In this photo from a file dated August 22, 2018, provided by NASA, Hurricane Lane is approaching Hawaii from the International Space Station. Hawaii and the Central Pacific should expect two to four hurricanes, tropical depressions or tropical storms this year, federal forecasters said on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. There is a 60% chance of the season below average. Credit: NASA via AP, file

On Wednesday, federal forecasters said Hawaii and the Central Pacific should expect two to four hurricanes, tropical depressions or tropical storms on Wednesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual forecast predicts that the probability of a season below average is 60%. The Central Pacific sees about four or five tropical cyclones on average annually.

Officials said sea temperatures were below average due to La Nina east of Hawaii, where storms are taking into account this year’s forecast.

“This year, we anticipate less activity in the Central Pacific region compared to regular seasons,” said Matthew Rosencrans, NOAA’s lead seasonal division. hurricane weather forecaster of the Center for Climate Forecasting. “The current La Nina is likely to cause a strong vertical wind shear, making it difficult to develop or move hurricanes to the central Pacific.”

La Nina is a natural cooling of some parts of the equatorial Pacific Ocean that is changing weather models all over the globe. The opposite pattern creates ocean temperatures above average and was present during some of the most active hurricane seasons in the Pacific, including 2015, when there were 16 storms in the central Pacific basin.

The La Nina sample has been present for several years.

“We’ve only had it twice in the last 50 years, when we (La Nina) have had it for three years in a row,” said National Weather Service hydrologist Kevin Kodama. “So it’s a pretty rare occurrence.”

Officials said even with the projected slow hurricane season, only one would be needed storm cause a catastrophe.

Chris Branchley, director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center NOAA, said people should be prepared, regardless of the optimistic forecast.

“It only takes one wander near the state to evoke huge potential,” he said. “Hurricane Inika, a major hurricane, directly hit Kauai 30 years ago this year, and those affected still remember the incredible destructive force that Inika had.”

The results were recent a major hurricane to hit the state when he came to the island of Kauai in 1992. In 2018, massive and powerful Hurricane Lane made a last-minute turn and barely spared Oahu, Hawaii’s most populous island.

The hurricane season in Hawaii lasts from June 1 to the end of November. August and September are historically active months.

In 2021, there was only one storm with a name that entered the central Pacific, and it did not reach land and did not approach Hawaii.

Officials also provided information on the wet and dry seasons in Hawaii. Kodama said the winter rainy season was the 12th driest in 30 years, and that without a major storm that poured out most of the seasonal rains in just a couple of weeks, things would have been worse.

“It was, to put it mildly, a wild wet season, we had a lot of extremes,” Kodama said. In January, “the tap was shut down and remained so throughout March.”

He said Hawaii’s summer dry season is expected to remain amid severe and extreme drought and that the state’s forest fire season may begin earlier than usual. Climate change has increased drought conditions in the western United States and Hawaii.

Weather forecasters predict another active hurricane season with 19 tropical storms, 9 hurricanes

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