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2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Image of a hurricane

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes are massive and rapidly rotating low-pressure storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The hurricane season officially begins on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, and lasts through Wednesday, November 30, 2022. The peak of hurricane season for Anne Arundel County is between mid-August to late October.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict 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. For 2022, a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected.

Outlook Graph

As with every hurricane season, the need to be prepared is critically important this year.

“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient,” said NOAA Secretary of Commerce; Gina Raimondo. Relying on the early and accurate forecasts and warnings from NOAA, our County Office of Emergency Management helps prepare our residents for tropical storms, hurricanes, and their potential impacts. You can start preparing now by learning more about how hurricanes form.

Hurricane formation

Tropical storms and hurricanes begin as a tropical wave, then as the wind speed increases, it becomes an organized low-pressure tropical depression. If the conditions are favorable, the depression can become a tropical storm when wind speeds reach 39 mph and eventually a hurricane when they reach 75mph or higher. Some tropical storms never strengthen or move harmlessly out to sea where the cooler water weakens them and others can strengthen into major hurricanes.

Hurricane categories

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane's maximum sustained wind speed. This scale does not take into account other potentially deadly hazards such as storm surges, rainfall flooding, and tornadoes. The scale estimates potential property damage to help make the potential impacts easier to understand.

Major hurricanes can cause devastating to catastrophic wind damage and significant loss of life simply due to the strength of their winds. Hurricanes of all categories can produce deadly storm surges, rain-induced floods, and tornadoes. These hazards require people to take protective action, including evacuating from areas vulnerable to storm surges. For more information on these hazards and tips on how to prepare for them visit our website.

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