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Forecasters: Above normal Atlantic hurricane season still expected even after a quiet summer

Hurricane Season Road Sign
A Caution Sign in Front of Storm Clouds Warning of Hurricane Season.

MIAMI- The Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expecting the 2022 hurricane season to pick up steam after June and July saw limited storm development.

NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Outlook calls for 14-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes reaching category 3 strength or higher.

“We’re just getting into the peak months of August through October for hurricane development, and we anticipate that more storms are on the way,” said NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad. “NOAA stands ready to deliver timely and accurate forecasts and warnings to help communities prepare in advance of approaching storms.”

Earlier forecasts called for 19 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.

The upgraded outlook is the result of warmer waters in the tropical Atlantic, heavy monsoon activity in Africa, and a lower chance for El Niño conditions which can help limit storm development.

Weather experts have credited transoceanic dust from the Sahara Desert for helping to keep tropical weather systems at bay.

The Saharan dust has led to hazy conditions in South Florida along with fewer afternoon thunderstorms, normally a hallmark of the summer months.

So far, 3 named storms have formed in the Gulf and Atlantic.

The chance of a major hurricane hitting the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, including Florida, is now at 50% according to researchers at Colorado State University.