by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The region is just under two months away from the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers have put out their predictions for 2022.
On April 7, CSU predicted an above-average active Atlantic hurricane season in 2022, similar to 1996, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2012 and 2021.
The Caribbean and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are warmer than their long-term averages. CSU said the warmer Caribbean and eastern part of the subtropical Atlantic favour an active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
The researchers credit the absence of El Niño conditions when surface water in the Pacific becomes warmer than average, and east winds blow weaker than usual as the primary factor for their prediction.
The tropical Pacific currently has a weak La Niña condition, with cooler water temperatures than usual in the eastern and central tropical Pacific.
The CSU researchers do not currently anticipate El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which increases upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic and split hurricanes as they try to form.
With the current predicted conditions, the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team predicts 19 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season.
Nine are expected to become hurricanes, and four of those are predicted to be major hurricanes ranging from category 3-5 with sustained winds reaching up to 111 miles per hour or greater.
Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist in the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of the report, said, “analogue seasons generally exhibited near-to somewhat above-normal Atlantic hurricane activity.”
In 2020 there were 31 systems, 14 of which became Hurricanes and seven became major hurricanes, with Eta and Iota reportedly being the worst.
In 2021 there were 21 systems, ten less than the previous year, with half the amount of hurricanes in 2020, seven, four of which became major hurricanes.
The report then went on to predict the probability of major hurricanes making landfall:
71 percent for the entire U.S. coastline (average for the last century is 52 percent)
47 percent for the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida peninsula (average for the last century is 31 percent)
46 percent for the Gulf Coast from Florida (average for the last century is 30 percent)
60 percent for the Caribbean (the average for the last century is 42 percent)
The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.