Hurricane Ioke started as all tropical cyclones do, as a depression—an area of low atmospheric pressure. After forming August 19, 2006, the depression quickly developed into a tropical storm, the threshold for earning a name. Ioke is the Hawaiian word for the name “Joyce.” Storms and hurricanes in the central Pacific are unusual, but they occur often enough for there to be a naming convention, applied by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. The last named central Pacific storm was Huko in 2002. Ioke rose all the way to hurricane strength in less than 24 hours.
This photo-like image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on August 23, 2006, at 2:15 p.m. local time (August 24 at 00:15 UTC). Hurricane Ioke at the time of this image had a well-defined round shape and basic spiral-arm structure, but no clear eye or obvious strong thunderstorm zones (which often appear as “boiling” clouds). Nevertheless, Hurricane Ioke had sustained winds of around 185 kilometers per hour (115 miles per hour), according to the University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Center.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.
Ioke started as a tropical depression on August 19, 2006, and quickly became a tropical storm. Ioke was the first tropical storm to form in the central Pacific since 2002. It has since traveled more than halfway across the entire Pacific Ocean.