NOAA 2007-R212
Contact: Delores Clark
NOAA News Releases 2007
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Office of Communications

Watches and Warnings Now to Cover NW Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Island

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu expects 2 to 3 tropical cyclones in the central Pacific basin in 2007, a slightly below average season.

In a typical year, four to five tropical cyclones, two of which on average reach hurricane intensity, will form or cross into the area, according to National Weather Service hurricane experts.

“Recent data from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shows that sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific have become colder than average,” said Jim Weyman, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “The Climate Prediction Center is currently indicating that La Niña conditions could develop within the next one to three months. A La Niña would typically result in less tropical cyclone activity forming or moving into the central Pacific.”

Among the factors considered in the seasonal hurricane outlook, added Weyman, were the overall reduction in central Pacific hurricane activity since 1995, and the strong likelihood of ENSO-neutral or La Niña conditions.

“Even in a less active season, all of the Hawaiian Islands are at risk for hurricane conditions,” said Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Hurricanes have affected Hawaii in the past and they will do so again in the future and people should be prepared. As always, Hawaii can count on the Central Pacific Hurricane Center to provide the best possible forecasts to protect lives and property.”

For the 2007 season, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center is introducing new products to improve customer service. Tropical cyclone watches and warnings will be issued for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll. For the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument, recently named the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, watches and warnings will be issued for specific segments of the remote island chain. Now, researchers and other official personnel working in these areas will receive advance notice of impending danger.

In addition, a new online subscriber service has been established for customers who wish to receive text copies of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center tropical cyclone products as they are issued. The sign-up page is located at:

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr. declared May 20-26 Hurricane Preparedness Week in Hawaii. They signed 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.

“In the event of a major hurricane striking Hawaii, it may take several days for help to reach some locations. Therefore it is extremely important for individuals, families, and businesses to have an emergency action plan that they can smoothly implement to protect themselves and their loved ones,” the Governor said.

Weyman echoed Governor Lingle’s sound advice for residents to plan now for future weather emergencies. “Hawaii is vulnerable because of our isolation,” he said. “People need to become familiar with evacuation shelters and be ready to move if necessary. They need to establish a common meeting place and to assemble a disaster supply kit which would include a week’s supply of food, water, medicines, batteries, clothes, and protect important papers. It’s a matter of thinking about it, discussing it with family members, and ensuring that everyone knows what to do.”

A revised list of Hawaiian tropical storm/hurricane names has been created for the central Pacific and will be used for the first time during the 2007 hurricane season. The list is a collaborative effort between the CPHC and the University of Hawaii Hawaiian Studies Department to ensure the correct meaning and appropriate historical and cultural use of the Hawaiian names. The next named tropical storm to form in the Central Pacific will be given the name Kika, which means “small white or orange tubular Hawaiian cigar flower which is thought to resemble a lit cigar.” It can also mean “strong, energetic; having authority and force.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by 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, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:

Central Pacific Hurricane Center:

NOAA Weather Radio: