Contact: Chris Vaccaro
NOAA News Releases 2006
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Governor Lingle Declares Hurricane Preparedness Week in Hawaii

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu expects two to three tropical cyclones in the central Pacific basin in 2006, a slightly below average season. In a typical year, four to five tropical cyclones will form or cross into the area, according to National Weather Service hurricane experts, with two storms reaching hurricane intensity.

“Many factors are considered in the seasonal hurricane outlook,” said Jim Weyman, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Data from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shows near normal tropical ocean temperatures, which typically means less tropical cyclone activity in the Pacific. In addition, atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns will likely produce a below normal season in the eastern Pacific. Fewer storms in the eastern Pacific will contribute to a below normal season in the central Pacific.”

“Even in a less active season, it only takes one storm to make it a bad season,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Hawaii can count on the Central Pacific Hurricane Center to provide the best possible forecasts to protect lives and property.”

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle declared May 21-27 Hurricane Preparedness Week in the state, and released a proclamation calling upon government agencies, private organizations, schools, and the news media to share information about hurricane preparedness and calling on everyone to take appropriate safety measures to protect themselves.

Weyman urges residents to take action now to plan in advance for weather emergencies. “Hawaii is vulnerable because of our isolation,” he said. “Everyone needs a plan. People need to become familiar with evacuation shelters and be ready to move if necessary. Families need to establish a common meeting place if separated and determine a single contact person to pass messages to other family members. They need to assemble a disaster supply kit. That means stocking up on a week’s supply of food, water, medicines, batteries, clothes, and protecting important papers. It’s a matter of thinking about it, discussing it with family members, and ensuring that everyone knows what to do.”

Hurricanes not only pack high winds, but can also cause torrential rains that can lead to flash flooding and abnormally high waves and storm surge. Known as “the triple threat,” each of these alone can pose a serious threat to life and property. Taken together they are capable of inflicting a high loss of life and widespread destruction.

Heading into the season, the public should become familiar with the following terms:

  • A hurricane watch or tropical storm watch means the threat of hurricanes or tropical storm conditions exist for designated islands within 48 hours.
  • A hurricane warning or tropical storm warning means hurricane or tropical storm conditions are expected to occur for designated islands within 24 hours. Listen to radio, TV, and NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards for the latest weather information. Be prepared to evacuate if advised to do so by State Civil Defense.

One way to stay informed during severe weather or other natural disasters is through NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards – the official voice of the National Weather Service. Continuous weather updates are provided by the Honolulu Forecast Office. Weather radio receivers are available at electronics stores and prices typically start at $30. Higher grade units can be programmed to turn on automatically whenever a weather watch or warning is issued. This is particularly important if there is a weather or tsunami emergency at night, when most people are asleep.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s area of responsibility extends from 140 degrees west to the international date line and north of the equator. The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., covers the Eastern Pacific, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and more than 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web:


NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center:

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards: