A hurricane is a destructive tropical storm that forms in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes collect heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters.
Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around the eye, which is a calm spot in the center of the storm.The diameter of the entire area that a hurricane covers is usually between 300 and 600 miles.
High pressure creates winds that flow into the low pressure area which is in the center of the hurricane. In the Northern Hemisphere, there is a counter-clockwise inflow at the surface. There is high pressure and clockwise outflow at the upper levels.
The mean (the one that occurs most often) track of hurricanes in the central Pacific passes to the south of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian hurricanes occur most often during the summertime. Storms that come from the east towards Hawaii usually weaken before hitting the islands.
Three major hurricanes...Dot, Iwa, and Iniki approached from the south causing substantial damage to Kauai. This is not a usual occurrence and also requires the absence of the semi-permanent ridge of high pressure to the north of the islands.
The occurrence of a direct hit in Hawaii requires the combination of many rare factors. Coupled with the small land area of the Hawaiian Islands, it makes it very difficult for a hurricane to make landfall in Hawaii.