TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — We’re 100 days away from the start of the 2022 Hurricane Season- it’s far too soon to tell what the season will be like, but here is what we do know.
This year’s list we last used in 2016, with two substitutions. The annual lists cycle through every 6 years, but each year the World Meteorological Organization may retire and replace names of particularly damaging, deadly, or destructive storms and replace them.
The WMO chose to retire the names Matthew and Otto from the 2016 hurricane season and replace them with Martin and Owen.
Also of interest with this name list is the first storm, Alex. In 2016, Alex formed in January, which is extremely rare. Before that it had been 1954-1955 when we last saw a storm in January, it took the name Alice.
While it’s already too late to have gotten as early of a start on the season as we saw in 2016, we will most likely see a storm form prior to June 1st. In the past 6 seasons, we have had at least one named storm before the season actually began.
The early storms prompted a discussion considering moving hurricane season to begin a few weeks earlier, but ultimately it was decided against.
If it seems like we are seeing more named storms than we are used to, we are! The graph above shows the number of named storms per decade that lasted two days or less. Prior to the 2000s, it was around 25 per 10 years. The last two decades came close to doubling that number.
Part of the reason we see so many more named systems, especially weaker ones that do not affect anyone, is the great advances in satellite technology. We now have a MUCH better view of the storms thousands of miles away to determine if it meets the criteria for naming.