Colorado State University (CSU) has issued its June forecast for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The forecast calls for 20 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes (Category 3+). This is a slight increase from the April projection.
With the release of their forecast, CSU is continuing to predict above-normal tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin during the 2022 season. The report cites several factors as to how and why this activity was forecast. The biggest reason surrounds the fact that the tropical Pacific Ocean remains characterized by weak La Niña conditions. CSU notes that it is likely weak La Niña or cool ENSO-neutral conditions will be prevalent during the peak season months of August / September / October. It is unlikely that El Niño conditions will exist during the season. El Niño typically correlates with reduced tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean; while La Niña conditions often lead to enhanced cyclogenesis. The most recent statistical and dynamical ENSO model output from NOAA currently highlights a 58 percent likelihood of a La Niña event during the peak development month timeframe (August-October) and a 38 percent chance of ENSO-neutral conditions. There is just a 4 percent chance of El Niño.
A second factor revolves around current sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic Ocean. Water temperatures are currently above normal in the Tropical Atlantic and much warmer than normal across the entire Subtropical Atlantic. These waters have warmed noticeably since late March and is primarily due to weaker-than-normal trade winds. In the Caribbean Sea, current temperatures are near or slightly cooler than normal which is due to stronger-than-normal trade winds in recent weeks. CSU notes that the current Atlantic sea surface temperature anomaly pattern is well correlated with what is typically seen in active Atlantic hurricane seasons.
As a reminder: Above or below average hurricane season forecasts are often a poor predictor of seasonal economic or insured losses. Landfall location, intensity, and coastal / inland storm behavior are the predominant loss correlation drivers.
Seasonal Forecast Comparison
Colorado State University: 20 Named Storms; 10 Hurricanes; 5 Major Hurricanes
Tropical Storm Risk: 18 Named Storms, 8 Hurricanes; 4 Major Hurricanes
NOAA: 14-21 Named Storms; 6-10 Hurricanes; 3-6 Major Hurricanes