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2014-15 Southeastern Pacific tropical cyclone season
First storm formed December 2, 2014
Last storm dissipated April 4, 2015
Strongest storm Fatih - 90 mph (145 km/h), 964 mbar (28.47 inHg) (10-min sustained)
Total depressions 33
Tropical cyclones 9
Severe tropical cyclones 2
Total damages $2.4 billion (2015 USD)
Total fatalities 600+

The 2014-15 Southeastern Pacific tropical cyclone season marked the start of reliable tropical cyclone records in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean, a region which does not usually experience tropical cyclone formation. Although the Southeastern Pacific Ocean did not have a set tropical cyclone season at the time, the first depression, Tropical Depression One, formed on December 2 and the last one, Tropical Depression Twenty-Nine, dissipated on April 4, both in the season timeframe, November 15 to April 15, set in later years. Thirty-three total depressions formed throughout the course of the year, however it is possible some of the depressions marked as such were really nothing more than low pressure systems. Nine of the depressions further intensified into tropical cyclones, or nameable storms. Two of them further became severe tropical cyclones.

Only one notable storm formed during the 2014-15 Southeastern Pacific tropical cyclone season, Severe Tropical Cyclone Fatih, which was also the only storm to cause any damages or deaths. It made landfall near Iquique, Chile as a storm the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS), killing over 600 people because of unexpected flash flooding in rural regions of northern Chile.


Season summaryEdit

Timeline of tropical activity in the 2014-15 Southeastern Pacific tropical cyclone season Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Tropical and subtropical cyclones were first reliably detected in the Southeastern Pacific this year because of an unprecedented relaxation in wind shear. On July 1, 2014, to concide with the start of the Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone year, the Chile Meteorological Service (CMS) deployed 15 geostationary weather satellites across the newly defined Southeastern Pacific basin. The satellites obtained tropical cyclone data in a much more reliable way than previous tactics had.

Nine tropical cyclones formed during the 2014-15 season. The first two storms, both unnamed subtropical storms, formed in January. At the time, subtropical cyclones were intentionally left unnamed by the CMS because the agency's meteorologists were still understanding the nature of them. However, they would be named in subsequent seasons. Following January, three tropical cyclones, including the first severe tropical cyclone of the season, Christian, developed in February. Afterwards, the final four tropical cyclones of the season, including Severe Tropical Cyclone Fatih, the strongest and only land-impacting cyclone of the year, and another unnamed subtropical storm, formed in March.

One unusual feature of the season was the lack of intensity fluctuation in all the depressions, except for Severe Tropical Cyclones Christian and Fatih. Another unusual feature of this season was that every tropical depression lasted only 24 hours, except for Tropical Depressions Eleven and Gunther.

List of stormsEdit

Tropical Depression OneEdit

This tropical depression existed from December 2 to December 3.

Tropical Depression TwoEdit

The depression existed from December 9 to December 10.

Tropical Depression ThreeEdit

Existed from December 23 to December 24.

Tropical Depression FourEdit

Existed from December 31, 2014 to January 1, 2015.

Subtropical Storm OneEdit

Subtropical storm (CMS)
Subtropical storm (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration January 4 – January 8
Intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min),  999 mbar (hPa)

On January 4, a subtropical storm was noted 500 miles west of Santiago, Chile. It moved to the east until January 6, before it recurved back out to sea. Ultimately, the subtropical storm dissipated on January 8 due to heavy wind shear without fluctuating in intensity at all.


Tropical Depression FiveEdit

The depression existed from January 6 to January 7.

Tropical Depression SixEdit

This tropical depression existed from January 9 to January 10.

Tropical Depression SevenEdit

This depression existed from January 14 to Janaury 15.

Tropical Depression EightEdit

The tropical depression existed from January 17 to January 18.

Subtropical Storm TwoEdit

Subtropical storm (CMS)
Subtropical storm (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration January 22 – January 27
Intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min),  997 mbar (hPa)

On January 22, weather satellites indicated the formation of a subtropical storm 400 miles northwest of Coquimbo, Chile. It moved generally eastward for the duration of its lifetime, dissipating on January 27 from cold sea surface tempaeratures (SST's).


Tropical Depression NineEdit

Existed from January 24 to January 25.

Tropical Depression TenEdit

Existed from January 30 to Janaury 31.

Tropical Depression ElevenEdit

Existed on February 2. The depression, lasting 18 hours, was the shortest-lived tropical cyclone of the season.

