Forecast team changes hurricane outlook

Entering the peak period for storms, a respected team of meteorologists at Colorado State University has reduced their hurricane forecast slightly, but continue to call for an above-average Atlantic season.
The forecast now predicts 18 named storms in 2022 (one fewer than the original outlook), including the three named storms that have already formed (Alex, Bonnie and Colin). Of those, the team expects eight (one fewer than the original outlook) to become hurricanes and four to reach major hurricane strength (Category 3 or higher) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

The team cites the likely persistence of La Niña as a primary factor for the continued anticipation of an active season. Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean are slightly warmer than normal. A warmer than normal tropical Atlantic provides more fuel for developing storms. However, sea surface temperatures are only slightly above normal, so the forecast team considers this a mostly neutral factor for the remainder of the season.

The forecast also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall the remainder of the season:

  • 68% for the entire U.S. coastline (full-season average for the last century is 52%);
  • 43% for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula (full-season average for the last century is 31%);
  • 43% for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville (full-season average for the last century is 30%);
  • 57% for the Caribbean (full-season average for the last century is 42%).

Members are reminded to take the proper precautions and to remember that it takes only one landfall event nearby to make this an active season.

The co-op offers lots of information to help its members prepare for the possibility a hurricane may strike North Florida, including a Hurricane Preparedness Guide. Copies of the 2022 Preparedness Guide are also available at the cooperative’s six district offices.