Near- or below-normal 2020 hurricane season predicted for the Central Pacific

(FILES) Several men volunteered to help a service vehicle out of a flooded street during Tropical Storm Darby that brought heavy rains to Honolulu in 2016. (Photo by Ron Hamilton, EBC Hawaii Bureau, Eagle News Service)


By Alfred Acenas
EBC Hawaii Bureau

HONOLULU (Eagle News) – According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Central Pacific Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, both divisions of the National Weather Service, there is a 75% chance of near- or below-normal tropical cyclone activity during this year’s Central Pacific hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30.

The outlook also calls for a 25% chance of an above-normal season.

Two to six tropical cyclones are predicted for the region. This number includes tropical depressions, named storms, and hurricanes. A near-normal season would typically have four or five storm systems.

“This year, we will likely see less activity in the Central Pacific region compared to more active seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “Less activity is predicted since ocean temperatures are likely to be near-average in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean where hurricanes form, and because El Nino is not present to increase the activity.”

Below are the names assigned for the 2020 Pacific Hurricane Season:




This outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal tropical activity in the Central Pacific basin, and does not necessarily predict whether, or how many, of these systems will affect Hawaii.

“Regardless of the number of tropical cyclones predicted, this outlook serves as a reminder to everyone in the State of Hawaii to prepare now,” said Chris Brenchley, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Learn about hurricane hazards and where to find our forecasts, then make a plan so that you and your family stay healthy and safe.”


(FILES) The town of Hilo on Hawaii’s Big Island bore the brunt of Hurricane Lane in 2018, resulting in strong winds and heavy flooding as shown here. (Photo by Maile Tadeo)


The Central Pacific Hurricane Center continuously monitors weather conditions, employing a network of satellites, land- and ocean-based sensors and aircraft reconnaissance missions operated by NOAA and its partners.

This array of data supplies the information for complex computer modeling and human expertise, which are the basis for the center’s storm track and intensity forecasts. These forecasts are made available to the public and media, and help provide critical decision support services to emergency managers at the federal, state and county levels.

New this year, NOAA’s Aviation Weather Center is expanding its Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool in late June over Hawaii and portions of the Pacific Ocean. This tool will provide pilots with observations and forecasts of weather phenomena, which are critical for aviation safety.


(Eagle News Service)