By Lauren J. Mapp
There is a 70 percent chance of an above-normal number of tropical storms in the central Pacific region during this year’s hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center reported.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center predicts there will be five to eight cyclones in the central Pacific. In addition to tropical depressions, this also includes storms and hurricanes.
“This outlook reflects the forecast for El Nino to likely continue through the hurricane season,” said Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster. “Ocean temperatures in the main hurricane formation region are expected to remain above-average, and vertical wind shear is predicted to be weaker-than-average. All of these conditions point to an above-normal season.”
With El Nino conditions likely continuing though the summer and fall months, vertical wind shear is decreased in the central Pacific Ocean, leading to tropical cyclones being greater in both number and strength.
NOAA stated there is a 10 percent chance of a below-normal and a 20 percent chance of a “normal” season. There are only four or five cyclones in an average season.
Hurricane seasons starts up in the beginning of June and continues until Nov. 30.
“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 Hawaii,” said Chris Brenchley, Central Pacific Hurricane Center director.
Information about upcoming cyclones and storm warnings can be found online or through the National Weather Service. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also provides information on how to prepare for storms.
“It is essential that you know where and how to get official information,” Brenchley said. “In the event of a power failure, and that you have your emergency supply kit ready well before any storms threaten.”