AccuWeather Warns La Nina To Spark Active Hurricane Season

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Apr 07, 2022 - 02:00 AM

AccuWeather forecasters are predicting the seventh straight above-average Atlantic hurricane season because of La Niña and warmer ocean temperatures. 

AccuWeather's senior meteorologist and hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski is once again anticipating an above-normal season of tropical development in the Atlantic basin, along with higher probabilities of major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. 

Kottlowski forecasts 16-20 named storms and six to eight hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, he believes three to five could exceed Category 3 strength. 

AccuWeather's forecast of 16-20 named storms is higher than the 30-year average of 14 per year. The projection of six to eight hurricanes is in line with averages. 

This year's upcoming season could be identical to how 2020 and 2021 played out. Last season, there were 21 named storms, seven hurricanes, and four major hurricanes. Eight of those storms made direct impacts on the U.S. mainland. About four to six are expected to hit the U.S. this year. 

Kottlowski said the climatological phenomenon known as La Niña will play a crucial role in the active hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 7. There's also a risk of tropical storms before the season starts. 

La Niña has been extremely active in the last two years and has reduced the amount of vertical wind shear in the atmosphere. Greater vertical wind shear can often stymie developing cyclones.  

Kottlowski said La Niña and above-normal sea-surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and off the U.S. East Coast would produce another active hurricane season.