Hurricane Ioke

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Hurricane Ioke
Typhoon Ioke
Typhoon (JMA scale)
Category 5 super typhoon (SSHWS)
Ioke 2006-08-25 0100Z.jpg
Hurricane Ioke at peak intensity west of the Hawaiian Islands on August 24
FormedAugust 20, 2006
DissipatedSeptember 12, 2006
( Extratropical after September 7)
Duration2 weeks and 4 days
Highest winds 10-minute sustained:195 km/h (120 mph)
1-minute sustained:260 km/h (160 mph)
Lowest pressure915 hPa (mbar); 27.02 inHg
(Sixth–most intense Pacific hurricane on record, record low in the Central Pacific)
FatalitiesNone
Damage$88 million (2006 USD)
Areas affected Johnston Atoll, Wake Island, Minamitorishima, Kamchatka Peninsula, Alaska
Part of the 2006 Pacific hurricane and typhoon seasons

Hurricane Ioke, also referred to as Typhoon Ioke, was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Central Pacific. The first storm to form in the Central Pacific in the 2006 Pacific hurricane season, Ioke was a record breaking, long-lived and extremely powerful storm that traversed the Pacific for 17 days, reaching the equivalent of Category 5 status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale on three different occasions.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

2006 Pacific hurricane season Summary of the relevant tropical storms

The 2006 Pacific hurricane season was the most active since 2000, producing 19 tropical storms or hurricanes. Eighteen developed within the National Hurricane Center (NHC) area of warning responsibility, which is east of 140°W, and one storm formed between 140°W and the International Date Line, which is under the jurisdiction of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC). Of the 19 total storms, eleven became hurricanes, of which six attained major hurricane status. Within the NHC portion of the basin, the season officially began on May 15, and in the CPHC portion, it started on June 1; the season officially ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the eastern Pacific basin.

The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS), formerly the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale (SSHS), classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds.

Contents

The cyclone developed in the Intertropical Convergence Zone on August 20 far to the south of Hawaii. Encountering warm waters, little wind shear, and well-defined outflow, Ioke intensified from a tropical depression to Category 4 status within 48 hours. Late on August 22 it rapidly weakened to Category 2 status before crossing over Johnston Atoll. Two days later favorable conditions again allowed for rapid strengthening, and Ioke attained Category 5 status on August 25 before crossing the International Date Line. As it continued westward its intensity fluctuated, and on August 31 it passed near Wake Island with winds of 155 mph (250 km/h). Ioke gradually weakened as it turned northwestward and northward, and by September 6 it had transitioned into an extratropical cyclone. The remnants of Ioke accelerated northeastward and ultimately crossed into the Bering Sea, and then the Gulf of Alaska.

Intertropical Convergence Zone

The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms, is the area encircling Earth near the Equator, where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge.

Hawaii State of the United States of America

Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania, the only U.S. state located outside North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.

Wind shear

Wind shear, sometimes referred to as wind gradient, is a difference in wind speed or direction over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere. Atmospheric wind shear is normally described as either vertical or horizontal wind shear. Vertical wind shear is a change in wind speed or direction with change in altitude. Horizontal wind shear is a change in wind speed with change in lateral position for a given altitude.

Ioke did not affect any permanently-populated areas in the Central Pacific or Western Pacific basins as a hurricane or a typhoon. A crew of 12 people rode out the hurricane in a hurricane-proof bunker on Johnston Atoll; the crew estimated winds reached over 100 mph (160 km/h), which damaged trees on the island but did not impact the island's bird population. The typhoon left moderate damage on Wake Island totaling $88 million (2006 USD, equivalent to $100 million in 2016 [1] ), including blown off roofs and damaged buildings, though the infrastructure of the island was left intact; all military personnel were evacuated from the island. Later, the extratropical remnants of Ioke produced a severe storm surge along the Alaskan coastline, causing beach erosion.

