Revised numbers: above average hurricane season expected, U.S. has nearly a 70% chance to be impacted by a Major Hurricane this season
Colorado State University (CSU) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the revised 2022 Atlantic hurricane season outlook today. The updated outlook suggests above-average tropical activity is still expected but the numbers have slightly decreased compared to earlier in the season.
CSU is forecasting 18 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. A major hurricane is classified as a hurricane with winds of at least 115 mph (Category 3).
NOAA is expected 14-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes.
It should be noted that these numbers include the 3 named systems that already developed earlier in the season. The 1991-2020 average is 14.4 named storms, 7.2 hurricanes, and 3.2 major hurricanes.
A deeper dive into the numbers shows a big factor in the above-average expectations is because of La Niña. This lessens wind shear over the favorable areas of the Atlantic to see tropical development. Notably, wind shear has recently been elevated over the Atlantic Basin along with plumes of Saharan dust, which have potentially led to a slightly decreased number of named storms. The guidance does suggest this region will soon become more favorable for tropical cyclone development. This is an important reminder to keep a close eye on the forecast in the coming weeks. In fact, CSU suggests nearly a 70% (68%) chance of the U.S. being impacted by a major hurricane this season.
While we are a couple of months into the season, it's important to know that historically nearly 90% (88.5%) of tropical activity occurs from August through November so there's still a lot of season to go.
We've already seen Alex, Bonnie, and Colin. Bonnie is the next name on the list.