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Fewer hurricanes in forecast for this season

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:40 p.m. HST, May 23, 2012

 Craig T. Kojima / ckojima@staradvertiser.com Ray Tanabe, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said this year's hurricane season has a 70 percent chance of producing a lower than normal number of storms.

A below-normal hurricane season is projected for the Central Pacific Basin this year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu says this year's outlook calls for a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 20 percent chance of above-normal season.

Forecasters expect two to four tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. During an average season, there are four to five cyclones.

NOAA issued the outlook Wednesday to urge Hawaii residents to be fully prepared before the hurricane season begins on June 1. Center Director Ray Tanabe says despite two quiet seasons in a row and a forecast for a below-normal season, everyone should be prepared

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