NOAA warns Central Pacific could see busier than normal hurricane season
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - NOAA forecasters are predicting the Central Pacific will see a near-to above-normal hurricane season this year as El Niño conditions develop, warming up ocean temperatures in the Pacific.
The hurricane season in the Central Pacific begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
Chris Brenchley, director of Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said at a news conference last Thursday that the Central Pacific basin is expected to see four to seven tropical cyclones over the course of the hurricane season.
That figure includes tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
It doesn’t, however, say anything about many tropical cyclones will actually impact Hawaii.
And officials are quick to note it “only takes one” to leave behind major damage.
“If we look at the past several seasons, you can see it’s been very quiet for quite a few years,” Brenchley said. “And that may have lulled us into a sense of complacency possibly.”
Brenchley said there’s a 50% chance of a busier-than-normal season in the Central Pacific.
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Meanwhile, forecasters say the swing to El Niño conditions is already underway. El Niño conditions mean warmer temperatures in the ocean, which oftentimes translate to a busier Pacific hurricane season.
“It’s already getting warmer across the equator,” Brenchley said. “We see a lot of consensus in the modeling.”
At the news conference, Gov. Josh Green also urged residents to start preparing for the hurricane season now.
“Please do take these recommendations to heart,” he said, adding that preparedness is even more important now given the lingering effects of the pandemic on the health care system, which include a shortage of services.
“One serious storm that hits head on can do incredible damage,” he said.
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