Activity in the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center's (EPHC) area of responsibility was above average. There were 25 tropical depressions, one short of the record set in 1982, which had 26. The season began with the formation of Hurricane Agatha on May 22 and ended with the dissipation of Tropical Depression Twenty Five-E on October 25, spanning 147 days. Although it was nearly two weeks shorter than the 1985 Pacific hurricane season, it was six days longer than average. The EPHC issued 406 tropical cyclone advisories, which were issued four times a day at 0000, 0600, 1200, and 1800 UTC.
Hurricane Hunters also flew into three storms; Newton, Roslyn, and Estelle. In Newton, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted environmental research in the cyclone. According to the EPHC, the National Weather Service Field Service Station provided the East Pacific with excellent satellite coverage. Only one storm formed in the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's (CPHC) area of responsibility, Tropical Depression One-C. Six other cyclones entered the CPHC area of responsibility from the EPHC area of responsibility. In all, 17 systems formed, two storms above normal. There were also 9 hurricanes, one more than average. An average number (3) of major hurricanes was also reported.
During the months of May and June, four systems developed. In July, one tropical storm and two hurricanes formed. Five storms formed in August, though only two of them impacted any land. Towards the end of the season, cyclone activity declined somewhat. While five storms formed in September, only one formed in October.
Three tropical cyclones made landfall in 1986; the worst effects in Mexico were from Roslyn. Another storm, Hurricane Paine, caused minimal impacts at landfall, but its remnants were described as one of the worst floods in Oklahoma history. Flooding affected 52 counties in Oklahoma, which resulted in a total of $350 million in damage. In addition, Hurricane Estelle came close enough to Hawaii to require a hurricane watch. Two drownings were reported, and the total damage was around $2 million.
In addition to the 17 named storms, there were eight tropical depression during the season that failed to reached tropical storm strength, seven of which are listed below. The first, Tropical Depression Seven began as a large area of thunderstorms near Hurricane Estelle on July 17. Moving at a steady pace, the cyclone failed to intensify and attained peak intensity of 30 mph (50 km/h). Cool sea surface temperatures and its close proximity to Hurricane Estelle eventually caused the depression to dissipate late on July 18.
Tropical Depression Eight formed on July 21 while located 1,000 mi (1,600 km) southwest of the Baja California Peninsula. Initially moving west-northwest around an upper-level high, the depression peaked with winds of 35 mph (55 km/h). It dissipated on July 24. Another tropical disturbance first formed on July 24. An circulation developed two days later, and thus it was classified as Tropical Depression Ten. The cyclone remained a tropical depression for about three days before moving into the CPHC's area of responsibility on 1000 UTC July 27. A slow weakening trend began as the depression continued to move west at speeds of 30 mph (45 km/h). By 1800 UTC on July 29, it had became poorly organized around 1,000 mi (1,600 km) west-southwest of the Hawaiian Islands, and the final advisory was issued.
Tropical Depression One-C, the only tropical system originating from the central Pacific, tracked westward at a fairly rapid forward speed of 35 mph (55 km/h) on July 27. It is likely that the depression originated from the remnants of a Tropical Depression Eight that dissipated a few days earlier well to the east of 140 °W. Tropical Depression One-C failed to develop past the depression stage. It passed well south of the Hawaiian Islands on July 28. On July 29 at 0000 UTC, it had dissipated to the southwest of the Hawaiian Islands and the final advisory was issued.
An area of disturbed weather developed a circulation on August 12 and was respectively upgraded into Tropical Depression Twelve nearly 700 mi (1,100 km) south of the Baja California Peninsula. It drifted slowly to the northwest until it dissipated near 22 °N 110 °W on August 14. Peak maximum sustained winds were estimated at 35 mph (55 km/h). Tropical Depression Seventeen formed on September 8, 30 km (20 mi) east of Socorro Island and dissipated on September 9 over cold water without becoming a tropical storm.
One of the last cyclones of the season formed from a westward-moving tropical disturbance in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The disturbance moved at about 10 mph (20 km/h). The disturbance was declared Tropical Depression Twenty-One at 0600 UTC September 19. However the depression lasted for only six hours before dissipating, likely due to the close distance between it and Tropical Storm Madeline. Tropical Depression Twenty-Five was the final tropical depression of the 1986 season. It formed on October 22 at 1800 UTC near the 140°W line. Due to strong wind shear, the stationary storm had dissipated within 30 hours of formation. Even though no more official systems developed, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center remarked that an unnamed tropical storm may have formed in November.
Read more about this topic: 1986 Pacific Hurricane Season
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