Johnston Atoll United States Minor Outlying Islands

Johnston Atoll, also known as Kalama Atoll to Native Hawaiians, is an unincorporated territory of the United States currently administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Johnston Atoll is a National Wildlife Refuge and is closed to public entry. Limited access for management needs is only by Letter of Authorization from the U.S. Air Force and Special Use Permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wake Island United States Minor Outlying Islands

Wake Island is a coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean in the northeastern area of the Micronesia subregion, 1,501 miles east of Guam, 2,298 miles west of Honolulu, 1,991 miles southeast of Tokyo, and 898 miles north of Majuro. The island is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States that is also claimed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Wake Island is one of the most isolated islands in the world and the nearest inhabited island is Utirik Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 592 miles to the southeast.

Alaska State of the United States of America

Alaska is a U.S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast. Its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest U.S. state by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America: its population—estimated at 738,432 by the United States Census Bureau in 2015— is more than quadruple the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy.

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale Ioke 2006 track.png
Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) spawned a tropical disturbance with a low-level circulation far to the southeast of Hawaiʻi in the middle of August 2006. Under the influence of a strong westward-moving subtropical ridge to its north, the disturbance tracked nearly due westward, with deep convection in the region increasing and decreasing on a daily basis. It slowly became better organized, and early on August 20 the disturbance developed into Tropical Depression One-C while located about 775 mi (1,245 km) south of Honolulu, Hawaii. At the time, there was no convection associated with the ITCZ within 10°  Longitude. [2] With wind shear practically non-existent and sea surface temperatures of around 82 °F (28 °C), conditions favored strengthening, [2] and operationally the cyclone was forecast to reach minimal hurricane status within four days before beginning to weaken. [3] The depression attained tropical storm status within six hours of developing. [2] The Central Pacific Hurricane Center designated the system with the name Ioke /ˈk/ , Hawaiian for the name Joyce. [4] Subsequently, Ioke quickly strengthened, and by late on August 20 the storm developed a central dense overcast and the beginnings of an eyewall; [5] early on August 21 the storm intensified into a hurricane, just 24 hours after first developing. [2]

Longitude A geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earths surface

Longitude, is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east–west position of a point on the Earth's surface, or the surface of a celestial body. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees and denoted by the Greek letter lambda (λ). Meridians connect points with the same longitude. By convention, one of these, the Prime Meridian, which passes through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England, was allocated the position of 0° longitude. The longitude of other places is measured as the angle east or west from the Prime Meridian, ranging from 0° at the Prime Meridian to +180° eastward and −180° westward. Specifically, it is the angle between a plane through the Prime Meridian and a plane through both poles and the location in question.

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.

Hurricane Ioke steadily deepened as it continued west-northwestward, with better definition of the eye and deepening of the eyewall convection. [6] Near the International Date Line a frontal trough turned the hurricane to the northwest, and after a period of rapid deepening Ioke attained winds of 135 mph (215 km/h) early on August 22 while located about 280 mi (450 km) southeast of Johnston Atoll. After maintaining Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale for about 18 hours, [2] southwesterly wind shear slightly disrupted the inner core of the hurricane, [7] and Ioke quickly weakened to winds of about 105 mph (169 km/h). Late on August 22, the hurricane passed about 30 mi (48 km) south of Johnston Atoll, [2] with the northeastern portion of the eyewall crossing the atoll early on August 23. [8] After turning westward later in the day, wind shear began to decrease, allowing a second period of rapid deepening. By August 24 the hurricane maintained a 23 mi (37 km) closed eyewall, [9] and on August 25 Ioke attained Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale while located about 970 mi (1,560 km) west-southwest of the Hawaiian Island of Kauaʻi. [2]

International Date Line imaginary line that demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next

The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line of demarcation on the surface of Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups.

Trough (meteorology) elongated region of low atmospheric pressure

A trough is an elongated (extended) region of relatively low atmospheric pressure, often associated with fronts. Troughs may be at the surface, or aloft, or both under various conditions. Most troughs bring clouds, showers, and a wind shift, particularly following the passage of the trough. This results from convergence or "squeezing" which forces lifting of moist air behind the trough line.

