Last year was an El Niño year, when warmer-than-average ocean surface temperatures generated an above-average number of tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific, which includes the Hawaiian Islands. None of the seven storms made landfall last year. Lucky again.
On the other side of the Mainland, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts an active year for the Atlantic Basin. NOAA predicts that between 14 to 23 named storms will emerge from Atlantic skies. NOAA forecasts three to seven major hurricanes classified at category three or higher. Doesn’t sound so lucky.
Seems like the East and Gulf Coasts should start battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst right away.
Editor · General Manager
And what about us? Should we just take our chances since we were promised a slack season?
We may or may not receive the projected number of storms, but it only takes one hurricane hitting our island paradise to cause destruction. And that’s the one we need to prepare for.
And although weather forecasters have predicted fewer hurricanes for this season, which runs from about June 1 through Nov. 30, it is still important to be prepared for all types of natural disasters, including fires, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, which are always in season.
Our very own Pacific Disaster Center in Kīhei has all the information you need to prepare your family and home for hurricanes and other disasters on their Website at www.pdc.org/iweb/hurricane_awareness.jsp, including a special link to “Create a Disaster Supply Kit” and other helpful resources.
It’s important to remember that these forecasts aren’t an indication of specific landfalls, but rather a general forecast of hurricane occurrences. NOAA has no crystal ball. For all our sophisticated science and technology, it’s impossible to predict this early where and when hurricanes will occur. Only time will tell.
Hurricane Preparedness Week was actually last week, but if you missed it, don’t let another week go by. Prepare now for this year’s hurricane season.