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Breakdown: Why this 2022 Hurricane Season could be another active one

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 3:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -The 2022 Hurricane season officially began on Wednesday June 1st. This season kicked off with the formation of TS Alex which moved across south Florida as a Potential Tropical Cyclone. The storm dumped up to 11 inches of rain over south Florida before moving back into the Atlantic where it strengthen to a tropical storm. The Atlantic hurricane season will officially end Nov. 30.

NOAA predicted 14 to 21 named storms with 10 of those being hurricanes. Meteorologists at Colorado State University predicted 19 tropical storms will form, nine of which will become hurricanes. The predicted active season is a result of several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to continue throughout the hurricane season. This means that temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean will be warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon.

El Niño, a natural warming of ocean water in the tropical Pacific Ocean, tends to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity. Its opposite, La Niña, a cooling of that same water, usually boosts the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic. Forecasts include storms that spin up in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. NOAA’s forecast follows others this spring that also called for a more active hurricane season.

Forecasters also released their prediction for the eastern Pacific basin, where 10 to 17 named storms are forecast. An average eastern Pacific hurricane season produces 15 named storms. Eastern Pacific storms primarily stay out to sea and seldom affect the U.S. mainland, although some storms hit the west coast of Mexico. Remnant moisture from the storms can dump heavy rain on the U.S. Southwest, leading to flooding.

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