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The 1968 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season
The JHWC at Honolulu issued a total of 30 tropical cyclone advisories during the 1968 season. One hurricane, 3 tropical storms, and 3 tropical depressions occasioned this increase to new record of advisories. However, the record had little meaning since many storms undoubtedly were not detected before 1966 when daily operational satellite coverage became available.
With the exception of Tropical Depression #18, all the storms were located near the eastern (140°) and western (180°) boundaries of the Central North Pacific.
No unusual weather related events occurred in connection with this tropical cylone activity .
Tropical depression #4 moved along the 15th parallel from 133.0W at 122100Z to 144.2W at 141800Z with no weather related incidents reported.
Tropical Storm ESTELLE developed from a depression first detected about 420 miles south of Acapulco. ESTELLE moved westward along 13N as a tropical storm to 120W. From that point it gradually weakened to a depression. The last advisory on the depression was written at 0000 GMT on August 1, locating it at 15.7N 141.8W.
Tropical Depression #8 had a life span only slightly longer than T.D. #4's. Number 8 was first located at 15.4N 126.0W andapparently dissipater 60 hours later near 21.7N 141.2W.
FERNANDA was the first hurricane of 1968 over the Eastern North Pacific. It evolved from a tropical depression which developed about 400 miles southwest of Acapulco on the 4th. Tropical storm intensity was reached early on the 6th after a 500-mile westward movement. The storm then moved west-northwestward at 11 knots and intensified to a hurricane early on the 6th after a 500-mile westward movement. The storm then moved west-northwestward at 11 knots and intensified to a hurricane early on the 8th when near 15N 118W.
FERNANDA next began moving westward at 12 knots and on the 9th weakened to a tropical storm. She then turned toward the northwest on the 11th with continued weakening indicated by satellite pictures. The remnants of the dissipating storm .crossed 140W near 21N on the morning of the 13th. The last advisory on FERNANDA was issued at 0000 GMT on the 15th placing the center of te dissipating vortex at 23.0N 143.2W.
The next cyclone to move into Central North Pacific waters from the Eastern North Pacific, Tropical Storm KATHLEEN, made it a little further into JHWC territory--but not much. KATHLEEN formed in the same area as ESTELLE had one month earlier. This cyclone had a longer life as a tropical storm than ESTELLE--about 72 hours, during which time the DENBY GRANGE recorded 40-knot winds and a 1003 mb (29.62") pressure north of the center.
However, when KATHLEEN reached the 140th meridian she also weakened to a depression and apparently dissipated near 17.0N
Tropical Storm VIRGINIA flared up briefly near the International Date Line. She was detected on the 24th some 350 miles northwest of Midway Island at 31.6N 177.9E. VIRGINIA generated 50-knot winds as she crossed the Date Line into the Central North Pacific, but within 24 hours cold air entered the system and it became extratropical near 38.4N 179W. The LICA MAERSK reported 40-knot winds on the 25th. This extratropical storm continued northeastward and reached the Gulf of Alaska on the 28th. Two of the higher winds encountered in the extratropical stage were reported by the PACIFIC TRADER, 55 knots on the 26th and b the SAVANNAH MARU 42 knots on the 28th.
Tropical Depression #18 was the only tropical cyclone of season located entirely within the Central North Pacific. It first located by satellite photos at 14.5N 162W and then moved harmlessly northwestward at about 15 knots to its last location at 20.7N 173.3W.