Two anticipated updates to the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season forecast were issued Thursday -- one from NOAA and one from Colorado State University expert Dr. Phil Klotzbach, and while both were slightly scaled back from original pre-season forecasts released in early May, they each still point toward a very active peak in late August or September.
Typically, you'd expect to see 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes during an average Atlantic hurricane season. The forecasts from the two main sources vary a bit.
Klotzbach and his team say they now expect 18 named storms total, along with eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes, down barely from the May forecast. NOAA uses a range. It expects 14 to 20 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes by the time the Atlantic season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, wraps up.
Multiple atmospheric conditions point to an active season.
La Niña – cooler-than-normal ocean water in the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean. This promotes weak upper-level wind currents over the Atlantic basin, which is favorable for hurricane development.
Warmer-than-normal Atlantic Ocean temperatures mean there's more energy for hurricanes to feed on.
A strong West African Monsoon. The monsoon is a seasonal onshore wind flow in Western Africa. It promotes African waves that drift into the Atlantic Ocean and act as seeds for hurricane development.
So far this season, three named storms have formed. The most recent one, Colin, developed between July 2 and 3, and the Atlantic basin has stayed quiet since then. The current mid-season lull is not unusual, though, so don't get comfortable. That quiet trend is likely to buckle when activity is expected to pick up in the second half of August.
The pace should continue to quicken through early September before slowly tapering off.
The next tropical storm to form in the Atlantic will be named Danielle. See what comes next below.
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