco two days later and under the influence of favorable atmospheric conditions rapidly strengthened. It was named Tropical Storm Ignacio on August 25 before it peaked as a 105 mph (165 km/h) hurricane on August 26, the first of the season. Ignacio entered the southern Gulf of California before it made landfall just to the east of La Paz, Baja California Sur. Ignacio weakened overland and dissipated early on August 28 over central Baja California. [23]

Due to the storm's slow movement, rainfall was high and the resulting flooding was severe, [23] and Ignacio was responsible for approximately US$21 million of damage. [24] Two rescue workers drowned in the flood waters brought by the storm and some 10,000 people were evacuated to shelters. [25]

Hurricane Jimena

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Jimena Aug 30 2003 2025Z.jpg   Jimena 2003 track.png
DurationAugust 28 – September 5
Peak intensity105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  970  mbar  (hPa)

On August 28, an area of disturbed weather within the Intertropical Convergence Zone developed into Tropical Depression Ten-E, some 1725 miles (2775 km) east of the Hawaiian Islands. The storm rapidly developed over warm ocean waters, gaining an eye shortly before it became Hurricane Jimena on August 29. The storm moved to the west, entering the central Pacific as it continued to strengthen. After reaching its peak strength with 105 mph (165 km/h) winds 800 miles (1300 km) to the east of Hawaii it began to weaken as a result of increased shear. The storm passed about 120 miles (195 km) to the south of the southern tip of Hawaii on September 1, just after losing hurricane strength. The storm then moved west, south of the archipelago, becoming a tropical depression on September 3. The weakening Jimena crossed the International Date Line before dissipating on September 5. [26]

The storm brought 6 to 10 inches (150 to 250 mm) of rain and 11 foot (3.3 m) surf to the island of Hawaii. There were also tropical storm force winds recorded on several of the Hawaiian Islands, but there was no significant damage. [27]

Tropical Storm Kevin

Tropical storm (SSHWS)
Kevin 2003-09-04 2035Z.jpg   Kevin 2003 track.png
DurationSeptember 3 – September 6
Peak intensity40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1000  mbar  (hPa)

A large low pressure area developed within a tropical wave and organized slowly into Tropical Depression Eleven-E on September 3 south-southwest of the tip of Baja California. The broad wind field prevented rapid intensification and the system reached tropical storm strength on September 4. Although wind shear was light, Kevin weakened into a depression after just six hours, as it moved over colder waters. On September 6 the system degenerated to a non-convective low pressure area, which managed to survive for four days before finally dissipating. Tropical Storm Kevin had no effects on land. [28]

Hurricane Linda

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Linda 2003-09-15 1850Z.jpg   Linda 2003 track.png
DurationSeptember 13 – September 17
Peak intensity75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  987  mbar  (hPa)

Convection began to increase in a tropical wave on September 9 and a few days later a surface low developed. On September 12 it organized into Tropical Depression Twelve-E to the southwest of the Mexican port of Manzanillo, Colima. The cyclone moved to the northwest, becoming a tropical storm on September 14 before reaching its peak strength as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph (120 km/h) winds. The National Hurricane Center predicted further strengthening, [29] but this did not occur and Linda weakened back to a tropical storm after just 12 hours as a hurricane. As the storm continued to weaken it turned to the west and then to the southwest, becoming a tropical depression on September 17. The remnant drifted to the southwest and finally dissipated on September 26. There were no reports of any effects from this storm. [30]

Hurricane Marty

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Marty 2003-09-22 0925Z.jpg   Marty 2003 track.png
DurationSeptember 18 – September 24
Peak intensity100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  970  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave moved into the Pacific Ocean on September 10 and the convection associated with it gradually increased. By September 16, while the system was south-southeast of Cabo San Lucas, it organized into Tropical Depression Thirteen-E. The depression strengthened as it headed towards the Baja California Peninsula, becoming a tropical storm on September 19 and a hurricane two days later. Hurricane Marty reached its peak strength on September 22, just before it made landfall at Cabo San Lucas, when it was packing winds of 100 mph (155 km/h). After moving over the southern tip of the peninsula Marty moved up the western coast of the Gulf of California, gradually weakening as it did so. The storm weakened to a tropical depression on September 23 and dissipated two days later after meandering over the northern Gulf. [31]

