The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center announced May 26 that climate conditions point to an above-normal hurricane season in the Central Pacific Basin this year.
NOAA issued its Central Pacific hurricane outlook at a news conference in Honolulu, O‘ahu, and urged Hawai‘i residents to be fully prepared before the hurricane season starts Sunday. The season will last until Nov. 30.
For the 2015 Central Pacific hurricane season, the outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 5 percent chance of a below-normal season. We expect 5 to 8 tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season. An average season has 4-5 tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
This outlook is based upon the expectation of El Niño continuing and possibly strengthening as the hurricane season progresses. El Niño decreases the vertical wind shear over the tropical central Pacific, favoring the development of more and stronger tropical cyclones. El Niño also favors more westward-tracking storms from the eastern Pacific into the central Pacific. This combination typically leads to an above-normal Central Pacific hurricane season.
This outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal hurricane activity in the Central Pacific Basin and does not predict whether, or how many, of these systems will affect Hawai‘i.
“I encourage everyone to become weather-ready by signing up for weather alerts, developing and practicing a family emergency plan, and building an emergency kit before hurricane season begins,” said Tom Evans, acting director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Now is the time to make sure that you and your family are ready and prepared for the 2015 hurricane season, which starts June 1.”
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center continuously monitors weather conditions, employing a network of satellites, land- and ocean-based sensors and aircraft reconnaissance missions operated by NOAA and its partners. This array of data supplies the information for complex computer modeling and human expertise that serves as the basis for the hurricane center’s track and intensity forecasts that extend out five days.
The seasonal hurricane outlook is produced in collaboration with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center — a division of the National Weather Service.
NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Working with partners, NOAA’s National Weather Service is building a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather.
Visit weather.gov and their Facebook page for more information.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.