Skip Navigation Links
NOAA NWS United States Department of Commerce

The 1961 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season


At 0200Z on August 18 a mosaic of TIROS III photographs located this unnamed hurricane near 14.ON 170.0W, about 165 nautical miles south-southwest of Johnston Island. This imagery is considered to be a classic example, portraying the history of a hurricane which passed under an upper ridge and later had its upper portion sheared off by westerlies aloft. Although the storm must have passed under the upper ridge some 1000 miles to the east, a definite eye and a complete circular wall cloud as well as a close-in spiral band to the north and west remained. The thin outer cloud lines showed the diameter of cyclonic circulation to be more than 300 miles. At the time of the photographs the depth of the system was less than 20,000 feet at nearby Johnston Island.

A time cross-section made for Johnston Island would have been interpreted as the passage of a wave in the easterlies, without the TIROS verification of a vortex, since the sequence of pressure change, wind shift, weather and depth of the moist layer followed closely the model of an easterly wave as proposed by Riehl (1945).

This same TIROS III mosaic showed another vortex near 18N 159W. It was too near the photographic horizon for much comment except to note that its upper portion had also been sheared off.

Data concerning these two cyclones were first documented by Sadler (1963).


Tropical Storm PAULINE was located in the Eastern North Pacific near 21N 137W by a report on the 2nd near its center from the ship SARONIS encountering 60-knot winds. The intensity of the storm remained unchanged as it moved westward to a position near 22N 14W by the evening of the 3rd. PAULINE was tracked northwestward and westward on the basis of a few peripheral reports, while gradually losing strength. Early on the 4th it became a tropical depression near 24N 143W and then advisories were discontinued. The vortical remnant of PAULINE was followed westward to the north of Honolulu, where it dissipated on the 6th.

1961: Tropical Storm Pauline
Wind Speed
10/03/1200 22.1 140.2 45 Tropical Storm
10/03/1800 22.7 141.2 45 "
10/04/0000 23.4 142.0 45 "