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The 1983 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season

July 31 - August 4, 1983 (TROPICAL STORM GIL)

GIL crossed 140W into the CPHC area of forecast responsibility as a tropical depression with sustained winds of 30 knots on August 1, 1983. GIL, only three days earlier near 15N 120W, had been a hurricane, but had weakened rapidly as it traversed the cooler waters between 120W and 140W. GIL, therefore, still possessed a well developed low level circulation as the CPHC took over and issued the first advisory on it at 010600Z near 21N 141W.

A slow gradual strengthening of the circulation was indicated as GIL moved West northwest over slightly warmer waters west of 140W with a forward motion speed of about 18 knots. GIL once again became a tropical storm with 35 knot winds near 21N 144W at 011800Z. GIL continued along a very regular track, crossing 155W near 21.7N at 030900Z, approaching the Hawaiian Islands from the east and heading in the general direction of Kauai. GIL strengthened slightly with maximum sustained winds estimated at 40 knots as it approached the Islands of Kauai and Oahu. The closest point of approach (CPA) to Oahu was 30 nm north of Kahuku Point at 031800Z. CPA to Kauai was 10 nautical miles north of Kilauea Point at 032200Z.

Air Force reconnaissance flights into the storm confirmed wind speeds between 40 and 45 knots within the northern semicircle. To the south of the center, over the Islands of Oahu and Kauai, winds remained light, ranging from calm to light southwesterly. Central sea level pressure was measured at 1011 millibars. This value, according to central pressure/maximum wind speed relationships for the CPHC area, likewise would suggest maximum sustained winds of 40 knots within the circulation. There was little or no damage on the Islands as a result of GIL's close passage. A few localized heavy showers did occur mainly over Kauai and heavy surf pounded the east and northeast shores of Kauai and Oahu, indicative of much stronger winds to the north of the center. Several small craft traveling between the West Coast and

Hawaii did experience minor difficulties. There may have been one casualty, a nineteen foot catamaran named HURRICANE with a crew of two left Long Beach on July 20 and had an estimated time of arrival at Honolulu of August 1. The vessel was still classified by the U.S. Coast Guard as missing at the end of August and is assumed to be a casualty of the storm. However, reports indicate that the vessel left port without radio equipment. Therefore no one had any idea where the vessel was once it left Long Beach.

After passing Kauai and now in a weakening trend, GIL continued west northwest up the leeward island extension of the Hawaiian chain. GIL passed just south of French Frigate Shoals at 042000 as a minimal tropical storm. No strong winds were reported on the automatic weather instruments on that small island as winds changed from northeasterlies gusting at 26 kt to southeasterlies with the lowest hourly pressure reading at 1014 millibars.

At 050000Z, GIL was downgraded to a tropical depression near 24N 168W. Later on the 5th, westerly winds to the south of the vortex center were no longer discernible and the advisories on GIL were discontinued. The remnant circulation, along with some heavy thunderstorms, passed about 150 miles south of Midway Island into the western Pacific late on the 6th and early on the 7th.

August 19-20, 1983 (TROPICAL DEPRESSION ONE-C)

Several tropical disturbances formed along an active ITCZ near 10N to the south of the Hawaiian Islands during the latter half of August 1983. One of these, on August 19, briefly developed a closed circulation and the CPHC began issuing advisories at 200000Z on this depression, TD1C, when it was located near 10N 161W with maximum sustained winds of 30 knots.

TD1C moved on a westerly path with a forward motion of 10 knots during the next 24 hours. In spite of high sea surface temperatures in the area, the depression did not develop further, but rapidly weakened and lost its deep convection. The last advisory was, therefore, issued by the CPHC at 201800Z with the dissipating center near 10N 163W.

August 30-31, 1983 (TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWO-C)

A disturbed area along the ITCZ near 11N 170W showed sign of developing a closed circulation on August 29, 1983. Satellite pictures the following day indicated further development as the disturbance travelled west northwest at 10 knots and the CPHC issued the first advisory on TD2C at 310000Z for a position near 12N 177W with estimated winds of 30 knots. Indications were that TD2C would intensify to a tropical storm. However, satellite water vapor imagery began to show the development of a weak upper trough in the westerlies with upper level dry air to the west of the Dateline over the area into which the depression was heading. As a consequence, further development was arrested and the forward motion toward the west northwest began to slow. Some signs of shearing also appeared as the low level circulation became void of the deep convection over the western semicircle. At 010000Z, the low level circulation drifted across the Dateline and the JTWC took over forecast responsibility for the system.

