HOLT, Fla., March 30, 2022—AccuWeather is first out of the gate with predictions for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
The weather agency is predicting 16-20 named storms, six to eight hurricanes, three to five major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) with four to six of them having a direct impact on the United States.
A “normal” season has on average 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, with three of them major storms.
AccuWeather forecasters are also emphasizing there is a high chance for a preseason storm to develop before the official June 1 start date.
The last six seasons have had an above average number of storms with 2020 setting a new record for the number of named storms at 30. Last year there were 21 named storms.
This year, as in the last two hurricane seasons, a La Nina will be present which will limit potential vertical wind shear that helps tamp down tropical storm formation.
Another ingredient to an active season is sea surface temperatures. Above-normal water temps feed tropical storm formation. According to AccuWeather forecasters, water temperatures in many areas, especially the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, are already above normal.
If La Nina remains or strengthens, it’s possible to see more than the 20 storms predicted, according to AccuWeather forecasters. If that happens, it will exhaust the list of 21 storm names for the 2022 season which means dipping into the supplemental name list.