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The 1990 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season
Tropical Storm AKA was the first storm of the 1990 season to develop in the central North Pacific. Forecasters at the CPHC in Honolulu had been following a disturbed area SE of Hawaii for several days with the aid of satellite imagery. The disturbed area became increasingly organized and by August 6 in the area of 10N 145W began to show the early stages of development into a tropical cyclone. The CPHC issued its first advisory on Tropical Depression ONE-C at 072100Z near 11N 150W. TD1C quickly gained strength and was upgraded to a Tropical Storm AKA at 080300Z. The storm continued to move west, a path which
took it well south of the Hawaiian Islands. The closest point of approach to South Point was 500 miles to the south at 090000Z with maximum sustained winds of 45 kt near the center.
AKA reached its peak intensity of 55 kt near 11N 165W early on the 10th. AKA's track, up to now, was well south of the average climatological path taken by previous storms in the area. The storm began to move along a more West northwest track that took it about 225 miles south of Johnston Island at 110900Z. AKA did little to affect the weather on Johnston Island, except for a slight strengthening of the trade winds between 25 and 30 knots.
AKA crossed the International Dateline near 15N and the CPHC passed the warning responsibility to the JTWC on Guam at 131500Z. AKA continued on a West northwest track and passed south of Wake Island as a dissipating tropical depression at 151200Z. The JTWC issued its last bulletin on the moribund AKA at 151500Z.
Tropical Depression TWO-C was the second and only other tropical cyclone to be initially classified in the central North Pacific during the 1990 season. A disturbance near 11N 142.5W was named TWO-C at 1800Z on August 10 when visual satellite imagery showed that the disturbance had become much better organized overnight. TD2C moved in a west northwest direction for the next 18 hours and then changed to a south of west track near 12N 145W about 111800Z. It continued toward the west southwest until 120600Z and then turned toward the west. Hurricane reconnaissance aircraft flew a low level investigative mission on TD2C during the daylight hours of the 12th and could find no identifiable circulation. Accordingly, the CPHC issued its last advisory on the dissipated TWO-C at 130300Z, about 600 miles south southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
Early during the month of September, the monsoonal trough stretched from the Philippines all the way across the Pacific to the Central American coast. MARIE had its beginning as a disturbance embedded in the trough about September 6. The NHC named the system Tropical Depression SIXTEEN-E at 072100Z as it moved toward the west at 9 knots. TD16E showed rapid development and was upgraded to Tropical Storm MARIE at 082100Z and to Hurricane MARIE at 090300Z near 14N 129W while moving toward the west northwest at 10 knots. MARIE continued to intensify and peaked between 110000Z and 111200Z near 15N 133W with maximum sustained winds estimated at 125 knots.
Hurricane MARIE crossed into the central North Pacific from the eastern North Pacific near 17N 140W at 140600Z. Maximum sustained winds at this time were estimated at 100 knots and MARIE was showing a well defined eye. MARIE remained a steady state hurricane for another 48 hours through 161200Z after resuming a course toward the west northwest. During this time, MARIE was being drawn to the north by a trough racing eastward in the mid latitudes to its north and began to weaken.
A tropical storm watch was issued for the Big Island of Hawaii at 170300Z when MARIE was 340 miles east southeast of Hilo. The forecast track, at this time, took the storm to the south of the Big Island. Air Force aerial reconnaissance crews began to make fixes and gather data on MARIE about 170400Z and found that the cyclone was continuing to weaken. MARIE was downgraded to a tropical storm at 170600Z. MARIE had moved to within 230 miles of Hilo by 171800Z and the tropical storm watch was upgraded to a tropical storm warning at 172100Z. A tropical storm watch was also issued at this time for Maui County. During this time, an upper level anticyclone developed between the storm and the mid latitude trough to the north and began to steer MARIE toward the west southwest.
Aerial reconnaissance data continued to show a steady weakening trend as MARIE moved west southwest and the tropical storm warning for the Big Island was downgraded to a watch at 182100Z. MARIE was downgraded to a tropical depression at 190000Z, resulting in the cancellation of the tropical storm watches for Hawaii and Maui counties and of the high surf advisory for the southeast coast of the Big Island. Tropical Depression MARIE continued west and at 190600Z passed within 180 miles of South Point, Hawaii. The depression dissipated near 16N 160W at 210000Z.
The CPHC in Honolulu inherited rapidly weakening Tropical Storm POLO from the NHC as October began. POLO crossed into the central North Pacific near 16N 140W moving on a northwesterly course at 010000Z. At this point, southwest winds aloft were pulling the upper portion of POLO toward the northeast. At at lower levels the trade wind flow to the south of the subtropical high was carrying the weakening low level circulation west and later to the southwest. The shearing process was too much for POLO and at 011200Z it was downgraded to a tropical depression. The CPHC issued its final bulletin at 011800Z on a dissipating POLO far to the southeast of Hawaii near 15N 144W.