HONOLULU (AP) — The central Pacific basin including Hawaii can expect between two and five tropical storms or hurricanes this year, federal forecasters said Wednesday.
The annual National Weather Service prediction said there is about an 80% chance of a near or below-average season.
On average, the central Pacific hurricane region sees about four or five storms annually.
Officials said near or below-average sea surface temperatures east of Hawaii where storms form factored into this year's prediction.
Destructive winds, storm surges, heavy rain and flooding can affect Hawaii when severe weather moves through the islands.
Officials encouraged people to prepare 14-day emergency kits that include food, water and other supplies.
Last year only two tropical cyclones developed in the Central Pacific. None made direct landfall in Hawaii, but Hurricane Douglas swirled just offshore in July.
In 2018, the massive and powerful Hurricane Lane made a last-minute turn and narrowly spared Oahu, Hawaii’s most populous island.
The last major hurricane to strike the state was Hurricane Iniki in 1992, which hit Kauai and caused extensive damage across the island.
Hurricane season in Hawaii lasts from June 1 until the end of November. August and September are historically active months for storms in the region.