(WFXR) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center announced Thursday it’s still forecasting an active hurricane season for 2022. However, forecasters have slightly decreased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
The Thursday, Aug. 4 update comes ahead of the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the typical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is mid-August to late October.
The agency says they expect between 14 and 20 named tropical storms (winds of 39 miles per hour or higher), including six to 10 hurricanes (winds of 74 miles per hour or higher). They also predict three to five of those hurricanes could become major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
So far, three named storms and no hurricanes have developed in the Atlantic Basin this year. According to NOAA, an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
NOAA currently predicts a 60% chance for an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. There is a 30% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season.
In the original May outlook, it was forecasted that 14 to 21 named storms would form this season. Six to ten of those storms could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes.
Forecasters with NOAA say oceanic and atmospheric conditions still favor an active hurricane season. La Niña conditions are expected to remain in place, which could result in above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season. In addition, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, an active west African Monsoon, and likely above-normal Atlantic sea-surface temperatures also suggest higher-than-average tropical activity.
NOAA reminds the public that the seasonal outlooks are not landfall forecasts. As the peak of the hurricane season gets closer, officials urge residents to make sure they’re prepared.
Virginia is offering a tax-free weekend on hurricane preparedness supplies from Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7. Qualifying items include weather radios, batteries, flashlights, portable generators, chainsaws, and more.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.