1985 Pacific hurricane season

Hurricane season 1985 in the Pacific Ocean

The 1985 Pacific hurricane season was an event in tropical cyclone meteorology. It officially started on May 15, 1985 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1, 1985 in the central Pacific, and lasted until November 30, 1985. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

1985 Pacific hurricane season
Season summary map
First storm formed June 5, 1985
Last storm dissipated November 21, 1985
Strongest storm Rick – 145 mph (230 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 28
Total storms 24
Hurricanes 13
Major hurricanes (Cat. 3+) 8
Total fatalities Unknown
Total damage Unknown
Pacific hurricane seasons
1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987

At the time, the 1985 season was the most active on record in the eastern north Pacific (breaking a short-lived record set in 1983), with 25 tropical cyclones forming. Of those, 22 attained tropical storm intensity, 12 reaching hurricane intensity and 8 becoming major hurricanes by reaching Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. In addition, three additional systems formed in the central north Pacific, of which one became a hurricane and another became a typhoon before re-crossing the international dateline.

Despite the activity, there were few notable systems this year. The only cyclone to make landfall was Hurricane Waldo, which caused damage in Mexico. Elsewhere, surf from Hurricane Pauline caused damage in Hawaii and either Pauline or the following system sank a sailing vessel.

Notable storms


Hurricane Pauline


Hurricane Pauline caused heavy surf along the Big Island, which washed debris up onto roads. There was no damage reported. It threatened the islands enough to prompt a hurricane watch, which means winds of 74 mph or higher are possible during the next 36 hours. However, the hurricane turned away.

Hurricane Rick


Rick was the strongest storm of the season, and at the time had the second strongest winds recorded in a tropical cyclone in the Central Pacific. It may also have contributed to the sailing vessel being overdue.

Hurricane Terry


Terry was a powerful major hurricane that formed by the 15th of September. It became a major hurricane fours days later on the 19th, but it did not affect land while doing so. It eventually dissipated due to hostile conditions on the 24th, without ever impacting land.

Hurricane Waldo


Tropical Depression Twenty Three-E formed from a disturbance on October 7. In an environment over warm waters (86 °F), it rapidly intensified, reaching Tropical Storm intensity the same day it formed. Waldo moved towards the Mexican coast. Just after peaking as a Category 2 hurricane on the hurricane scale, Waldo made landfall southwest of Culiacán. Waldo rapidly dissipated over land. Major damage, but no deaths were reported in Mexico. It was the season's lone landfall.

Hurricane Xina


The first recorded twenty-second storm of a season formed October 25. It strengthened into Tropical Storm Xina early October 27. Xina began to start tracing out a huge oblong loop beneath an anticyclone. Xina peaked as a minimal major hurricane on October 29. As it finished the loop and left the cover of the anticyclone, Xina started falling apart. Cool waters took their toll on the cyclone, and Xina dissipated on November 5.

Had the list of names not been extended, Xina would have been named "Alpha" instead. However, the anticipated exhaustion of the old list was averted, meaning that the east Pacific has never exhausted its list. Xina stayed at sea, and no casualties or damages were reported.

1985 storm names


The following names were used for named storms that formed in the eastern Pacific in 1985. No names were retired, so it was used again in the 1991 season. The name "Dolores" was misspelled as "Delores" in 1991. This is the same list used for the 1979 season, except for the added names. Storms were named Kevin, Linda, Marty, Nora, Olaf, Pauline, Rick, Sandra, Terry, Vivian, Waldo, and Xina for the first time in 1985. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Andres
  • Blanca
  • Carlos
  • Dolores
  • Enrique
  • Fefa
  • Guillermo
  • Hilda
  • Ignacio
  • Jimena
  • Kevin
  • Linda
  • Marty
  • Nora
  • Olaf
  • Pauline
  • Rick
  • Sandra
  • Terry
  • Vivian
  • Waldo
  • Xina
  • York (unused)
  • Zelda (unused)

One name from the Central Pacific list was used – Nele. It was the first usage for this name. One storm, Typhoon Skip, formed in the central Pacific but did not receive a name until it reached the west Pacific, therefore only Nele was used from the central Pacific list.

Later during the '80s, the added names were made a permanent part of the Eastern Pacific lists, and other names were added for even-numbered years.

Had the names not been added, this season would have been the first Pacific or Atlantic hurricane season to exceed the list, and had to have used a Greek letter named storm. This would not occur until the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which saw an unprecedented 28 storms and 6 Greek names.


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