While June 1 marks the start of meteorological summer, it also marks the official start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.
The two forecast outlooks for the upcoming season have been released by NOAA and Colorado State University. Here’s what the organizations are predicting:
2023 NOAA Forecast Outlook:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a near-normal season, forecasting the following numbers:
- Named Storms: 12-17
- Hurricanes: 5-9
- Major Hurricanes (Category 3 or Higher): 1-4
2023 Colorado State University Forecast Outlook
UPDATE: On June 1, forecasters at Colorado State University adjusted their previously-issued outlook, and are now predicting a near-normal season.
Here are the latest numbers:
- Named Storms: 15
- Hurricanes: 7
- Major Hurricanes (Category 3 or Higher): 3
For context, the average number (taken from the 1991-2020 period) of named storms if 14, with 7 becoming hurricanes and 3 becoming major hurricanes.
El Niño and Hurricane Season
The reason Colorado State University initially predicted a below-normal season (before adjusting their forecast) was likely due to the fact that El Niño conditions are forecasted to take over this summer.
El Niño often leads to higher wind shear in the Atlantic Basin and Caribbean, which works against tropical cyclone development and sustainability in comparison to La Niña years.
However, NOAA forecasters state that even though El Niño conditions are likely, they could be offset by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures and additional pockets of energy coming off the coast of Africa, which would serve as a base to get a tropical cyclone up and running.
2023 Tropical Cyclone Names - Atlantic Basin
A tropical system isn’t given a name until it strengthens into a tropical storm. The first name up-for-grabs on the list for this year will be Arlene.
Here’s the official list of tropical cyclone names put out by the National Hurricane Center for the upcoming season:
When this time of year rolls around, it’s important for those along and near coastal areas to always be prepared as it only takes one storm to greatly affect a region.
Keep an at-home kit ready that includes important items such as water, a first aid kit, toiletries, and non-perishable food items, stay up-to-date with your insurance policies, and check back in on the forecast regularly over the next few months. We’ll keep you updated!
The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, peaks on Sept. 10, and ends on Nov. 30.
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