Hurricane Marty was the deadliest storm of the 2003 Pacific hurricane season and was responsible for 12 deaths and either damaged or destroyed over 4,000 homes. It brought heavy rainfall to the entire region and some rain affected the Southwest United States. [31] A 5-foot (1.5 m) storm surge flooded parts of La Paz, Baja California Sur, and sank 35 yachts moored in various ports. [32] Marty was also the costliest east Pacific storm of the year and was responsible for US$50 million of damage in western Mexico. [24]

Hurricane Nora

Category 2 hurricane (SSHWS)
Nora 2003-10-04 2045Z.jpg   Nora 2003 track.png
DurationOctober 1 – October 9
Peak intensity105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  969  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave moved over Central America on September 25 and moved parallel to the south Mexican coast. It became more organized on October 1 and developed into Tropical Depression Fourteen-E to the south of the Baja California Peninsula. It continued to strengthen as it moved northwest in favorable conditions, becoming a tropical storm the next day. On October 4 it became a hurricane and reached its peak that day with 105 mph (165 km/h) winds. Nora made a sharp turn to the east and began to weaken, as the result of the influence of a mid-level trough and the outflow from Hurricane Olaf to the southeast. The cyclone rapidly weakened before it made landfall just north of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, on October 9. Nora dissipated over land soon after landfall. Hurricane Nora was the strongest storm of the season and brought heavy rain to the state of Sinaloa, but there was no significant damage or casualties. [33]

Hurricane Olaf

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Hurricane Olaf (2003).jpg   Olaf 2003 track.png
DurationOctober 3 – October 8
Peak intensity75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  987  mbar  (hPa)

A tropical wave became increasingly organized on October 2 to the south-southeast of Acapulco and developed into Tropical Depression Fifteen-E the next day. The depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Olaf six hours after forming as it moved to the northwest in a low shear environment. Olaf reached its peak strength as a minimal hurricane with 75 mph (120 km/h) winds on October 5 and developed a partial eyewall. The storm soon became disorganized and was only a hurricane for a few hours, before turning towards the Mexican coast. Olaf made landfall near Manzanillo, Colima, on October 7 and soon dissipated overland. [34]

The storm caused severe flooding in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato which damaged crops, roads and over 12,000 houses. However, there were no deaths as a result of Hurricane Olaf. [34]

Hurricane Patricia

Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS)
Patricia 2003-10-22 0520Z.jpg   Patricia 2003 track.png
DurationOctober 20 – October 26
Peak intensity80 mph (130 km/h) (1-min)  984  mbar  (hPa)

On October 20 the convection associated with a tropical wave became more organized, and Tropical Depression Sixteen-E formed to the south of Acapulco. It soon became Tropical Storm Patricia and reached hurricane strength on October 21, as it moved further west. 12 hours later, its winds had increased to 80 mph (130 km/h) and the NHC forecast further strengthening. [35] However, on October 22, increasing westerly shear caused Patricia to weaken to below hurricane strength. The storm weakened further to a depression on October 25, and it dissipated the next day, ending the season. Hurricane Patricia had no effects on land. [36]

Storm names

The following list of names was used to name storms that formed in the northeast Pacific in 2003. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray. No names were retired by the World Meteorological Organization, therefore this list was used again in the 2009 season. This is the same list which was used for the 1997 season except for Patricia, which replaced Pauline. The name Patricia was previously used in 1970 and 1974.

  • Andres
  • Blanca
  • Carlos
  • Dolores
  • Enrique
  • Felicia
  • Guillermo
  • Hilda
  • Rick (unused)
  • Sandra (unused)
  • Terry (unused)
  • Vivian (unused)
  • Waldo (unused)
  • Xina (unused)
  • York (unused)
  • Zelda (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 2003 are shown below; however, none of them were used.

