TAMPA, Fla — The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) released its June Atlantic hurricane season forecast Sunday, which calls for an extremely active season with 19 named storms and 11 hurricanes.
These numbers are predicted by ECMWF forecasters for the months of July to November. This forecast comes the same day that Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed well east of the Florida coast after dumping torrential rain just days ago over South Florida.
Does the term "ECMWF" sound familiar? You may have heard meteorologists commonly use its mid-range weather model, called the “Euro” for short, in the day-to-day and tropical forecasting.
Experts at the ECMWF base their findings on years of statistics used to develop forecasts for the number of tropical storms, number of hurricanes and accumulated cyclonic energy, or ACE.
This seasonal forecast echos what other institutions are calling for this hurricane season.
Last week, Colorado State University released its June 2022 hurricane season forecast update and is calling for another “very active” hurricane season of 20 named storms and 10 hurricanes, five of those being Category 3 or higher.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is also predicting yet another above-average hurricane season and is calling for 14-21 named storms, six to 10 expected to be above hurricane strength.
Both NOAA and Colorado State point toward above-average sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean and La Niña or neutral conditions continuing into the summer/fall as the driving force behind the above-average forecast.
In a La Niña phase, we can expect lighter upper-level winds, which means less wind shear. Wind shear inhibits tropical formation. When there is less wind shear in the tropics, tropical storms and hurricanes can develop and strengthen.
If these forecasts verify, 2022 would be the seventh straight above-average hurricane season. Regardless of how many storms develop, it only takes one storm to make the season “active” for any community that gets hit.
We're already one name down, and by the looks of it, there will be many more to come this year. Learn more about preparing for hurricane season at the 10 Tampa Bay Hurricane Headquarters.