by Erin Silver
With Atlantic hurricane season beginning on June 1, it’s only natural to wonder what this season could bring when it comes to Bermuda’s weather forecast.
According to predictions from AccuWeather’s top meteorologists, 2022 could be an active season for hurricanes in the Atlantic, especially following a busy 2021. Last year, there were 21 named storms and seven hurricanes. Normal is 14 named storms and seven hurricanes. This year, the forecast is expected to produce 16 to 20 named storms and six to eight hurricanes. There may even be three to five major hurricanes, which means a category three strength storm with winds of 111 miles per hour or more. Meanwhile, other experts are predicting a 65 percent chance for an above average or average season with at least 13 to 18 named storms, six to 11 hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes.
Even if these predictions differ slightly, experts seem to concur that this increase in activity could be attributed to a climate pattern called La Nina, a cooler weather phase, and higher-than-normal water temperatures. Experts also already know that the first three storms will be named Alex, Bonnie and Colin. But if more develop, you could hear about Danielle, Earl and Fiona, too. With storms starting earlier year after year, the National Hurricane Centre may even consider moving the start of hurricane season to May 15. The season officially ends on November 30.
When it comes to Bermuda, rest assured. Weather-watchers say that big hits are rare, with about one per decade. Paulette was the last big storm in Bermuda, a category 2 with 110-mile-an-hour winds, in September 2020. Residents can be confident in Bermuda’s plans should a hurricane strike: hotels offer hurricane guarantees, so if a hurricane approaches and visitors’ plans are cancelled, hotels offer refunds or future visits. Buildings are also well built to withstand strong winds and weather. As well, the island gets lots of advance notice and has plans in place to ensure people can be ready for adverse weather. Emergency services are also on hand and able to help.
Now is the time to prepare so residents aren’t caught off guard by potential pre-season storms that may develop. Make sure to have a family plan in place in the event of a storm. Do you have emergency contacts handy? Start purchasing essentials for your hurricane emergency kit. As the season gets nearer, keep an eye on sites like Bermuda Weather Service (weather.bm) or AccuWeather.com and the Bermuda Government Alert page at www.gov.bm/alerts.