Updated hurricane outlook forecasts less storms, still “above-average” cyclone activity

by | Aug 4, 2022

  • An August update still forecasts that atmospheric and oceanic conditions still favor an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season
  • Colorado State brought both the forecasted number of named storms and hurricanes down by two
  • A mid-season update was also issued by NOAA forecasters

An updated 2022 Atlantic hurricane season forecast released today by Colorado State University (CSU) predicts a reduced number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes, but still envisions an “above-average” level of tropical cyclone activity this season.

CSU’s new outlook now anticipates 18 named storms rather than 20 the team released its initial 2022 seasonal forecast on April 7. The CSU team, led by Phil Klotzbach, also expects eight hurricanes instead of 10, and four major hurricanes as opposed to five. Major hurricanes are those with wind speeds reaching Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

“We are nearing the peak of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season so this is the ideal time to gather your hurricane supplies and get your properties ready,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “Residents who live in coastal states from Maine to Texas are vulnerable to the direct impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms. Even though the updated forecast calls for somewhat less activity than originally forecast, all it takes is one storm to make it an active season for you and your family so now is the time to prepare.”

A typical season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season continues through Nov. 30. Three named storms have already developed in 2022: Alex, Bonnie, and Colin. None of them made landfall in the U.S. Historically, 90 percent of hurricanes and 95 percent of major hurricanes form after Aug. 1.

“Homeowners and business owners should review their policies with an insurance professional to make sure they have the right types, and amounts, of insurance to protect their properties from damage caused by either wind or water. That also means exploring whether they need flood coverage since flood-caused damage is not covered under standard homeowners, condo, renters, or business insurance policies. In addition, homeowners should take steps to make their residences more resilient to windstorms and torrential rain by installing roof tie-downs and making sure they have a good drainage system,” Kevelighan recommended.

The updated CSU forecast also indicates there is a 68 percent chance (full-season average for the last century is 52 percent) of a major hurricane making landfall in the continental U.S. this year. This includes a 43 percent chance for the U.S. East Coast, including the state of Florida, as well as a 43 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall between the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas.

“Current La Niña conditions are likely to persist for the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season. We continue to anticipate an above-normal probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean,” Klotzbach added. “Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean are slightly warmer than normal. A warmer than normal tropical Atlantic provides more fuel for developing storms. However, sea surface temperatures are only slightly above normal, so the CSU forecast team considers this a mostly neutral factor for the remainder of the season.”

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season produced the third-most named storms on record. Seven of last year’s 21 named storms were hurricanes, with four reaching major hurricane intensity. Category 4 Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29 and then caused deadly flooding along the East Coast a few days later.

1 Comment

  1. Melissa

    It’s fewer, not less.

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