NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) along with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued their tropical activity outlook for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season on Tuesday, May 24.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. NOAA predicts a 65% chance for an above-average season, a 25% chance for a normal season, and a 10% chance for a below-average season. A normal hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven of which become hurricanes, three of which become major hurricanes.
NOAA further broke down its prediction, stating a likely range for named storms would be 14 to 21, with six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes. NOAA issues a range forecast in order to better align with its percentage probability breakdown.
A few weeks ago, other climate and hurricane experts released their outlooks. Most notably, the experts from Colorado State University predict 19 named storms, nine of which become hurricanes, four of which become major hurricanes. It’s important to remember that these forecasts do not indicate where named tropical cyclones are predicted to make landfall. It only takes one landfalling system for an area to have a “busy” hurricane season.
“Early preparation and understanding your risk are key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around the clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed.”
NOAA climate experts say the above normal forecast is attributed to several climate factors. La Nina is ongoing and likely to persist throughout hurricane season. While La Nina seasons don’t always guarantee above normal numbers, a majority of active hurricane seasons occurred during La Nina. La Nina causes warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. These above normal sea surface temperatures are already occurring and expected to continue. La Nina also results in weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds. Weaker trade winds limit wind shear and can cause storms to intensify. Another factor is an enhanced west African monsoon. An enhanced monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves. These waves that come off Africa create many of the strongest and longest-lived named storms during most seasons.
Stay with the WAFB First Alert Storm Team as we continue to keep you updated on any future tropical systems. You can also watch our annual hurricane season special, The 5th Season, which airs live on WAFB on Wednesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m.
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