Early forecast out for 2022 North Atlantic hurricane season
Colorado State University (CSU) meteorologists published their first preliminary extended forecast for this summer’s Atlantic hurricane season. La Niña conditions across the equatorial Pacific are seen subsiding and returning to a more neutral ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) baseline, though to favor more constructive storm development and less interference across the Atlantic.
That said, CSU researchers are projecting 19 named storms, nine reaching hurricane intensity (above 74 mph), and four achieving major hurricane (Category 3) status, with winds exceeding 111 mph. Compare this to the 30-year average: 14 storms, seven hurricanes, and three major events, respectively. Thus, the new forecast is above average in terms of storm formation and risks to coastal regions during the hurricane season, which officially begins Jun. 1.
This year’s first forecast is similar to the 2021 season, which saw 21 named storms, seven hurricanes, and four major storms (Category3 or higher). Unfortunately, the historic trend has shown an increase in tropical activity and threat level to coastal regions in recent years. Last year, Hurricane Ida was upgraded to a Category-4 storm with winds reaching peak intensity of 150 mph, ultimately making landfall in southern Louisiana. Thankfully, the storm spared New Orleans a direct hit, but damage was still widespread, estimates above $65 billion, with 115 lives lost.
AccuWeather meteorologists forecast some 16 to 20 named storms, six to eight hurricanes, and three to five major hurricanes. Some four to six hurricanes are expected to make a direct U.S. impact. If realized, that would make the 2022 hurricane season more active than the average, though slightly less active than the 2021 season.
So, in addition to rapid inflation, the market will also need to contend with heightened storm risk from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up the eastern U.S. seaboard. With planting season just getting underway, this will be an interesting and challenging year for buyers to navigate.
Hurricane Ida path (Aug. 27, 2021)
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