Tropical Cyclone tracks from 1945 to 2006, showing a distinct gap at the equator Image by Wikipedia user Citynoise using NOAA data.

If you look at this map of tropical cyclone tracks, you'll notice that there's a gap in the central northern Pacific where tropical cyclones generally don't go. On the edge of that gap, you'll find the Hawaiian Islands. Further, although the islands are sort of in the fringes of the eastern tropical cyclone area, they're in a gap in that fringe -- tropical cyclones forming in the eastern Pacific track either north or south of them.

So, why don't tropical cyclones hit Hawaii?


1 Answer 1


There are at least two effects are at play here:

  1. Hawaii is a tiny speck of land in a big ocean; the odds of hitting any given spot in the Pacific with a storm in any given season is incredibly low.

  2. The waters around Hawaii are deep and generally relatively cold, they suck energy out of storm systems that pass over them causing cyclones to downgrade into tropical depressions before they hit the islands, so there are plenty of storms but few are still cyclone grade when they arrive.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ few references would help. $\endgroup$
    – user1066
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ @gansub Why? I didn't use any. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 16:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ash - That is exactly what gansub complained about. You didn't use any. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 1:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ash - How do you justify your answer ? Is this part of common sense or is there some peer reviewed work behind this ? $\endgroup$
    – user1066
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 11:02

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