  • Ioke (unused)
  • Kika (unused)
  • Lana (unused)
  • Maka (unused)

Season effects

This is a table of all the storms that have formed in the 2003 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 2003 USD.

Saffir–Simpson scale
TDTSC1C2C3C4C5
2003 Pacific hurricane season statistics
Storm
name
Dates activeStorm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min
wind
mph (km/h)
Min.
press.
(mbar)
Areas affectedDamage
(USD)
DeathsRefs
AndresMay 19 – 25Tropical storm60 (95)997NoneNoneNone
BlancaJune 17 – 22Tropical storm60 (95)997NoneNoneNone
Carlos June 26 – 27Tropical storm65 (100)996Southwestern Mexico89
DoloresJuly 6 – 8Tropical storm40 (65)1005NoneNoneNone
EnriqueJuly 10 – 13Tropical storm65 (100)993NoneNoneNone
FeliciaJuly 17 – 23Tropical storm50 (85)1000NoneNoneNone
GuillermoAugust 7 – 12Tropical storm60 (95)997NoneNoneNone
HildaAugust 9 – 13Tropical storm40 (65)1004NoneNoneNone
One-CAugust 15 – 17Tropical depression35 (55)1009NoneNoneNone
Ignacio August 22 – 27Category 2 hurricane105 (165)970 Baja California Peninsula, Sonora, California 212
Jimena August 28 – September 5Category 2 hurricane105 (165)970 Hawaii MinimalNone
KevinSeptember 3 – 6Tropical storm40 (65)1000NoneNoneNone
LindaSeptember 13 – 17Category 1 hurricane75 (120)987NoneNoneNone
Marty September 18 – 24Category 2 hurricane100 (155)970Baja California Peninsula, Sonora, Sinaloa, Arizona 10012
Nora October 1 – 9Category 2 hurricane105 (165)969 Mexico, Texas MinimalNone
Olaf October 3 – 8Category 1 hurricane75 (120)987Mexico, TexasMinimalNone
PatriciaOctober 20 – 26Category 1 hurricane80 (130)984NoneNoneNone
Season Aggregates
17 systemsMay 19 – October 26 105 (165)96912923 

See also

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The 2001 Pacific hurricane season was a near average season. The most notable storm that year was Hurricane Juliette, which caused devastating floods in Baja, California, leading to 12 fatalities and $400 million worth of damage. Two other storms were notable in their own rights, Hurricane Adolph became the strongest May Hurricane until 2014 when both records set by Adolph and Juliette were broken by Hurricanes Amanda and Odile. Tropical Storm Barbara passed just north of Hawaii, bringing minimal impact. The season officially began on May 15, 2001 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 2001 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 2001. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in this part of the Pacific Ocean. The first storm developed on May 25, while the last storm dissipated on November 3.

2000 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2000 Pacific hurricane season was an above-average Pacific hurricane season, although most of the storms were weak and short-lived. There were few notable storms this year. Tropical Storms Miriam, Norman, and Rosa all made landfall in Mexico with minimal impact. Hurricane Daniel briefly threatened the U.S. state of Hawaii while weakening. Hurricane Carlotta was the strongest storm of the year and the second-strongest June hurricane in recorded history. Carlotta killed 18 people when it sank a freighter. Overall, the season was significantly more active than the previous season, with 19 tropical storms. In addition, six hurricanes developed. Furthermore, there were total of two major hurricanes, Category 3 or greater on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale.

