Why Hawaii Might See a ‘More Active’ Hurricane Season This Year

The upcoming hurricane season in the central Pacific region could be “slightly busier this year compared to a normal year,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the National Oceanic and Environmental Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. Atmospheric, in a statement issued Thursday.

The state of Hawaii is within this region, and local officials are asking people to be prepared.

“It only takes one storm to affect your life, your family and your community,” Governor Josh Green said in a special proclamation May 21, calling on Hawaiians to develop emergency plans and have supplies available. for at least two weeks.

NOAA’s forecast for the 2023 hurricane season indicates a potential change from last year’s moderate season. In 2022, only one tropical cyclone developed in the central Pacific. This year, NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center and Climate Prediction Center forecast that the central Pacific could see between four and seven tropical cyclones, including everything from tropical depressions to hurricanes, said Chris Brenchley, director of the hurricane center, at a press conference on Thursday. (Note: The center does not forecast how many hurricanes specifically could hit Hawaii.)

“The past few hurricane seasons have been fairly quiet in Hawaii, which has led some people to let their guard down. It now looks as if this season will be more active than in recent years,” Brenchley said in a statement. “It’s more important than ever to review your emergency plan and supply kit now, so you’re prepared for the next hurricane threat.”

The central Pacific hurricane season, which includes the area north of the equator that falls between the 140th meridian west and the International Date Line, runs from June 1 to November 30. activity this season, a 35% chance of near-normal activity and a 15% chance of below-normal activity.

“As we have been reminded in past seasons, and also recently with the typhoon in Guam, it only takes one impact, and so with an increase in activity in the [Hawaii] basin, obviously there is going to be the potential for more threats to the land,” Brenchley said.

The forecast arises because there is a high probability that El Niño conditions will develop this summer. El Niño occurs when equatorial waters warm to above-average temperatures and can affect weather patterns around the world.

“We are seeing El Niño conditions develop throughout the Pacific hurricane season. You can see that it is already warming up on the other side of the equator. We see a lot of consensus in the model that shows us heading rapidly into El Niño conditions,” Brenchley said at the press conference. “Typically, conditions correlate with above-average tropical cyclone activity in the central Pacific.”