The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is off to its slowest start in 30 years, forcing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to slightly decrease its predicted likelihood of an above-normal season.
Halfway through the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, there have been no hurricanes and only three named storms, none of which have met the official definition of a "tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher."
A typical hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven of which qualify as hurricanes, including three classified as “major.”
Since 1966, there have been only five other hurricane seasons with as little activity at the halfway mark.
In its initial prediction, published in May, NOAA declared:
- A 65% chance of an above-normal season,
- A 25% chance of a near-normal season, and
- A 10% chance of a below-normal season.
But, given the absence of even a single hurricane three months in, NOAA has now slightly adjusted its forecast. “NOAA still expects above-normal Atlantic hurricane season,” the revised forecast insists, lowering the likelihood of an above normal season to 60%, while increasing the probability of a normal season to 30%.
Even with zero hurricanes, NOAA was loathe to increase the likelihood of a below-normal season (10%).
“[D]espite what you may have heard, Atlantic hurricanes are not becoming more frequent. In fact, the frequency of hurricanes making landfall in the continental U.S. has declined slightly since 1900, Hoover Institution Visiting Fellow Bjorn Lomborg noted in a piece published by The Wall Street Journal.
Nonetheless, some media outlets continue to defend and promote the worst-case predictions, and invoke the specter of climate change in the process.
The Atlantic’s “luck is likely to run out soon,” Axios reported on Friday, claiming that “everyone” agrees that the 2022 hurricane season will be above-normal, or worse:
“The Atlantic hurricane season to date has been unusually quiet, with not a single named storm since July 2, a feat that last occurred in 1982. However, our luck is likely to run out soon, scientists tell Axios.”
“The forecasts for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season have been unanimous, with everyone from the federal government to university forecasting groups calling for an above average or much above average season.”
Hurricanes “are becoming more damaging due to human-driven climate change, which is causing tropical storms and hurricanes to grow more intense” as the “obstacles” to hurricanes get out of the way, Axios contends.
But, as Hot Air has reported, the “Number and strength of hurricanes stubbornly fail to increase.”
“There is no global trend in the number of tropical storms or hurricanes during the past 50+ years,” Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue agrees.
As for the effect of climate change, a study by The Global Warming Policy Foundation concluded that “[T]here is little evidence that global warming has resulted in more hurricanes, or more intense ones in recent years.”
“On the contrary,” the study finds: “available evidence confirms that hurricane and major hurricane frequency has been similar in many prior periods.”
NOAA’s predictions are for overall seasonal activity, and are not landfall forecasts.