East Hawaii News

Slightly Busier Hurricane Season Predicted

May 21, 2014, 5:54 PM HST
* Updated May 22, 3:53 PM
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Forecasters from the National Weather Service today predicted a slightly busier-than-usual upcoming hurricane season.

The agency’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center said between four and seven tropical hurricanes are expected in the Central Pacific in the season that lasts from June to November.

The center said there is an 80% chance of normal or above normal cyclone activity this year.

In a typical year, the Central Pacific Basin, which includes Hawaii, experiences four to five tropical cyclones.

The outlook for an above normal season is partly based upon the expectation that El Niño conditions are expected to develop this summer. El Niño involves variations in water temperatures off the western coast of South America which can cause climatic changes across the Pacific.

Hurricane Iniki, which made landfall on Kauai on Sept. 11, 1992, caused $3 billion in damage in today's dollars. NOAA image.

Hurricane Iniki, which made landfall on Kauai on Sept. 11, 1992, caused $3 billion in damage in today’s dollars. NOAA image.

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Since 1970, the Central Pacific has seen roughly six to seven cyclones during El Niño years, the center said.

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During that period the basin has seen an average of three cyclones in the years when El Niño’s counterpart, La Niña, has prevailed.

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.

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