LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) - A senior National Weather Service forecaster says Hawaii will have an above-average year for tropical cyclones that could cause significant damage.
Jon Jelsema says El Nino weather conditions foreshadow a busy hurricane season that officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30, the Maui News reports. He says a typical year for tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific Basin is four to five storms, but this year could reach up to eight.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center is expected to announce its hurricane season outlook Wednesday.
Jelsema told an audience Thursday at Lahaina's Civic Center amphitheater that Maui is very vulnerable to a major cyclone.
Jelsema says: "A Category 4 or 5 hurricane is going to be almost complete destruction. You're going to see almost every single tree out here either knocked down or uprooted. All the homes that don't have concrete foundations are going to be destroyed, even well-constructed ones."