Pali initially formed on 31 December 2015, as a tropical depression about 1850 miles to the SW of Honolulu. Pali moved toward the NW and on the evening of January 7th (Local Hawaii time) became a tropical storm with winds of 45 mph while located about 800 miles SW of Honolulu. Thereafter Pali took a meandering slow track toward the west and then southwest and south southeast over the following 4 days. Gradually the TS organized and intensified into a Hurricane by late afternoon on the 11th.
Pali remained hurricane and intensified to a Category 2 hurricane on the 12th. Thru the 13th Pali continue to meander SOUTH towards the equator. Its position was now within 3 degrees latitude north of the equator! Late on the 13th the combination of decreasing latitude (Pali was nearing the equator) and strong SW wind shear aloft cause a rapid weakening of the storm.
Today Pali is now a tropical depression near 2.5°N and 173.0°W. Pali is rapidly weakening and forecast to dissipate during the next 24 hours.
Here is a link The Life of Hurricane Pali to a movie on my YouTube channel of Pali's track from inception to its current demise.
From Byers and Riehl, Tropical cyclone characteristics are as follows:
- they have a greater chance to farm during the summer and fall seasons in either hemisphere.
- they form over the warmer waters of subtropical and tropical ocean basins, (Usually with ocean temperatures of 26°C or >)
- they have no warm or cold fronts associated with them.
- pressure and other properties (winds, rain) tend to be distributed symmetrically
- they are seldom observed within 5° of latitude of the equator, This is because the Coriolis force is important in their development.
What is the Coriolis force? It is an artifact of the earth's rotation. Basically "things" in motion on the surface of the earth experience a deflection of their motion due to the earth's rotation. In the Northern Hemisphere this deflection is to the right of the object's apparent motion. (In the Southern Hemisphere the deflection is to the left.) For a very good and brief explanation on Coriolis check out this link: What is the Coriolis Force ?