SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) — On Aug. 4, NOAA’s (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) Climate Prediction and Colorado State University both released updated outlooks for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.

Both groups of researchers predict the season activity will still be above average, though slightly less active than early season forecasts.

So far for 2022, there have been just three named storms in the Atlantic with none of the storms achieving hurricane status.

The new NOAA forecast calls for a range of 14-20 named storms which include both tropical storms and hurricanes combined. Of all storms that develop, 6-10 will become hurricanes with 3-5 becoming major hurricanes, category 3 or stronger.

Similarly, the updated outlook from researchers at Colorado State University calls for 18 named storms. Eight hurricanes with four becoming major hurricanes category 3 or stronger.

The new forecast is a reduction from the May outlook which called for 20 named storms with 10 hurricanes. They were also expecting at least five major hurricanes.

We can thank a thick Saharan dust layer. This layer of dust that is blown into the air from the Saharan Desert acts to dry out the atmosphere, inhibiting the development and growth of storms in the tropics.

Even with the thick dust layer, there are several factors that will help the season to become much more active over the next three months.

La Niña conditions are expected to remain in place for the remainder of 2022. This favors active hurricane seasons in the Atlantic due to weak easterly trade winds and a very active African monsoon. During the peak months of hurricane season, most storms that form move off of the west coast of Africa.

Above normal ocean water temperatures which are in place now favor active hurricane seasons because there is more energy for developing storm systems to feed off of to develop and strengthen.