Accuweather predicts above-average hurricane season
This year could shape up to be another busy hurricane season, a weather website has warned.
AccuWeather said that its team had forecast that the upcoming season could see between 16 and 20 named storms, including six to eight hurricanes.
Three to five are expected to reach at least Category 3 and be classed as major hurricanes.
The site said: “AccuWeather’s forecast of 16 to 20 named storms is higher than the 30-year average of 14 per year, while the projection of six to eight hurricanes is about in line with the normal of seven.
“It’s also nearly identical to how 2021 played out — last year, the 21 named storms included seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes.”
The 2021 season was the third busiest in modern times, but Bermuda was spared major hits.
Dan Kottlowski, an AccuWeather meteorologist, said that one of the factors considered in the forecast was the warmer-than-usual Atlantic water temperatures.
He added: “Sea-surface temperatures are above normal over much of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and even off the East Coast of the United States, especially the southeast coast of the United States, and these are critical areas for early season development.
“This includes much of the central Atlantic, the chunk of the ocean forecasters refer to as the main development region.”
AccuWeather said last Wednesday that La Niña — a Pacific weather phenomenon — was also expected to have an influence on storm development in the Atlantic.
The website said that a weak La Niña was expected at the start of the hurricane season, which would make conditions in the Atlantic more favourable for hurricanes.
AccuWeather added: “The status of La Niña throughout the summer will be closely monitored by meteorologists.
“If the La Niña phase ends up fading away over the summer or early in the fall, the tropical activity could wind down well before the official end of the season.”
Colorado State University predicted this year that there could be 15 to 18 named storms, including 9 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 2022 Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and will continue until November 30 — but storms can form outside the peak months.
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