Kauai Island of the Hawaiian Island Chain

Kauaʻi, anglicized as Kauai, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of 562.3 square miles (1,456.4 km2), it is the fourth-largest of these islands and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle", Kauaʻi lies 105 miles (169 km) across the Kauaʻi Channel, northwest of Oʻahu. This island is the site of Waimea Canyon State Park.

Typhoon Ioke gaining strength after crossing the International Date Line on August 28 Typhoon Ioke 28 aug 2006 0130Z.jpg
Typhoon Ioke gaining strength after crossing the International Date Line on August 28

After maintaining Category 5 status for about 18 hours, [2] Hurricane Ioke weakened slightly due to an eyewall replacement cycle. [10] Completing the cycle on August 26, [11] the hurricane restrengthened to Category 5 status. The trough to its west tracked further away from the hurricane, allowing the subtropical ridge to build ahead of the hurricane which turned Ioke to the southwest. [2] The overall environment remained very favorable for sustainment of the powerful cyclone. Strong upper-level cyclones far to its northwest provided outflow channels and light wind shear, with warm water temperatures along its path. [11] With the conditions, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory hurricane model predicted Ioke to reach winds of 220 mph (350 km/h), with a predicted minimum pressure of 860 mbar (25 inHg). [12] Early on August 27, the pressure dropped to 915 mbar (27.0 inHg), and shortly thereafter Ioke crossed the International Date Line, becoming a 160 mph (255 km/h) typhoon. [2]

Eyewall replacement cycle

Eyewall replacement cycles, also called concentric eyewall cycles, naturally occur in intense tropical cyclones, generally with winds greater than 185 km/h (115 mph), or major hurricanes. When tropical cyclones reach this intensity, and the eyewall contracts or is already sufficiently small, some of the outer rainbands may strengthen and organize into a ring of thunderstorms—an outer eyewall—that slowly moves inward and robs the inner eyewall of its needed moisture and angular momentum. Since the strongest winds are in a cyclone's eyewall, the tropical cyclone usually weakens during this phase, as the inner wall is "choked" by the outer wall. Eventually the outer eyewall replaces the inner one completely, and the storm may re-intensify.

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory facility in Princeton, United States

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) is a laboratory in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). The current director is Dr. Venkatachalam Ramaswamy. It is one of seven NOAA Research Laboratories (RLs).

Unofficially referred as a super typhoon by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Ioke remained at the equivalence of a Category 5 hurricane for about 12 hours after crossing the Date Line. It then began a slight weakening trend on August 28, [13] due to increased inflow from the ridge to its north. [14] On August 29, the cyclone turned to the west and west-northwest while tracking around the periphery of the subtropical ridge, and Ioke again reached the equivalence of Category 5 status. [13] The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) assessed Ioke as attaining peak 10‑minute sustained winds of 120 mph (195 km/h) on August 30. [15] Later that day, the typhoon weakened to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane for the final time, and on August 31 Ioke passed very near Wake Island with winds of about 155 mph (250 km/h). [13]

By September 1, increased wind shear and drier air caused the eye of Ioke to become cloud-filled and elongated, [16] and by September 2 Ioke was undergoing another eyewall replacement cycle. [17] On September 2, Ioke passed about 50 mi (80 km) north of Minami-Tori-shima with winds of about 125 mph (200 km/h). [18] Gradual weakening continued, and the typhoon steadily shifted its track to the northwest around the subtropical ridge. A deepening trough turned Ioke to the north-northwest and north, [19] and the cyclone weakened to a tropical storm a few hundred miles east of Japan. After accelerating northeastward, the cyclone began losing tropical characteristics, and the JTWC declared Ioke as an extratropical cyclone on September 6. [13] The JMA maintained Ioke as a typhoon until a day later, and maintained Ioke as a tropical cyclone until it was declared extratropical midday on September 6. The extratropical remnants of Ioke were tracked by the JMA until September 7, when it was located near the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. [15] The storm deepened as it approached the Aleutians, and re-developed winds of hurricane-force. The storm entered the Bering Sea on September 8, and after turning eastward, crossed the Aleutian Islands and entered the Gulf of Alaska. The extratropical remnants of Ioke dissipated near southeastern Alaska on September 12. [20]

