The National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Warning Center Wednesday predicted a below-average hurricane season this year.
Two to five tropical cyclones — a category that includes depressions, storms and hurricanes — are expected to pass through the basin this year. The 2021 season starts June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
Near or below-average sea surface temperatures east of Hawaii, where the cyclones form, were a factor in this year’s prediction.
Neutral conditions without an El Nino — warmer than average sea surface temperatures — also played a role in the forecast.
“Conditions for the El Nino are not present, and that is denoted by cooler than normal sea surface temperatures near the equator,” said Christopher Brenchley, director of the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Those are not present and not expected to be present through the year.”
However, high winds, storm surges, heavy rain and flooding can have a damaging effect when severe weather moves through the islands.
Officials encouraged people to prepare 14-day emergency kits that include food, water and other supplies.