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While summertime means hot dog cookouts, pool days, and much more, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Summertime is also the beginning of the yearly hurricane season, which is a dangerous and somewhat frightening time, especially for those who live near the Atlantic Ocean.
Thankfully, meteorologists spend lots of time making predictions about hurricane season, so we can have some idea of what to expect. Read on below to learn how severe the 2022 hurricane season is expected to be.
Long story short, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted that the 2022 hurricane season will be an “above average” one and will likely supersede last year’s season in intensity.
If these predictions are correct, this will be the seventh year in a row of overactive severe weather and hurricane patterns. Many climate scientists believe that the higher frequency and intensity of hurricanes over the last few years may be due to climate change caused by greenhouse gasses.
How do we know?
A variety of factors go into weather predictions, including historical statistics, weather data so far in the year, and current wind patterns and sea surface temperatures.
While weather forecasting techniques have improved over time, they’re still rather imprecise this far in advance. Once a hurricane has actually formed, however, meteorologists can be highly accurate in predicting its severity and path.
How many hurricanes will there be?
NOAA predictions estimate that there will be between 14 and 21 named storms this year, with six to ten being classified as hurricanes, and three to six being “major hurricanes.” These estimates are at the higher end of the spectrum, as the average year consists of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
Where will hurricanes hit?
According to forecaster Dan Kottlowski, “sea-surface temperatures are above normal over much of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and even off the East Coast of the United States, especially the southeast coast of the United States.” While hurricanes most often happen in these areas anyway, as time goes on, the forecasters will be able to more accurately predict specifics of where hurricane damage is to be expected.
When did hurricane season start?
The official start of the recognized Atlantic hurricane season was June 1, and the season officially ends on November 30. This doesn’t necessarily mean that hurricanes can’t happen outside of that time, just that the warm and humid weather conditions required for a hurricane to form are more common during this period.
Although hurricane season has technically started already, based on historical statistics, the odds of a hurricane soon are low. The last time a hurricane struck the continental U.S. in June was when Hurricane Bonnie struck Texas in 1986. It’ll likely be July or August when we experience the first hurricane of the season, but now is a great time to begin preparing and stocking up on food, water, and other essentials if you live near the coast.