Hurricane Darby in the eastern Pacific Ocean •

Hurricane Darby in the eastern Pacific Ocean

Hurricane Darby in the eastern Pacific Ocean NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over the eastern Pacific Ocean and acquired a true-color image of a strengthening Hurricane Darby. At the time, the storm had convection bands wrapping tightly around a large, cloud-filled eye.

Hurricane Darby was a strong tropical cyclone which affected Hawaii as a tropical storm. The fifth named storm of the busy 2016 Pacific hurricane season, Darby originated from a low pressure area that developed in the Eastern Pacific well southwest of Mexico during July 2016. It gained sufficient organization to be declared a tropical depression on July 11, and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Darby the next day. Further intensification ensued, and Darby became a hurricane on July 13. Over the next three days, Darby slowly strengthened to Category 3 status on the Saffir–Simpson scale, becoming a major hurricane. Cool waters and dry air caused Darby to weaken over the next three days, although Darby managed to restrengthen slightly on July 21 before weakening once again as the storm neared Hawaii. Just after midnight on July 24 (UTC; 2:00 p.m. on July 23 HST), Darby made landfall on the Big Island, and weakened into a remnant low two days later.

Darby was the second tropical storm to make landfall in Hawaii in two years. Before landfall, tropical storm watches and warnings were issued for all of Hawaii, and were only discontinued after Darby weakened to a tropical depression on July 25. Over the period of July 23 to July 25, Darby brought heavy rain and widespread flash floods to the windward sides of the Hawaiian Islands, with storm rainfall totals exceeding 5 in (130 mm) on the Big Island and 7 in (180 mm) in Oahu. This resulted in some road closures, sewage spills, numerous flight cancellations, and minor property damage. Overall, no fatalities occurred during the passage of Darby.

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