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2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Preview

Hurricane Laura (2020) in the Gulf of Mexico
Hurricane Laura (2020) in the Gulf of Mexico(NOAA)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 10:29 PM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 10:48 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Hurricane season begins 3 weeks from Wednesday and you may be wondering what this season could look like.

Over the last 30 years, on average, the Atlantic Hurricane Season has 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes every season.

Looking at weather patterns into the summer, we are looking at another above average hurricane season. We’ve had above average seasons for named storms the last 6 years. Last year, we had 21 named storms in which 7 were hurricanes and 4 were major hurricanes.

THIS YEAR’S PREDICITONS

There are two major predictions every year from NOAA and Colorado State University (CSU). CSU released their outlook in early April, while NOAA’s will come out later in May.

CSU is prediciting 19 named storms, in which 9 will be hurricanes and 4 turning into major hurricanes. So why yet another abover average season?

Well the good news is that the La Niña cycle is forecasted to end, turning the cycle in the Pacific Ocean neutral. With a La Niña, wind shear and trade winds are weaker along with less stability in the air. Weaker wind shear is a key ingredient in a hurricane developing as upper level winds disrupt less of the vertical warm air rising.

La Niña's typically allow for more hurricanes due to weaker shear and trade winds along with...
La Niña's typically allow for more hurricanes due to weaker shear and trade winds along with less atmospheric stability(NOAA)

Sea surface temperatures are also a driving factor behind hurricanes. Warmer waters mean more energy for hurricanes. Right now, the Central and Eastern Atlantic are seeing sea surface temperatures around average. However, the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean have warmer waters than average.

Parts of the Atlantic are seeing sea surface temperatures close to average, while the Caribbean...
Parts of the Atlantic are seeing sea surface temperatures close to average, while the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico has much warmer temperatures.(NOAA)

NOTABLE TROPCIAL STORMS IN OUR AREA

We don’t get hit by hurricanes like areas of the coast do, but what’s leftover of these systems can move into our area and cause significant flooding and other impacts. Hurricane Isabel (2003), Fran (1996), and Juan (1985) are the most recent tropical storms to cause major impacts to our area.

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