(KXAN) — The 2022 Eastern Pacific hurricane season has officially begun. Hurricane season for the Eastern Pacific starts on May 15 every year; a half of a month earlier than the June 1 official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Both seasons end on the same date: the end of November. Here are 2022’s list of Eastern Pacific names for this season:
Notice there a few additional names on the list than a typical Atlantic name list. The reason for this is on an average year, there are typically a few more hurricanes that form in the Eastern Pacific in comparison to a typical year in the Atlantic.
With that said, this year could be different as we are in a strong La Niña weather pattern. Here’s a look at how La Niña influences different parts of the world. In the Atlantic, we typically experience less wind sheer while in the Eastern Pacific we typically have more wind sheer. Wind sheer, (changing winds with height in the atmosphere) discourages tropical cyclone growth, because it can blow the cloud tops off to developing thunderstorms, a critical step for hurricane growth. This in return would mean less hurricane development in the Pacific and more hurricane development in the Atlantic.
While we keep a close eye on Atlantic basin for hurricanes that may move into the Gulf, it is important to note Pacific storms do play a critical role in our weather here locally. As storms in the Eastern Pacific move northward, they typically get caught in the westerly prevailing winds (30 to 60 degree latitudes), which eventually help carry and push storms eastward into the mountains of north Mexico. This later, in return, sends an abundance of tropical moisture to our area here in Central Texas, often during our hottest and driest summer months — bringing us beneficial rains and often relief to our drought stricken areas.
You can also see while hurricanes form a bit earlier in the year in the Eastern Pacific the peak of the season is a lot less pronounced in comparison to the peak of the Atlantic season. The most active time of the year for hurricane season occurs during the month of September.