Quietest start to storm season in decades

Floodwaters slowly recede in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Lafitte, La., Sept. 1, 2021. Federal meteorologists said Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, this hurricane season may not be quite as busy as they initially thought, but it should still be more active than normal.
Floodwaters slowly recede in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Lafitte, La., Sept. 1, 2021. Federal meteorologists said Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, this hurricane season may not be quite as busy as they initially thought, but it should still be more active than normal.
Associated Press/Gerald Herbert, File

The Weather Channel says that the 2022 storm season is not a disappointment in terms of the formation of major hurricanes up to the end of August. It is just that the season is off to perhaps the slowest and quietest start in 40 years.

Still, the respected channel is warning Caribbean, Central American and US residents who are normally the victims of increasingly powerful storms in recent years to prepare for the worst as we approach the normal peak of the season about now.

The three storms named so far-Alex, Bonnie and Colin- all ‘flamed’ out earlier in the season without major effects on regional nations. The channel says this is the first time in four decades that no named storms formed between the first week of July and the third week of August despite months of hot, dry and humid conditions in the Atlantic.

The US National Hurricane Center, meanwhile, has predicted that the Americas will likely face a busier than normal season despite the slow start with between 14 to 20 storms developing significantly enough for forecasters to assign names to them.

Of the three which were monitored region-wide this year, Tropical Storm Alex passed near Bermuda in early June as it headed into open waters in the Mid Atlantic. Authorities had closed schools and other state buildings as the storm veered west of the island which is southeast of the US Carolinas.

Michell Pitcher, the acting director of Bermuda’s weather service told the Royal Gazette that the region should brace for a tough season despite the quietude.

Many serious impacts have occurred in seasons that start late. One only needs to look at the first storm of 1992 — Hurricane Andrew, which formed in late August of that year — to note that late starts can yield major storms. Indications from all of the agencies that make seasonal predictions show background conditions that are conducive to a busy second half of the hurricane season,” she said.

She pointed to Hurricane Andrew, one of the deadliest and most destructive in living memory, formed late in August of 1992 and came ashore to many Caribbean nations weeks later, battering The Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana after making landfall as a Category 5 hurricane.

And Hurricane Dorian, which came to forecasters attention as a tropical storm on Aug. 24, three years ago destroyed several of The Bahamas’ family islands leaving what Prime Minister Phillip Davis said was up to $5 billion in damage. Dorian was dubbed a super storm with wind gusts of up to 185 miles per hour.

Irma, which did a job on Antigua and Dominica among others in 2017, also caused billions in damage, forcing Dominica in particular to nationally rethink how its constructs key infrastructural projects which are felled and rendered inoperable whenever hit by storms.

More from Around NYC