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Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters predict a below-average hurricane season

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center this morning predicted that the region will see two to four tropical cyclones during the hurricane season that starts June 1.

That translates into a below-average hurricane season for the Central Pacific, which typically sees four to five storms each year.

During a virtual press conference, forecasters said there’s a 60% chance of a below-normal hurricane season, leaving a 30% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of an above-normal season.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center says Hawaii is likely to continue to experience La Nina conditions throughout the summer for the third year in a row.

Hydrologist Kevin Kodama said to expect a drier-than-average summer with drought conditions likely to intensify and expand over most of the islands, plus an early fire season.

Christopher Brenchley, director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said La Nina in the Pacific typically generates a greater amount of wind shear, opposing winds that help to weaken tropical cyclones heading our way.

Still, forecasters cautioned Hawaii residents to get prepared now for the upcoming season, which goes through Nov. 30.

Only one named storm entered the Central Pacific region last year, officials said. Former Tropical Storm Jimena entered the Central Pacific as a tropical depression on Aug. 6 and weakened into a remnant low on the same day, although heavy rains from the system did reach the islands a few days later.

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