Federal officials report that Hawaii and the surrounding central Pacific Ocean region saw just one tropical cyclone pass through the area during the 2022 hurricane season, which ended Wednesday, amid persistent La Niña conditions.

That lone cyclone was Darby, which entered the Central Pacific basin in mid July as a Category 2 hurricane and then dissipated south of Hawaii several days later, dropping heavy rains onto the Big Island, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricane Douglas threatened to make landfall in Hawaii in 2020 but eventually missed the islands by a few dozen miles. The region saw just one tropical cyclone in 2022 amid persistent La Niña conditions. Courtesy: NWS/2020

That’s a smaller seasonal output than NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center had expected to see. In May, the center predicted between two and four tropical cyclones would enter the region during the season, which runs June 1 to Nov. 30.

Even two to four cyclones would have been a below-normal season for the Central Pacific, according to local NOAA officials.

A big reason for that prediction of a below-normal season was the sustained presence of so-called La Niña weather patterns this year in the Pacific, agency officials said. The pattern should lead to greater vertical wind shear, which makes it harder for hurricanes to develop.

At a briefing in October, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicted that the La Niña conditions would linger into a third consecutive year and persist through the spring.

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