1997 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1997 Pacific hurricane season was a very active hurricane season. With hundreds of deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, this season was one of the costliest and deadliest Pacific hurricane seasons. This was due to the exceptionally strong 1997–98 El Niño event. The 1997 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1997, in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1997, in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1997. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when almost all tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

1993 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1993 Pacific hurricane season was a slightly above-average Pacific hurricane season with seven named storms directly impacting land. The season officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific, and ended on November 30; these dates conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. The first tropical cyclone developed on June 11, over a month after the traditional start of the season. The final named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Norma, dissipated on October 14. The Central Pacific Ocean saw very little tropical activity, with only one cyclone, Hurricane Keoni, developing in that particular region. However, many storms out of the season crossed the threshold into the Central Pacific, many as hurricanes, and even major hurricanes.

1992 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1992 Pacific hurricane season was the most active Pacific hurricane season on record, featuring 27 named storms, and the second-costliest Pacific hurricane season in history, behind only the 2013 season. The season also produced the second-highest ACE value on record in the basin, surpassed by the 2018 season. The season officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. However, these bounds were easily exceeded when Hurricane Ekeka formed on January 28 and again a couple months later with Tropical Storm Hali.

1991 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1991 Pacific hurricane season was a near-average Pacific hurricane season. The worst storm this year was Tropical Storm Ignacio, which killed ten people in Mexico. Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Ignacio injured forty people in Mexico, and Hurricane Fefa caused flooding in Hawaii. Hurricane Kevin was the strongest system of the season and became the then longest-lasting hurricane in the eastern north Pacific basin. Hurricane Nora was the strongest November storm at that time.

1990 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1990 Pacific hurricane season was a very active season which observed 21 named storms within the basin. The season also produced the fourth highest ACE index value on record. The season was officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. However, these bounds were slightly exceeded when Hurricane Alma formed on May 12.

1989 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1989 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15, 1989, in the eastern Pacific, and June 1, 1989, in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1989. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. A total of 17 storms and 9 hurricanes formed, which was near long-term averages. Four hurricanes reached major hurricane status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

1985 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 1985 Pacific hurricane season is the third-most active Pacific hurricane season on record. It officially started on May 15, 1985, in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1985, in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1985. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. At the time, the 1985 season was the most active on record in the eastern north Pacific, with 28 tropical cyclones forming. Of those, 24 were named, 13 reached hurricane intensity, and 8 became major hurricanes by attaining Category 3 status or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. At that time, the 24 named storms was a record; however, this record was broken seven years later in 1992, and was therefore recognized as the second busiest season within the basin, until it was surpassed exactly thirty years later by the 2015 season.

2007 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2007 Pacific hurricane season was a below-average Pacific hurricane season, featuring one major hurricane. The season officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific and on June 1 in the central Pacific, and ended on November 30; these dates conventionally delimit the period during which most tropical cyclones form in the region. The first tropical cyclone of the season, Alvin, developed on May 27, while the final system of the year, Kiko, dissipated on October 23. Due to unusually strong wind shear, activity fell short of the long-term average, with a total of 11 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 1 major hurricane. At the time, 2007 featured the second-lowest value of the Accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index since reliable records began in 1971. Two tropical cyclones – Cosme and Flossie – crossed into the central Pacific basin during the year, activity below the average of 4 to 5 systems.

Hurricane Jimena (2003) Category 2 Pacific hurricane and typhoon in 2003

Hurricane Jimena was the tenth named storm and second hurricane of the 2003 Pacific hurricane season. Jimena formed on August 28 in the far Eastern Pacific Ocean as a tropical depression and moved westward where it rapidly became a hurricane the following day. The storm moved westward into the Central Pacific Ocean where it became a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale. After reaching its peak strength as a Category 2 hurricane, the storm began to weaken due to increasing wind shear. Jimena brushed past the Hawaiian Islands before becoming a tropical depression on September 3. The weakening storm then crossed the international dateline before dissipating on September 5, becoming one of the few storms to cross both 140ºW and International Date Line.