Preparations and impact

Data recorded at Wake Island during the passage of Ioke 1890000 Wake 09.01.06 Ioke.png
Data recorded at Wake Island during the passage of Ioke

Johnston Atoll

Late on August 21, about 24 hours prior to its closest approach, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for uninhabited territory of Johnston Island, [21] due to the uncertainty of whether anyone was on the island. [22] A United States Air Force vessel and a 12-person crew were on the island, and after securing their ship the crew took shelter in a hurricane-proof concrete bunker. [2] [23] There were no meteorological observations on the island, but the crew estimated tropical storm force winds lasted for about 27 hours with hurricane-force winds lasting six to eight hours; peak wind gusts were estimated at 110 to 130 mph (175 to 210 km/h). The crew sustained no injuries, and their ship received only minor damage. Hurricane Ioke, with a portion of its eye crossing the atoll, left an estimated 15% of the palm trees on the island with their tops blown off, with some ironwood trees blown over; the island bird population was unaffected. The hurricane produced rough surf which washed away a portion of a sea wall and an adjacent road. [2]

Wake Island

Typhoon Ioke near Wake Island on August 31 Typhoon Ioke Over Wake 2006.jpg
Typhoon Ioke near Wake Island on August 31

Under the threat of the typhoon for several days, two C-17 Globemaster III airlifters evacuated between 188–200 military personnel from Wake Island to Hawaii, the first full-scale evacuation of the island since Typhoon Sarah in 1967. [24] [25] A buoy just east of the island recorded a pressure of 921.5 mbar (27.21 inHg) as Ioke crossed directly over it. [26] Before the typhoon passed just north of the island, an anemometer recorded hurricane-force winds with a peak wind gust of 100 mph (160 km/h) before the instrument stopped reporting. [27] Sustained winds were estimated to have reached 155 mph (250 km/h), with gusts to 190 mph (310 km/h). [28] The minimum central pressure recorded on the island was 934 mbar at 0906  UTC on August 31. [27] The typhoon was expected to produce a storm surge of 18 ft (5.5 m) and wave heights of 40 ft (12 m) along Wake Island, where the highest point is 20 ft (6.1 m). Additionally, heavy rainfall from the typhoon left buildings flooded, with 2 ft (0.61 m) of standing water found several days after its passage. [29]

The powerful winds of Typhoon Ioke caused extensive damage to the island's power grid, leaving most power lines to buildings and backup generators damaged. The combination of the winds and storm surge flooding damaged 70% of the buildings in the territory, many of which with moderate roof damage. All low-lying areas were described as being covered with sea water or sand, and the territory was left without running water. [29] Communications were downed on the island, with satellite dishes and cables destroyed. [30] Damage to the infrastructure was extensive, though repairable and less than expected. [31] Damage on the island was estimated at $88 million (2006 USD). [32]

Japan and Alaska

The extratropical remnants of Ioke over the Bering Sea, west of Alaska on September 7 Ioke 2006-09-07 1300Z.png
The extratropical remnants of Ioke over the Bering Sea, west of Alaska on September 7

On September 1, the Japan Meteorological Agency ordered the temporary evacuation of its staff on Minami-Tori-shima, under threat of the typhoon. The agency expected high waves and winds on the island. [33] Facilities on the island were damaged, although it was repaired and fully operational within three weeks after the storm. [34]

The extratropical remnant of Ioke produced a storm surge and high surf in excess of 30 ft (9.1 m) along the southwestern coastline of Alaska, which coincided with the astronomical high tide; the combination led to minor flooding along Bristol Bay and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. [35] Wind gusts peaked at 84 mph (135 km/h) in Unalaska. [36] The system produced moderate to heavy rainfall across the western portion of Alaska, including daily rainfall records of 1.15 inches (29 mm) at Bethel and 0.67 in (17 mm) at Kotzebue. Rainfall continued into the southeastern portion of the state, contributing to above-normal rainfall totals near Juneau. [37]

