NOAA: Central Pacific will see more hurricanes than average

May 26, 2015, 6:12 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — Forecasters say the 2015 hurricane season in the central Pacific region will see more storms than average because of warmer ocean water.

Tom Evans, the acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said at a news conference Tuesday that the prediction is based largely on current El Nino conditions in the region. El Nino is the warming of the water on the surface of the ocean along the equator, he said, and there are more storms on average during El Nino years.

“El Nino has been established, it’s out there,” Evans said. “We have the warm water and it’s been increasing over the last many months.” The El Nino conditions are expected to strengthen during the hurricane season, he added.

The prediction means Hawaii and the surrounding area will likely see between five and eight storms this season. There is a 70 percent chance of having an above normal season.

The central Pacific basin experienced 11 hurricanes each season in 1992 and 1994, the most on record since 1970, and no hurricanes in 1975, 1977 and 1979. However, Evans added that “it doesn’t matter if I forecast 11 or if I forecast one, all it takes is that one to cause some major impact and a lot of heartache and headache for people who are directly impacted.”

In 2014 there were five hurricanes in the region, which falls within the average of four to five storms per year. The last hurricane to directly hit Hawaii was Iniki in 1992. In 2014, Hurricane Iselle approached the island chain but weakened to a tropical storm just before making landfall. Two other major storms, Julio and Ana, barely missed the state.

Dennis Hwang, a coastal hazard mitigation specialist at the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant program, shared some of the lessons learned from the busy 2014 hurricane season. “We dodged three major bullets last year,” he said of hurricanes Iselle, Julio and Ana.

“There were major damages, but it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

The storms caused power and water outages on Hawaii’s Big Island, which took the brunt of the storms. There was some wind and flooding damage, and the cyclones disrupted air travel.

Hwang encouraged everyone to prepare and outlined some programs in place to help do that.

He said people should stock up on food, water, medication and gasoline when preparing for a major storm. He added that people should keep important documents, a radio and cash on hand when tropical storms approach. “Have a kit, have a plan and practice it,” he said. “The whole idea here is to be weather ready.”

Hawaii Gov. David Ige was at the news conference and urged people to prepare in advance for the upcoming season.

“We know that no matter how much we prepare we can never be over prepared,” he said. “I really do embrace the notion that preparedness is the best thing that we can do at every level.”

The region’s hurricane season lasts from June 1 through Nov. 30. Most of Hawaii’s tropical cyclones happen in August, according to NOAA. The next tropical storm to form in the central Pacific basin will be named Ela.

___

Follow Caleb Jones on Twitter: @CalebAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

United States News

Associated Press

Editorial Roundup: United States

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: Aug. 16 The Washington Post on Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi brutality: Salma al-Shehab, the mother of two young children, was studying for a PhD at the University of Leeds and took time off to go home to Saudi Arabia for a vacation. Ms. Shehab […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Chad Isaak, right, of Washburn, sits with his defense team during the third day of his murde...
Associated Press

Report faults prison guard’s checks in ND murderer’s suicide

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An investigation into the prison suicide of a man convicted in a 2019 quadruple slaying in North Dakota found that he had covered his cell window with cardboard and a guard failed to follow proper procedures in conducting required checks. The investigation report from the state Highway Patrol said Chad Isaak, […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Lebanese Journalist Dima Sadek uses her cellphone to make a video of an anti-government prot...
Associated Press

Attack on Rushdie shows divisions among Lebanese Shiites

BEIRUT (AP) — The stabbing of author Salman Rushdie has laid bare divisions in Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim community, pitting a few denouncing the violence against fervent followers of the Iran-backed Shiite militant Hezbollah group who have praised the attack. One Rushdie defender received death threats. The attack struck close to home among Lebanon’s Shiites. The […]
10 hours ago
University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science student diver prepares to g...
Associated Press

Scientists seek to develop hybrid coral reef off of Miami

MIAMI (AP) — Scientists and students from the University of Miami dove into the dark waters a few miles off the shores of Miami this week as part of an effort to develop hybrid reefs. The team from the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science was on a mission to collect eggs and […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

‘River Dave,’ banned from New Hampshire site, moves to Maine

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A hermit known as River Dave — whose cabin in the New Hampshire woods burned down after he had spent nearly three decades on the property and was ordered to leave — has found a new home in Maine. David Lidstone, 82, has put in windows and is working on installing […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Small Sept. 11 museum known for ground zero tours closes

NEW YORK (AP) — A small museum near New York’s World Trade Center dedicated to preserving the memory of the Sept. 11 attacks is closing after Wednesday, the victim of financial pressures made worse by COVID-19. The 9/11 Tribute Museum, which opened in 2006, offered tours led by volunteers who had lost a family member […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
NOAA: Central Pacific will see more hurricanes than average