Another above-average hurricane season in store

HOLT, Fla., May 24, 2022—Another above-average Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, along with Colorado State University, AccuWeather and others, has issued a prediction for the seventh consecutive above-average season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook for the 2022 season, which extends from June 1 to Nov. 30, predicts a 65 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.

Like “Why Rich Strike,” this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, a below-normal season is a long shot.

But unlike the Derby winner, it’s unlikely this season will be below normal.

For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms, those with winds of 39 mph or higher. Of those, 6 to 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher. Breaking it further down, three to six of those are predicted to become major hurricanes, category 3 or higher with winds of more than 110 mph.

NOAA provides these ranges with 70 percent confidence.

The administration’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast.

Increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon.

An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African easterly tropical waves which seed many of the strongest and longest-lived hurricanes during most seasons.

“As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years,” said NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad. “Since Sandy, NOAA’s forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods.”

The Climate Prediction Center will update the 2022 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.

Colorado State University began Atlantic hurricane season predictions in 1984. The Tropical Weather & Climate Research team will update its prediction in June, July and August.

Staff and NOAA news release

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