NOAA expects near-normal or above-normal Central Pacific hurricane season

May 22, 2014

Hurricane Henriette

Hurricane Henriette captured by NOAA’s GOES West on August 7, 2013, as it moves toward the Central Pacific. Credit: NOAA

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

For 2014, the outlook calls for a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, a 40 percent chance of an above-normal season, and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. We expect 4 to 7 tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season. An average season has 4-5 tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. 

This outlook is based upon the expectation of El Niño developing during the 2014 hurricane season. El Niño decreases the vertical wind shear over the tropical central Pacific, favoring the development of more and stronger tropical cyclones.  Since 1995 the central Pacific has been in an era of low activity for hurricanes, but this pattern will be offset in 2014 by the impacts of El Niño.

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 November 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 Tom Evans, acting director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Now is the time to make sure that you and your family are ready and prepared for the 2014 hurricane season.”

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.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and our other social media channels