The JTWC issued several bulletins on TD2C as its circulation was near the Dateline on September 1 while gradually weakening. The remnant circulation was still discernible in the low cloud field over the ocean areas northeast of the Marshall Islands for a few days.

September 27-30, 1983 (TROPICAL STORM NARDA)

NARDA entered the Central Pacific on September 27 classified as a tropical depression with maximum winds of 30 knots. NARDA had been a tropical storm a few days earlier and had weakened on crossing the cooler waters between 120W and 140W. NARDA was following a westerly course along 17N. This was a track somewhat farther south than the paths followed by previous weakening systems, which had entered the Central Pacific earlier this season. NARDA, therefore, was moving over slightly warmer waters more favorable for redevelopment and along a track which posed more of a threat to the Hawaiian Islands.

NARDA, according to satellite data, began to intensify on crossing 140W. At 271800Z, when the first advisory was issued for a location near 17N 141W, NARDA was once more classified as a tropical storm with maximum winds of 35 knots and gaining strength. NARDA was moving at a forward speed of about 20 kt on a bearing between 275 and 280 degrees. Air Force reconnaissance into the storm at 290300Z and 290600Z found that maximum sustained winds had reached 60 knots. The reconnaissance report also indicated that an eye had developed, which confirmed that NARDA was close to attaining hurricane strength. NARDA at this time was located about 300 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii near 18N 151W.

Based on this intensification trend and on a forecast track close to or just south of the Islands, a Hurricane Watch was posted for all the Hawaiian Islands at 290700Z or 9 pm HST on September 28. The projected path near the Islands was based on a mixture of extrapolation, climatology, mid level steering, and output from the nested grid tropical cyclone model.

During the night of September 28, NARDA showed signs of weakening and of curving southwest as the low level and shallow steering flow took over. Daylight visual satellite pictures and aerial reconnaissance data confirmed this diminished threat to the Hawaiian Islands and the hurricane watch was subsequently discontinued at 291800Z or 8 am HST.

The center of NARDA passed about 150 miles south of South Point at 300000Z with maximum winds of 45 knots near the center. The last advisory issued by the CPHC on NARDA, as a weakening tropical depression, was issued for the 010000Z position near 15N 161W.

The effects of Tropical Storm NARDA on the Hawaiian Islands were minor and consisted mainly of higher than normal surf along the east and southeast facing shores. No known casualties to shipping occurred.

October 12-14, 1983 (TROPICAL STORM SONIA)

SONIA moved into the CPHC area around 1200Z on October 11, classified as a weak tropical disturbance. Twenty-four hours earlier, it had been downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression near 15N 135W and subsequently downgraded to a tropical disturbance as there was no sign of a closed circulation when near 14N 139W.

SONIA was carried in the marine bulletins as a tropical disturbance while moving west southwest near 10 knots over increasingly warmer waters to the southeast of the Hawaiian Islands. Encountering more favorable upper flow conditions, SONIA gradually regained strength and, at 130000Z, near 12N 144W, maximum winds were estimated to have reached tropical storm intensity of 35 knots and the CPHC began issuing advisories on Tropical Storm SONIA.

SONIA gradually assumed a more westerly path roughly along 11N, and, at this time, around 140000Z, was estimated to have maximum winds of 40 knots near its center. Late season storms located in this particular area are definitely a threat to the Hawaiian Islands. Therefore, the CPHC was closely watching SONIA. Sonia, however, was a small and not very well organized storm. It was now starting to feel the influence of the much larger and more intense RAYMOND, which was moving rapidly westward about 600 miles to the northeast. The close proximity to RAYMOND caused SONIA to gradually weaken, slow its forward motion, and merge into the convective cloud bands feeding into RAYMOND from the southwest. The last advisory on SONIA was issued at 141800Z with the storm falling rapidly apart near 10N 151W.

