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June 23, 2022

Hurricane season 2022 is here. 

Midland Radio Meteorologist, Bruce Jones looks at forecasts for the upcoming hurricane season, shares how those forecasts come to be, and explains what this means for those who could be impacted.

FORECASTING HURRICANE SEASON 

Every year, America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Colorado, and several other expert organizations issue their forecasts for the Atlantic hurricane season.

The season begins June 1 and extends through November 30. 

It helps answer the yearly question, “How bad will this hurricane season be?”

HURRICANE SEASON 2022

In 2022, NOAA calls for a 65% chance of an above-average hurricane year, due in part to the ongoing La Niña weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean and very warm water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. This is from whence America’s hurricanes come. 

La Niña patterns set the stage for light upper-level winds, allowing tropical low pressure to organize, strengthen and enlarge in conditions that permit vertical stacking high into the atmosphere. 

Warm ocean temperatures are another fuel for hurricanes, providing a rich source of water vapor favorable to rapidly rising clouds and thunderstorms.

Under these circumstances, an “average” low pressure center drifting across the ocean can strengthen explosively in only a matter of days, becoming a tropical storm or a hurricane.

GRAPHIC COURTESY: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

In a “normal” hurricane year, the Atlantic season consists of fourteen named storms, and seven hurricanes. The official 2022 NOAA forecast calls for up to 21 named storms and perhaps 10 hurricanes.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

We only need to worry about hurricanes that strike land. After all, a hurricane in the middle of the ocean (a fish-churner we call them) is of no consequence to anything other than a few ships, which are quite capable of steering clear of them. 

That means you could have a forecast for jillions of hurricanes (scary!), but if none of them struck land, we would deem it a rather “quiet” hurricane season.

The flip side of that argument is that it only takes one hurricane to be your bad year for hurricanes. 

In the hurricane season of 1992, Hurricane Andrew was the only hurricane to strike land. However, with top winds of 175 mph, it became the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history and spurred Florida to strengthen its requirements for building construction. With only one landfalling hurricane, was 1992 considered a “slow” year?  Not at all.

SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED?

Not necessarily.

Because it takes only one storm to become a historic storm, seasonal hurricane forecasts should be taken with a grain of salt.

If you live in a hurricane zone, these heightened activity forecasts might spur you to get prepared for hurricane season, but we in the weather safety field would hope you get ready for hurricane season every year, regardless of the forecast.

PREPARING FOR HURRICANE SEASON

The state of Florida suggests everyone have seven days of supplies on hand.

The list includes:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Prescription medication
  • Flashlights
  • Radios
  • First Aid Kits
  • Rain gear

The complete list can be found here

Lists like these can be overwhelming, but if you adopt a “Do 1 Thing” attitude and obtain one item every time you go shopping, you can spread the expense over 18 months. In the end you will have an emergency supply kit that will be enough to give you and your family a better chance of surviving anything that hits your town.

EMERGENCY RADIOS

The Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Radio is a great start.

It represents five “list items” in one- AM, FM, NOAA Weather Radio, flashlight, and a hand crank that lets you generate your own power to recharge your cell phone.

It's important you have a radio that will bring you important information if and when the power goes out. With multiple sources of power including rechargeable batters, solar, and crank. 

Not to mention, if you do lose power, the ER310 will help you safely navigate low light areas with its powerful flashlight.

Cellphone towers can be destroyed or overwhelmed in emergencies like hurricanes so it's crucial to have a way to receive reliable, life-saving alerts such as an emergency radio. With this radio, you'll get the alerts as emergency officials send them out.

They make great additions to your preparedness kits, or consider giving one as a thoughtful gift.

THE 2022 STORMS

What are the names for 2022 hurricanes?  

Here they are. 

Will we make it all the way through this list? Stick around. We’re about to find out.

GRAPHIC COURTESY: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE


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