NOAA expects a below normal Central Pacific hurricane season
May 18, 2011
NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center today announced that projected climate conditions point to a below normal hurricane season in the Central Pacific Basin this year.
NOAA issued its outlook at a news conference today to urge Hawaii residents to be fully prepared for the onset of the hurricane season, which begins on June 1.
“Now is the time to prepare for the hurricane season in the central Pacific,” said Ray Tanabe, director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, part of the U.S. National Weather Service. “Last year we had a quiet season, but it’s definitely not time to let our guard down.”
The seasonal hurricane outlook is produced in collaboration with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. For 2011, the outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of a below normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near normal season, and a five percent chance of an above normal season. We expect 2-3 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 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. Once a tropical cyclone forms in the central Pacific or moves into the area, however, the hurricane center swings into action.
Tanabe said, “Our hurricane specialists are ready to track any tropical cyclone, from a depression to a hurricane in the Central Pacific Basin, providing accurate forecasts all along its path.”
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center continuously monitors weather conditions, employing a dense 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.
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