2022 hurricane season off to quiet start, but above average season still forecast
Activity still expected to increase in September
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season has been off to a quiet start with only three named storms so far this year.
A big part of the reason it has been so quiet has been Saharan dust moving off the coast of Africa, which has really been unfavorable for tropical storms and hurricanes to develop.
Dry Saharan dust essentially chokes off any thunderstorms that develop across the tropical Atlantic and that will not allow any tropical storms or hurricanes to develop (almost all tropical storms or hurricanes start as clusters of thunderstorms in the tropics).
As you look back through historical averages, we typically start to get into the peak of tropical storm and hurricane season from late August right through the month of September into October.
We have not seen a single named storm during the month of August - that is just the fifth time in recorded history that’s happened. The last time it happened was back in 1997, but we do expect activity to ramp up over the next several weeks as we have a couple of systems we’re keeping an eye on in the Atlantic.
To get a tropical storm, you need water temperatures above 80 degrees - there already are warm waters in the Atlantic. We’re waiting for more moisture, the converging winds that will force air upwards, and big clusters of thunderstorms that can develop into a tropical storm or hurricane.
You also need minimal upper-level wind shear to get a hurricane. It’s great if the tropics are quiet and we would love it to stay that way, but we think things will start to get more active into the month of September.
The next named storm on this year’s list will be Danielle followed by Earl.
The outlook from NOAA is for 14-20 named storms predicted this year, with 6 to 10 of those becoming hurricanes and 3 to 5 major hurricanes. That would be an above-average season if it happens as predicted, but so far we are running well below average.
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