Weather officials say Hawai‘i will see normal to above normal activity this hurricane season, predicting between four and seven tropical cyclones.
The 2016 outlook comes on the heels of last season’s record-setting El Niño year. That’s when 15 named storms entered the Central Pacific, the highest in recorded history.
“Our record so-called ‘Godzilla El Niño’ of 2015 is rapidly undergoing a shift towards the opposite of El Niño, which is La Niña. La Niña brings colder waters along the equator," explained Chris Brenchley, a meteorologist for NOAA's National Weather Service in Honolulu. "So there are conflicting signals for the upcoming season, giving us a little bit more uncertainty in what 2016 has in store for us.”
Typically La Niña years are on the quiet side, averaging about 2.5 tropical cyclones per season. But forecasters expect an uptick due to the increased activity last year. Brenchley says past La Niña years during active phases average 6.5 tropical cyclones per season.
Residents are urged to take precautions and stay prepared this hurricane season, which officially begins June 1st and lasts through the end of November.