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2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Summary

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season had an average number of named storms, but it still managed to set records.
Credit: Kristin Walla
2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Map

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season was expected to follow suit with the previous six seasons and turn out an above-average number of named storms, due in part to a third year of La Nina. However, that's not what happened.

"Average" is based on 1991-2020 climatology. On average, there's 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes (Category 3+) during the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1 - November 30.

Our KIII 2022 Tropical Forecast expected an above-average year, too, with 20 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.

Credit: Kristin Walla
2022 KIII Tropical Forecast

We saw an average number of named storms (14), an above-average number of hurricanes (8), and a below-average number of major hurricanes (2).

Three hurricanes made a (Contiguous) US landfall: Colin, Ian, and Nicole. Interestingly, all landfalls occurred in one of two states.

Colin was a very short-lived storm that made a landfall in South Carolina in early July. Ian, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, also made a landfall in South Carolina in late September, but its first and more intense landfall was in southwestern Florida. Nicole was another landfall to an already devastated Florida in early November - this time, on the state's east coast.

Credit: Kristin Walla
2022 Atlantic Hurricane Map

Ian ended up being the strongest storm of the season in terms of wind speed. With winds of 155 mph right before landfall, Ian was just shy of Category 5 (156+ mph) status. On September 28, Ian made landfall over Cayo Costa, FL with winds of 150 mph and a minimum central pressure of 940 mb.

Ian was the strongest landfalling hurricane to hit the Contiguous US since Ida (2021) and the strongest hurricane to hit Florida since Michael (2018).

The longest-lived storm of the season was our other major hurricane, Fiona, with 9.25 named storm days.

However, the first hurricane of the 2022 Season goes to Danielle, a Category 1. Danielle reached hurricane status on September 2, making it the latest first hurricane of a season since Humberto in 2013 (Sep. 11).

Credit: Kristin Walla
2022 Atlantic Named Storms

Through the season, we monitor a parameter called "accumulated cyclone energy," or "ACE." This is an integrated metric accounting for storm frequency, intensity, and duration. Basically, it's a putting a number to the amount of energy released by tropical cyclones during a season.

Although our ACE for the entire season was below average, this September had more ACE than September 2020 and September 2021. Recall that both the 2020 and 2021 Hurricane Seasons were incredibly above average, with 30 and 20 named storms, respectively.

Credit: Kristin Walla
2022 Accumulated Cyclone Energy

The 2022 Hurricane Season activity kicked off on June 5 with the formation of Tropical Storm Alex and came to a quiet end November 11 with the dissolution of Hurricane Nicole.

While Nicole wasn't nearly as intense as Ian, it still managed to make a name and set a new record: Nicole is now the second-latest hurricane to make landfall in the Contiguous US. Hurricane Kate still holds the record for the latest US hurricane landfall on November 21, 1985.

Nicole also set a record as the latest hurricane to make landfall on the east coast of Florida on November 10.

And the records didn't stop there.

Credit: Kristin Walla
Longest Time Between Named Storms During An Atlantic Hurricane Season

This Hurricane Season, we set a record for the second-longest period during an Atlantic Hurricane season without any named storms. The stretch started with Colin dissipating and Danielle forming.

That means we went through the month of August without a named storm. Since 1950, only three Augusts have gone without a named storm: 1961, 1997, and 2022.

Another temporal record we set was the third-longest period on record without a hurricane. Hurricane Sam dissipated on October 5, 2021, and we went until September 2, 2022, when Danielle became a hurricane.

This year also tied with 2001 for the most November Atlantic hurricane formations (3) on record.

Finally, this year marks the first time since 1876-1882 that the Contiguous US has had two or more hurricane landfalls in seven consecutive years.

Even though we didn't see any named storms in the Coastal Bend, there were multiple storms that passed through the Gulf of Mexico. So while this year was "average" and we didn't see a named tropical system locally, that doesn't mean it was inactive.

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