NOAA predicts above-average 2022 hurricane season, with up to 21 named storms

Chris Perkins, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Expect an active hurricane season in 2022.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting between 14 and 21 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes in its 2022 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, which was issued Tuesday. Those numbers mean it should be an above-average hurricane season.

In 2021, NOAA raised the bar on what it considers a “normal” hurricane season. Every 10 years NOAA reviews data from the previous 30 years and updates its standards. Last year’s update was based on data from 1991-2020.

The new “normal” is 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The previous normal was 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Other notable hurricane outlooks are in relative agreement with NOAA when it comes to hurricanes and major hurricanes.

The Colorado State hurricane season forecast, issued in April, calls for nine hurricanes with four expected to be major.

AccuWeather, an independent weather forecasting company, issued its hurricane forecast in late March and it predicts six to eight hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes. It also forecasts four to six hurricanes to impact the United States.

Hurricanes begin with winds of 74 mph. Major hurricanes, or a Category 3 hurricane, begins with winds of 111 mph.

Hurricane season is from June 1 through Nov. 30. The most activity is typically between mid-August and mid-October with the peak being Sept. 10. In both the most active stretch of the season and the season’s peak, conditions such as warm water temperature and low wind shear are at their most optimal for the formation and fueling of storms.


The 2020 hurricane season was the wildest recent year with a record 30 named storms, and 14 hurricanes, one shy of the record 15 established in 2005, and six major hurricanes.

But this year could buck a recent trend in at least one way — no named storm has formed before the June 1 start of hurricane season.

In each of the last seven years, a named storm has formed before the official start of hurricane season, which prompted discussion of starting the season before June 1.

The National Hurricane Center began issuing its tropical outlooks on May 15, a practice that started last year.

The first named storm in 2021 was Ana, and it formed on May 22; in 2020, Arthur formed on May 16; in 2019, Andrea formed on May 20; in 2018, Alberto formed on May 25; in 2017, Arlene formed on April 19; in 2016, Alex formed on Jan. 16; in 2015, Ana formed on May 8.

The first tropical disturbance of 2022 moved over the Florida Panhandle on Monday. The first tropical wave of the season moved off the African coast on May 8.


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