Hurricane season expected to land another blow to Atlantic coast
2022 forecasted to be 7th straight above-average hurricane season
Another active hurricane season is expected to take the Atlantic coast by storm this year.
The U.S.'s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with corroboration from the Canadian Hurricane Centre, gave the blow-by-blow account Tuesday. They predict a 65 per cent chance of an above-average hurricane season. It would be the seventh consecutive hurricane season considered to be above average.
NOAA is predicting 14 to 21 named storms. Six to 10 of those storms could become hurricanes, of which three to six could be major hurricanes. The average number of named storms in a season is 14.
Contributing factors to the hurricane forecast include an ongoing La Niña, weaker trade winds and warmer than normal ocean water.
"When the wind is more erratic, changing speed or direction with height, we call that a high shear environment and it is harder for storms to strengthen," said CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland. "In a La Niña phase, we see less wind shear in the tropical Atlantic which can result in more hurricanes."
An enhanced west African monsoon, where many Atlantic hurricanes first develop, is also a concern, according to NOAA.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1, with September usually the peak month for the Atlantic provinces.
"Warmer sea-surface temperatures are also a concern here in Atlantic Canada. Tropical storms and hurricanes are fuelled by warm ocean water, ideally over 26.5 C. The closer to that temperature the water is surrounding the Maritimes, the longer an approaching storm is able to maintain its strength," Scotland said.
"Warmer water here in the Maritimes come late summer and early fall, could mean less weakening of an approaching storm and possibly a higher impact."
The 2022 forecast comes on the heels of the first and third most active seasons on record, in 2020 and 2021. 2005 was the only other year when all 21 storm names were used.