Despite quiet start to the Atlantic hurricane season NOAA still forecasting above-normal activity
- Published: Friday, 05 August 2022 09:49
Atmospheric and oceanic conditions still support an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, according to NOAA’s mid-season update issued by the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the US National Weather Service.
NOAA forecasters have slightly decreased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 60 percent (lowered from the outlook issued in May, which predicted a 65 percent chance). The likelihood of near-normal activity has risen to 30 percent and the chances remain at 10 percent for a below-normal season.
“We’re just getting into the peak months of August through October for hurricane development, and we anticipate that more storms are on the way,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.
NOAA’s update to the 2022 outlook - which covers the entire six-month hurricane season that ends on Nov. 30 - calls for 14-20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 6-10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater). Of those, 3-5 could become major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70 percent confidence.
So far, the season has seen three named storms and no hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. An average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
There are several atmospheric and oceanic conditions that still support an active hurricane season. This includes La Niña conditions, which are expected to remain in place for the rest of 2022 and could allow the ongoing high-activity era conditions to dominate, or slightly enhance hurricane activity. In addition to a continued La Niña, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, an active west African Monsoon and likely above-normal Atlantic sea-surface temperatures set the stage for an active hurricane season and are reflective of the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes.
“Although it has been a relatively slow start to hurricane season, with no major storms developing in the Atlantic, this is not unusual and we therefore cannot afford to let our guard down,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.