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PROGRAMMING ALERT: Hurricane season special on AccuWeather TV network

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 5/24/2022 Thomas Leffler

Just days away from the official start of Atlantic hurricane season, AccuWeather forecasters are ready to bring their seasonal projections to television this week.

The one-hour hurricane special on the AccuWeather television network, hosted by Michelle Rotella and Adam Del Rosso, will provide further details into the exclusive 2022 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, enlightening viewers on how many storms to expect, as well as places at the greatest risk of being hit by a tropical storm or hurricane this season.

In addition, AccuWeather reporters will review last year's active Atlantic hurricane season and review the best strategies for prepping for what is expected to be yet another busy season this year.

In one of the segments, AccuWeather National Reporter Kim Leoffler will take a look back at the strongest Atlantic hurricane of 2021: Ida, which made landfall on the Louisiana coast in late August as a Category 4 storm, packing sustained winds of 150 mph. Ida caused widespread destruction along the Gulf Coast and knocked out power to more than a million customers.

Ida went on to lose its powerful winds as it tracked inland but remained a prolific rainmaker as a tropical rainstorm. When it reached the mid-Atlantic and Northeast days later, Ida unleashed torrential rain -- dumping more than 9 inches of rain over 24 hours in some places -- that caused devastating flooding, and even triggered at least seven tornadoes across New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Dozens of fatalities were blamed on the storm.

© Provided by AccuWeather
A radar image showing Hurricane Ida making landfall as a Category 4 storm along the Louisiana coast on August 29, 2021.

Various experts will be a part of the special to discuss such topics as previous hurricane seasons and their impact, as well as how to stay safe during a storm.

Rotella and Del Rosso will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how AccuWeather experts work before hurricane season to develop a forecast, as well as visit with Travis Herzog, the chief meteorologist at ABC 13 in Houston, to discuss the AccuWeather RealImpact™Scale for Hurricanes, which was introduced in early 2019. The hosts will also be speaking to Ken Graham, the director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), about how to stay vigilant within a powerful storm.

Another unique segment will focus on the hurricane hunters, and provide viewers with firsthand insight into how these fearless storm chasers fly directly into the eye of even the strongest hurricanes.

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The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season will follow two particularly active storm periods in 2020 and 2021. The 2020 hurricane season was a historic one, setting a new record for the number of named storms with 30, while the 2021 season was the third-most active on record with 21 named storms. In both years, meteorologists were forced to use the entirety of the designated storm name list.

An AccuWeather team of tropical weather forecasters is predicting much of the same for 2022, with the unit led by veteran meteorologist Dan Kottlowski projecting between 16 and 20 named storms, as well as six to eight hurricanes. Kottlowski has been forecasting at AccuWeather for 45 years and has largely been focused on Atlantic basin tropical weather for much of that time.

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According to Kottlowski, between three and five hurricanes are forecast to reach what is known as major hurricane status, when a storm strengthens to Category 3 force on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with sustained winds of 111 mph or higher.

The 16-20 named storms AccuWeather meteorologists are calling for during the 2022 season will be greater than the 30-year average of 14 per year, while the projection of between six and eight hurricanes is more in line with the average of seven per season.

© Provided by AccuWeather

Kottlowski's forecasting team studied several factors that will play a role in the 2022 hurricane season, including the phenomenon known as La Niña. The pattern is a short-term climate fluctuation in which water temperatures are lower than average in the Pacific Ocean. When a La Niña phase is dominant, a lack of wind shear in the atmosphere creates an enhanced potential for numerous storms.

Kottlowski noted that if a La Niña phase remains in place, there could be more than the 20 forecast storms during the 2022 season. Another factor in storm frequency will be above-average sea-surface temperatures in key tropical development regions.

Sea Surface Temp SST Anomalies 5/22/2022 © Provided by AccuWeather Sea Surface Temp SST Anomalies 5/22/2022
This image shows warm waters throughout much of the Gulf of Mexico, parts of the Atlantic coast of the U.S., and parts of the Caribbean as of May 22, 2022. (NOAA)

"Sea-surface temperatures are above normal over much of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and even off the East Coast of the United States, especially the southeast coast of the United States, and these are critical areas for early season development," Kottlowski said when the seasonal forecast was released in late March.

Kottlowski's team noted that several areas may feel the brunt of the season, including direct impacts from the southeastern Texas coast eastward through Florida, as well as the coast of the Carolinas.

Be sure to tune in for the special beginning with the premiere on Wednesday at 7 p.m. EDT, with a replay at 10 p.m. EDT. Other airings throughout the week include Thursday (3 a.m. EDT, 7 p.m. EDT, 10 p.m. EDT); Saturday (3 a.m. EDT, 10 a.m. EDT, 2 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. EDT); and Sunday (3 a.m. EDT, 10 a.m. EDT, 2 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. EDT).

And any viewers who miss the special on TV can watch it at any time after the first airing on AccuWeather's YouTube page.

Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.

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