Forecasters predict busy 2019 hurricane season

During a press conference held at SOEST, the National Weather Service Honolulu Forecast Office released its annual forecast for the upcoming hurricane season and now is the time to start preparing for the upcoming months.

Forecasters predict this season will have a 70 percent chance of being a higher than normal season with the likelihood of five to eight tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific. These include tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.

“This outlook reflects the forecast for El Niño to likely continue through the hurricane season. Also, ocean temperatures in the main hurricane formation region are expected to remain above-average, and vertical wind shear is predicted to be weaker-than-average,” said Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center, which collaborated on this outlook. Bell added, “All of these conditions point to an above-normal season.”

Hurricane season in Hawaiʻi occurs roughly between June 1 and November 30.

Last year, Hurricane Lane dumped up to 50 inches of rain and caused damage to parts of Hawaiʻi Island and Maui. University of Hawaiʻi campuses were forced to close.

“As we prepare for another active hurricane season in the central Pacific, we urge everyone to have an emergency plan now, so that you are ready for the devastating impacts that a tropical cyclone could bring to the State of Hawaiʻi,” said Chris Brenchley, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “It is essential that you know where and how to get official information, even in the event of a power failure, and that you have your emergency supply kit ready well before any storms threaten.”

Prepare you home and family

The Hawaiʻi Sea Grant publication, Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards,  provides useful tips regarding readiness for natural hazards that may affect Hawai’i.

The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency has great tips and resources to Prepare Your Family and Prepare Your Home.

Sign up for alerts

All members of the UH community are urged to sign up for UH Alert to receive emergency text alerts. If you have already signed up, log in to ensure that contact information is up-to-date.

There is the Pacific Disaster Center’s Disaster Alert desktop version and app (iOS version available at iTunes) with updated information.

Notifications affecting UH campuses will be posted on the emergency information webpage, as well as on social media:

For more, visit the UH emergency information website.