May Updated Forecast for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season

17 05 2022

Dale C. S. Destin |

My May updated forecast for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season is out, and it continues to call for a very busy and active season with the potential of being super hyperactive. As of May 18, the forecast is for 20 named storms (down 1), 9 hurricanes (unchanged) and 4 major hurricanes (unchanged).

Recall that the accumulated cyclone energy index (ACE) is the universally accepted metric used to classify the overall activity of a hurricane season. The ACE forecast for this year is 175, 23 above the threshold for an active season, based on 1991-2020 data.

A super hyperactive season like 2017 also remains possible. There is a 33 percent chance of the ACE exceeding 223. Further, there is a 42 percent chance of more than 19 named storms; 27 percent chance of more than 11 hurricanes and also a 27 percent chance of more than 6 major hurricanes.

If the forecast pans out, this season would be the third most active since 2017, in terms of ACE, and the 16th most active on record dating back to 1851. It would also tie with 1933 for the fourth highest number of named storms.  

The survey of other forecasts reveals a consensus for an above normal season. The consensus is for an ACE of 159, 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes, a busy and active season. This is generally consistent with my forecast. However, regardless of the forecast, you should always be well prepared each season, as it only takes one hurricane to ruin your year and or life.

The ACE forecast from several models, including that of 268Weather’s for April. The overall average is 159

The main reason for the above normal forecasts is the current La Niña, which is forecast to last through the hurricane season, causing favourable conditions for higher than usual tropical cyclone formation.  

Recall, a typical season, based on the new standard climate period 1991-2020, has 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. Major hurricanes have sustained wind speeds of at least 178 km/h or 111 miles per hour (e.g., Category 3 or higher), according to the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

This forecast will be updated monthly around the 14th of each month until August. The first update will be issued around June 14.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and concludes on November 30; nevertheless, in the last six years, there have been preseason tropical cyclones–be prepared!

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