Another above-average hurricane season is forecast for 2022. A prediction released Thursday by scientists at Colorado State University indicates there will be at least 19 named storms and nine hurricanes – four of which will be Category 3 or higher.
An average season normally has 14 named storms, about seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
Residents living along the U.S. coast and in the Caribbean should be prepared for “an above-average likelihood of major hurricanes making landfall” near their homes, researchers said. Hurricane season officially begins in June and lasts until November.
“As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane to make landfall to make it an active season for them,” the researchers said. “They should prepare the same for each season, regardless of the amount of activity planned.”
The forecast busier than average season continues a trend researchers have observed for some time. Last season, CSU scientists predicted 17 named storms and four major hurricanes.
It ended up being the third most active season on record, with 21 named storms. There were seven hurricanes last season — four of whom were considered adults.
Hurricanes are more likely to be larger and more powerful when they form over warmer ocean waters. Thanks to climate change, global sea surface temperatures are rising.
Not all storms make landfall. But those who do can fetch over a billion dollars damage, especially as these storms continue to cause more severe flooding.
NPR spoke with longtime emergency manager Chauncia Willis in 2020 about how people should prepare for hurricanes:
1. Prepare an evacuation plan. Beforehand, decide where you will go, map out the route, and create a family communication plan of what to do if family members are separated and cannot join.
2. Have a go-kit ready. Some items to include are spare car keys, cash (don’t rely on ATMs running), a two-week supply of medication, phone chargers, hygiene items (toilet paper, hand sanitizer, menstrual products, diapers), important documents (policy insurance, proof of home ownership, rental agreement), battery-powered emergency radio, flashlight, batteries, and protective clothing. rain.
3. Use a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything in the stress of the moment. the American Red Cross has a checklist, and the US government Ready.gov also has resources to help with planning.
4. If your resources are limited, be creative and ask for help now to be prepared. For example, if you don’t have transportation, register with your local government ahead of time so authorities know you’ll need help evacuating.
5. Take the threat seriously. Willis says climate change has made the threat of natural disaster greater: storms are getting bigger and more powerful and creating more damage.