NOAA warns US could be hit by DOUBLE the usual number of hurricanes this fall and predicts up to 20 named Atlantic storms during 'above-normal season'
- Federal officials predict up to 20 named storms for the Atlantic Ocean this year
- That could include a doubling of the number of hurricanes that make landfall along the East Coast
- Between 14 and 20 storms that are strong enough to be given a name are expected in 2022, with up to 10 of those being hurricanes
- Hurricane Ida caused $75 billion in damage and killed 96 people last year
The East Coast could be in for a rough time over the next few months, with more violent than normal hurricane activity being forecasted.
Between 14 and 20 storms that are strong enough to be given a name by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are expected in 2022, with up to 10 of those being classified as hurricanes. Named storms have winds over 39 mph and hurricanes have winds in excess of 74 mph.
So far, three storms have risen to named status: Hurricane Bonnie and tropical storms Alex and Colin. While the NHC defines Atlantic hurricane season as running between June 1 and November 30, major hurricane activity usually doesn’t begin until August.
Scroll down for video
Between 14 and 20 storms that are strong enough to be given a name by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are expected in 2022, with up to 10 of those being classified as hurricanes - as pictured above in the NOAA graphic
So far this year, three storms have risen to named status: Hurricane Bonnie and tropical storms Alex and Colin. Hurricane Zeta is pictured above in the Gulf of Mexico in 2020
In August 2021, Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana with winds of up to 150 miles per hour, damaging thousands of homes and knocking out power for millions of people. Pictured above is NOAA's outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season
'Although it has been a relatively slow start to hurricane season, with no major storms developing in the Atlantic, this is not unusual and we therefore cannot afford to let our guard down,' FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said in a statement. 'This is especially important as we enter peak hurricane season—the next Ida or Sandy could still be lying in wait.'
Recent years have seen significant upticks in hurricanes over the Atlantic. Last year was the third busiest on record, with 21 storms were strong enough to be given a name, including seven hurricanes.
It was the first time on record that there were enough storms to go through the entire alphabet for two consecutive years (the annual list of names does not include any that start with the letters Q, U, X, Y or Z). That’s a noteworthy increase from the period between 1991 to 2020, when there was an average of 14 named storms per year.
In August 2021, Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana with winds of up to 150 miles per hour, damaging thousands of homes and knocking out power for millions of people. According to government statistics, Ida killed 96 people and caused $75 billion in damage, making it the costliest U.S. natural disaster of the year.
'Communities and families should prepare now for the remainder of what is still expected to be an active hurricane season,' said National Weather Service director Ken Graham in a statement. Last year, there were 21 named storms (as seen above)
Shirley Andrus looks in her vehicle that was crushed by a fallen tree as Hurricane Laura passed through the area on August 28, 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Officials have warned that anyone living near the coast should be prepared for the possibility of significant storms. Pictured above: Massive flooding from Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota in Honduras
'Communities and families should prepare now for the remainder of what is still expected to be an active hurricane season,' said National Weather Service director Ken Graham in a statement.
'Ensure that you are ready to take action if a hurricane threatens your area by developing an evacuation plan and gathering hurricane supplies now, before a storm is bearing down on your community.'
While the NHC predictions don’t forecast possible landfalls, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seasonal outlook lead Matthew Rosencrans told DailyMail.com that in above-normal years, the United States usually sees a doubling in the number of hurricanes that reach the coast from Miami to Maine.
Criswell warned that those living along the coast should begin preparing for what could be coming.
Just 20 minutes of advance preparation could make a huge difference when a major storm is barreling towards the coast, Rosencrans noted.
'They should make sure they have a quick, ready-to-go box of all their really important documents. They should make sure their insurance plan is up to date and review their plan with their family and loved ones,' he said.
This year, the United States may see a doubling in the number of hurricanes that reach the coast from Miami to Maine. This satellite image shows Tropical Storm Dorian as it sits over the Bahamas
Just 20 minutes of advance preparation could make a huge difference when a major storm is barreling towards the coast, officials note. Pictured: A truck is seen stuck on a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Laura in Grand Lake south of Lake Charles, Louisiana
The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center put the likelihood of 'above-normal' storm activity at 60 per cent, which is a slight improvement from May, where the same forecasters put the odds of an above-normal season at 65 percent.
While storm activity has been relatively quiet so far, those living on the East Coast should not be lulled into a false sense of security.
'I think we often have this feeling in early August that it’s been relatively quiet even though hurricane season started on June 1, but a majority of the storms really come in the next two month period,' Kevin Reed, an associate dean at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences told DailyMail.com.
'I like to put it in a different context, which is: all it takes is one storm that makes landfall in a particularly area to make a season really impactful.'
Although climate systems are incredibly complex and are affected by numerous factors, Reed said that the impacts of climate change are being felt in the extreme strength of storms seen in recent years.
'The global average temperature has increased by over a degree Celsius, the temperature in the North Atlantic is warmer than it would have been in a world without climate change,' he said.
'Therefore, when the storms do happen, and there will be storms in the coming months, they will have a likelihood to be stronger, they will dump more rainfall than they would have and those can have real impacts if they do make landfall.'