Despite two recently published forecasts that predict fewer storms than in the past, the hurricane season in the Atlantic in 2022 is still forecast to be busier than normal. The first storms of the Atlantic hurricane season have been starting roughly five days earlier per decade since 1979, despite the fact that this season has been relatively quiet thus far. This trend was shown in a study published on Tuesday. The hurricane season officially begins on June 1 each year.
A further finding of the study was that, since 1900, the first designated storm to make landfall in the United States has been trending sooner, by around two days every decade. According to the study, this tendency toward earlier onset is probably due to climate change-driven warming in the western Atlantic Ocean in the spring, which has also showed a trend toward increasing during the same time.
2022 Hurricane Season
The Climate Prediction Center of NOAA, which is a component of the National Weather Service, is making projections that hurricane activity will be above average this year. If these projections come true, it will be the seventh straight year in which hurricane activity will be above average. According to NOAA’s forecast for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, the organization anticipates a 65% likelihood of an above-average season, a 25% chance of a season that is near normal, and a 10% risk of a season that is below normal.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is projecting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher) for the 2022 hurricane season, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes. These projections are based on the average number of named storms seen during previous hurricane seasons (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). These estimates are provided by NOAA with a level of confidence of 70 percent.
Following the official beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season in 2022, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) will begin publishing a weekly series highlighting USGS hurricane science that can be used to inform decisions that can help keep people and communities safe. This series will continue until early July. Included among the topics will be:
- One of the greatest dangers to humans and infrastructure is storm tide.
- Where and how severely flooding occurs can change depending on how the coastline changes.
- People living far inland and near the coasts could be at risk from hurricanes.
- If they survive the storm, invasive species could spread.
- Identifying the height of flood waters helps communities get ready for future floods.
- Images and maps for hurricane preparedness
The sand from the Sahara Desert is a contributing cause, according to Jonathan Porter of AccuWeather and Klotzbach. According to Jason Dunion, a SAL researcher with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School and other experts, this so-called ultra-dry Saharan Air Layer, or SAL, which is an annual occurrence, has been occupying the air in the hurricane-spawning grounds and is quite an effective tropical storm repellent.
He claims that between late June and mid-August, disturbances along the southern Sahara lift enormous volumes of dust, some of which can be up to two miles thick. That might put an end to potential tropical storms. A lot more Saharan dust than typical has been observed throughout the East Coast of the United States, particularly between mid-July and early August, according to Dunion.
That might be connected to the area of high pressure over the Atlantic that heated up the East. However, I’d describe it as a mystery for the time being that has to be investigated. Klotzbach stated last week that “SAL has definitely helped keep things quiet.” Over the tropical Atlantic, we can see a good quantity of dry air. However, the lack of hurricanes so far is not entirely attributable to SAL.
When warm, humid air rises over the ocean, hurricanes begin to form and intensify. A storm’s growth may be hindered by strong upper-level shearing winds that cap the ascending air. Over the past two months, Klotzbach noted that although not “crazy powerful,” there have been a few respectable pulses of shear that was stronger than usual. Furthermore, there is evidence to support an increase in hurricane activity from conditions in the tropical Pacific, where sea surface temperatures are below average or from La Nia.
NOAA Products and Services
The following goods and services have also been improved by NOAA during this storm season:
- During the height of the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab and Pacific Marine Environmental Lab will fly five unmanned Sail drone surface craft and, for the first time, coordinate with unmanned ocean gliders, small aircraft drone systems, and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft to measure the ocean, atmosphere, and areas where they meet.
- The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast Modelling System and the Hurricanes in a Multi-scale Ocean-coupled non-hydrostatic model, which have demonstrated notable skill improvements in terms of storm track and intensity forecasts, have been successfully upgraded to the most recent version of the Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System, enabling uninterrupted operational forecasts.
- In an experimental move, the Excessive Rainfall Outlook (ERO) has had its lead time increased from three to five days, providing better advance warning of the risk of flash flooding from tropical storms and hurricanes brought on by excessive rainfall. The ERO predicts and maps the likelihood of heavy precipitation that could cause flash floods within 25 miles of a specific site.
- When storm surge watches or warnings are in place, a test graphic that shows the peak storm surge forecast will be improved by NOAA in June. Improvements include a revised disclaimer and color-coding that shows the peak storm surge inundation forecast along the coast. Only the Atlantic basin presently has access to this resource.
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