Hurricane season: 19 named storms expected, above average but becoming more frequent, CSU forecast

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Of the 19 storms, nine are expected to become hurricanes and four are expected to become major Category 3 or higher hurricanes with winds exceeding 111 miles per hour, according to hurricane experts from Colorado State University (CSU).

The report details another very active hurricane season – which runs from June 1 to November 30 – and includes above-average forecasts for all storm categories.

This year’s forecast looks suspiciously like the forecast for the past two years.

Phil Klotzbach, a researcher in CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences and lead author of the report, compared the 2022 forecast to that of 2021 and 2020.

“For example, in April 2020 and April 2021 we are forecasting eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. This year we are forecasting nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes,” Klotzbach told CNN.

The new hurricane season promises to be just as active, if not slightly more so, than last year, which was the third most active season on record.

“The team predicts that 2022 hurricane activity will be about 130% of the average season from 1991 to 2020. By comparison, 2021 hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season,” the report said. report.

A forecast of 19 named storms for the upcoming season tops the past two years as the most named storms CSU forecast in its April outlook.

“One of the reasons we’re predicting more named storms than in previous years is that we’re naming more storms now than before due to improvements in technology,” Klotzbach explained.

Thanks to improvements in the satellites, they are now able to detect weak storms that might have been missed even 20 to 30 years ago, Klotzbach added.

With the previous two years’ exhausting name lists, 2022 could add a third straight year to the record.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has a additional list Atlantic tropical cyclone names just in case.

Reason for active Atlantic season

The main contributing factor to a hyperactive Atlantic season is “the likely absence of El Niño,” according to CSU hurricane researchers.

The tropical Pacific is currently under low La Niña Conditionsa pattern known for cooler than average ocean temperatures around the equator.

The phenomenon has impacts on weather patterns around the world.

La Niña presents favorable conditions for hurricanes unlike El Niño. Hurricane seasons in El Niño conditions are known for upper-level wind patterns across the Caribbean that tear apart hurricanes as they attempt to form, making the seasons less active.

“While La Niña could weaken and transition to neutral conditions by this summer, CSU does not currently anticipate El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season,” the report said.

The report adds that “the warmer Caribbean and eastern part of the subtropical Atlantic also favor an active Atlantic hurricane season in 2022.”

Tropical storms need warm seawater, which helps them grow and develop. This is one of the main reasons why scientists say the climate crisis is altering hurricanes in the Atlantic. Warmer water and air can increase precipitation rates, making it more likely that a hurricane making landfall will lead to disastrous flooding. Sea level rise has also increased storm surge damage.
“We know that, in general, hurricanes intensify faster,” Katharine Hayhoe, chief scientist at the Nature Conservancy and professor at Texas Tech University, previously told CNN. “They’re bigger and stronger than they otherwise would be; they’re associated with a lot more precipitation, and rising sea levels exacerbate storm surges.”

Although recent seasons have seen an increase in hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin, research has shown a general downward trend in hurricanes around the world since 1990.

“We attributed the reason behind this to a trend toward more frequent La Niñas and fewer El Niños over the past 30 years,” Klotzbach told CNN, citing his recently published research.

La Niña conditions tend to increase hurricane activity in the Atlantic, but decrease hurricane/typhoon activity in the Pacific basin, according to Klotzbach.

“Because the Pacific is a much larger basin and typically generates far more storms than the Atlantic, we have seen a general trend of fewer hurricane-force tropical cyclones around the world despite the increased activity that we observed in the Atlantic,” Klotzbach said. noted.

Stay ahead of hurricane season

“All it takes is one storm near you to make it an active season,” said Michael Bell, a professor in CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

Coastal communities are warned to begin taking appropriate precautions for an active hurricane season now.

The chance of a major hurricane making landfall along the US coast is 71%, well above the last century’s average of 52%, the report said.

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A greater than two-thirds chance of a major hurricane making landfall should inspire people in hurricane-prone areas to start taking action now. The damage caused by Category 4 Hurricane Ida, which hit the Gulf Coast in 2021, is a stark reminder of the power of large tropical cyclones.
Hurricane Ida left behind widespread destruction and flooding, as seen here in Point-Aux-Chenes, Louisiana.
Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 1-7, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) encourages people to determine their hurricane risk, develop an evacuation plan, and gather emergency supplies in the event of a hurricane. hurricane affecting their area.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC), an arm of NOAA, is set to release its first five-day tropical forecast for the 2022 hurricane season on May 15.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center plans to release its seasonal forecast on May 24.

CSU will also update its forecast on June 2, July 7 and August 4 to keep the public as up to date as possible.


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