After record-breaking hurricane season, 2016 expected to be tame - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

After record-breaking hurricane season, 2016 expected to be tamer

Tropical cyclones from the 2015 hurricane season (Image Source: NOAA) Tropical cyclones from the 2015 hurricane season (Image Source: NOAA)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

After a record-breaking 2015 hurricane season brought 15 tropical cyclones close to the Hawaiian islands, a national weather expert says the 2016 hurricane season won’t be nearly as wild.

Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, told Bloomberg that El Nino is fading, which means sea-surface temperatures will be cooler.

The weather phenomenon known as El Nino caused a warming of the ocean water, fueling the many of the storms that developed last year. However, persistently strong upper level winds from the subtropical jet stream sheared off the tops of the thunderstorms associated with the tropical cyclones, helping to drive them away.

Masters said a busy hurricane season like last year's likely won’t happen again as ocean temperatures between Hawaii and Mexico are already about 2 degrees Fahrenheit lower than a year ago.

“The parade of storms past the island state was unusual and probably won't continue into 2016,” Masters said.

The hurricane season for the Eastern Pacific begins Sunday, while the Central Pacific hurricane season starts June 1.

Forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said they are tracking how the ocean has been evolving and plan to announce the 2016 hurricane outlook on May 26. It's important to note that the outlook will address the total number of tropical cyclones in the entire basin, not whether or not one will get close to Hawaii. The closer these tropical cyclones get to the islands, the more likely they are to bring intense rainfall, damaging winds and destructive surf.

In the meantime, CPHC said it is always a good idea to be prepared ahead of time by having a disaster supply kit on hand.

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