By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Tuesday that they are predicting "above-average" hurricane activity in 2022.
The projection will make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season.
"NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 65% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below-normal season," it said.
Up to 21 named storms are possible, according to the projection, and as many as 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes -- categories 3 - 5. NOAA provides the ranges with a 70% confidence.
"As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms — such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago — remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad.
"Since Sandy, NOAA’s forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods," he said.
The increased activity anticipated is the result of several climate factors, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon.
"The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists," forecasters said.