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NOAA updates 2022 hurricane season forecast, still expected to be 'above-average'

An above-average season is still expected on the Tropical Atlantic basin.

MACON, Ga. — Thursday morning, NOAA forecasters released their annual August forecast update for the 2022 hurricane season. An above average season is still expected with 14-20 tropical storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes.

The initial May 24 forecast issued by NOAA was for 14-21 tropical storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes. May's forecast had a 65% chance of an above average season while August's outlook has a 60% chance for an above average season. 

Matthew Rosencrans, the lead hurricane season outlook forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, told 13WMAZ on Thursday, "You can get very active years with lulls in them." 

In 2021, there was a significant lull in July and at the beginning of August. Activity picked up after August 11.

A tropical storm must have sustained winds of at least 39 mph, hurricanes of at least 74 mph, and major hurricanes of at least 111 mph.

So far, the 2022 season has see three named storms: Alex, Bonnie, and Colin. The new outlook takes these storms into account.

Tropical Storm Alex formed on June 1 after crossing over Florida from the Gulf of Mexico, into the Atlantic Ocean. It became sufficiently organized and garnered the name north of the Bahamas. It's peak sustained winds were at 70 mph.

Tropical Storm Bonnie formed on the morning of July 1 in the Caribbean Sea. It held together as it crossed the mountainous Central American terrain, retaining its name as it reemerged over the Pacific Ocean. It eventually strengthened into category three status over the open Pacific before dissipating. 

Bonnie was the first storm since Hurricane Otto in 2016 to successfully cross from the Atlantic basin into the Pacific basin. 

Shortly after Bonnie formed, Tropical Storm Colin formed unexpectedly while over land in South Carolina. Bringing wind and rain to the Carolinas, Colin meandered along the Carolina coast, never fully emerging over the Atlantic Ocean. It was a very weak and short-lived tropical storm. 

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