Meteorologists at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center at the National Weather Service’s Honolulu office unveiled their 2019 outlook for the upcoming season, announcing there’s a 70% chance that the upcoming season will be more active than usual. The Central Pacific Hurricane Season, which starts on June 1 and runs through to the end of November, is focused on the state of Hawaii which is in the middle of the Central Pacific Basin. In 2018, Hector, Lane, and Olivia neared and/or impacted the islands in the state and officials are concerned 2019 may see more close calls, or worse: landfall.
Chris Brenchley, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center Director, told reporters last week that they believe there’s a 70% chance the season will be more active than usual and only a 10% chance that the season will be less active than usual. According to Brenchley, there will be 5-8 tropical cyclones this season in the Central Pacific Basin.
“This outlook reflects the forecast for El Nino to likely continue through the hurricane season. Also, 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,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center, which collaborated on this outlook. Bell added, “All of these conditions point to an above-normal season.”
“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 Hawaii,” said Chris Brenchley, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “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.”
Hawaii Governor David Ige says his administration is prepared for the upcoming season, but encourages residents to do the same. “The time to prepare is now, ” Governor Ige said. People in Hawaii should be “gathering 2 weeks of emergency supplies such as non-perishable food and water, and take measures to protect (their) home against the potential impact of high winds,” the Governor added.
The Aloha State was home to multiple natural disasters in 2018. Non-tropical floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and a volcanic eruption lead to multiple emergency and disaster declarations.
NOAA plans to unveil their outlook for the Atlantic hurricane basin at a media event in Washington, DC tomorrow morning.