Records and aftermath

Damage on Wake Island after Ioke Ioke-wake-damage003.jpg
Damage on Wake Island after Ioke

Hurricane Ioke became one of only seven hurricanes to reach Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale in the Central North Pacific Ocean. The others were Patsy in 1959, Emilia, Gilma, and John in 1994, as well as Lane and Walaka in 2018. With an estimated minimum central pressure of 915  mbar (27.019  inHg), the cyclone attained the lowest estimated surface pressure for any hurricane within the basin, [2] surpassing the previous minimum set by Hurricane Gilma in 1994. [38] Ioke maintained at least Category 4 status for 198 consecutive hours, which was the longest continuous time period at that intensity ever observed for any tropical cyclone anywhere on Earth. [2] Additionally, the cyclone remained at the equivalence of a super typhoon for 174 consecutive hours, which was also a record. [26] As a result of its extended duration and intensity, Hurricane/Typhoon Ioke accrued an accumulated cyclone energy index of 82, which set a new worldwide record. [39]

The United States Coast Guard first performed an aerial assessment of damage on Wake Island on September 2, three days after the typhoon struck. The flight indicated an overall damage smaller than expected, and reported a lack of oil spill or hazardous material leak. The U.S. Coast Guard arrived by boat with a team on September 7, with a preliminary damage assessment completed four days later; the team repaired a generator to provide power. [29] The United States Navy's combat stores ship, the USNS San Jose (T-AFS-7), and sixteen members United States Air Force's 36th Contingency Response Group at Andersen AFB, Guam arrived on September 8 and analyzed the stability of the airfield along with assisting in clean-up efforts, and after core tests workers cleared the runway to allow flights onto the territory. [40] On September 13, a group of engineers restored power on the island. [41] About two weeks after the cyclone, several buildings were operational. [31]

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center requested the retirement of the name, and in April 2007, the name Ioke was retired, and replaced with Iopa. [42]

See also

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This timeline documents all of the events of the 2013 Pacific typhoon season. Most of the tropical cyclones formed between May and November. The scope of this article is limited to the Pacific Ocean, north of the equator between 100°E and the International Date Line. Tropical storms that form in the entire Western Pacific basin are assigned a name by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Tropical depressions that form in this basin are given a number with a "W" suffix by the United States' Joint Typhoon Warning Center. In addition, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) assigns names to tropical cyclones that enter or form in the Philippine area of responsibility. These names, however, are not in common use outside of the Philippines.

Hurricane Hector (2018) Category 4 hurricane

Hurricane Hector was a powerful and long-lived tropical cyclone that was the first to traverse all three North Pacific basins since Genevieve in 2014. The eighth named storm, fourth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 2018 Pacific hurricane season, Hector originated from an area of low pressure that formed a couple hundred miles west-southwest of Mexico on July 28. Amid favorable weather conditions, a tropical depression formed a few days later on July 31. The depression continued strengthening and became Tropical Storm Hector on the next day. Hector became a hurricane on August 2, and rapidly intensified into a strong Category 2 hurricane later in the day. After weakening while undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle, Hector quickly strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane late on August 5. Over the next week, Hector fluctuated in intensity multiple times due to eyewall replacement cycles and shifting wind shear. Hector achieved its peak intensity on August 6, as a high-end Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph (250 km/h). On the following day, the hurricane bypassed Hawaii approximately 200 mi (320 km) to the south. Increasing wind shear resulted in steady weakening of the storm, beginning on August 11. At that time, Hector accumulated the longest continuous stretch of time as a major hurricane in the northeastern Pacific since reliable records began. Eroding convection and dissipation of its eye marked its degradation to a tropical storm on August 13. The storm subsequently traversed the International Dateline that day. Hector later weakened into a tropical depression on August 15, before dissipating late on August 16.

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