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Hurricane season starts today

Updated: 
June 1, 2017 - 12:05am

KAILUA-KONA — The 2017 Central Pacific hurricane season gets underway today.

Five to eight tropical cyclones — a category that includes depressions, storms and hurricanes — are expected to impact the Central North Pacific basin, which is where Hawaii is located, through Nov. 30, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The number could be on the higher end of the forecast if a currently developing weak El Nino takes hold this summer.

A “normal” season sees four to five cyclones pass through or develop within the basin, which spans an area north of the equator from 140 degrees west longitude to the International Date Line.

While the Central Pacific was quiet Wednesday, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center were keeping tabs on Tropical Depression 2-E in the Eastern Pacific. The cyclone, located about 100 miles south-southwest of Puerto Angel, Mexico, was packing 35 mph winds and bringing rainfall over southeastern Mexico as of press time. It’s expected to approach the Mexico coast Thursday.

Named Central Pacific tropical cyclones for 2017 will begin with Walaka, according to the center. Hawaiian names are assigned only to storms that form in the Central Pacific area. Named Eastern Pacific storms began with Adrian earlier this month.

Whether there’s one or a record-breaking 15 — as occurred just two years ago with the number actually being 16 if a storm that formed in late December 2015 is counted — the time to get storm ready is upon us.

Preparation includes developing a family evacuation plan and well-stocked emergency kit, attending community preparedness events and keeping abreast of the latest weather information by signing up for alerts and following local media.

Visit www.westhawaiitoday.com/hurricane-season to keep up with the latest weather updates throughout the hurricane season.

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