Scientists predict another busy hurricane season in ‘22
Researchers in the US have warned that the 2022 hurricane season could continue the trend of busier-than-average periods.
Climate scientists at Colorado State University predicted there could be 15 to 18 named storms, including nine to 11 hurricanes.
CSU estimated that there was a 65 per cent chance of an above average season, based on weather indicators in the Atlantic and Pacific.
The report, released earlier this month, highlighted a low likelihood of El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean, which are known to cause strong winds that hinder storm development in the Atlantic.
The researchers also warned that the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation would likely be in a positive phase, which significantly increases the likelihood of storms.
The report said: “The Atlantic had three quiet hurricane seasons from 2013 to 2015, followed by six above-average seasons in a row from 2016 to 2021, including hyperactive seasons in 2017 and 2020.
“Six above-average seasons lends high confidence that the AMO remains in a positive phase, although the far North Atlantic has generally been characterised by below-average sea surface temperatures, especially during the winter.”
The CSU estimated that there was a 25 per cent chance that there would be a very strong AMO and no El Niño – which would increase the likelihood of major storms.
Researchers added there was a 40 per cent chance that the AMO would be above average without El Niño, which would cause a busier than average season with between 13 and 16 named storms, six to eight of which could reach hurricane strength.
The likelihood of an average season – which would have either El Niño or a weaker AMO – was estimated to be about 25 per cent.
There was only a 10 per cent chance that there would be both a weak AMO and El Niño, which would result in a quieter than usual season.
CSU forecast last year that there was a 60 per cent chance that the 2021 season would be busier than average, with a 25 per cent chance of an extremely busy season.
The 2021 season ended as the third busiest in modern times, with 21 named storms, including seven hurricanes.