Forecasters predict busier than normal hurricane season

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting five to eight tropical cyclones during this year’s central Pacific hurricane season, which starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Chris Brenchley, director of the NOAA Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Oahu said in a news conference today, that is “above the normal of four to five” tropical cyclones during hurricane season.

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One factor for the higher-than-normal tropical cyclone prediction is a weak El Nino — a phenomenon which causes higher ocean surface ocean temperatures — which is predicted to continue for the foreseeable future.

There were six tropical cyclones last year in the central Pacific last year, all of which became hurricanes at some point.

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Hurricane Lane, in particular, was problematic for the Big Island, causing record rainfall and flooding for East Hawaii and, according to Gov. David Ige, more than $7 million damage at a time when East Hawaii was also dealing with the effects of the lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kilauea volcano.

See Thursday’s Tribune-Herald for a full story.

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