Above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season predicted

Above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season predicted

This year could be the 7th consecutive above-average Atlantic hurricane season.

A summary infographic showing hurricane season probability and numbers of named storms predicted from NOAA's 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.
A summary infographic showing hurricane season probability and numbers of named storms predicted from NOAA's 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.

Atlantic hurricane season kicked off June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, predict an above-average season.

There’s a 65% chance that’s the case and a 25% chance it’s a near-normal season, according to forecasters. 

For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting:

•    a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (which is winds of 39 mph or higher)
•    of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (which is winds of 74 mph or higher),
•    which includes 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher)

“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in a news release. “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.”

The increased activity anticipated is attributed to several climate factors, including: 

•    the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season
•    warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea
•    weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds
•    an enhanced west African monsoon

A visible satellite image of Hurricane Ida approaching land in the Gulf of Mexico taken by NOAA's GOES-16 satellite Aug. 29, 2021.

Prepare now for hurricanes. Here is a list to get started from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

•    Know your hurricane risk: Find out how rain, wind, and water could happen where you live so you can start preparing now.
•    Make an emergency plan: Don’t forget a plan for the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent.
•    Gather supplies: Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, cloth face coverings, and pet supplies in your go-bag or car trunk.
•    Know your evacuation zone: Learn your evacuation routes, practice with family and household pets, and identify where you will stay. 
•    Recognize warnings and alerts: Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service
•    Review essential documents: Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents like ID are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure, password-protected digital space.
•    Strengthen your home: Declutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture and consider hurricane shutters.
•    Get tech ready: Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.
•    Help your neighborhood: Check with those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others

“As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms — such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago — remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., in the statement. “Since Sandy, NOAA’s forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods.”

Learn more ways to be prepared at Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA, and the American Red Cross.