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May-June 2011

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Eastern North Pacific Hurricanes 2010: Flooding in a Slow Season

With contributions from Lixion Avila, Robbie Berg, John L. Beven II, Eric Blake, Mike Brennan, Dan Brown, John Cangialosi, Todd Kimberlain, and Richard Pasch

The 2010 Eastern North Pacific hurricane season was historically the least active season on record (Table 1). Only seven named storms developed, which is the lowest number observed since routine satellite reconnaissance of that basin began in 1971. Furthermore, only three of those storms became hurricanes, which is also the lowest number of hurricanes ever observed in a season. Two of the hurricanes became major hurricanes, category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which was 50 percent of the long-term average. There were five additional tropical depressions. The accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index was only 46 percent of the long-term median. This is the third lowest ACE value, ahead of only the 2007 and 1977 seasons. Although the ACE through the end of June was the second highest value observed, the ACE for the remainder of the season from July through November was by far the lowest value ever observed.

STACY STEWART is a Senior Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center. Special thanks to Lixion Avila, Robbie Berg, John L. Beven II, Eric Blake, Mike Brennan, Dan Brown, John Cangialosi, Todd Kimberlain, and Richard Pasch, all from the National Hurricane Center, for their assistance in writing this article. Much of the international data in this report was provided by the National Meterological Services of the countries affected by the 2010 eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones, and also from various media sources.

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