Tuesday, May 24, 2022

NOAA: Plan for Another Above-Normal Hurricane Season

(NOAA graphic)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, with 14-21 named storms expected, of which 6-10 are likely to become hurricanes and 3-6 strengthening to major hurricanes. This is in line with (although less specific than) the separate prediction issued in April by the Center for Tropical Weather and Climate Research at Colorado State University (see report below). 

The NOAA scientists say multiple factors are expected to influence this season's storms, including the ongoing "La Nina" that is likely to continue through the season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year, along with warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker trade winds in the tropics and an enhanced West African monsoon, which in turn supports stronger African Easterly Waves, which power many of the strongest and longest-lasting hurricanes each season.

At a media briefing announcing the season outlook, NOAA and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials stressed the fact that a storm does not have to be classified as a major hurricane in order to cause major damage, citing Superstorm Sandy 10 years ago and the remnants of Hurricane Ida last year that caused massive flooding in the northeast even after being downgraded from their previous storm classifications.

Amateur radio operators within hurricane-prone areas should prepare for their personal safety first, followed by preparations to be able to operate without commercial power for possibly extended periods, and receive training available from FEMA, the National Weather Service and local emergency communication groups. The Hurricane Watch Net <www.hwn.net> activates whenever a hurricane is within 300 miles of land and operates on 14.325 MHz (USB) during the day and 7.285 MHz (LSB) at night.