NOAA calls for above average Atlantic hurricane season
La Niña and warmer than average Atlantic are main factors moving forward this season
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their 2022 Atlantic hurricane season outlook this morning and they’re predicting more tropical activity than normal. If this season verifies to be above average then it would be the 7th year straight with more named tropical systems than normal.
NOAA’s outlook said there was a 65% chance of above average tropical activity, 25% chance of near normal activity, and only 10% chance of less activity than normal. The NOAA press release stated, “for the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence”.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1st and lasts until November 30th. The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is usually late August through early October when ocean temperatures are warmest.
The NOAA press release listed multiple climate factors that will likely lead to a busy 2022 season, “including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon. An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves, which seed many of the strongest and longest lived hurricanes during most seasons. The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists.”
NOAA is also changing some of the products and services they provide. The latest press release stated:
- To improve the understanding and prediction of how hurricanes intensify, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab and Pacific Marine Environmental Lab will operate five Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles during the peak of the 2022 hurricane season and coordinate for the first time with uncrewed ocean gliders, small aircraft drone systems, and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft to measure the ocean, atmosphere and areas where they meet.
- The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast Modeling System and Hurricanes in a Multi-scale Ocean-coupled Non-hydrostatic model, which have shown significant skill improvements in terms of storm track and intensity forecasts, have been successfully transitioned to the newest version of the Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System, allowing for uninterrupted operational forecasts.
- The Excessive Rainfall Outlook (ERO) has been experimentally extended from three to five days of lead time, giving more notice of rainfall-related flash flooding risks from tropical storms and hurricanes. The ERO forecasts and maps the probability of intense rainfall that could lead to flash flooding within 25 miles of a given point.
- In June, NOAA will enhance an experimental graphic that depicts the Peak Storm Surge Forecast when storm surge watches or warnings are in effect. Upgrades include an updated disclaimer and color coding that illustrates the peak storm surge inundation forecast at the coast. This tool is currently only available in the Atlantic basin.
You can read the full press release from NOAA here: NOAA Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
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