This year could mark the seventh straight above-average hurricane season.
Expect a busy Atlantic hurricane season featuring three to six Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricanes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 2022 hurricane outlook said. This year, which could mark the seventh straight above-average hurricane season, follows two consecutive hurricane seasons that exhausted the list of 21 named storms.
For the range of storms expected in 2022, NOAA is forecasting a 70% probability of between 14 to 21 named storms, with top winds of at least 39 miles per hour (mph), and about 6-10 of these storms could become hurricanes that bring winds of at least 74mph. Category 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes are major hurricanes with wind speeds at or above 111mph.
In its outlook, NOAA cited the ongoing La Niña cycle, the warming of tropical ocean waters, and an active West Africa monsoon season as the climatological factors that could drive the intensity and frequency of this year’s storms. Normally, the Atlantic basin gets about 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes during its June 1-November 30 hurricane season.
According to NOAA, La Niña, which was present last year and in 2020, is likely to persist throughout the 2022 hurricane season.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active on record, with 30 named storms, and 2021, which brought 21 named storms, ranks as the third most active season. (Hurricane Katrina, the costliest hurricane in US history, arrived in 2005, the Atlantic basin’s second most active hurricane season.)
In 2020 and 2021, La Niña likely contributed to the Atlantic hurricane seasons’ destructive activity. Last year’s Hurricane Ida, which resulted in $78.5 billion in US damages, dumped a record 8.41 inches of rainfall at Newark International Airport, flooding part of the airport’s baggage area.
Likewise, Hurricane Eta, which hit Honduras in early November 2020, produced an astounding amount of rainfall; in Tela, Atlántida, 31.63 inches of rain fell over several days. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center weather data, aggregated by Gro Intelligence over Honduras, shows that the highest daily total rainfall reading in more than 40 years occurred during Eta.
To help market participants better understand a location’s tropical cyclone vulnerabilities and the potential consequences for coastal and inland areas anywhere in the world, Gro Intelligence is building the Gro Climate Indicator (GCI) for Tropical Cyclones, a global model that will show the risk of being impacted by hurricanes and other tropical cyclones (such as typhoons in East Asia) at the district (county) level.
At launch, our GCI for Tropical Cyclones’ risk metrics will include the annual exceedance probability, which is the chance of a storm of at least a given strength hitting the region in any given year. It will also include a trend estimate for each region to provide insight into how impact frequencies have evolved during our recent period of warming.
The first phase of GCI for Tropical Cyclones’ rollout will occur by July, in time for the most active part of the Atlantic hurricane season. Future enhancements will include projections for how this risk will change out to 2100, under CMIP6 climate change scenarios, and the ability to view specific historical hurricanes in the context of Gro’s suite of weather, climate, and agricultural data.