Hurricane Threat Has Increased

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers on June 2 increased the number of named storms and hurricanes they expect for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season from their initial outlook in April.


The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 20 named storms in 2022. Of those, researchers expect 10 to become hurricanes and five to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3, 4 or 5) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. This forecast is an increase from April, when the team predicted 19 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

So far, the 2022 hurricane season is exhibiting characteristics similar to 1996, 1999, 2000, 2008, 2011 and 2021. “1996, 1999, 2008 and 2021 had above-average activity, while 2000 and 2011 had near-average activity,” said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of the report.

The team predicted that 2022 hurricane activity will be about 145% of the average season, up from a prediction of 130% in April. By comparison, 2021’s hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season. The 2021 hurricane season had eight continental U.S. named storms and two continental U.S. landfalling hurricanes.

The probability of major hurricanes making landfall also increased in the latest CSU report. The probability of hurricane landfall for the entire U.S. coast is now 76%, versus 71% in April. The probability of landfall for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula rose to 51% from 47%. The probability of landfall for the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas, is now 50%, up from 46%.

The CSU researchers stated that the odds of El Niño for this year’s hurricane season are now quite low, and the odds of La Niña conditions have increased since April.

In comparison to the CSU prediction, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center on June 1 forecast a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms. Of those, six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes.

The CSU team will issue forecast updates on July 7 and Aug. 4.

Source: Colorado State University

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