NOAA: 1-3 tropical cyclones expected in central Pacific this season

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Hurricane season begins in just over a week.

On Wednesday, forecasters released their outlook, predicting a quieter season.

Iniki — the name alone stirs up memories of the most powerful hurricane in recorded history to strike the Hawaiian islands.

Although the Central Pacific Hurricane Center is predicting a quieter season for the region, forecasters say it only takes one storm to cause major destruction.

“For 2013, the outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of below normal season,” National Weather Service forecaster Ray Tanabe said.

With the average season getting four to five storms, this means only one to three tropical cyclones are expected this year. That could mean anything from a tropical depression to a full-blown hurricane.

“The sea surface temperatures aren’t expected to be much above normal or below normal and that helps to keep the activity low,” Tanabe said.

This doesn’t rule out the chance of a storm hitting Hawaii, so officials are urging residents to prepare.

“It used to be called a hurricane preparedness kit, but now it’s just a preparedness kit because it’s for all hazards. It could be for tsunamis, it could be for flash flooding and so I think a lot of residents are taking notice of that,” Tanabe said.

Preparedness kits are going to differ for every person, but typically, you want to have seven days of food, seven days of water, and any other important things you might need.

The kit should include the following items:

  • Enough food and water for seven days including baby and pet supplies.
  • A portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Medications and first-aid supplies.
  • Extra cash along with any important documents you may need.

Preparedness also includes understanding hazards, making a plan of action, and staying informed.

“We’re calling upon all Americans to pledge to prepare this hurricane season,” Colby Stanton with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

In the event a storm approaches the islands, the KHON2 weather team is ready with tools including up-to-date satellite, radar and storm tracking.

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