PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Over the next two weeks, meteorologists and other weather watchers will get a clear sense of what to expect from the 2022 hurricane season.
“We are not out of the woods yet for the tropical season to be an active one but a comparable year where they were active after this long of a quiet period is dwindling,” said News 13 Chief Meteorologist Ross Whitley. “We will see when the tropics will flip that switch and it’s likely safe to say that there will eventually be a hurricane this year. It even still could be very active.”
The only year on record without a hurricane happened in 1912. And, nearly midway through the 2022 hurricane season, things have been exceptionally quiet.
“So far, this season has had 3 named systems all were close to the US and short lived,” Whitley said. “The last time we went this long without a hurricane in the season was 2013 where eventually we had Humberto that year. It became a hurricane on 8 September. That season ended just about average as far as numbers go with 14 named storms and 2 hurricanes but no major hurricanes.”
Earlier this month The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made a slight change in the number of hurricanes it expects this year. The change calls for one fewer named storm and one fewer major hurricane this year. The agency still expects 14-20 named storms and 3-5 major hurricanes.
“Records for tracking tropical systems go back to 1851, in that entire period there has not been a year without at least some tropical activity, and every year except for two in that span have included at least two hurricanes,” Whitley said. “The exceptions were in 1914, when there was a lone tropical storm that existed from 15-19 September and crossed east to west off the Atlantic, across southern GA and down toward southern LA. There were no known hurricanes that year.”
“Eleven years later, in 1925, one tropical storm occurred from 6-7 September, moving out of the Gulf of Mexico across Mexico and the southern tip of Texas. Then, there was a very late season hurricane that formed on 29 November and lasted until 4 December,” he added.
Whitley adds that it is possible that hurricanes formed in the years before satellite tracking and no one encountered or recorded them.
Despite what seems like good news so far, officials want residents in the paths of these storms to stay alert and prepared.
“Things can go from calm to booming very quickly,” Whitley said.
We still have a ways to go. Hurricane season ends on November 30.