Out-of-season tropical depression forms southwest of Hawaii

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An out-of-season tropical depression formed Thursday far southwest of Hawaii.

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An out-of-season tropical depression formed Thursday far southwest of Hawaii.

Tropical Depression 9-C — the 16th tropical cyclone of the 2015 Central Pacific hurricane season, was located 1,865 miles southwest of Kailua-Kona and circulating 35 mph winds as of Thursday afternoon, Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters said. It was moving west-northwest at 2 mph through 86-degree waters.

Forecasters say models are showing different scenarios for the cyclone: it could either dissipate within a few days or strengthen to a hurricane within four days thanks to warm ocean waters. Should it reach tropical storm status, the cyclone would be named Pali.

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The Central Pacific hurricane season ended Nov. 30. The last named storm to impact the basin was Olaf, which peaked as a Category 4 hurricane packing 150 mph winds as it entered the Central Pacific on Oct. 20 before tracking north-northeast and dissipating. Preceding Olaf were 14 other named storms during a record-breaking season in the Central Pacific basin.

Though not a common occurrence, storms have formed outside the June 1 to Nov. 30 season. The last time was Tropical Storm Omeka in mid-December 2010. Since 1960, when the world’s first meteorological satellite was launched, other occurrences were recorded in early June 2001, December 1997, January and March of 1992, April 1990, twice in June 1978, and January 1971.