ATLANTA — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their updated seasonal forecast for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season on Thursday, Aug. 4. An above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is still likely.
In the updated outlook, they now call for 14 to 20 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes. This is a slight change from their original forecast released in May, calling for 14 to 20 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes.
To date, the 2022 Atlantic season has had 3 named storms and no hurricanes. An average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.
NOAA forecasters have slightly decreased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 60% (lowered from the outlook issued in May, which predicted a 65% chance). The likelihood of near-normal activity has risen to 30% and the chances remain at 10% for a below-normal season.
According to Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane season outlook forecaster with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there are still several oceanic and atmospheric conditions that would favor an active remainder of the season.
The main factor would be the ongoing La Niña, which is forecast to remain in place for the rest of the season. La Niña helps suppress wind shear in the tropical Atlantic, a factor that can significantly hinder tropical cyclone formation and development. An active west African Monsoon and above-normal Atlantic ocean surface temperatures also can promote higher activity.
Although we've been in a rather long lull with tropical activity, preparedness is key as we head into the peak months of hurricane season.
The chart below shows our tropical timeline of historically when we've seen the most named storms and hurricanes. You'll notice the spike upwards in August, September and October. These are our peak months of hurricane season, with the "peak" of season being Sept. 10.
What any of these forecasts don't tell us is how many storms could impact any coastlines or the United States this season. The key as we head into the season's peak is to remain prepared and aware.
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