HONOLULU (KHON2) — The hurricane season started on June 1st and runs through November 30th. Meteorologist Chevy Chevalier interviewed Tom Birchard, a hurricane forecaster with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, on Wake Up 2Day on Tuesday, June 7.
The two discussed the 2022 hurricane season forecast, as well as the center’s methods for forecasting hurricanes in the Central Pacific basin.
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The 2022 Central Pacific hurricane season forecast is calling for a below-normal season with only 2-4 tropical cyclones that may impact the area. Birchard emphasized that residents should not let their guard down as “It only takes one storm.” to negatively impact Hawaii. Preparing now could make all the difference in protecting life and property.
Birchard also explained the training education involved with hurricane forecasting and their methods at the CPHC when dealing with tropical cyclones.
Birchard and the other hurricane experts at the CPHC have vast tropical cyclone experience in the Pacific. He also explained how and when the CPHC requests Hurricane Hunter support and how vital their storm data is in the forecasting process.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Hurricane Iniki. Iniki made landfall on September 11th, 1992 as a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 145mph. When Iniki approached the state in 1992, there was little warning time given before it made landfall.
Birchard explained that given the technological advances over the last 30 years in radar, satellite, model data, and forecasting techniques, it is unlikely that a similar scenario would happen today with such little warning time given.
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Hurricane Iniki caused six fatalities and $3.1 billion in damages. It was the costliest hurricane in history for Hawaii and the second-costliest hurricane in the Pacific behind Hurricane Manuel which struck Mexico in 2013.