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Hurricane Huko (also known as Typhoon Huko, international designation: 0224 (from the Japan Meteorological Agency), JTWC designation: 03C) was one of three named tropical cyclones to develop in the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility during the 2002 Pacific hurricane season. It formed on October 24 from a monsoon trough. The depression reached tropical storm strength on October 26 and became a minimal hurricane on October 28, but it soon weakened. Eventually, Huko was able to regain Category 1 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and maintained it past the International Date Line, becoming the second storm this season to cross the line. The system continued to hold Category 1 intensity until November 6, when it began weakening, ultimately re-curving back into the central Pacific basin as an extratropical cyclone. The hurricane caused light rainfall in Johnston Atoll, but in all, Hurricane Huko had limited effects on land.

Meteorological history

In late October, an active monsoon trough persisted south of Hawaii along 10°N latitude, developing an area of convection on October 24. Later that day, the disturbance was classified as Tropical Depression Three-C about 850 mi (Template:Convert/km) south-southeast of Honolulu. Initially poorly organized, it moved to the north and steadily intensified. The depression became Tropical Storm Huko early on October 26 while turning northwestward. Late on October 28, Huko reached hurricane strength, but its close proximity to Tropical Storm Lowell and a brief increase in wind shear weakened it back to a tropical storm on October 30.[1]

Shortly after turning to the west, conditions allowed for Huko to re-attain hurricane strength on October 31 while it was passing around Template:Convert/LoffAonD5Soff south of Johnston Atoll. On November 2, a ridge caused the hurricane to accelerate, and the next day it crossed the International Date Line into the West Pacific basin, becoming a typhoon. Upon crossing over, the forward speed of the typhoon increased to unusually-high speeds of Template:Convert/mi/h in response to the ridge. Despite favorable inflow patterns and warm sea surface temperatures along with a light shear environment, upper-level winds prevented the typhoon from strengthening beyond a peak of Template:Convert/mph. The lowest central pressure of the typhoon was 965 mbar.[2] The typhoon began to re-curve towards the northeast due to a weakness in the ridge on November 5. An increase in wind shear began caused Huko to weaken to a tropical storm on November 6. The next day, the storm transitioned into an extratropical cyclone.[3]Template:EPAC hurricane best track The extratropical remnants of Huko re-entered the Central Pacific Hurricane Center's area of responsibility south of Midway Island on November 9.[1] Hurricane Huko traveled roughly Template:Convert/LoffAonD5Soff.[4]

Impact, records, and naming

While passing near Johnston Atoll, the outer rainbands of the hurricane produced wind gusts up to Template:Convert/mi/h and locally heavy rainfall.[1][2] In addition, the typhoon brought heavy rains and winds gusts of Template:Convert/- to Wake Island.[5] Despite remaining well-offshore the Pacific coast, the hurricane was partially responsible for heavy rains to California. A small stream flooded in Bakersfield, causing $23,000 (2002 USD) in damage.[6] The remnants of Huko also brought severe weather to the region.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Andy Nash, Hans Rosendal, Brooke Bingaman, Treena Loos, & Jeff Fournier (2008). "The 2002 Central Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season". Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gary Padgett (2002). "Monthly Global Tropical Cyclone Summary: October 2002". Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  3. "2002 ATCR: Hurricane (HUR) 03C (Huko)". Joint Typhoon Warning Center. 2002. Retrieved June 6, 2008.  Template:Dead link
  4. Kitamoto Asanobu Labs (2008). "Digital Typhoon: Typhoon 200224 (Huko) - Pressure and Track Charts". Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2002). "Global Hazards and Significant Events: November 2002". National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved June 6, 2008. 
  6. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2002). "Storm Data: November 2002". National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved June 6, 2008.