AUSTIN (KXAN) — The start of August typically comes with a rise in tropical activity. Despite a seemingly slow start, this year’s hurricane season is still on track to bring us more storms than usual.
Both NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and Colorado State University (CSU) released their updated forecasts for this season on Thursday. Neither forecast has drastically changed since their last updates. Both still predict an above-normal hurricane season, however, the chances of this happening have decreased slightly.
NOAA predicts a 60% chance of an above-average season, down slightly from its May prediction of 65%. Including the three named storms we have already had, it is predicting 14-20 named storms. Of these storms, they expect six to 10 to be hurricanes. It is expecting three to five of these hurricanes could develop into major hurricanes, meaning they will be Category Three or higher.
CSU also maintains its prediction of an above-normal hurricane season with a total of 18 named storms. However, this is down from its previous prediction of 20 but is still well above the average of 14. This total includes the three named storms from June and July. Of these 18 storms, it is expecting eight to develop into hurricanes, with four of these growing to be Category Three or higher.
|Forecast Parameters||CSU Forecast for 2022||Average for 1991-2020|
These predictions come following what feels like a quiet start to the season. So far, we have only seen three named storms in the Atlantic: Alex, Bonnie and Colin. It’s important to note this is normal, if not slightly above average. According to NOAA, the third named storm of the season usually forms in early August, when conditions begin to consistently favor development. By these standards, we are somewhat ahead of the game.
CSU explains the early Atlantic hurricane season is usually not a good indicator of how the rest of the season will go. However, there is an association between the above-normal hurricane seasons and named storm activity in the Caribbean in July, like we had this July with Tropical Storm Bonnie. This, along with the persisting La Niña and the increasing Atlantic sea surface temperatures are all playing a role in their predictions.
While we are expecting significant tropical activity this year, it is still too early to know exactly when and where storms will make landfall. Keeping yourself up to date on the tropics will help you stay prepared in the case that storm brings severe weather your way.