UPDATE 5/22- 5:10 PM

As hurricane season approaches scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are on guard. 

"There's a 70-percent chance for an above normal season, a 20-percent chance of a near normal season. And a 10-percent chance of near normal number of cyclones during a hurricane season in the Central Pacific Basin." Said Chris Brenchley, Director of NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center. 

With numbers leaning toward an active season experts estimate five to eight tropical cyclones -- that's anything from depressions, to storms, and hurricanes. 

In 2018 six tropical systems were recorded in the Central Pacific, and all six -- at one point -- did develop into hurricanes.

Back in January El Nino conditions developed, manifesting a myriad of weather irregularities like warmer ocean temperatures considered fuel for tropical systems.

Forecasters predict it'll persist through the hurricane season. 

"There is plenty of warm water out there. Both around Hawaii, around the islands in the state of Hawaii. And around the equator." Said Brenchley

Warm water is just one worry for forecasters. 

"Less persistent and weaker wind shear will be present over the central pacific over the hurricane season." Brenchley said. 

The lack of wind shear -- a natural defense that helps rip storms apart -- also raises red flags, and could be a variable eventually heightening Hawai'is vulnerability. 

That's why experts urge everyone to be weather ready, because no matter how many storms develop, it only takes one system making landfall to cause destruction. 



NOAA is predicting five to eight tropical cyclones for the 2019 Central Pacific hurricane season. 

This number includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes. A near-normal season has four to five tropical cyclones, and an above-normal season has six or more tropical cyclones.

Their Central Pacific Hurricane Center announced Wednesday that there is a 70% chance of above-normal tropical cyclone activity during the central Pacific hurricane season this year.

The 2019 outlook also indicates a 20% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

“This outlook reflects the forecast for El Nino to likely continue through the hurricane season. Also, ocean temperatures in the main hurricane formation region are expected to remain above-average, and vertical wind shear is predicted to be weaker-than-average,” Gerry Bell, Ph.D., NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center said, which collaborated on this outlook. Bell added, “All of these conditions point to an above-normal season.”

According to NOAA officials, El Nino decreases the vertical wind shear over the tropical central Pacific, which favors more and stronger tropical cyclones. El Nino also favors more westward-moving storms from the eastern Pacific into the central Pacific.

NOAA's outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal hurricane activity in the central Pacific basin and does not predict whether any of these systems will affect Hawaii. The hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

“As we prepare for another active hurricane season in the central Pacific, we urge everyone to have an emergency plan now, so that you are ready for the devastating impacts that a tropical cyclone could bring to the State of Hawaii,” Chris Brenchley, Director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said. “It is essential that you know where and how to get official information, even in the event of a power failure, and that you have your emergency supply kit ready well before any storms threaten.”

NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center continuously monitors weather conditions, employing a network of satellites, land- and ocean-based sensors, and aircraft reconnaissance missions operated by NOAA and its partners.