NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center predicts an above-average hurricane season for 2022.
Forecasters predict 14 to 21 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes. The 2020 and 2021 seasons both exhausted the hurricane name list.
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad recognized that the current hurricane cycle for the Atlantic is a busy one, with 30 named storms in 2020 and 21 in 2021.
The existing La Nia conditions in the equatorial Pacific create favorable conditions for hurricanes. This is a major contrast to El Nio conditions, which tear hurricanes apart as they try to form.
The Gulf Loop Current, a 600-foot-deep river of hot Caribbean water, is traveling farther north now. This is forcing warm water at deeper levels of the ocean to travel closer to the coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico.
Eight hurricanes made landfall along the US Gulf Coast in 2021, six in 2020. Hurricane Ida spanned nine states and caused catastrophic damage in the Northeast.
The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Nia, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon.
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said that past storms like Superstorm Sandy remind us that one storm can impact lives for years.
NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab and Pacific Marine Environmental Lab will use five Saildrone surface vehicles, uncrewed ocean gliders, small aircraft drone systems, and a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft to better understand how hurricanes intensify.
NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlooks are for overall seasonal activity. The 2022 Atlantic seasonal outlook will be updated in early August.
Check out the following news outlets for more information:
- Above-average hurricane season forecast with several major hurricanes CNN
- NOAA expects up to 10 hurricanes during above average season WPLG Local 10
- NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- NOAA predicts above-average 2022 Atlantic hurricane season CBS News
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