Forecasters at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting an above-average hurricane season this year, with up to 21 storms between June and November 30.
NOAA estimates there is a 65% chance that the 2022 season is above average, with only a 25% chance of a near-normal season. Of the 14 to 21 named storms, NOAA predicts six to 10 of these could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), and three to six could be major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher). This will be the seventh consecutive season with above-average hurricane activity.
As climate change impacts weather patterns, natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes will be more extreme and their seasons will last longer. The more intense hurricane activity this season is due to “several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, warmer sea surface temperatures, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon,” NOAA says.