Tropical Cyclone ArnoEdit

Tropical cyclone (CMS)
Tropical storm (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration February 3 – February 9
Intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min),  984 mbar (hPa)

A tropical storm was first noticed on February 3 approximately 900 miles west of San Félix Island, Chile, and it would be named Arno by the CMS. After its formation, Arno moved northwards, being steered by a trough, until February 8. On that date, the storm turned westward, away from the trough, leading to its ultimate dissipation the next day due to high wind shear levels without ever fluctuating in its lifetime.


Tropical Cyclone BenjaminEdit

Tropical cyclone (CMS)
Tropical storm (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration February 7 – February 14
Intensity 110 km/h (70 mph) (10-min),  989 mbar (hPa)

Another tropical storm was noted through satellite imagery on February 7 roughly 1,000 miles west of the struggling Tropical Cyclone Arno. It was named Benjamin by the CMS. From its formation to February 11, Benjamin took a generally westward track. However, a through forced the system northward, where it degenerated into an extratropical cyclone and later dissipated on February 14 in an area of cool SST's.


Severe Tropical Cyclone ChristianEdit

Severe tropical cyclone (CMS)
Category 1 tropical cyclone (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration February 12 – February 22
Intensity 140 km/h (85 mph) (10-min),  976 mbar (hPa)

On February 12, a low pressure area spawned Tropical Cyclone Christian 700 miles west of Coquimbo. Steadily tracking eastward, Christian gradually intensified as it moved over warm SST's. During this time, the system's apperance on satellite imagery grew more symmetrical. After six days of strengthening, the system became a severe tropical cyclone, an intensity it would maintain four three days. Also, on February 20, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) declared Christian a Category 1 tropical cyclone on the SSHS because of an apparent eye on satellite imagery. However, on February 21, hours after reaching its peak intensity, the storm rapidly degenerated to a depression, which was evident on satellite imagery. The next day, Christian dissipated altogether 100 miles west of Coquimbo. Despite its proximity to land, no damage, deaths, or any impact was reported.

At its peak, Cyclone Christian attianed a minimum barometric pressure of 976 millibars (mb). This made it, at the time, the strongest Southeastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record. However, this record would be later broken by Cyclone Fatih's 964 mb pressure reading (which itself would be outstripped by Cyclone Friedhelm's 924 mb reading less than a year later).


Tropical Depression FifteenEdit

Existed between February 14 and February 15.

Tropical Depression SixteenEdit

Existed between February 19 and February 20.

Tropical Depression SeventeenEdit

Existed between February 23 and February 24.

Tropical Depression EighteenEdit

Existed between February 26 and February 27.

Tropical Depression NineteenEdit

Existed between March 2 and March 3.

Tropical Cyclone DieterEdit

Tropical cyclone (CMS)
Tropical storm (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration March 6 – March 10
Intensity 95 km/h (60 mph) (10-min),  991 mbar (hPa)

On March 4, a tropical wave detached from the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Moving southwards, it encountered low wind shear and warm SST's. Consequently, it intensified into a tropical cyclone on March 6, with the CMS naming it Dieter 750 miles west of Arica, Chile. After its naming, Dieter continued a southwards movement, gaining a better apperance on satellite imagery. However, on March 9, the storm encountered high amounts of wind shear, rapidly tearing it apart. By the next day, March 10, Dieter was no longer evident on satellites, and thus it was considered to have dissipated.

An extremely strange phenomenon occured with Dieter - it stayed on the same line of longitude for the entire duration of its existence.


Tropical Depression Twenty-OneEdit

Existed between March 7 and March 8.

Tropical Cyclone EmilEdit

Tropical cyclone (CMS)
Tropical storm (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration March 13 – March 17
Intensity 65 km/h (40 mph) (10-min),  979 mbar (hPa)

Weather satellite data indicated the development of a tropical cyclone (Emil) on March 13 1,100 miles north of the Antarctican Peninsula. After its development, Emil's convection significantly increased on March 14 as it moved eastward, particuarly around the center of the system. By March 15, Emil had become very organized on satellite imagery. On March 16, Emil was steered northward, and then westward by a strong trough in the open Pacific. Ultimately, the system was shredded apart by the trough and dissipated on March 17 without fluctuating in intensity at all.


Tropical Depression Twenty-ThreeEdit

Existed between March 15 and March 16.

Tropical Depression Twenty-FourEdit

Existed between March 19 and March 20.

