(Reuters) – The privately owned AccuWeather Inc. forecasts that 2022 will be the seventh straight hurricane season above the average in the Atlantic where between three and five major hurricanes are formed with sustained winds of at least 111 mph, says Dan Kottlowski, senior meteorologist.
These major hurricanes are expected to include six to eight hurricanes with winds of at least 74 mph from 16-20 tropical storms in 2022, said Kottlowski, AccuWeather’s leading hurricane maker. Tropical storms have winds of at least 39 mph.
Between two and four of the storms can be expected to hit the U.S.-regulated northern Gulf of Mexico, home to the country’s offshore oil and natural gas production and half of its refining capacity, he said.
Warmer seas than average, which storms and the absence of an El Nino weather pattern that sends strong winds over the southern United States to break up hurricanes are the main reasons for AccuWeather̵7;s forecast, Kottlowski said.
“Unfortunately, we do not see water temperatures cooling any time soon,” he said.
The Atlantic hurricane season 2022 officially begins on June 1 and ends on November 30.
Like 2021 and previous years, the season can start early with storms before the season officially begins, Kottlowski said.
“The overall pattern looks pretty similar last year,” he said.
The first storm in 2021 was formed on May 22, 2021 and the last system disappeared on November 7. The 2021 season saw four major hurricanes among seven hurricanes from 21 tropical storms.
The average for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic between 1991 and 2020 is three major hurricanes, seven hurricanes and 14 tropical storms, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.