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Weekly Wrap-Up: Powerful Hurricanes and Typhoons Churn Over the Pacific

By Michael Kuhne, AccuWeather.Com Staff Writer
August 10, 2014; 2:25 AM ET

While deadly floods and wildfires plagued portions of the western United States, several tropical systems developed, stirring the Pacific Ocean and bringing rough seas, high winds and heavy downpours to areas from Hawaii to Japan.

Early in the week, flash flooding claimed one person's life after heavy rains fell in San Bernardino County, California, county officials said. In addition, more than 4,000 people were stranded in the Oak Glen and Forest Falls areas due to flooding.

San Bernardino County officials provided food and shelter to some of the affected residents and campers in their area.

(Flood damage. Photo/ San Bernardino County Fire Department)

The rains were enhanced by monsoonal moisture flowing into the Southwest United States. More than 2 inches of rain fell in Oak Glen, and 3.2 inches fell at Twin Peaks.

California Highway Patrol reported numerous road closures due to flooding.

Firefighters across the Northwest continued to battle raging fires, which have burned through thousands of acres and displaced local residents.

The West remains plagued by intense drought, causing unfavorable conditions for fire personnel as they attempt to diminish the damaging fires across California, Oregon and Washington.

The Oregon National Guard flew over the Gulch Fire, roughly 15 miles east from Ashland, Oregon, and captured massive smoke clouds on Monday.

The Gulch fire forced evacuations of area campgrounds and caused travel delays at nearby roads. (Photo/Oregon National Guard)

In addition, several tropical systems strengthened over the Pacific including once-Super Typhoon Halong and Hurricane Iselle, which impacted Hawaii late in the week. Meanwhile, once-Super Typhoon Genevieve is spinning in the Western Pacific, and Hurricane Julio is moving toward Hawaii.

Halong intensified earlier in the week, and continued to barrel toward Japan. By Wednesday, the typhoon had weakened, but still poses a serious threat to life and property to portions of Japan.

While the outer rain bands and winds grazed Okinawa and Kadena Air Base, rain, wind and pounding surf increased from south to north across the rest of the Ryukyu Islands Friday night.

Halong was a tropical storm as it sideswiped Kyushu and slammed into western Shikoku over the weekend.

Typhoon Halong (Photo/ @astro_reid ISS)

In the Eastern Pacific, Iselle, a tropical storm, became the strongest tropical system to make landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii since 1950.

The historic landfall of the former Hurricane came late in the week, after the system continued on its track into the Big Island of Hawaii. Iselle slammed the island with flooding rain, strong winds and rough surf.

As of noon local time, 14.51 inches of rain was reported in Kulani, Hawaii, according to NWS.

By midweek as the storm approached, people began stocking up on food, water and supplies in preparation of Iselle, and another incoming storm. The high demand for water and other basic supplies created massive crowds at stores and dwindled stock.

On Iselle's heels, another system, Julio, continues to barrel across the Pacific and is expected to bypass Hawaii.

While one tropical system poses little threat, it strengthened into a super typhoon whirling its way across the International Date Line.

Former Hurricane Genevieve has achieved an extreme rare tropical feat that has been matched by only one other hurricane in the Pacific Ocean since 1950.

The formation of Genevieve as a tropical storm took place about 1,490 miles east-southeast of the southernmost point of Hawaii during the morning hours of July 25. It took until August 6 for Genevieve to become a hurricane as it approached the International Date Line.

RELATED:
AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center: Track, Official Advisories
INFOGRAPHIC: Is Iselle an Outlier From Historical Storms?
How Common are Tropical Storms, Hurricanes in Hawaii?

Genevieve, which formed in the eastern Pacific, intensified into a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday night EDT, then crossed the International Date Line, as it strengthened and became classified as a super typhoon a few hours later.

This satellite image of Genevieve, courtesy of NOAA, was captured midday Friday EDT.

Genevieve will remain over open waters and pose only extreme hazards to shipping interests until it gradually weakens through the upcoming days.

Contributions to this article were made by several AccuWeather Staff-Writers.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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