Active 2022 Atlantic hurricane season expected, with up to 21 named storms

The Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to Nov. 30, is expected to be a busy one.

Experts from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration out of the United States, along with those from the Canadian Hurricane Centre, released predictions for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season Tuesday.

They're calling for a 65-per-cent chance of an above-normal season, a 25-per-cent chance that it will be near-normal, and only a 10-per-cent chance that it will be below-normal.

Should the prediction verify, it will be the seventh consecutive above-normal season when it comes to the number of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Fourteen to 21 named storms are being predicted, with six to 10 reaching hurricane strength, and three to six of those becoming major hurricanes -- a major hurricane being Category 3 or higher.

Contributing factors to the forecast include:

  • The continuation of La Nina in the southern Pacific Ocean, which creates a more favourable wind environment for hurricane development in the Atlantic.
  • Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Hurricanes are fueled by warmer ocean waters.
  • The presence of a stronger west African monsoon. The stronger monsoon season can create waves in the atmosphere that move east of Africa and over the Atlantic Ocean, triggering the development of more tropical storms and hurricanes.

Of course, it only takes one strong storm to make it a “bad” season. Having a plan and emergency kit ready to go is advised. This includes being prepared to go 72 hours without power in the event of extensive damage to utilities.

Information on how to prepare for a variety of hazards and emergencies can be found on the Government of Canada's website.

Last season, the Maritime region was impacted by the remnants of two storms -- Elsa and Ida. While both brought heavy rain, Elsa was the more impactful with tens of thousands of people knocked off the power grid in New Brunswick.

There was also a close call with Hurricane Larry, which ended up passing just south and east of Nova Scotia, before making a landfall in eastern Newfoundland as a Category 1 hurricane.