We’re less than two weeks away from hurricane season here in Hawaii.
Who can forget last season when there were four cyclones at once in the East Pacific — Darby, Estelle, Georgette, and Frank — with Darby making landfall as a weak tropical storm over the Kau district of Hawaii island.
So will Hawaii see another active hurricane season? The official hurricane season forecast will be released next Wednesday, May 24, but if you look at certain environmental factors, they point to another active hurricane season.
We’ve already had one storm, the earliest on record to form in the East Pacific, Tropical Storm Adrian on May 10 and 11. That means the waters have already warmed up to the minimum 80 degrees needed for tropical systems to form.
Another factor that could lead to an active season is the return of El Nino.
“Our average is four to five tropical cyclones. During El Nino years, that’s more like six or seven,” said John H. Bravender with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “There’s still a possibility for the long-term trends to be above normal. Over the past several years, we’ve been in a more active cycle independent of El Nino or La Nina.”
We’ve had three active hurricane seasons in a row, with 2015 being the second-most active season, and 2014 producing Tropical Storm Iselle, which was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Hawaii island in history.
El Nino conditions heating up the Pacific points to, at the very least, a higher-than-normal hurricane season for 2017, and the possibility of systems that form late in the season.
Next Wednesday, May 24, KHON2 will live stream the press conference where the official numbers for the upcoming Central Pacific hurricane season will be released. We invite you to join us, and stay for our Facebook Live, where Justin Cruz, Kelly Simek, and McKenna Maduli will answer your questions about the upcoming season, what to expect, and how to prepare.
When you do prepare, don’t forget to pack your hurricane kit.
Normally, you’re advised to pack a kit with enough supplies to last a week, but this year, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is asking everyone to double that and pack for two weeks.
The reason is because most of our supplies come in through Honolulu Harbor, and it would take two weeks after a major storm hits to get more supplies shipped here.
“That’s how we got the two weeks, as far as 14 days, getting public resilience to handle that,” said Vern Miyagi, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator. “At the same time, we need to coordinate all the efforts to resurrect the port operations, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
Your hurricane kit should include 14 days of non-perishable food and water, as well as a radio, flashlight, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit.