Loading...

Forecasters Trim Hurricane Season Outlook a Bit, Still Busy

August 4, 2022by Seth Borenstein, Associated Press
Nathan Fabre checks on his home and boat destroyed by Hurricane Ida, Sept. 5, 2021, in Lafitte, La. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

This hurricane season may be a tad quieter than forecasters initially thought, but it will still likely be busier than normal, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and others predict.

NOAA forecasters Thursday trimmed their hurricane season outlook from a 65% chance for above normal activity to 60% and increased the odds of a normal season from 25% to 30% because of uneven sea surface temperature, including a patch of cooler water off Portugal. Parts of the Atlantic are warmer than normal, but the variability had forecasters “backing off on the higher end” of their predictions, said lead hurricane outlook forecaster Matthew Rosencrans.

The weather agency now predicts 14 to 20 named storms instead of its May forecast which was 14 to 21. The predicted number of hurricanes remains the same at six to 10 while those storms that hit the major category of at least 111 mph are now forecast to be three to five instead of three to six. The forecast includes the three tropical storms that formed in June and early July, about average for this time of year, but quieter than the last few years.

An average season has 14 named storms with seven becoming hurricanes and three of those being majors, according to NOAA. There were 21 named storms last year, a record 30 in 2020 and 18 in 2019.

“While the tropics have been relatively quiet over the last month, remember that it only takes one landfalling storm to devastate a community. This is especially critical as we head into what the team here anticipates is likely to be a busy peak of the season,” Rosencrans said in a press briefing.

A persistent La Nina — the natural cooling of parts of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide — weak trade winds and some warmer than normal Atlantic water temperatures still point to a busy season, Rosencrans said. But the patches of cool water, with temperatures closer to normal than originally predicted in some places, “could kind of tamp down on activity,” he said.

Colorado State University, which pioneered hurricane season forecasts, also dialed back its predictions for the season compared to what it said in April. The school now predicts 18 named storms, down from 19, with eight becoming hurricanes, down from nine. Colorado State predicts four major hurricanes, same as it forecast in April.

“I don’t think the season is going to be a dud, but it’s taking its sweet time getting going,” said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, head of the school’s forecast team.

Klotzbach said this year with its strong La Nina and nearer to average water temperatures seems similar to 1999, 2000, 2011 and last year, which featured a devastating Hurricane Ida that hit Louisiana and sloshed into the Northeast with heavy rain, causing many deaths in the New York-New Jersey region.

“Hopefully, we’ll have no Idas this year, but the overall environment is very similar,” Klotzbach said.

About 90% of Atlantic storms happen from August on. Hurricane season peaks from mid-August to mid-October with the season ending on Nov. 30.

___

Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

In The News

Health

Voting

Climate

September 30, 2022
by Kate Michael
Landmark Bills Offer Decarbonization Funding but Cities Not Ready

WASHINGTON — The effort to mitigate climate change, reduce greenhouse gases, and decarbonize is a national priority of many countries,... Read More

WASHINGTON — The effort to mitigate climate change, reduce greenhouse gases, and decarbonize is a national priority of many countries, but since the transportation, building, and electricity sectors produce nearly two-thirds of GHG emissions in the United States alone, it’s clear that cities are going to... Read More

September 29, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Disputes Linger in Congress About Biden’s Clean Energy Subsidies

WASHINGTON — After Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida with Category 4 winds, a House committee met Thursday to discuss how the... Read More

WASHINGTON — After Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida with Category 4 winds, a House committee met Thursday to discuss how the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act might help combat climate change. Climatologists predict fierce hurricanes like Ian will become a feature of climate change that only gets... Read More

People Trapped, 2.5M Without Power as Ian Drenches Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, cutting off... Read More

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, cutting off the only bridge to a barrier island, damaging the roof of a hospital intensive care unit and knocking out power to 2.5 million people as it dumped rain... Read More

September 27, 2022
by Kate Michael
Pakistani Foreign Minister Praises Diplomacy but Blames ‘Great Polluters’ for Climate Catastrophe

WASHINGTON — After what he called “encouraging” talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari... Read More

WASHINGTON — After what he called “encouraging” talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari dealt harsh chastisements and warnings for the United States at the Wilson Center on Tuesday morning. Despite saying he was “pleasantly surprised and absolutely impressed” with... Read More

Hurricane Ian Strikes Cuba, Florida Braces for Cat 4 Damage

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba on Tuesday as a major hurricane, with nothing to stop it... Read More

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba on Tuesday as a major hurricane, with nothing to stop it from intensifying into a catastrophic Category 4 storm before it hits Florida on Wednesday. Ian made landfall at 4:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province,... Read More

September 26, 2022
by Dan McCue
Four Republicans Added to List of Clean Energy Champions

WASHINGTON — Four Republican lawmakers, two from the Senate and two from the House, have been named “Clean Energy Champions”... Read More

WASHINGTON — Four Republican lawmakers, two from the Senate and two from the House, have been named “Clean Energy Champions” by the Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions. The honorees are Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and Reps. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and Mariannette Miller-Meeks,... Read More

News From The Well