Hurricanes and Tropical Storms - July 2016

Note: This report catalogs recent tropical cyclones across the North Atlantic and East Pacific and places each basin's tropical cyclone activity in a climate-scale context. It is not updated in real time. Users seeking real time status and forecasts of tropical cyclones should visit The National Hurricane Center.

North Atlantic

July marks a continuation of a record-long major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) landfall drought in the United States. The last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Wilma on October 24, 2005. This major hurricane drought surpassed the length of the eight-years from 1861-1868 when no major hurricane struck the United States' coast. On average, a major hurricane makes landfall in the U.S. about once every three years. The reliable record of landfalling hurricanes in the U.S. dates back to 1851.

July 2016 Tropical Cyclone Counts
Storm Type July 2016 July 1981-2010 Average Record Most for July
Period of Record: 1851-2016
Tropical Storm
(Winds > 39 mph)
0 1.1 5
(Winds > 74 mph)
0 0.4
Major Hurricane
(Winds > 111 mph)
0 0.1 2

East Pacific

July 2016 was a very active month for the East Pacific basin. There were seven tropical storms, five hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. This tied the number of most tropical storms and major hurricanes for July in the basin, and was the record most number of hurricanes, with reliable records dating back to 1949. The five hurricanes surpassed the previous record of four, which occurred in several different years — 1971, 1982, 1990, 1992, and 2008. There were no named storms in the North Atlantic basin during July; almost a total reversal of June when the North Atlantic had three named storms and the East Pacific had none. In fact, Tropical Storm Agatha, which formed on July 2nd marked the second latest date for the first named storm in the East Pacific Basin, only one-day shy of the record of Tropical Storm Ava that formed on July 3, 1969. Despite the very active July, only one tropical cyclone made landfall in the East Pacific basin.

July 2016 Tropical Cyclone Counts
Storm Type July 2016 July 1981-2010 Average Record Most for July
Period of Record: 1949-2016
Tropical Storm
(Winds >39 mph)
7 3.6 7
(1985, 2015, 2016)
(Winds >74 mph)
5 1.9
Major Hurricane
(Winds >111 mph)
3 1
(about one every three years)
(1978, 1985, 1992, 2016)
July 2016 Individual Tropical Cyclones
Name Dates of winds
>39 mph
Sustained Winds
Central Pressure
Tropical Storm Agatha July 2nd– 5th 45 mph 1003 mb N/A
Hurricane Blas July 3rd– 10th 140 mph - Cat. 4 947 mb N/A
Hurricane Celia July 6th– 16th 100 mph - Cat. 2 972 mb N/A
Hurricane Darby July 11th– 26th 115 mph - Cat. 3 962 mb Near Pahala, Hawaii
Tropical Storm Estelle July 15th– 22nd 70 mph 989 mb N/A
Hurricane Frank July 21st– 28th 85 mph - Cat. 1 979 mb N/A
Hurricane Georgette July 21st– 27th 130 mph - Cat. 4 952 mb N/A

Summary of July 2016 Events

Hurricane Darby formed from an area of low pressure off the southern Pacific coast of Mexico. Darby reached tropical depression strength on July 11th, tropical storm strength on the 12th, and hurricane strength on the 13th as the storm moved westward into the open Pacific Ocean. On July 16th Darby reached its peak intensity with sustained winds of 115 mph and a central minimum pressure of 962 mb. As the storm continued to move westward, it encountered an unfavorable environment and slowly weakened as it approached the Hawaiian Islands. Darby made landfall on Hawaii's Big Island on July 24th with winds of 40 mph. Darby marked only the fifth tropical storm strength, or stronger, tropical cyclone to make landfall in Hawaii since records began in 1949. Darby swept across southern parts of the state bringing heavy rainfall and localized flooding. The center of Darby passed within 50 miles of Honolulu, marking the closest a tropical storm or hurricane has come to hitting the capital city. Darby slowly weakened as it moved through Hawaii and became a remnant low by the 26th.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms for July 2016, published online August 2016, retrieved on November 21, 2018 from