East Hawaii News

NOAA Predicts ‘Below-Normal’ Activity This Hurricane Season

May 22, 2013, 2:34 PM HST
* Updated May 22, 5:42 PM
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today predicted that the upcoming hurricane system will have fewer storms than normal in the central Pacific Ocean.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said it expected from one to three tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific in the hurricane season.

It said in an average season the area receives four to five tropical cyclones.

Tracks of storms in the area of Hawaii from 1949-1997. University of Hawaii image.

Tracks of storms in the area of Hawaii from 1949-1997. University of Hawaii image.

However, the center cautioned the public that the outlook is only a general guide to overall storm activity and does not reflect where or when these systems will occur, or their possible impact on Hawaii.

The state’s residents should always prepare for the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, NOAA officials said at a press conference today in Honolulu.

“I encourage the public to become weather-ready by signing up for weather alerts, developing a family emergency plan, and building an emergency kit before hurricane season begins,” said Ray Tanabe, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

“Just because the season is predicted to be “below normal” does not mean that a single storm cannot have significant impacts,” Tanabe said.

The center said the 2013 outlook calls for a 70% chance of a below-normal activity this season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of an above-normal season.

This NOAA image shows the cumulative tracks of hurricanes originating in the East Pacific from 1950-2005.

This NOAA image shows the cumulative tracks of hurricanes originating in the East Pacific from 1950-2005.

The outlook for a below-normal season is based upon the continuation of neutral El Niño conditions, which involves variations in water temperatures off the western coast of South America which can cause climatic changes across the Pacific. Hurricane activity in the Central Pacific Basin also remains on the low side of cycles spanning several decades.

Historically, the combination suggests a less-active hurricane season for the central Pacific, NOAA said.

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