The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season: Above-Average Activity Predicted
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is anticipating above-average hurricane activity for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. This forecast is based on several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña, potentially warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker trade winds, and an enhanced West African monsoon. Nevertheless, NOAA’s forecast is for overall seasonal activity and not a landfall forecast. Given that hurricanes aren’t just a coastal problem, it’s important to prepare ahead of time, and this article will provide you with the information you need to do that.
Know Your Hurricane Risk
It’s important to note that hurricanes are not only a coastal problem. Factors such as rainfall, wind, water, and tornadoes could occur inland from where a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall. It’s imperative to start preparing early, and taking the following steps will help:
Make an Emergency Plan
Ensure that everyone in your household knows what to do in case of a hurricane and understands your hurricane plan. Ensure that your hurricane plan covers your workplace, kids’ daycare, and anywhere else you frequent. Your business continuity plan should also be up-to-date in case of disaster.
Know Your Evacuation Zone
Find out if your residence is in an evacuation zone, as you may need to evacuate quickly. Learn your evacuation routes and practice with your household and pets. Have a plan for where to stay if you need to evacuate. Follow the instructions of local emergency managers as they’ll provide the latest recommendations and necessary safety measures based on the threat to your community.
Recognize Warnings and Alerts
It’s crucial to have several ways of receiving alerts. Download the FEMA app, which provides real-time alerts for up to five locations nationwide, and sign up for community alerts in your area. Be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign-up.
The Hurricane Season Prediction for 2022
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting 14 to 21 named storms for the 2022 hurricane season, six to ten of which may become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. The forecast provides these ranges with 70% confidence:
- 65% chance of an above-normal season
- 25% chance of a near-normal season
- 10% chance of a below-normal season
Cause of the Increased Activity
According to NOAA scientists, the ongoing La Niña, potentially warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker trade winds, and an enhanced West African monsoon caused the increased hurricane activity. It’s important to note that climate change’s impact on the intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones is under continuous study.
NOAA’s Enhanced Products and Services for the 2022 Hurricane Season
Extended Tropical Cyclone Outlook Graphic
NOAA’s Tropical Cyclone Outlook graphic will be operationalized to extend from five to seven days this year, providing emergency managers and communities with more time to prepare for hurricanes.
Enhanced Storm Surge Watches and Warnings
NOAA is implementing a new storm surge watch and warning system for the 2022 hurricane season. The system will deliver dedicated storm surge watch and warnings, improving decision-making capabilities for emergency managers and communities.
Improved Hurricane Model
NOAA is operationalizing a new hurricane forecast model this year, providing emergency managers and communities with even more accurate forecasts and supporting decision-making before, during, and after hurricanes.
NOAA’s Forecast for the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season
NOAA is predicting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms for the 2023 hurricane season, with five to nine of them becoming hurricanes. Just one to four of these hurricanes are predicted to be major hurricanes. These ranges have a 70% confidence level. NOAA is forecasting a 30% chance of an above-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season, and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
Cause of the Predicted Activity
The Atlantic hurricane season was expected to be less active than in recent years due to several opposing factors contributing to the forecast’s overall prediction of a near-normal season. These opposing factors include El Nino’s potential return and the potential for a West African monsoon that produces African easterly waves, which could fuel storm development, alongside warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The combination of these conditions is conducive to hurricane development and has been creating an active Atlantic hurricane season since the mid-1990s.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is anticipating above-average hurricane activity for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season due to several climate factors that could be a driver of this activity. Given that hurricanes can cause destruction far inland from the coastal areas where they make landfall, it’s crucial to prepare from early on. Make an emergency plan, be aware of your evacuation zone, and recognize warnings and alerts. Additionally, stay updated with NOAA’s enhanced products and services for the 2022 hurricane season, such as the extended Tropical Cyclone Outlook Graphic, enhanced storm surge watches and warnings, and the improved hurricane model.
What does NOAA’s forecast mean for coastal areas?
NOAA’s hurricane season forecast isn’t a landfall forecast. As a result, it means that people who live in coastal areas should ensure that their hurricane plans are in order and be aware of their risk if a hurricane or tropical storm is present in their area.
How do I know if I’m in an evacuation zone?
You can find out if you’re in an evacuation zone by visiting your state’s emergency management agency website.
What’s the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning?
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible in a specified area, typically within 48 hours. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected in a specified area, typically within 36 hours.
What is the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane?
Tropical storms are characterized by sustained winds of 39-73 mph, while hurricanes have sustained winds of 74 mph or more. Hurricanes also have the potential to cause catastrophic damage, while tropical storms may cause some damage but are typically less destructive.
What’s the difference between an above-, near-, and below-normal hurricane season forecast?
An above-normal hurricane season forecast means that the season is anticipated to be busier than usual. A near-normal forecast means that the season is anticipated to be typical, while a below-normal forecast means that the season is anticipated to be less busy.