If you’re heading to Disney World during the hurricane season, you need to be prepared.
Severe weather, park or ride closures, and other things could complicate your trip if a hurricane or even tropical storm comes into town. Hurricane season 2022 (for the Atlantic) runs from June 1st through November 30th, so we’ve still got a ways to go before it’s over. What should you know about the remainder of the season and how can you be prepared? We’ve got everything you need to know right here.
Hurricanes Predicted for This Season
Back in March, we shared that AccuWeather predicted another active hurricane season for 2022. 2022 has been predicted to bring a high number of hurricanes — around 16 to 20 named storms and around 6 to 8 hurricanes. About 3 to 5 of the hurricanes have been predicted to reach “major hurricane status” — meaning they would be at Category 3 with winds that have speeds of up to 111 MPH or even higher.
Researchers at Colorado State University also made some predictions about the hurricane season — predicting 19 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 hurricanes predicted to be “major.” That has since been updated slightly to 15 named storms for the remainder of the season.
This is considered above average, as a “normal” hurricane season would feature 14 named storms and just 7 hurricanes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also predicted an above-average hurricane season for 2022 in the Atlantic. NOAA initially forecasted a range of 14-21 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes. That has since been updated slightly, which we’ll discuss in a minute.
The names have already been picked out for this year’s storms though more names could be created if needed.
What’s causing this higher-than-average storm level? One of the factors is higher-than-normal sea surface temperatures in areas like the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, among other things.
How have these predictions played out so far? Let’s take a look.
What We’ve Seen So Far
Thus far, we haven’t seen a hurricane hit the Disney World area in 2022. But we have seen regular summer storms bring flood advisories, LOTS of rain, and even flooding within stores. Tropical Storm Alex (the first tropical storm of the 2022 season) was also something we looked at earlier this year and a potential advisory was issued, but it mainly just drenched South Florida with rain. Keep in mind that Orlando is in Central Florida, which typically doesn’t get impacted as much by hurricanes when compared to other areas in Florida, but it can still be affected.
As the NOAA notes, thus far, the 2022 hurricane season has seen 3 named storms and no hurricanes in the Atlantic basin — that’s good news.
By comparison, by August 13th of 2021, there were 7 named storms, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel. Of the last 20 hurricane seasons, 11 have had MORE than 4 named storms (or tropical depressions) before mid-August, again another sign that 2022 has been a slower season than others.
But that’s not always a good measure of prediction. As Eric Blake, the acting branch chief of the NHC, pointed out, sometimes it’s random. In 2004, which had one of the most “active and destructive” hurricane seasons for the U.S., there were zero storms by early August.
And there’s still a significant amount of time before hurricane season is over for the year.
What The Rest of This Season Could Hold
As we noted above, hurricane season will officially last through November 30th. That means even past Halloween, when you’d expect to experience more “fall” weather, there is a chance of significant hurricane activity. So what could the rest of this season hold?
On August 4th, the NOAA updated its forecast for the season (it was shared by the Climate Prediction Center), giving an adjusted picture of what’s expected. The NOAA still expects an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. But there is some good news. The NOAA forecasters have decreased the likelihood of that above-average hurricane season to 60% (previously it was 65%).
Their predictions for named storms went down slightly from 21 total to 20, and major hurricane predictions also reduced to a max of 5 instead of 6.
As the Philadelphia Inquirer points out, high levels of Sarahan dust have been occupying the air in some places where hurricanes can spawn, keeping things calm for now. There have also been some sea surface temperatures lower than average at times in the “main development region” for storms. Plus, there have been some shearing winds causing issues with hurricane development. All that can contribute to lower activity.
But, NOAA officials have urged caution. NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said, “We’re just getting into the peak months of August through October for hurricane development, and we anticipate that more storms are on the way.”
Some conditions still favor an active hurricane season. Specifically, La Nina conditions (“favored” to stay in place for 2022) could allow for or even slightly enhance hurricane activity. NOAA defines La Nina as “unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.”
Additionally, other conditions — like weaker Atlantic trade wins, an active west African monsoon, and above-normal Atlantic sea surface temperatures — could also set things up for an active hurricane season.
In other words, don’t take the current situation (and lack of storms thus far) for granted. While this has been a slower start for the season, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, warned that this isn’t totally unusual, and people shouldn’t let their guards down.
As the Orlando Sentinel shares, the “true peak” of hurricane season is, statistically, September 10th. The FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell has said, “the next Ida or Sandy could still be lying in wait. That’s why everyone should take proactive steps to get ready.”
As of August 15th, NOAA has indicated that no new tropical cyclones are expected to develop in the next 5 days in the Atlantic, but of course, that could change.
The Palm Beach Post has shared that the National Hurricane Center is monitoring some systems in the Atlantic basin as of August 15th, 2022. But the low-pressure system off the coast of Florida that they’re watching is showing 0 signs of development at this time. Again, that could all change in the future.
What You Can Do to Be Prepared
So what can you do to be prepared? We’ve included our video below on what we wish we’d known before visiting Disney World during hurricane season. You can also click here to watch our video on how to survive Disney World weather (and hurricane season).
We’ve also got a full post on what to do when the impossible happens in Disney; you can read 8 DFB reader tips about riding out a storm in Disney; and you can see what hurricane meal kits are offered when hurricanes do become a threat to the Most Magical Place on Earth.
NOAA also recommends downloading the FEMA app and visiting Ready.gov for tips on how to get prepared. If you’ll be traveling to Disney World during hurricane season, be sure to check the weather forecast ahead of your trip so you know what to expect.
We’ll continue to look for updates on the hurricane season in Florida to let you know of any other information you should know ahead of your trip. Stay tuned for more news.
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Will you be traveling to Disney World during the hurricane season in 2022? Tell us in the comments.
The post What to Expect from the Rest of the 2022 Hurricane Season in Disney World first appeared on the disney food blog.