NOAA expects below-normal Central Pacific hurricane season

May 22, 2013

Hurricane Daniel near peak intensity on July 7, 2012.

Hurricane Daniel near peak intensity on July 7, 2012. At the time of this image, sustained winds were near 105 mph. Early the next morning, it was announced that Daniel strengthened to briefly become a 115 mph Category 3 hurricane. The storm maintained this status for only six hours before entering a less favorable environment.

Download here (Credit: NASA)

NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center today announced that climate conditions point to a below-normal season in the Central Pacific Basin this year.

For 2013, the outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 5 percent chance of an above-normal season. We expect 1 to 3 tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season. An average season has 4 to 5 tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

The outlook for a below-normal season is based upon the continuation of neutral El Niño – Southern Oscillation conditions. The Central Pacific Basin also remains on the low activity side of a multi-decadal cycle. Historical records show that this combination of conditions tends to produce a less active hurricane season for the central Pacific.

This outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal hurricane activity in the central Pacific and does not predict whether, where, when, or how many of these systems will affect Hawaii.

NOAA issued its central Pacific hurricane outlook at a news conference in Honolulu, and urged Hawaii residents to be fully prepared before the hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs until Nov. 30.

“I encourage the public to become weather-ready by signing up for weather alerts, developing a family emergency plan, and building an emergency kit before hurricane season begins,” said Ray Tanabe, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Just because the season is predicted to be 'below normal' does not mean that a single storm cannot have significant impacts.”

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center continuously monitors weather conditions, employing a network of satellites, land- and ocean-based sensors and aircraft reconnaissance missions operated by NOAA and its partners. This array of data supplies the information for complex computer modeling and human expertise that serves as the basis for the hurricane center’s track and intensity forecasts that extend out five days. The seasonal hurricane outlook is produced in collaboration with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service.

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