The slow start to the season, after an initial flurry, has caused NOAA to go back to the forecast.
NOAA updated its outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Thursday, still predicting an above-normal season, though slightly lower than its initial forecast in May. The updated forecast comes amid relief in south Louisiana that this season has been quiet so far, but experts warn against complacency. The National Weather Service for the New Orleans area points out that “around 80% of tropical systems that impact our region occur between August and October.” Louisianans need no reminders of the destruction that even a single storm can cause. The last couple seasons have brought two of the most powerful hurricanes in state history in Laura, which hit southwest Louisiana in 2020, and 2021’s Ida, which tore through the southeast.nola.com
Last year was the thrid most active and recent years have been the same.
Last year was the third most-active season with 21 named storms, behind only the 2020 and 2005 seasons. In its May forecast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a seventh year in a row of above-average storm activity. Its predictions included 14 to 21 named storms and six to 10 fully fledged hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, it forecast three to six major storms of Category 3 and above. It is now forecasting 14-20 named storms, including 6 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 5 major storms. It slightly decreased the likelihood of an above-normal season to 60%, from 65% in May. So far this year, there have been three named storms, though no hurricanes and none have threatened Louisiana.
2017 was the last time the start was this slow.
It’s the first year since 2017 that a hurricane has not formed before August. Somewhat cooler sea surface temperatures in certain areas have contributed to the slightly reduced NOAA outlook. Hurricane season began on June 1 and ends November 30. “Although it has been a relatively slow start to hurricane season, with no major storms developing in the Atlantic, this is not unusual and we therefore cannot afford to let our guard down,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.
Personally, the longer we have to wait is good and I could wait until November!