2016 hurricane season in Pacific will be 'slightly above average'

2016 hurricane season in Pacific will be 'slightly above average'
Published: May. 26, 2016 at 8:57 AM HST|Updated: May. 26, 2016 at 9:20 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a record-setting hurricane season last year, federal forecasters say the 2016 Pacific hurricane will likely be only slightly above average.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center meteorologists say four to seven tropical cyclones are forecast to form in the Pacific this season.

It will be "near to above normal tropical cyclone activity," said meteorologist Chris Brenchley.

More precisely, the center says, there's about a 40 percent chance the season will be above normal, a 40 percent chance it will be normal and a 20 percent chance it will be below normal.

The 2015 hurricane season in the Pacific was the most active on record, with 15 storms forming.

But even though this season is forecast to be less busy than last, forecaster say it only takes one direct hit to have a major impact on the islands.

"If we have a direct impact this year, even if it's just one cyclone, it's still going to be a big problem for the state," Brenchley said. "Get prepared now."

The season runs from June 1 to November 30.

Last year's busy season was blamed on a strong El Niño, which is now moving into an La Niña weather pattern.

La Niña could bring above normal rainfall to the state, but mainly to windward areas, said hydrologist Kevin Kodama, of the National Weather Service Honolulu.

Leeward sections are expected see more of what they've had since January -- severe drought.

For more information on how to prepare for the hurricane season, click here.

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