Severe Tropical Cyclone FatihEdit

Severe tropical cyclone (CMS)
Category 3 tropical cyclone (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration March 21 – March 27
Intensity 150 km/h (90 mph) (10-min),  964 mbar (hPa)

On March 19, an extremely well organized tropical wave began paralleling Chile's western coast, being steered by a trough. Continuing to absorb moisture from the Pacific, the wave soon encountered a "sweet spot" of exceptionally warm SST's. On March 21, convenction had increased to the point the CMS designated the wave Tropical Cyclone Fatih 200 miles west of San Antonio, Chile. After its naming, Fatih continued moving northwards for another two days until the trough steered it out to sea. Next, on March 24, Fatih detached from the trough and began moving back eastward, completing a small cyclonic loop on March 25. Around this time, the JTWC began issuing advisories on the system due to the threat it posed to western Chile. Eventually, by March 26, Fatih had developed an eye on satellite imagery and was poised to intensify. Despite tracking over a region where SST's had been cooled from Fatih's erractic looping, the system explosively intensified, with the minimum barometric pressure of Fatih deepening 40 mb in barely six hours. Also, the JTWC assessed Fatih intensifying from a tropical storm to a Category 3 tropical cyclone during this timeframe. The cyclone did not weaken before landfall, and at 2300 UTC March 26 Fatih made a direct hit approximately 200 miles northwest of Santiago, Chile. The system weakened even faster than it intensified after landfall, weakening to a Category 1 tropical cyclone equivalent only six hours after landfall and then dissipating altogether three hours later.

At the time, the CMS had not developed a tropical cyclone warning system for the Southeastern Pacific. Consequently, many people were unprepared for Severe Tropical Cyclone Fatih's wrath. All the damage and deaths occured on a stretch of the Chilean coast between Coquimbo and Valparaíso. Although no siginificant damage occured in those two cities, hundreds of rivers in rural regions overflowed from torrential rainfall, causing $2.4 billion (2015 USD) in damage to the fishing industry and over 600 people drowned from mass flash flooding of houses and farmland. The number of fatalities made Fatih the deadliest cyclone in the history of the Southeastern Pacific.


Tropical Depression GuntherEdit

Tropical depression (CMS)
Tropical depression (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration March 25 – March 27
Intensity 55 km/h (35 mph) (10-min),  1004 mbar (hPa)

On March 25, a disorganized tropical depression formed 800 miles north-northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula. For its entire lifetime, the depression struggled to intensify admist the low pressure areas surronding Antarctica while moving generally southwards. Finally, on March 27, "Gunther" was absorbed into a stronger low pressure area.

An unusual feature about this depression was that it was named Gunther despite never reaching tropical cyclone intensity. This was because the CMS had operationally marked the depression as a tropical cyclone, but later downgraded it.


Tropical Depression Twenty-SevenEdit

This depression existed from March 26 to March 27.

Tropical Depression Twenty-EightEdit

This depression existed from March 28 to March 29.

Tropical Depression Twenty-NineEdit

The tropical depression existed from March 30 to March 31.

Subtropical Storm ThreeEdit

Subtropical storm (CMS)
Subtropical storm (SSHS)
Temporary cyclone south.png
Duration March 31 – April 3
Intensity 90 km/h (55 mph) (10-min),  985 mbar (hPa)

On March 31, a subtropical storm formed roughly 450 miles west of Callao, Peru. It initially began moving southward until April 1, when a high-pressure ridge forced the storm westward, and then northward on April 2, where it briefly developed spiral rainbands on satellite imagery before being sheared apart by wind shear and dissipating the next day. No intensity fluctuations occured during Subtropical Storm Three's entire lifetime.


Tropical Depression ThirtyEdit

Existed between April 3 and April 4.

Storm namesEdit

The following names were used to name tropical storms in the 2014-15 Southeastern Pacific tropical cyclone season. Beginning this year, to concide with the start of the basin's satellite era, the Chile Meteorological Service (CMS) developed two naming lists, slated to be rotated year after year. The list below was the first list devised by the CMS. All names on this list are masculine.

  • Arno
  • Benjamin
  • Christian
  • Dieter
  • Emil
  • Fatih
  • Gunther
  • Heath (unused)
  • Ianto (unused)
  • Joachim (unused)
  • Klaus (unused)
  • Louis (unused)
  • Mattathias (unused)
  • Nemo (unused)
  • Orion (unused)
  • Paolini (unused)
  • Quirin (unused)
  • Rolf (unused)
  • Sigurd (unused)
  • Tronje (unused)
  • Uranus (unused)
  • Valerian (unused)
  • Wilbur (unused)
  • Xaver (unused)
  • Yoda (unused)
  • Zeus (unused)

RetirementEdit

At the time this season occurred, the CMS did not retire names from its two naming lists. However, following the 2015-16 season, men's rights groups protested towards the CMS for only using masculine names on its naming lists. Consequently, one name - Fatih - was formally retired by the CMS for its impact on Chile. No replacement name was selected. Also, the protests led to the CMS developing alternating male and female names for the 2016-17. Thus, this marked the first and only time this naming list was used in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean.

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