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Above-average hurricane season predicted — again — with multiple major storms likely: NOAA

Hurricane Ida on Saturday August 28th, 2021 at 21:00 UTC
Wikimedia Commons
Hurricane Ida on Saturday August 28th, 2021 at 21:00 UTC

The 2022 hurricane season is predicted to see “above-average” activity, officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasted Tuesday.

If their predictions, based on statistical models, do play out, 2022 will be the seventh above-average year in a row.

At a press conference in New York on Tuesday, the agency said it anticipates 14 to 21 named storms this season. Of those, they anticipate six to 10 will strengthen into hurricanes. And of those, they expect three to six will become major hurricanes, at Category 3 or higher.

“It’s never too early to prepare for the devastating impacts of hurricanes,” NOAA administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad said. “It only takes one storm to damage your home, neighborhood and community.”

2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

The last two hurricane seasons battered south Louisiana, with several named storms and major hurricanes hitting the state during both years.

Both also ran through the list of 21 names for storms. The 2020 season had 30 named storms, becoming the most active season on record, Spinrad said.

The 2022 hurricane season officially kicks off on June 1, and the first named storm of the season will be called Alex.

2022 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names
2022 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names

This year, if more than 21-named storms form, forecasters won’t use Greek letter names anymore, saying they were too confusing. They will draw from this list of supplemental names instead.

Independent researchers have also warned that the 2022 hurricane season will be above average.

Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project predicts 19 named storms, and expects nine to become hurricanes and four to become major hurricanes.

AccuWeather anticipates 16 to 20 named storms, with six to eight becoming hurricanes and three to five becoming major hurricanes.

As climate change progresses, climate scientists anticipate more intense hurricanes moving more slowly at landfall, similar to Hurricanes Katrina, Laura and Ida.

Carly Berlin is the New Orleans Reporter for WWNO and WRKF. She focuses on housing, transportation, and city government. Previously, she was the Gulf Coast Correspondent for Southerly, where her work focused on disaster recovery across south Louisiana during two record-breaking hurricane seasons. Much of that reporting centered on the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta in Lake Charles, and was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center.

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