Maui News

2012 Hurricane Outlook Calls for Below-Normal Season

May 24, 2012, 6:25 AM HST
* Updated May 24, 6:51 AM
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Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Satellite imagery, file image courtesy National Weather Service.

By Wendy Osher

This year’s edition of the Central Pacific Hurricane Season Outlook was released showing a below-normal season.

NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center expects 2-4 tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific this season. That’s below the average of 4-5 seen in a typical season. Cyclones include tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Despite the forecast for a below-normal season, forecasters encourage the public to be prepared. The hurricane season in Hawaii begins on June 1st.

“We’ve had two quiet seasons in a row here in the Central Pacific, but don’t let your guard down. We should all be weather-ready this and every season,” said Ray Tanabe, director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

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Officials say the 2012 outlook for a below-normal season is based on:

  • the continuing low cyclone activity era in the Eastern Pacific Basin which has been in place since 1995, and
  • the current ENSO-neutral conditions (no El Niño or La Niña).
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The outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal hurricane activity and does not predict whether, where, when, or how many of these systems will affect Hawaii.

“NOAA hurricane forecasters stand ready to track tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific Basin and warn communities of any landfall threats,” said Tanabe.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center supplies data that serves as the basis for the hurricane center’s track and intensity forecasts that extend out five days.

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