Be Ready For Hurricane Season

NOAA predicts a near-or above-normal hurricane season in the central Pacific

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center recently announced there is an 80 percent chance of nearor above-normal tropical cyclone activity during the central Pacific hurricane season this year.

The 2018 outlook indicates equal chances of an above-normal and near-normal season at 40 percent each, and a 20-percent chance of a below-normal season.

For the season as a whole, three to six tropical cyclones are predicted for the central Pacific hurricane basin. This number includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes. A near-normal season has three to five tropical cyclones, and an above-normal season has six or more tropical cyclones.

“This outlook reflects the forecast for ENSO neutral conditions, with a possible transition to a weak El Nino during 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 nearor weaker-than-average,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. Bell added, “If El Nino develops, the activity could be near the higher end of the predicted range.”

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-tracking storms from the eastern Pacific into the central Pacific.

This outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal hurricane activity in the central Pacific basin and does not predict whether or how many of these systems will affect Hawaii. The hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

“It is very important to remember that it only takes one landfalling tropical cyclone to bring major impacts to the state of Hawaii,” said Chris Brenchley, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

“As we begin this 2018 hurricane season, we advise all residents to make preparations now, by having and practicing an emergency plan and by having 14 days of emergency supplies on hand that will be needed if a hurricane strikes.”

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

This array of data supplies the information for complex computer modeling and human expertise, which are the basis for the center’s storm track and intensity forecasts that extend out five days.

Check the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s website throughout the season to stay on top of any watches and warnings, and visit FEMA’s for additional hurricane preparedness tips.

The seasonal hurricane outlook is produced in collaboration with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Compiled by Ho‘okele staff

When a hurricane hits, the devastation can be great, and families will not only need to protect themselves during the disaster, but also prepare and repair. There are several websites available that provide tips for residents to keep in mind.

Preparing for a hurricane

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• Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

• Put together a disaster supply kit: including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information.

• If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you stay at home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and cannot leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

• Create a family emergency communication plan.

• Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

• Consider buying flood insurance. u When a hurricane threatens your community, be prepared to evacuate if you live in a storm surge risk area. Allow enough time to pack and inform friends and family if leaving. u Secure your home: Cover all windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8-inch exterior grade or marine plywood, built to fit, and ready to install.

• Buy supplies before the hurricane season rather than waiting for the pre-storm rush.

• Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall. Trim or remove damaged trees and limbs for safety.

• Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage.

• Secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.

• Purchase a portable generator for use during power outages. Keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. Never attempt to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

• Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.

• Check the websites of your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office. Find out what type of emergencies could occur and how you should respond. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other radio or TV stations for the latest storm news.

• Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered.

• If not ordered to evacuate:

– Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm.

– Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.

– Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors.

– If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction.

Supplies checklist

( Water — at least a three-day supply; one gallon per person per day Food — at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture). Flashlight Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA

Weather Radio, if possible) Extra batteries First aid kit Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane) Sanitation and personal hygiene items Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies) Cellphone with chargers Family and emergency contact information Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers) Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl) Multipurpose tool Extra cash Emergency blanket Map(s) of the area Tools/supplies for securing your home Extra set of car keys and house keys Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes Rain gear Insect repellent and sunscreen Camera for photos of damage


HURRICANE WATCH means a hurricane may occur within the next 48 hours. Go over your evacuation route(s) & listen to local officials. Review the items in your disaster supply kit. Remember to include necessities for children, parents, individuals with disabilities and pets.

HURRICANE WARNING means a hurricane may occur within 36 hours. Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given. Check in with family and friends via text or social media. has various checklists for what to do to prepare for a hurricane at different times. (For more information, visit

(Editors note: see next issue for more information. Cut out this clipping and save for your family)

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Category: Life & Leisure