2022 Hurricane Season: Average but powerful, record-breaking
30 de noviembre de 2022
2022 Hurricane Season
Average but powerful, record-breaking
It’s official! The 2022 Hurricane Season has come to an end on November 30, 2022. Although it ended with many questions about the lack of activity, there will be a few storms that left a huge mark, and their names will likely be retired. Let’s review the season.
A view of destroyed buildings a month after Hurricane Ian's passage across Florida in Fort Myers beach.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season started out slow. In fact, many wondered where had all the predicted activity had gone. But soon enough, and almost right on schedule, storm activity picked up and the season finished strong, with two big punches to Florida.
The first hurricane to develop was Danielle, and it did well outside of the tropics over the central North Atlantic. This area had record-warm temperatures, some areas reached 80 degrees F. The storm was massive, it moved east and reached a city near Lisbon, Portugal, as an extratropical cyclone causing over 600 accidents, down trees, and floods.
Then came Mid-September's Hurricane Fiona. It left millions without power throughout the central Caribbean. It became the first major hurricane of the season once it moved near the Southern Bahamas and then would make its way to eastern Canada, where it made landfall and established the record for the most intense post-tropical cyclone to hit the nation.
Major Hurricane Fiona strengthening further. It will start to pick up speed on Wednesday evening.
The next hurricane to form was Ian. Southwest Florida was left in crumbles after Major Hurricane Ian made landfall as a category 4 storm. There was a record storm surge in Fort Myers, where it was recorded at 7.21 feet high. But along the barrier islands, there were reports of 12-foot storm surge. Cape Coral reported 140 mph winds.
Fort Myers Beach was leveled in many spots as Ian roared ashore, completely wiping out the fishing pier.
Ian moved very slowly over Central Florida, producing record rainfall, and causing catastrophic flooding. Parts of Central Florida recorded over 20 inches of rain, especially in areas east of Orlando, where rivers and lakes also flooded.
Ian had a total of 4 landfalls, one in Cuba, two in southwest Florida (barrier islands), and the final one, in Georgetown, S.C. It is estimated that Hurricane Ian killed over 100 people. In dollars, the damages by Hurricane Ian are just shy of $100 billion, much higher than Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Irma in 2017 hurricane.
Then came Nicole with the second punch to Florida 43 days after Ian. Nicole made landfall on November 9, arriving at Vero Beach’s already battered beaches by Ian. Nicole packed a punch as a category 1 hurricane. It was the first hurricane to make landfall on Florida’s east coast since 2005, Katrina. And what is rarer, it was only the second hurricane to make landfall in Florida, in November, since 1851.
Damage to residential structure after Hurricane Ian in 2022 (left) and Hurricane Charley 2004 (right).
Overall, this 2022 hurricane season was near average. There was a total of 14 named storms, of which 8 became hurricanes and 2 became major hurricanes.
Once again, the tropics show us that we do not need to have an active season to make it a bad season, and an average season can be as bad or worse.