The 2016 Pacific hurricane season was tied as the fifth-most active season on record, alongside the 2014 season. Throughout the course of the year, a total of 22 named storms, 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes were observed within the basin. Although the season was very active, it was considerably less active than the previous season; featuring sporadic periods of inactivity, particularly at the beginning and towards the end of the season. It officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin. However, as illustrated by Hurricane Pali, which became the earliest Central Pacific tropical cyclone on record, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. After Pali, however, the active season had a slow start, becoming the first season since 2011 in which no tropical cyclones occurred in May, and also the first since 2007 in which no named storms formed in the month of June.
Hurricane Darby brushed the Hawaiian islands as a tropical storm causing only minor damage; while hurricanes Lester and Madeline also threatened to make landfall in Hawaii but weakened significantly before approaching the islands. Tropical Storm Javier and Hurricane Newton both made landfall in Mexico, with the latter being responsible for at least nine fatalities as it came ashore near Baja California Sur. Hurricane Ulika was a rare and erratic storm which zig-zagged across 140°W a total of three times. Hurricane Seymour became the strongest storm of the season, forming in late October. Finally, in late November, Hurricane Otto from the Atlantic made an unusual crossing over Central America, emerging into the East Pacific as a moderate tropical storm but dissipated shortly after.
On May 6, 2016, the Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN) issued its first outlook for the Pacific hurricane season, forecasting a below average season with 10 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes. On May 27, NOAA released their outlook, forecasting 13-20 named storms, 6-11 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes. NOAA admitted that this season would be difficult to predict because of changing conditions, but both organizations cited a dissipating El Niño and the formation of a La Niña event, which resulted in the prediction of a near-normal season in both basins. In the Central Pacific, about four to seven cyclones would form or enter within the basin, citing an equal 40% chance of an above-normal or near-normal season.