NOAA: Above-average hurricane activity expected in 2022

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting above-average hurricane activity for the seventh consecutive year.

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Forecasters at the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say that above-average Atlantic water temperatures and the ongoing La Niña will contribute to an above-normal hurricane season.

The NOAA released its outlook for 2022 on Tuesday, May 24:

  • 65% chance of an above-normal season.
  • 25% chance of a near-normal season.
  • 10% chance of a below-normal season.

In its outlook, the NOAA said it is forecasting “a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms.” Of those, it said six to 10 storms could become hurricanes.

The NOAA said three to six storms could become major hurricanes.

>> MORE: What are hurricane categories and what do they mean?

The administration attributed the above-average season to climate factors, including warmer than average water temperatures in the Atlantic and natural cooling of parts of the equatorial Pacific, commonly referred to as La Niña.

Forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting 19 named storms this hurricane season, with four expected to be major hurricanes — storms with winds greater than 111 mph.

Their prediction included the most named storms CSU has forecast in any April outlook.

>> MORE: 19 named storms expected this year

In the Pacific, forecasters said that Hawaii and the Central Pacific basin should expect two to four hurricanes, tropical depressions or tropical storms this year.

The annual NOAA outlook predicts a 60% chance of a below-average season. The Central Pacific region sees about four or five tropical cyclones annually.

Officials said below-average sea temperatures associated with La Niña east of Hawaii, where storms form, factored into this year’s prediction, according to The Associated Press.