BIG COUNTRY, Texas ( – An outlook into 2022’s hurricane season was recently released, forecasting more storms. With Abilene and other parts of the Big Country being in a flood zone, this could mean it’s time to prepare.

Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Colorado State University (CSU) released their extended range forecast for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Thursday.  

With another above-average season forecasted, this could be the seventh above-average season in a row the Atlantic Basin has seen.  

Tropical Storm and Hurricane forecast

This forecast calls for 19 named storms, compared to the 1991-2020 average of 14.4.

Of the forecasted 19, nine storms are predicted to strengthen into hurricane status. With those nine hurricanes, four are forecast to be major, category 3 or higher, compared to the 30-year average of 3.2 major hurricanes.  

CSU also shows an increased risk of a storm getting within 50 miles of the Texas coast.

The forecast shows a 54% chance of a hurricane getting very close, or even making landfall for the 2022 season. This is another aspect of the forecast that is above average, compared to the 36% chance based on the climatological average. 

Big Country impacts

While the Big Country is not at great risk of taking a direct hit from a tropical storm, we do run the possibility of getting storms from the outer bands. Atlantic hurricane season runs from June first through November 30. In that period, the average amount of rain measured at Abilene Regional Airport is nearly 15 inches over those six months.  

The Big Country could definitely use that rain, as well.

As of April 8, the entire Big Country was still experiencing one category of drought and we have only seen 2.92 inches of rain. This is about a 2-inch deficit for 2022, so far, with not much relief in sight.  

Texas and Big Country drought monitor as of April 8, 2022

2021 was the most active season on record in the Atlantic; with 21 named storms, seven hurricanes with four of them being categorized as ‘major.’ As for 2022, time will tell.