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SC Climate and Environment News| SC Climate and Environment News

SC Climate and Environment News| SC Climate and Environment News

Forecasters using a benchmark forecasting program predict that 2022’s hurricane season would see more storms then the historical average.

According to Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, there will be 19 named storms, nine hurricanes, and four major hurricanes with Category 3 or higher.

The forecast is influenced by the low likelihood that an El Nio weather system will form, which reduces the possibility of hurricane formation in the Atlantic.

The La Nia pattern is waning, which causes less wind shear in areas of the Atlantic where storms are more likely to form. This makes the environment more favorable.

Alex DesRosiers (a PhD candidate with Meteorology Project) said that federal forecasters predict about a 10% chance of El Nio, a storm-suppressing El Nio emerging later in the calendar year.

DesRosiers stated that this, along with warm ocean temperatures in sub-tropics, which are expected to migrate into the Atlantic’s main area for storm development by summer, led to an estimate of an above-average seasonality.

These estimates are very similar to the actual 2021 hurricane season, which saw 21 named storms as well as seven hurricanes and four major Hurricanes. DesRosiers stated that this is not surprising. The most prominent storm of last year was Category 4, Hurricane Ida. It struck coastal Louisiana and caused widespread destruction, even though it wasn’t under New Orleans’ storm protection levees.

“We’re seeing many similar things to what was seen last year,” he stated, making 2021 an “analogue” year for the cyclones expected to spin up in 2022.

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While 2021 was busy, it was not as active as the previous year. Between May and November 2020, a record-breaking 30 storms, including 14 hurricanes as well as seven major hurricanes, swept through the Atlantic.

It was an anomalous year with six different storms affecting the U.S. coast.

The technology to detect storms has improved over the years. This fact is part of a debate about whether the Atlantic is producing more storms than usual in recent years or whether the official hurricane “season” should be expanded.

It runs right now from June 1 through November 30, but storms have formed in each month.

Meteorology Project’s forecast has been influenced by better cyclone detection. Forecasters “bumped up” the total number predicted storms to reflect smaller cyclones, which might be captured in 2021.

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DesRosiers stated that they are “spotting tropical storms that were a small drop of the bucket, that may only last a few days in the remote Atlantic.”

He added that even in inactive seasons, one storm can cause havoc on coastal communities.

While an active forecast may put people on alert for a possible storm, it doesn’t matter what the forecast is. DesRosiers stated that if you live near a coast, it is best to be prepared and not be caught off guard.

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Chloe Johnson may be reached at 843-735-99995. Follow her @_ChloeAJ.

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