HONOLULU (AP) — Forecasters say the central Pacific region around Hawaii can expect a normal or slightly above-average hurricane season, depending largely on the presence of El Nino conditions.
Chris Brenchley, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said at a news conference Wednesday that the region can expect anywhere from five to eight tropical cyclones from June through November. Brenchley said there is an equal chance of El Nino and neutral conditions in the Pacific this season. El Nino is a natural warming of the Pacific that alters weather worldwide.
The average number of storms per year since 1970 is 4.6, but the past four seasons have had above-average activity. The 2015 season set a record with 15 total named storms that came amid a strong El Nino.