The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended November 30, but the impact of Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona — which brought extensive damage to Florida’s coast and Puerto Rico, respectively — will continue to be felt long after the season is over.
In total, this hurricane season produced 14 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which eight became hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater) and two intensified to major hurricanes with winds reaching 111 mph or greater. An average hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The 2022 season saw three hurricane landfalls along the coast of the U.S. mainland. Hurricane Ian made landfall first as a Category 4 storm in Cayo Costa, Florida, and again as a Category 1 in Georgetown, South Carolina. As a Category 4 with 150 mph maximum sustained winds, Hurricane Ian tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the U.S. Hurricane Nicole made landfall as a Category 1 in north Hutchinson Island, Florida.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall outside of the mainland U.S. as a Category 1 near Punta Tocon, Puerto Rico.
This unique season was defined by a rare mid-season pause in storms that scientists preliminarily believe was caused by increased wind shear and suppressed atmospheric moisture high over the Atlantic Ocean. After a quiet period in August, activity ramped up in September with seven named storms, including the two major hurricanes — Fiona and Ian — seen this season. The season also included a rare late-season storm with Hurricane Nicole making landfall on November 10 along the east coast of Florida.
“Forecasters at NOAA’s National Weather Service and its National Hurricane Center issued earlier forecasts with increasing accuracy this season,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad. “These improved forecasts coupled with critical NOAA data and services undoubtedly led to the better protection of life and property.”