A man works at his work station as Vice President...

A man works at his work station as Vice President Kamala Harris, not pictured, receives a briefing from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials at the National Hurricane Center near Miami on Monday. Credit: AFP / Chandan Khanna via Getty Images

An above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is still forecast for 2022, although the chances for it// are slightly lower than initially predicted, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s midseason update issued Thursday.

So far, there have been three named storms (meaning winds of 39 miles per hour or greater). The forecast calls for 14 to 20 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of at least 74 mph). And of those, three to five could become major hurricanes (winds of at least 111 mph).

“We have slightly decreased the chances from an above-average season,” said Matthew Rosencrans, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, in a conference call Thursday morning with reporters. 

He added: "The main reason why we decreased the values there is, we've seen a bit more variability in the sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic; there's been a bit of cooler water that has kind of come in from the extratropical Atlantic, and it's impacting into some of the main development regions of the Atlantic," he said. 

For example, the sea surface temperatures were forecast, in May, to be above normal; now, they're forecast to be closer to normal, with only periods of above.normal.

It's the seventh straight year that the Atlantic hurricane season would be above average. 

Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30. About 90% of the storms in the season happen in August and September, and the peak season is now upon us.

In May, the NOAA forecast predicted a 65% chance of an above-normal season. Thursday’s forecast was 60%.

“The likelihood of near-normal activity has risen to 30% and the chances remain at 10% for a below-normal season,” the forecast news release said.

Among the reasons for the latest forecast: La Niña, the weather pattern that can strengthen hurricane activity, is favored to remain in place for the rest of 2022; plus, there are weaker Atlantic trade winds, an active west African monsoon and periodically above-normal sea-surface temperatures, Rosencrans said. 

"While the tropics have been relatively quiet over the last month, remember that it only takes one landfall of a storm to devastate a community. This is especially critical as we head into what the team here at NOAA anticipates is likely to be a busy peak to the season," he said.

The forecast is for the Atlantic basin, and is not specific to regions such as Long Island and New York. Actual landfall of storms is generally forecast within a week of the event, Rosencrans said.

Storms can cause enormous damage to life and property. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy killed 13 people on the Island, washed 10 billion gallons of oil, debris and sewage onto lawns, into basements, and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean and destroyed or damaged nearly 100,000 structures, including homes, businesses, schools, and government buildings.

And last year, Hurricane Ida's remnants killed at least 13 people in Brooklyn and Queens — people who were trapped and drowned in basement apartments or were trapped in motor vehicles on roadways.

An above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is still forecast for 2022, although the chances for it// are slightly lower than initially predicted, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s midseason update issued Thursday.

So far, there have been three named storms (meaning winds of 39 miles per hour or greater). The forecast calls for 14 to 20 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of at least 74 mph). And of those, three to five could become major hurricanes (winds of at least 111 mph).

“We have slightly decreased the chances from an above-average season,” said Matthew Rosencrans, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, in a conference call Thursday morning with reporters. 

He added: "The main reason why we decreased the values there is, we've seen a bit more variability in the sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic; there's been a bit of cooler water that has kind of come in from the extratropical Atlantic, and it's impacting into some of the main development regions of the Atlantic," he said. 

For example, the sea surface temperatures were forecast, in May, to be above normal; now, they're forecast to be closer to normal, with only periods of above.normal.

It's the seventh straight year that the Atlantic hurricane season would be above average. 

Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30. About 90% of the storms in the season happen in August and September, and the peak season is now upon us.

In May, the NOAA forecast predicted a 65% chance of an above-normal season. Thursday’s forecast was 60%.

“The likelihood of near-normal activity has risen to 30% and the chances remain at 10% for a below-normal season,” the forecast news release said.

Among the reasons for the latest forecast: La Niña, the weather pattern that can strengthen hurricane activity, is favored to remain in place for the rest of 2022; plus, there are weaker Atlantic trade winds, an active west African monsoon and periodically above-normal sea-surface temperatures, Rosencrans said. 

"While the tropics have been relatively quiet over the last month, remember that it only takes one landfall of a storm to devastate a community. This is especially critical as we head into what the team here at NOAA anticipates is likely to be a busy peak to the season," he said.

The forecast is for the Atlantic basin, and is not specific to regions such as Long Island and New York. Actual landfall of storms is generally forecast within a week of the event, Rosencrans said.

Storms can cause enormous damage to life and property. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy killed 13 people on the Island, washed 10 billion gallons of oil, debris and sewage onto lawns, into basements, and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean and destroyed or damaged nearly 100,000 structures, including homes, businesses, schools, and government buildings.

And last year, Hurricane Ida's remnants killed at least 13 people in Brooklyn and Queens — people who were trapped and drowned in basement apartments or were trapped in motor vehicles on roadways.

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