3-5 Tropical cyclones expected this hurricane season - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

3-5 Tropical cyclones expected this hurricane season

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Jim Weyman Jim Weyman

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The start of hurricane season is just days away. And forecasters are expecting, more tropical cyclones this year than during last year's hurricane season.

2008 was usually quiet, with only one system developing in our waters. That was Kika which grew into a Tropical Storm last August before passing harmlessly to the south of the state.

Last year's quiet hurricane season was helped in part by developing La Nina conditions, which cooled the pacific waters.

Hurricanes need warm water to form and strengthen, among other things. And this year, forecasters are expecting a near normal season. Which would be 3-5 tropical cyclones - depressions, tropical storms or hurricanes.

But things could be especially busy after summer, as waters warm up from a developing El Nino conditions.

"It really is a concern, if we have an El Nino season, because with El Nino we have more hurricanes and late season hurricanes are possible. As we look back at history, Hurricane Ewa came at Thanksgiving, that was a strong El Nino year. So we have to be careful during the late part of the season, during October and November," said Jim Weyman, the director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

But while things are expected to be busy, forecasters are getting more help from technology. The latest improvements in hurricane models and monitoring, allow the experts to best predict the track and winds of a storm as it gets closer to our islands.

This year, hurricane watches will be issued 48 hours ahead of a storm instead of 36 hours like they have in the past. And warnings will go out 12 hours earlier as well. Giving people critical time to get final preparations in place for a storm.

Forecasters are prepared for hurricane season but are you? Now is the time to get your emergency kit ready, before hurricane season starts on June 1st.