Hawaii Could Face More Hurricanes Than Usual This Season
HONOLULU (AP) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center says the 2015 hurricane season in the region will see more storms than average.
Tom Evans, the acting director of the 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. “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.
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 barely missed the state last year.
The region’s hurricane season lasts from June 1 through Nov. 30. Most of Hawaii’s tropical cyclones happen in August, according to NOAA.
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