The 2022 North Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. During the most recent 30-year period (1991-2020) there has been, on average, about 14-15 named tropical cyclones. Of these, about 7-8 become hurricanes and 3-4 become major hurricanes. NOAA has recently published their Seasonal Hurricane Outlook calling for increased activity again this hurricane season. The prediction for another active season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon.
For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5). The range of total named storms (14-21) is provided with a 70% confidence. The predicted range runs from near normal to well above normal which suggests that there is still a good bit of uncertainty for this upcoming season.
Sea Surface Temperature Trends
Among several important factors cited in the NOAA outlook are “warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea”. The one outlier among the various projections is the outlook from the University of Arizona which expects this season not to be as active as last season, however, they expect to review their outlook in early June based on more reliable sea surface temperatures.
Tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) have cooled recently as we approach the start of the North Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1st. In the Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR) SSTs cooled from mid-February to mid-April, followed by a warming trend into the second week of May which recently has reversed. Only the Gulf of Mexico and southwestern portion of the North Atlantic has remained abnormally warm.
The cooling trend, “IF IT CONTINUES”, will have the effect of reducing the amount of tropical cyclone activity this season, compared to last season. We shall see!
|Colorado State University|
|Tropical Storm Risk|
|University of Arizona|
|UK Met Office|
|NC State University|