October 6, 2022
Forecasts predict another busy storm season

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Forecasts predict another busy storm season

Mike Vogel | 5/26/2022

With the official start of hurricane season just days away, the latest round of seasonal outlooks is in and the signs point to a seventh-consecutive above-average season. This year, however, it looks like time has run out for the Atlantic Basin to gin up a pre-season storm after seven straight years of doing so.

Forecasts of another busy season put Floridians on alert but, as WeatherTiger chief meteorologist Ryan Truchelut, notes, no hurricanes have made landfall in Florida since 2018 and no hurricane has moved directly across the South Florida metro area since Wilma in 2005. WeatherTiger is a weather analytics and forensic meteorology company in Tallahassee.

Though it starts June 1, the season doesn’t really gear up for Florida until August with most of the season’s activity coming after Aug. 20. By itself, September accounts for nearly half of Florida landfalls. For a full report on when each region of Florida historically sees landfalls from hurricanes and major hurricanes, see 

For the coming above-average season, forecasters credit the lack of an El Nino and the persistence of La Nina, climate occurrences that affect storm generation and durability. La Nina causes warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean, weaker tropical trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon that leads to the waves that seed the strongest and long-lasting hurricanes. El Nino, in contrasts, generates winds that tear hurricanes apart.

The forecast roundup (forgive us if it’s repetitive):

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center foresees “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.” The likely range is 14 to 21 named storms, of which six to 10 are hurricanes and three to six are major hurricanes. 

Colorado State University predicts 19 named storms, of which nine become hurricanes and four are major hurricanes. It foresees a season with an activity level 130% of the average season.

N.C. State University predicts 17 to 21 named storms, of which seven to nine are hurricanes and three to five are major hurricanes.

AccuWeather predicts 16 to 20 named storms, of which six to eight are hurricanes and three to five become major hurricanes.

WeatherTiger predicts 17 to 21 named storms, of which seven to 10 will be hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes. It says the most likely outcome for the season is 160 to 165 units of accumulated cyclone energy — a measure of hurricane activity — compared to an average of 100 units since 1970. WeatherTiger places the odds of a near normal, above normal and hyperactive season at, respectively 25%, 35% and 40%.

The company this year debuts a “real-time seasonal hurricane model” that daily updates the season forecast in terms of total hurricane activity and whether the season is tracking toward below, near, above or well-above normal ranges. “While day-to-day changes should be modest, over time the live model will function as an early warning system for notable shifts in expected activity, as well as folding in new information about previous and ongoing storms,” Truchelut says.

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