The tropics may be quiet, but forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are listening.
The NHC began its daily tropical outlooks on Sunday, two weeks ahead of the official start of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1-Nov. 30.
Updates come at nhc.noaa.gov at 2 a.m., 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. EDT with a five-day and two-day outlook available for disturbed weather such as tropical waves and low-pressure systems that have potential to form into tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.
While other meteorological organizations such as AccuWeather and Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science have already predicted another busy hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration won’t announce its official outlook until May 24.
Last year saw 21 named systems including seven hurricanes, of which four were major, and eight had a direct impact on the U.S. The 2020 season had a record 30 named systems.
The NHC began tracking a tropical wave last week, but it dissipated. Each of the previous six years have seen storms form in May, and even an April system in 2017.
A system is named when it has rotation and sustained winds that surpass 39 mph, labeled as a tropical or subtropical storm depending on where it forms. It isn’t named a hurricane until sustained winds surpass 74 mph. Tropical waves and low pressure systems often form into tropical depressions before reaching tropical storm status.
The 2022 storm names are Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie and Walter.