Englishman Hales smacked nine fours and a six to help the Strikers bolt out of the blocks at Bellerive in a match reduced to eight overs-a-side before rain caused it to be abandoned.
The 24-year-old took full toll of allrounder Evan Gulbis's only over, cracking four boundaries and the six after he was dropped by a diving Ben Laughlin when on 33.
He infuriated Hobart paceman Doug Bollinger (0-21 from two) when he top-edged two hook shots to the boundary in the fourth over.
Hales had Adelaide rocketing along at more than 16 per over before he was run out attempting to reach one of the quickest 50s in BBL history.
The visitors finished at 1-87 from six overs, opener Michael Klinger unbeaten on 32 (17) and Phil Hughes 0 (0).
The weather denied Hurricanes fans their only chance to see skipper George Bailey in action after he was released from the Test squad to play.
Persistent drizzle mean the the game was delayed by around an hour-and-a-half and reduced to eight overs per side.
Bailey had won the toss and sent the Strikers in, but only on the second attempt.
A local child's guest toss went straight to ground but was won by Strikers skipper Johan Botha before Bailey threw the coin in the air.
Bailey, though, is convinced Hales can be contained by Big Bash League opponents.
"That's a couple of innings now where I feel like he's a lucky Twenty20 player," Bailey said.
"He's a beautiful striker of the ball, he's a big strong man and he hits it really clean, but I think that the balls that sort of fly to third man, I've seen him do that a lot.
"There'll be times I think when he'll come off just through his brute force and power but I think there'll be teams that work him out as well."
Hales admitted to a slice of luck and said the No.1 ranking was far from his mind.
"I'm trying not to think about it to be honest," he said.
"My international career has started off nicely but this tournament's very tough and I'm going to be on top of my game if I'm going to do well in it."
Bailey is wary of the international rankings.
"There's luck in the game, isn't there, so you need that a little bit," he said.
"I don't know how they work them out.
"There's no doubt he's a very, very good Twenty20 player."