2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Comes To An End

We saw a slightly above-average season for hurricane numbers with near-average named storms numbers.

Initial forecasts for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season were projected to be above average.  Similar to last year we were in a La Nina period which generally means warm ocean waters, low shear, and average Saharan dust. However, this season was just slightly above average and much quieter than the original forecast with 4 named storms, 8 hurricanes – 1 more than average, and 2 major hurricanes – one less than average. This does not mean that it wasn’t a record-breaking year.

2022 Atlantic Hurricane Names Primary

The start of the 2022 hurricane season was a slow one. In fact, after Tropical Storm Colin in early July, there was a 60-day stretch until the next named storm. This was the second longest time between storms in history – just one day shy of tying the record of 61 days set back in 1999. It was only the 3rd time since 1950 that the month of August was without a named storm. That all changed in September. Danielle became the first hurricane of the 2022 season on September 2 – the latest first hurricane of the season since Humberto in 2013. Five more storms developed during the month, including the two strongest hurricanes of the season – Fiona and Ian.

Hurricane Fiona:

Hurricane Fiona made landfall outside of the Continental US in Puerto Rico as a category 1 storm. From there it strengthened into a major category 4 hurricane near Bermuda – the first of the season. It weakened as it continued north into cooler waters. But, it remained a destructive post-tropical storm causing major damage to Canada. It is the costliest storm on record for Canada causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage.

Hurricane Ian:

Hurricane Ian slammed into Southwest Florida as a major category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. It was the fifth strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Continental US on record. Ian claimed more than 150 lives making it the deadliest storm to hit Florida since the Great Labor Day Hurricane in 1935. It is also on track to be the costliest hurricane in the state’s history with initial estimates of more than $50 billion in damage.

In The Carolinas:

All three landfalling storms in the U.S. had direct or indirect impacts on the Carolinas. Tropical Storm Colin was a storm that developed off the South Carolina coast in early July. It brought gusty wind and rain to the coast, but impacts were minimal.  Ian was the only landfalling hurricane on either of the Carolina coasts this season. After devastating parts of Florida, Ian made its final landfall as a category 1 hurricane in Georgetown, South Carolina on September 30th. It produced significant storm surges, flash flooding, and wind damage across the Carolinas. Locally, strong winds brought down trees and caused power outages that lasted for more than 24 hours for parts of the Charlotte Metro area. The last hurricane of the year was Nicole. It made landfall on the east coast of Florida.

Notable Statistics:

– F​or only the third time since 1950, no storms formed in the Atlantic Basin in August.
– For only the 3rd year on record, the Atlantic had two hurricanes, Lisa and Martin, simultaneously in November.
– Nicole was the second latest calendar hurricane to hit the continental US on record.

Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th each year.