Hurricane activity could spike in coming weeks after lull in July, forecasters say

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Topline

A lull in tropical activity that has lasted more than a month is likely to come to an abrupt end soon, according to forecasters at Colorado State University, who expect an outbreak of hurricanes that will make 2022 l one of the busiest seasons in history.

Highlights

In a forecast released Thursday, Colorado state meteorologists called for 18 named storms in the Atlantic basin, with eight becoming hurricanes (sustained winds of 74 mph or more) and four reaching major hurricane status (Category 3). , or sustained winds of 111 mph or more). ).

Only three named storms have formed so far this year, and none have reached hurricane strength.

Forecasters put the chance of a potentially devastating major hurricane to hit somewhere in the United States at 68%, significantly higher than the annual average of 52% over the past century.

The East Coast and Gulf Coast each have a 43% chance of a major hurricane this season, according to Colorado State.

Hurricane season typically intensifies in August, with the historic peak of activity falling on September 10, before beginning to wane in October and ending in late November.

An average season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

To monitor

There are no imminent threats, as no new storms are expected for at least the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center. The next storm will be called “Danielle”.

Key context

Colorado state meteorologists noted that this season “exhibits similar characteristics” to last year, which also had no activity between mid-July and mid-August. The 2021 season then saw 21 named storms, the third in a single season, with 15 forming between August 11 and September 29. year, as it leads to increased sea surface temperatures and decreased wind shear in the Atlantic Basin, which favors the formation of storms. Colorado state forecast is slightly less dire than seasonal outlook Published early July, reflecting the slowdown in activity since the dissipation of Tropical Storm Colin on July 3. The university pioneered long-range hurricane forecasting when it released its first seasonal outlook in 1984.

Surprising fact

The heat waves that have plagued the United States throughout the summer could provide some hurricane protection if they persist. The sweltering temperatures are caused by heat domes, areas of high pressure that cause air to stagnate and limit cloud formation. Steering patterns keep tropical cyclones moving along the periphery of high-pressure systems, rather than within them.

Further reading

Hurricane season is about to take a major turn for the worse, say government forecasters (Forbes)

Yes, another heat wave: nearly 50 million heat alerts in the United States (Forbes)


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