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100 days until the Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway

Early indications suggest it could be another above normal season as sea surface temperatures remain high and no El Niño is forecast.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The countdown is on.

As of February 21, there are 100 days until the official start of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

While we're starting to enjoy longer, warmer days, June 1 will be here before we know it.

It's been a little more than three months since Tropical Storm Wanda formed, which was the last of 2021's named storms. Wanda closed out the above-normal 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season which produced 21 named storms, the third-most for any hurricane season behind the 2005 and 2020 seasons.

 The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, but keep in mind that the season has had a jump start every year for the past seven years.

Just last year, the National Hurricane Center began issuing their tropical outlook discussions on May 15 versus the regular June 1 start. This was to account for the Atlantic basin beginning to get more active during that time of year anyways.

There have been discussions between the National Hurricane Center and the World Meteorological Organization to move the official start of the hurricane season to May 15, but that has not occurred yet.   

Credit: FCN

There are no seasonal outlooks out as of late February, as it's far too early to provide a detailed prediction of how the 2022 hurricane season will play out. However, there are early indications that the season could be another active one.

In fact, since 1995 the Atlantic basin has been in an active pattern overall with sea surface temperatures running warmer than normal.

Warmer ocean temperatures provide more fuel, or energy, for tropical systems to develop and ultimately strengthen.

Another factor that could lead to an active season is that an El Nino pattern is not expected to develop. El Nino patterns typically bring increased wind shear to the tropical Atlantic which tends to inhibit the development and strengthening of tropical systems. 

The opposite of El Niño, La Niña, was in place during the 2021 hurricane season and helped contribute to the elevated activity seen in the Atlantic. There were 21 named storms, seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

The average number of tropical systems in the Atlantic is 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. 

Now is a wonderful time to review the list of names that will be used throughout the six-month season. Since hurricane names rotate every six years, a few of these may look familiar. 

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

The complete list of names for the 2022 hurricane season are:

  • Alex
  • Bonnie 
  • Colin 
  • Danielle
  • Earl  
  • Fiona
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Ian
  • Julia
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Martin
  • Nicole
  • Owen
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tobias
  • Virginie
  • Walter   

This will be the second year where if the list of names for the hurricane season were to be exhausted, the supplemental list of names will be used in place of the Green alpahbet.

After the 2020 hurricanes season, the World Meteorological Organization wanted to avoid confusion and decided to retire the Greek alphabet. It only needed to be used twice, in 2005 and 2020.

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