Above average hurricane season forecasts continue with UK Met Office

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The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season continues to be forecast as likely to see a relatively significant amount of activity, with the latest forecast to be published from the UK Met Office calling for 18 named storms and 8 hurricanes to form.

hurricane-beachConditions in the Atlantic tropics are once again expected to be conducive to hurricane formation, with La Niña conditions expected to persist as far as into the peak of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, resulting in forecasters believing this portends another potentially challenging year for US hurricane zones.

The latest ENSO forecasts continue to suggest a 58% chance of La Niña being dominant through to the August – October time fram, and a 61% chance it lasts into fall and early winter 2022.

This is one of the influences causing hurricane forecasts to be pegged above average, which the UK’s Met Office has echoed.

In a forecast published yesterday, the UK Met Office said that the most likely number of named tropical storms for the 2022 Atlantic season is forecast to be 18, with a 70% chance that it fall between 13 and 23.

For comparison, the Met Office uses a 1991-2020 long-term average of 14.

On hurricanes, the Met Office is forecasting 9, giving a 70% chance that it will be in the range 6 to 12.

Here, the 1991-2020 long-term average is 7.

On major hurricanes, so the most impactful Category 3 or stronger storms, the UK Met Office forecasts 4 for this season, saying there is a 70% chance that it will be between 2 and 6.

Here, the 1991-2020 long-term average is 3.

In terms of accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), a measure of the power potential in hurricanes, the UK Met Office forecasts an ACE index of 176, with a 70% chance that the index will be in the range 91 to 261.

The 1991-2020 average is 121 for ACE.

Notably, of all the forecasters we track over on our 2022 Atlantic hurricane season page, the UK Met Office now has the highest ACE index forecast.

Adding the latest figures from the UK Met Office to those forecasters we track, which include a number of those tracked by the reinsurance, catastrophe bond and wider ILS industry, our Artemis average currently sits at an active 19 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes, with Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 153.

NOAA’s forecast, which is another watched by the reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) industry comes out this week and we should also get more updates from some of the forecast teams that make an earlier prediction this month as well.

One additional fact our reinsurance and ILS market readers may find helpful to know, is that some meteorologists are saying the loop current in the Gulf of Mexico looks primed for a busy hurricane season, as it is already extended quite far north for this time of the year.

That can bode ill for Gulf Coast and Florida panhandle hurricanes, it is thought, as the availability of warmer Caribbean waters much further north into the Gulf of Mexico can fuel tropical storms as they move closer towards land.

Track the 2022 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season on our dedicated page and we’ll update you as new information emerges.

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