Scientists Predict 5 to 8 Storms in a Busy Hurricane Season That Could Affect Hawai‘i
A mix of El Niño conditions, wind and warm weather means check those emergency plans now.
A VIEW OF 2018’s HURRICANE LANE FROM SPACE SHOWS THE EXTENT OF ITS CLOUD BAND, CARRYING HUGE AMOUNTS OF MOISTURE FROM AN EL NIÑO-HEATED OCEAN.
The 2019 storm outlook from NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center this month predicts a 70% chance of above-normal tropical cyclone activity during the central Pacific hurricane season this year.
Of course, since predictions include some educated guesswork, the outlook also indicates a 20% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.
For the June-through-November season, experts forecast five to eight tropical cyclones for the entire central Pacific hurricane basin although it’s not clear how they might affect the Hawaiian Islands. And that includes tropical depressions, storms significant enough to warrant being named and hurricanes.
The forecast for a normal season would be four to five tropical cyclones. “As we prepare for another active hurricane season in the central Pacific, we urge everyone to have an emergency plan now, so that you are ready for the devastating impacts that a tropical cyclone could bring to the State of Hawai‘i,” says Chris Brenchley, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Lane, which threatened a direct hit in 2018, then veered away from the state, still dumped 52 inches of rain and caused more than $250 million in damage.
Hurricane Lane as seen 300 miles south of the Big Island. This image was taken at 8 a.m. on Aug. 22, 2018.
“It is essential that you know where and how to get official information, even in the event of a power failure, and that you have your emergency supply kit ready well before any storms threaten,” Brenchley says.
Check the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s website throughout the season for the latest watches and warnings, and visit the National Weather Service and FEMA’s Ready.gov for hurricane preparedness tips.