Potential record-breaking year looms in Atlantic, researchers say
By Kari Pugh | Editor
North Carolina State University researchers predict the Atlantic basin will see another record-breaking number of severe storms this year.
The university is forecasting from 17-21 named storms, with 7-9 hurricanes — 3-5 which will be major. The Atlantic basin includes the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The average for named storms from 1951 to 2021 is 11 per season, the university said in a news release, but the past two years have been among the worst.
There were 21 named storms in 2021, which ended as the third-most active hurricane season in terms of named storms, according to the National Hurricane Center. Of last year’s storms, seven became hurricanes, with four of those major — defined as a storm with winds of at least 111 mph.
With 30 named storms, 2020 holds the record for the most active hurricane season; 2005 is second with 28 named storms.
Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at N.C. State, uses a methodology that evaluates more than 100 years of historical data on hurricane positions and intensity, weather patterns and sea-surface temperatures to predict how many storms will form each year.
Earlier this month, Colorado State University’s Tropical Weather and Climate Research Division released its outlook for the 2022 hurricane season, predicting 19 named storms, with nine hurricanes, four of which will be major. Averages from 1991 through 2020 are 14 named storms with 7.2 hurricanes and 3.2 major hurricanes, the university said.
“As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them,” Colorado researchers said in a news release. “They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”