No effects of the storm were felt on the Hawaiian Islands, and no known maritime casualties occurred.

October 14-20, 1983 (HURRICANE RAYMOND)

RAYMOND was a large and powerful hurricane with sustained winds of 110 knots as the EPHC in San Francisco handed over forecast responsibility to the CPHC near 17N 140W at 140900Z. RAYMOND, during the previous 24 to 48 hours, had been moving rapidly west northwest at a constant speed between 15 and 20 knots, aiming straight at the Hawaiian Islands. At this forward motion speed between 6 and 7 degrees longitude per day, this large storm had the potential of affecting the Hawaiian Islands in only 36 to 48 hours after its center crossed 140W. Therefore, there was great concern as RAYMOND showed no sign of weakening but rather indicated a slight strengthening with maximum sustained winds of 120 knots and gusts as high as 145 knots at 141800Z.

RAYMOND now rivaled in strength such historical central North Pacific hurricanes as CELESTE in 1972 and SUSAN in 1978. RAYMOND, according to satellite imagery, showed an unusual large and well defined eye and a very symmetric, circular circulation embedded in deep and moist easterlies.

As a precaution with the weekend approaching, the CPHC issued a hurricane watch for the Hawaiian Islands at 150300Z. During the night of October 14-15 HST, RAYMOND considerably slowed its forward motion speed and started moving on a slightly more northerly course. RAYMOND's large clear eye started to become "fuzzy" in the nighttime infrared satellite imagery as the symmetric shape of the hurricane became more elongated along a north to south axis. RAYMOND was starting to feel the effects of the upper westerlies developing ahead of an approaching trough to the northwest of the storm.

It had now become apparent that RAYMOND was going to move north of the Big Island of Hawaii rather than south of it as earlier thought. This, together with the now obvious weakening trend, meant that there was less of a threat to the Hawaiian Islands. This weakening trend was confirmed by an Air Force reconnaissance plane, which checked on the storm on its way to the Islands from the West Coast. It reported flight level winds at 10,000 feet in the 60 to 70 kt range and an extrapolated sea level pressure value in the center of 968 millibars at 150445Z. This pressure value statistically would indicate maximum sustained winds near the surface of 90 knots for a tropical cyclone in the CPHC area.

The shearing stress on RAYMOND caused by the southwesterlies aloft pulled the storm northeast while the low level trades were pushing west. This shearing ,along with drier air entering the circulation, was now taking its toll and the weakening RAYMOND developed a substantial vertical tilt and a quite loose and asymmetric circulation. The differential pull also caused RAYMOND to slow its forward motion speed to between 5 and 10 knots.

Daylight reconnaissance investigation at 151635Z found the center of RAYMOND near 19N 146W with surface winds estimated near 80 knots. At 1400 HST or 160000Z, RAYMOND was downgraded to a tropical storm and the hurricane watch for the Hawaiian Islands was discontinued. RAYMOND maintained a very slow northwest drift performing several loops over the next 24 to 36 hours while weakening further. At 181800Z near 22N 155W, RAYMOND was downgraded to a tropical depression and was void of deep convection. It was now moving west and west southwest within the trade flow toward the Islands.

RAYMOND, as a weak depression, moved through the Hawaiian chain near Molokai at 201200Z bringing beneficial rains mainly ranging between one and two inches from Maui northward and some locally gusty winds to all islands. Gusts from westerly directions between 35 and 45 knots were reported on the Big Island during the afternoon of the 19th, but no damage was reported. As RAYMOND emerged to the lee of the Islands of Oahu and Kauai, it had pretty well dissipated. Other effects on the Hawaiian Islands were limited to high surf between 10 and 15 feet along the Kalapana and Kaimu Beach areas on the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii and at Hana, Maui. This surf did only minor damage and started to arrive at 152100Z or 36 hours after RAYMOND's center crossed 140W. No marine casualties occurred though the fishing vessel CRESCENT at 171250Z near 23.5N 146.4W, according to a report from the Coast Guard, lost some rigging and issued a MAYDAY as the vessel encountered 60 knot winds about 180 miles from RAYMOND's center.