Could South Carolina see an above average hurricane season this year? Here’s what we know

·2 min read
NOAA

National Weather Service forecasters have predicted an above average Atlantic hurricane season for this year with possibly as many as 21 named storms.

The outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to Nov. 30, predicts 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, according to a recent NWS announcement. South Carolina is one of the most vulnerable states to hurricanes and tropical storms all throughout the season, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division states.

For the 2022 hurricane season, the forecast range is between 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which six to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three to six major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters provided these ranges with 70% confidence.

This outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast.

The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon are factors, the NWS states.

An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves, which seed many of the strongest and longest lived hurricanes during most seasons. The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for scientists.

“Hurricane Ida spanned nine states, demonstrating that anyone can be in the direct path of a hurricane and in danger from the remnants of a storm system,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division urges the public to do what they can to prepare for a possible hurricane — from knowing their evacuation routes to creating family emergency plans.

Visit Ready.gov for preparedness tips and download the FEMA App to receive emergency alerts in real-time.”

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