What you should know about the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season

June 1 marked the official start of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. The season will run through November 30, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says it is expected to produce “above average” activity – which would make this the seventh consecutive above-average season.

Hurricanes are considered the most powerful weather events on Earth, according to NASA, which is why understanding and preparing for them is of the utmost importance.

Clouds from Hurricane Ida (August 28, 2021) on a topographic map of the Gulf of Mexico.

Frank Ramspott/Getty Images


What are the hurricane categories and what do they mean?

Hurricanes are ranked on a scale of 1 to 5. Based on the storm’s sustained wind speeds, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to prepare residents for the potential damage of a storm.

The National Hurricane Center states that “major” hurricanes are classified as Category 3, 4, or 5 because of their “potential for significant loss of life and damage,” and these major hurricanes are responsible 85% of all hurricane damage. Although Category 1 or Category 2 hurricanes are less dangerous, they still require preparedness and safety measures against damage or injury.

category 1

Sustained Wind Speed: 74-95km/h

“Very dangerous winds will cause some damage: Well-constructed frame homes may show damage to the roof, clapboards, vinyl siding, and gutters. Large branches break and shallow-rooted trees can fall. Extensive damage to power lines and poles is likely to result in power outages lasting a few days to several.”

category 2

Sustained Wind Speed: 96-110km/h

“Extremely dangerous winds will cause great damage: Well-built half-timbered houses could suffer major damage to the roof and side walls. Many shallow-rooted trees are snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. A near-total blackout is expected, with outages lasting several days to weeks.”

category 3

Sustained Wind Speed: 111-129 mph

“Devastating damage will occur: Well-built frame houses may suffer major damage or the removal of roofing and gable ends. Many trees are snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Power and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm.”

category 4

Sustained Wind Speed: 130-156km/h

“Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built frame houses can suffer severe damage from the loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees are snapped or uprooted and power poles are downed. Fallen trees and utility poles isolate residential areas. Power outages last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

category 5

Sustained Wind Speed: 157mph or higher

“Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed houses are destroyed, with the roof collapsing completely and the walls collapsing. Fallen trees and utility poles isolate residential areas. Power outages last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

What is the forecast for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season?

According to the latest forecasts, NOAA researchers predict between 14 and 21 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher with a 70% probability. Six to ten of these storms are expected to become hurricanes, and three to six hurricanes are expected to be “severe,” a Category 3 or higher.

“As we think about what could be another busy hurricane season, past storms — like Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area a decade ago — remind us that the effects of a storm can be felt for years,” said NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick said Spinrad.

What are the names of the storms?

Each year, the World Meteorological Organization announces 21 names for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. This year’s list of names starts with Alex.

Names of Atlantic hurricanes and tropical cyclones

NOAA


In 2021, forecasters ran out of storm names for the third year on record and the second year in a row. These two years, officials used letters from the Greek alphabet when the planned storm names were exhausted. But now, when the list is exhausted, meteorologists will choose from an additional list of names instead.

What Factors Influence Hurricanes?

According to NOAA, several climate factors can affect the severity of a hurricane season. This year, La Niña, warmer ocean temperatures and climate change are all expected to play a role in the severity of the season.

La Niña is a pattern of cooling water in the Pacific that pushes the jet stream north. “The hurricane impact of El Niño and its counterpart La Niña is like a seesaw between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, increasing hurricane activity in one region and decreasing it in another,” NOAA said.

It is also expected that higher than average sea surface temperatures in combination with weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an intensified West African monsoon will affect the season.

Researchers have one too more and more evidence the Climate change creates hurricanes and other storms around the world more intense. Climate scientists say warmer temperatures caused by climate change will allow the air to hold more moisture. Hurricanes are getting wetterstronger and intensify faster.

Who is at risk?

Hurricanes make landfall along the coast, but coastal residents aren’t the only ones at risk.

“Anyone can be in the direct path of a hurricane and at risk from the remnants of a storm system,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “It’s important that everyone understands their risk and takes proactive steps.”

Because hurricanes can be fleeting storms that change categories and directions quickly, experts recommend that everyone have an updated hurricane preparedness plan. Even residents who don’t live in coastal areas can be at risk of flooding “hundreds of miles inland,” according to NOAA.

“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane-resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, whose department oversees NOAA.

Steps to prepare for a storm:

Develop an evacuation plan: This could be with a friend and doesn’t have to be miles away, but families should also consider bringing pets

Assemble Disaster Supplies: Experts suggest having enough “non-perishable food, water, and medicine to feed each person in your family for at least 3 days”. Cash, battery-powered radios, and flashlights might come in handy during extended power outages.

Check your insurance policies: Make sure you have adequate insurance to cover any potential repairs. If flooding is a hazard, it is most likely required separate flood insurance Politics.

Strengthen your home: Whether you’re staying in place or evacuating, make sure your home is in good shape and ready for the storm. Plywood, steel or aluminum panels can be used to clad windows and doors from strong winds

Prepare in advance: “The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the start of the season, when you have the time and aren’t under pressure,” advises NOAA. “If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, chances are you’re going to get pressured and make the wrong decisions.”

See ready.gov and listo.gov in Spanish for more tips. FEMA also encourages people to download the FEMA App for up-to-date emergency information.

CBS Miami has a 2022 guide to preparing for the hurricane you can Download here.

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