2022 Hurricane Season Forecast Raises Louisiana’s Anxiety
Louisiana residents are no strangers to hurricanes. However, in the past few years, we've had more than our share of big storms. There has been Laura and Delta and Zeta and Ida and those are the ones that leap to the forefront when we talk about tropical weather here in The Boot.
The past couple of hurricane seasons have been record-breaking or near-record breakers and unfortunately, that trend of above-average storms and higher than normal intensity appears to be setting up for the Summer of 2022.
The forecasting service AccuWeather has released their prognostication on what the tropics will deliver in 2022 and the numbers are staggering. Accu-Weather is suggesting the 2022 season could produce between 16 and 20 named storms.
Just for clarity, a named storm is a storm that reaches tropical storm strength or higher. By the way, whether a storm earns a name or not figures greatly in how your insurance company will or will not pay for your storm damages, so the "named" part is pretty important.
Of the 16 to 20 named storms that AccuWeather is forecasting, they believe that six to eight of those storms will reach hurricane intensity. That means wind speeds in excess of 74 mph. Now, of the six to eight hurricanes, AccuWeather believes that three to five of those storms will reach major hurricane intensity.
What is causing the sudden spike in hurricanes and tropical storms over the past few seasons? It's our old friend La Nina. That weather phenomenon, La Nina, which involves changes in sea surface temperatures has played a part in the last two busy hurricane seasons.
Forecasters are unsure of how big of a part that La Nina will play in the upcoming season though. If the phenomenon stays in place for the entire season, we could expect the tropics to be very active. If the phenomenon fades or weakens, that could make the 2022 season not nearly as robust.
One other aspect of the 2022 season that the AccuWeather forecast is suggesting is this. The season, like last season, could see its first named storm before the "season" officially begins. Forecasters say higher than average sea surface temperatures in tropical hot spots suggest that a named storm before June 1st should not be ruled out.
By the way, the Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1st to November 30th. We anticipate the preseason tropical forecast from Colorado State University to be issued on April 7th. The preseason forecast from NOAA is also expected to be released over the next few weeks as well.
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