TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — The 2022 hurricane season is underway and the first named storm of the season is now behind us.
Potential Tropical Cyclone One formed last Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico from remnants of Agatha, a Pacific basin hurricane. Most of South Florida was placed under a tropical storm warning as parts of the state braced for heavy rain from the system over the weekend. The disturbance eventually became Tropical Storm Alex early Sunday after it passed over Florida and moved over the Atlantic.
Looking forward, the National Hurricane Center said it does not expect any new tropical cyclones in the next five days.
That could be thanks, in part, to a Saharan dust plume moving toward the east coast. The dust starts over the Sahara Desert of Africa and moves across the Atlantic Ocean in early summer. The dryness of the dust and the strong wind shear usually help suppress any potential tropical developments.
While we can enjoy the lack of tropical activity for now, forecasters are expecting another busy hurricane season overall. Federal weather officials with NOAA have predicted the seventh consecutive above-average year of hurricane activity, and Colorado State University meteorologists last week updated their season outlook to “very active.”
NOAA is expecting between 14 to 21 named storms with six to 10 hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, they anticipate three to six will become major hurricanes. CSU’s outlook predicts 20 named storms including 10 hurricanes, five of which they expect to be major hurricanes.
A major hurricane is any storm that reaches sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or higher. Major hurricanes can reach Category 3 strength with 111 to 129 mph winds, Category 4 with 130 to 156 mph or Category 5 with 157 mph or higher.
Tracking the Tropics streams live at 2 p.m. ET every Wednesday during hurricane season, or whenever storms form in the Atlantic basin. You can stay updated on TrackingTheTropics.tv