Americans can expect to deal with more hurricanes and tropical storms this hurricane season than usual, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to Nov. 30, predicts a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.
For the 2022 hurricane season, the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has forecasted a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher).
This projection includes three to six major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). The NOAA said they provide these ranges with 70% confidence.
“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “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 NOAA said the increased activity anticipated this hurricane season can be attributed to several climate factors including the ongoing La Niña, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and an enhanced west African monsoon.
An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves, said the NOAA, which seeded many of the strongest and longest-lived hurricanes during most seasons.
Adding how “climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists.”
“As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms, such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area 10 years ago, remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. said.
“Since Sandy, NOAA’s forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods,” he said.
The NOAA advises that its outlook is for overall seasonal activity and does not represent a landfall forecast. In addition to the Atlantic seasonal outlook, NOAA has also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern Pacific and central Pacific hurricane basins.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2022 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just before the historical peak of the season.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said all Americans should prepare for the event of a hurricane regardless of where they live.
“Hurricane Ida spanned nine states, demonstrating that anyone can be in the direct path of a hurricane and in danger from the remnants of a storm system,” Criswell said. “It’s important for everyone to understand their risk and take proactive steps to get ready now by visiting Ready.gov and Listo.gov for preparedness tips and downloading the FEMA App to make sure you are receiving emergency alerts in real-time.”