2008 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2008 Pacific hurricane season was a near average hurricane season. It officially started May 15, 2008 in the eastern Pacific, started on June 1, 2008 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 2008. This season is the first since 1996 to have no cyclones cross into the central Pacific. Activity this year was near average, with 16 storms forming in the Eastern Pacific proper and an additional 1 in the Central Pacific. There were 7 hurricanes, a low number compared to the typical 9, and only 2 major hurricanes, unlike the typical 5. There were only a few notable storms this year. Tropical Storm Alma made landfall along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, becoming the first known storm to do so. It killed 9 and did US$35 million in damage. It also became the first tropical storm to be retired in the Eastern Pacific basin. Hurricane Norbert became the strongest hurricane to hit the western side of the Baja Peninsula on record, killing 25.

2010 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2010 Pacific hurricane season is the least active Pacific hurricane season, alongside 1977, since reliable records began in 1971. It officially started on May 15, 2010 for the eastern Pacific, and June 1 for the central Pacific, and officially ended on November 30. Unlike the previous season, the first storm of the season, Agatha, formed during the month of May. Agatha developed on May 29 near the coast of Guatemala. In the second week of June, a sudden spree of tropical cyclones developed, and between June 16 and 22, four cyclones formed, including the two major hurricanes of the season, Celia and Darby, the first of which reached Category 5 intensity. However, following the record active June, July saw zero named storms. In August and September only 2 tropical storms and one hurricane formed. Tropical Depression Eleven-E caused a great deal of flooding in southern Mexico, causing millions of dollars in damage, as well as causing over 50 deaths and $500 million in damage in areas of Oaxaca and Guatemala. Tropical Storm Omeka was a rare off-season storm.

2009 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2009 Pacific hurricane season was the most active Pacific hurricane season since 1994. The season officially started on May 15 in the East Pacific Ocean, and on June 1 in the Central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin. However, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year.

Hurricane Juliette (1995) Category 4 Pacific hurricane in 1995

Hurricane Juliette was the strongest hurricane and final tropical cyclone of the inactive 1995 Pacific hurricane season. The tenth named storm of the season, Juliette formed on September 16 from a tropical wave off the southwest coast of Mexico. For the majority of its track, the storm moved toward the west-northwest, and Juliette quickly intensified to major hurricane status. On September 20, the hurricane reached peak winds of 150 mph (240 km/h). Later it turned toward the northeast, briefly threatening the Baja California Peninsula, although the hurricane never affected land.

2013 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2013 Pacific hurricane season was the costliest Pacific hurricane season on record, with a total of about $4.2 billion in damages. The season produced above normal activity; however, the majority of the storms were weak. The season officially began on May 15, 2013 in the Eastern Pacific and started on June 1, 2013 in the Central Pacific. Both ended on November 30, 2013. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the eastern Pacific basin. However, the formation of a storm is possible at any time.

2014 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2014 Pacific hurricane season was a very active year, with 22 named storms developing, ranking it as the fifth-busiest season since reliable records began in 1949, alongside the 2016 season. The season officially started on May 15 in the East Pacific Ocean, and on June 1 in the Central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin.

2015 Pacific hurricane season hurricane season in the Pacific Ocean

The 2015 Pacific hurricane season was the second-most active Pacific hurricane season on record, with 26 named storms, only behind the 1992 season. A record-tying 16 of those storms became hurricanes, and a record 11 storms further intensified into major hurricanes throughout the season. The Central Pacific, the portion of the Northeast Pacific Ocean between the International Date Line and the 140th meridian west, had its most active year on record, with 16 tropical cyclones forming in or entering the basin. Moreover, the season was the third-most active season in terms of accumulated cyclone energy, amassing a total of 287 units. The season officially started on May 15 in the Eastern Pacific and on June 1 in the Central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Northeast Pacific basin. However, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. This was shown when a tropical depression formed on December 31. The above-average activity during the season was attributed in part to the very strong 2014–16 El Niño event.

2018 Pacific hurricane season Period of formation of tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean in 2018

The 2018 Pacific hurricane season produced the highest accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) value on record in the Eastern Pacific basin. With 23 named storms, it was the fourth-most active season on record, tied with 1982. The season officially began on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin, as illustrated when the first tropical depression formed on May 10.

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