June 26, 2022

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AccuWeather predicts up to 20 storms in 2022 hurricane season

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The private weather forecasting company predicts there to be between 16 and 20 named storms this season, which starts June 1. Of those, six to eight are predicted to be hurricanes, and between three and five of those are expected to be major hurricanes. In total, AccuWeather predicts four to six storms will impact the United States. These projections for the 2022 season are higher than 30-year normals for each category, according to the forecasting company.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has yet to release any predictions for the 2022 season.

“Don’t wait until June to prepare,” said Dan Kottlowski, head of AccuWeather’s team of tropical weather forecasters. “We’ve had preseason development over the last seven years and certainly you need to prepare now. So now’s the time to get your hurricane plan in place.” 

A period of La Niña in the Pacific Ocean, characterized by cooler waters there, will also help storms develop in the Atlantic Ocean. That’s because the weather phenomenon causes less vertical wind shear in the Atlantic, which makes atmospheric conditions more conducive to a storm’s formation. 

The period of La Niña could last into the middle of the season before Pacific water temperatures warm up and normal wind shear returns, Kottlowski said. But if it doesn’t break up, more storms are likely to form. 

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Closer to Texas, warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico will likely fuel another early start to the season. In both 2020 and 2021, the first tropical disturbances of the season cropped up well before the official June 1 start. 

“Sea-surface temperatures are above normal over much of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and even off the East Coast of the United States, especially the southeast coast of the United States,” Kottlowski said. “These are critical areas for early season development.”

For the 2021 season, Kottlowski’s team predicted up to 20 named storms, seven to 10 hurricanes, three to five major hurricanes and three to five hurricanes impacting the United States and its territories. After the end of the 2021 season, there were a total of 21 named storms, seven hurricanes, four major hurricanes to directly hit the U.S.— meaning Kottlowski’s predictions were spot on that year. 

Only time will tell for 2022’s predictions. 



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