With June marking the start of hurricane season, officials urge preparation
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With June marking the beginning of hurricane season, the National Weather Service said the Central Pacific is expected to see a “near or below normal” season, in terms of activity.
NWS made the forecast in May, saying two to five tropical cyclones are expected to form in the Central Pacific during this year’s hurricane season — which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Officials said there is an 80% chance of a “near to below normal” season, but they advise the public to remain vigilant and to prepare in advance.
[Get prepared for hurricane season. Visit the HNN Hurricane Center for preparation tips and more.]
Last year, forecasters also predicted a “near to below” normal hurricane season, with two to six tropical cyclones. By the end of the season, two named tropical cyclones had ventured into Hawaii waters.
But one of those ― Hurricane Douglas ― had the state on edge in July.
It grew into a powerful Category 4 hurricane and forecast models had it passing right over the state. It eventually missed the islands by just a few dozen miles.
Although Douglas did not make landfall, it was the closest hurricane to pass Oahu to the north since official record keeping began in the 1950s.
The episode underscores a point officials said they try to make every year: It only takes one.
Furthermore, forecasters said storm effects may be stronger than usual due to climate change.
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