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Forecasts for this year’s hurricane season predict an active Atlantic season and a below-normal Eastern Pacific season.

In their April forecast Colorado State University researchers predicted 19 named storms for the Atlantic season. They forecast 9 hurricanes with four of them major hurricanes. CSU will publish updated forecasts June 2, July 7 and August 4.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, has forecast an above average Atlantic hurricane season. They forecast 14 to 21 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes. If this becomes an above average season, it will make it the seventh consecutive above average one.

The Atlantic season starts June 1 and the Eastern Pacific season started May 15. Both end on November 30, although hurricanes can occur before and after these dates.

Named storms have winds of 39 mph or higher, hurricanes have winds of 74 mph or higher, and major hurricanes are those in the Saffir-Simpson categories 3, 4 or 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.

2022 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Forecast

NOAA’s 2022 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season forecast is for a below-normal season. This region covers the eastern North Pacific Ocean east of 140°W and north of the equator. NOAA anticipates:

  • 10-17 Named Storms
  • 4-8 Hurricanes
  • 0-3 Major Hurricanes

Hurricane Agatha started the season off on May 30 as a Category 2 hurricane. Although later downgraded to a tropical storm, it landed in Mexico with winds of 105 miles per hour and heavy rains, which caused coastal flooding.

The 1991-2020 averages were 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.

Expanding the Hurricane Categories

There have been more Category 4 and 5 hurricanes that strike the U.S. between 2017 and 2021 than between 1963 and 2016. As storms become stronger some researchers have started to ask if a category 6 should be added to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Florida International University, along with many other university and industry partners, are planning a simulator that could be used to test buildings in a 200 mph wind and 20 feet of storm surge.

Regardless of the number of hurricanes that are possible or their strength, it pays to be prepared. Many organizations offer advice and checklists.

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