TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane season is just a week away, and federal weather officials are predicting another above-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
NOAA announced its 2022 Atlantic hurricane season outlook on Tuesday. Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say we will likely see another year of above-average hurricane activity. If true, this would mark the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season in the Atlantic.
This year, forecasters are expecting between 14 to 21 named storms with wind speeds of 39 mph or higher. NOAA predicts six to 10 of those storms could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, and between three and six of those could become major hurricanes.
A major hurricane is any storm that reaches sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or higher. Major hurricanes can reach Category 3 strength with 111-129 mph winds, Category 4 with 130 to 156 mph winds, or Category 5 with 157 mph winds or higher.
NOAA says there are several factors contributing to the anticipated increased activity this hurricane season, including the ongoing La Niña pattern. Above-average sea surface temperatures and weaker trade winds in the tropical Atlantic are also contributing factors, according to NOAA.
Last month, forecasters at Colorado State University also predicted an above-average hurricane season this year. Their forecast predicts 19 named storms with nine hurricanes, including four major hurricanes.
Experts with both NOAA and Colorado State University are reminding everyone to prepare the same, no matter what the hurricane season predictions say.
“As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them,” Meteorologist Dr. Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University said.
“Hurricane Ida spanned nine states, demonstrating that anyone can be in the direct path of a hurricane and in danger from the remnants of a storm system,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said. “It’s important for everyone to understand their risk and take proactive steps to get ready now.”