Typhoon Ioke started as all tropical cyclones do, as a depression—an area of low atmospheric pressure. After forming on 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. Ioke also performed another unusual trick, crossing the International Date Line on August 27, which by convention means the tropical cyclone was then called a typhoon instead of a hurricane.
This photo-like image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on August 28, 2006, at 1:30 p.m. local time (01:30 UTC). Typhoon Ioke at the time of this image had a well-defined round shape, clear spiral-arm structure, and a distinct but cloud-filled (or “closed”) eye. The University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Center reported that Typhoon Ioke had sustained winds of around 245 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour) at the time this satellite image was acquired.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained 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.