May 25 begins National Hurricane Preparedness Week and we will welcome it with the first named storm of the Pacific hurricane season. Tropical Storm Amanda has formed off the coast of Mexico and could reach hurricane strength in the next 48 hours (by Memorial Day). The storm is not expected to make landfall. Instead, forecasters have predicted it will drift farther west. We’ll keep our eye on it.
NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center says that climate conditions point to a near-normal or above-normal season for the Central Pacific this year. For 2014, the outlook calls for a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 40% chance of an above-normal season, and a 20% chance of a below-normal season. We expect 4 to 7 tropical cyclones to affect the central Pacific this season. An average season has 4-5 tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.