Buckle up. This could be yet another heavy year for hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center released its 2022 Atlantic hurricane season forecast on Tuesday, predicting an above-average year for activity. If it holds true, that would make this the seventh consecutive year above normal.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. "NOAA's outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season," the agency said in a statement.
There's a likelihood of 14 to 21 named storms (with winds of 39 miles per hour or more), with six to 10 of those possibly becoming hurricanes (with winds of 74 mph or more), including three to six major hurricanes (winds 111 mph or more). A "normal" season would have around 14 named storms with seven hurricanes including three major ones.
NOAA also released the list of 21 names for this year's storms, starting with Alex and ending with Walter.
The 2021 season used up all its possible 21 names. Out of those storms, seven were hurricanes and four of those were major.
A variety of factors are playing into this year's prediction, including a La Nina weather pattern, warm sea surface temperatures and weaker-than-usual tropical trade winds. Hurricanes don't form in isolation; they respond to larger patterns.
NOAA didn't specifically call out the globe's climate crisis in the statement but said, "The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists." A 2022 study suggestsin the Atlantic.
If you live in an area that could be impacted by hurricanes,. The time to get ready is now.