Above Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season Still on the Cards
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual mid-season update issued this week by the Climate Prediction Center, atmospheric and oceanic conditions still favor an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
NOAA forecasters slightly decreased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 60 percent, from 65 percent from an outlook issued in May, and increased the likelihood of near-normal activity to 30 percent. Chances remain at 10 percent for a below-normal season, according to NOAA.
The organization’s update to the 2022 outlook calls for 14-20 named storms, of which 6-10 are forecasted to have the potential to become hurricanes. Of those, 3-5 could become major hurricanes, according to NOAA, which said it provides these ranges with a 70 percent confidence.
So far, the season has seen three named storms and no hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin, NOAA confirmed. An average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, NOAA highlighted.
“I urge everyone to remain vigilant as we enter the peak months of hurricane season,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a government statement.
“The experts at NOAA will continue to provide the science, data and services needed to help communities become hurricane resilient and climate-ready for the remainder of hurricane season and beyond,” Raimondo added.
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said, “we’re just getting into the peak months of August through October for hurricane development, and we anticipate that more storms are on the way”.
“NOAA stands ready to deliver timely and accurate forecasts and warnings to help communities prepare in advance of approaching storms,” he added.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said, “although it has been a relatively slow start to hurricane season, with no major storms developing in the Atlantic, this is not unusual and we therefore cannot afford to let our guard down”.
“This is especially important as we enter peak hurricane season—the next Ida or Sandy could still be lying in wait. That’s why everyone should take proactive steps to get ready by downloading the FEMA app and visiting Ready.gov or Listo.gov for preparedness tips. And most importantly, make sure you understand your local risk and follow directions from your state and local officials,” Criswell added.
In a separate statement issued this week, NOAA revealed that the organization and Saildrone were launching seven hurricane-tracking surface drones to collect data with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting.
“This season, NOAA will work with numerous partners to gather oceanic and atmospheric observations using a suite of platforms to monitor the conditions that play a role in hurricane intensity changes,” John Cortinas, the director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, said in an organization statement.
“Storms that intensify rapidly can cause extensive damage and loss of life and real-time observing systems are crucial to better understanding the atmospheric and oceanic processes that lead to the formation and intensification of these hurricanes,” he added.
Atlantic weather systems have severely affected oil and gas operations in the past. For example, at its peak, Hurricane Ida shut in 95.65 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production on August 29, 2021, and 94.47 percent of Gulf of Mexico gas production on August 31, 2021, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) figures show.
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