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.
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.
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 preparing to launch 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.
While Atlantic hurricanes may be front of mind as we enter summer, our first-of-its-kind global tropical cyclone model allows us to model risks to the entire world all the time. This includes parts of the world such as sub-Saharan Africa for which there is little extant data or modeling. The GCI for Tropical Cyclones’ rollout will occur by July, in time for the most active part of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The model’s 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.
This technology arrives as NOAA is forecasting a 70% probability of between 14 to 21 named storms in 2022, with top winds of at least 39 miles per hour (mph). About 6-10 of these storms could become hurricanes (winds of at least 74mph), including several category 3, 4, and 5 storms, which 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.