"Above-average" activity for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, is predicted to be more active than usual.
According to a report by Sun-Sentinel, for the third consecutive year, the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration), as well as Colorado State University and AccuWeather expect “above-average” activity.
Experts predict a total 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) and 3 to 6 could become major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
The forecast is similar to 2021, which was the third-most active year, with 21 named storms. In addition, there will be less activity than in 2020, which was the most active year in history and saw 30 named storms.
According to one expert, Florida has a 75 percent chance of getting hit by a hurricane this year, which is the highest chance of any U.S. state.
“The highest probability is going to be over the Florida Panhandle, which is part of that northern Gulf of Mexico area that’s been hammered the last several years”, explained AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.
Warmer sea temperatures caused by La Niña, as well as the warm Loop Current, which starts between Mexico’s eastern Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba’s west coast, flows north into the Gulf of Mexico and then southeast to the Florida Straitsare, are considered to be contributing factors, as hurricanes use warm water to start a rapid intensification.
“Basically the hurricanes are heat engines, they run between the hot ocean surface and the cooler base of the stratosphere”, highlighted scientist and professor Hugh Willoughby, who is currently investigating whether global warming has an influence on the Loop Current or other storm factors.
In addition, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday that in the next five days, an area of low pressure left over from the Pacific’s Hurricane Agatha has a 60 percent chance of developing in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea.