Strong El Nino forecast for Hawaii

Strong El Nino forecast for Hawaii
Published: Aug. 13, 2015 at 7:31 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 18, 2015 at 1:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It could be a long hurricane season for Hawaii.

"We're looking at models that tell us this El Nino will become one of the stronger El Nino's we've seen in decades," said Chris Brenchley, NOAA Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

 That means the potential for more hurricanes, drought, and erosion in Hawaii.

"We have three main impacts from El Nino. One is what we're experiencing now, which is an active tropical cyclone season," said Brenchley.

Another impact is less rain and more drought, like what parts of Maui and the Big Island are experiencing right now.  That can have downstream effects like wildfires and flash flooding.

"The third one is a more persistent, high surf condition on the north shore during the winter.  We're talking about extreme big surf, some damage, some beach erosion and property damage from those types of events," said Brenchley.

Despite the potential conditions, it is not time for terror.

Noted Brenchley, "We're a small target in a big ocean, and so the number of times we get directly impacted is fairly low.  What we're most concerned about is it's such a low frequency but high impact if it does hit."

The best defense against severe weather conditions like hurricanes is preparation. Hurricane kits should be assembled. They should include a week's supply of fresh water, recommended at a gallon per day per person in the household.

Nonperishable food should be in supply. Flashlights, batteries and generators are also helpful.

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