Hurricane Halftime

The Quiet Before THE Storm

Angie Lewis, Writer
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Hurricane season is more than half over, yet the tropics were much quieter from June through August than forecasters had predicted earlier this year, although they still expect 2022 to be an above-normal year for Atlantic hurricanes.

As of Aug. 4, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted 14-20 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes.

As of today, Sept. 27, there have been five named tropical storms and four hurricanes. Of those, two were classified as major — Hurricane Fiona, which was classified as a Category 3, and Hurricane Ian, which is currently classified as Cat 3 storm, but is anticipated to strengthen into a Cat 4 before making landfall along Florida’s west coast within the next couple of days.

So, with a little more than two months left until the end of the season on Nov. 30, there’s still plenty of time for forecasters’ predictions to become a reality.

Historical Hurricanes

According to records from NOAA, the Atlantic hurricane season typically peaks Sept. 10, with most activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October, such as:

  • Hurricane Andrew (formed Aug. 16, 1992)
  • Hurricane Sandy (formed Oct. 12, 2012)
  • Hurricane Irma (formed Aug. 30, 2017)
  • Hurricane Ida (formed Aug. 26, 2021)

Usually, there would have been eight named tropical storms and hurricanes by this time of the season, due to the lack of atmospheric winds combined with warm ocean waters, which act as the perfect fuel for storm formation.

For context, 2020 was the busiest year on record, having 17 named storms by Sept. 10 and 30 named storms by the end of the season.

However, Saharan dust and wind shear, which prevent tropical systems from developing, are two of the reasons why this year has seen fewer storms than usual.

Stay Vigilant!

Despite its slow start, the 2022 hurricane season seems to be making up for lost time. So, just because we’re technically in the home stretch doesn’t mean it’s time to relax.

Ask any Floridian who lived through Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Oct. 24, 2005, or Hurricane Michael, which made landfall as a Category 5 storm on Oct. 10, 2018. There’s still plenty of time left for the Atlantic to churn out major storms.

If you live in a hurricane zone, be sure to keep a close eye on your local forecast, stock up on hurricane supplies before a warning is issued and have an evacuation plan if necessary.

Good rule of thumb: If Jim Cantore is anywhere near your home, it’s time to leave!

For more tips on storm prep (and post-storm recovery), check out some of our previous articles:

Plus, bookmark these important websites: