NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has released their official forecasts for the upcoming 2022 hurricane season for the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Central Pacific basins. While a below normal season is expected in the Central and Eastern Pacific basin, an above normal number of storms is forecast in the Atlantic. The NOAA outlook is consistent with other outlooks released by tropical meteorologists in recent weeks, including the CSU Tropical Meteorology Forecast which was released in April.
NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. More specifically, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14-21 named tropical storms of which 6-10 could become hurricanes. Within those hurricanes, the NOAA outlook says 3-6 could reach major hurricane status, which is a Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or higher. NOAA says they’re 70% confident with these forecast ranges.
“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around-the-clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed.”
“As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms — such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago —remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “Since Sandy, NOAA’s forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods.
Atmospheric conditions that would typically help foster an active Atlantic season are expected to inhibit development in the Eastern and Central Pacific Basins.
For the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Basin, in which hurricane season started on May 15 and runs through to November 30, NOAA says it is 60% likely to be a below-normal season. They add that there’s a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% of an above-normal season. With a 70% forecast confidence, NOAA is expecting 10-17 named storms in the basin, 4-8 which should become hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, NOAA forecasts 0-3 will become major hurricanes.
The Central Hurricane Basin, where the season begins June 1 like the Atlantic basin, should also feature below normal activity. According to that outlook, which primarily impacts Hawaii and nearby islands, there is a 60% chance of below-normal tropical cyclone activity this upcoming season. The outlook also indicates a 30% chance for near-normal activity, and only a 10% chance of an above-normal season.