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Central Pacific Hurricane Center facts for kids

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Hurricane Iniki
On September 11, 1992, Hurricane Iniki caused more than US$3 billion of damage in Hawai'i.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) of the United States National Weather Service is the official body responsible for tracking and issuing tropical cyclone warnings, watches, advisories, discussions, and statements for the Central Pacific region: from the equator northward, 140°W–180°W, most significantly for Hawai‘i. It is the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for tropical cyclones in this region, and in this capacity is known as RSMC Honolulu.

Based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, the CPHC is co-located with the National Weather Service's Honolulu forecast office on the campus of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The Honolulu forecast office activates the CPHC when tropical cyclones form in, or move into, the Central Pacific region. The CPHC replaced the previous forecaster, the Joint Hurricane Warning Center, starting in the 1970 season.

Area of responsibility

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Areas of responsibility, showing the CPHC's area, containing part of the Eastern Pacific basin (2) and Western Pacific basin (3).

The CPHC's area of responsibility is the Central Pacific (CP) region, which is an administrative region, not a meteorological one. It is not a tropical cyclone basin (a distinct area where cyclones form), but is still often referred to as the Central Pacific basin or Central North Pacific basin. The western edge of the area of responsibility, 180°W, is formally the antimeridian, though this coincides with the International Date Line for tropical latitudes, and thus these are often conflated. Meteorologically, this region covers the western part of the Eastern Pacific basin and the eastern part of the Western Pacific basin, though administratively the National Hurricane Center is responsible for the Eastern Pacific basin east of 140°W, and thus the Eastern Pacific region (EP) typically refers to region east of 140°W, not the whole meteorological basin. The region east of 140°W was formerly the responsibility of the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center; like the CPHC, it took responsibility in 1970, but it has now be folded into the NHC.

In this area, the hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30. Practically, storms may form in the Eastern Pacific region (east or west of 140°W) and move west, possibly affecting Hawai‘i, or in the Western Pacific basin and move west, possibly affecting Asia. Smaller islands may also be affected, though this region is otherwise very sparsely populated.

Forecasting system

Since the 1990s, the CPHC has used the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting System to create forecasts, advisories, and their associated graphics

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