TAMPA, Fla — While we're enjoying the sunshine and warmth during the heart of "Florida Winter," hurricane season is hot on our heels.
It's been a little over three months since Tropical Storm Wanda formed, which was the last of 2021's named storms. Wanda closed out the above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season which produced 21 named storms, the third-most for any hurricane season.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, which is 100 days away starting Monday. Due to tropical activity developing before the official start of the hurricane season for the last seven years in a row, the National Hurricane Center will issue its regular schedule of tropical outlook discussions on May 15 instead of June 1.
There have been discussions between the National Hurricane Center and the World Meteorological Organization to move the official start of the hurricane season to May 15, but that has not occurred yet.
It's too early to provide a detailed prediction of how 2022 will play out, but there are indications that the season will be another active season. Since 1995, the Atlantic basin has been in an active period with temperatures running warmer than normal.
Warmer ocean temperatures provide more fuel for tropical systems to develop and ultimately strengthen.
Another indicator that the season could be an active season is that an El Nino pattern is not expected to develop. El Nino patterns typically bring increased wind shear to the tropical Atlantic which tends to inhibit the development and strengthening of tropical systems.
The opposite of El Niño, La Niña, was in place during the 2021 hurricane season which contributed to the elevated activity seen in the Atlantic. There were 21 named storms, seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes. The normal number of tropical systems in the Atlantic is 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Here's an overview of the season and the ways you can prepare now while the weather is cooler and drier.
New year, new names 🌀
Now is a wonderful time to review the list of names that will be used throughout the six-month season. Since hurricane names rotate every six years, a few of these may look familiar.
The complete list of names for the 2022 hurricane season are:
This will be the second year where if the list of names for the hurricane season were to be exhausted, the supplemental list of names will be used in place of the Greek alphabet.
The World Meteorological Organization wanted to avoid confusion and decided to retire the Greek alphabet that was originally used in 2005 and 2020 as a supplemental list.
Be prepared 🌀
First things first, develop a plan. Use the next 100 days to get your home, family and pets ready. It's never too early to prepare for any storm — big or small.
Whether you're new to the area or lived here your entire life, here's an important refresher on what to do months before a storm arrives.
Ready.gov recommends you have two kits: a basic kit and a kit with additional emergency supplies.
An emergency supply list should include:
- At least a three day supply of water
- At least a three day supply of non-perishable food for each person and pet
- Change of clothing
- A blanket or sleeping bag
- A first aid kit
- Battery-powered weather radio, cell phone, charger (if you can invest in a couple of portable chargers, even better!)
- Emergency toolkit
- Extra car and house keys
- Medicines and any special items
If a storm does head our way, there are important preparations and measures to take before, during and after a hurricane.
Aside from having enough food, water and additional supplies, make sure all insurance documents are updated and you have copies to carry if an evacuation is necessary.
Check your hurricane shutters and get any yard work done to remove debris or loose tree branches that could cause damage to property.
Trust in us 🌀
While we have a few more months until the start of the season, 10 Tampa Bay is your Hurricane Headquarters when the time comes.
We're your main source of fear-free coverage this season, dedicated to keeping everyone safe, prepared, connected. You can find evacuation zone maps, interactive tropical trackers and up-to-date forecasts right here when the tropics start to heat up.