NOAA forecasts 2018 hurricane season: near to above average activity
NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center announced an 80 percent chance of near-or above-normal tropical cyclone activity for our area during this year's hurricane season.
HONOLULU - Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the hurricane outlook for 2018 and numbers are split down the middle.
"We got about a 40 percent chance of near normal cyclone activity and there's about a 40 percent chance we could see above normal," Bob Ballard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
The remaining 20 percent leaning toward a below average season.
That computes to an estimated three to six tropical cyclones. That means tropical depressions, tropical storms or hurricanes.
Experts say forecasting the season isn't an exact science so they look at past predictions and rely on oceanic signals.
"So what's going on in the ocean. Where heat is distributed, whether or not we're in El Nino or La Nina, that's a big player in what kind of tropical cyclone season we're gonna have," Ballard said.
Hawaii endured 15 tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific in 2015, easily eclipsing previous active years.
Last year's hurricane season featured only two tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific which is below the seasonal average.
But Ballard says, people still to be weather ready.
"Just because it hasn't happened in a long time or it hasn't happened to your island, doesn't mean that it can't or won't," Ballard said.
Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.