2018 Central Pacific hurricane season starts today

KAILUA-KONA — Today marks the start of the 2018 Central Pacific hurricane season.

NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu said today that forecasters don’t expect any tropical cyclone formation to occur within the Central Pacific during the coming 48 hours.

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Three to six tropical cyclones — a category that includes depressions, storms and hurricanes — are expected to pass through the basin this year, according to the center. The season continues through Nov. 30.

The basin, which normally sees four to five cyclones develop, spans an area north of the equator from 140 degrees west longitude to the International Date Line. The number of storms has ranged from zero, most recently as 1979, to as many as 11 in 1992 and 1994.

In the center’s outlook, issued last week, forecasters said there is a 40 percent chance of both an above-normal season and normal season, and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. The prediction is based on currently neutral La Nina/El Nino conditions persisting through fall.

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Named Central Pacific tropical cyclones for 2018 will begin with “Walaka,” according to the center.

Keep up with the lastest storm information online at www.westhawaiitoday.com.