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A 2023 Hurricane Season Outlook Update

  • The Weather Company, Colorado State University, and NOAA gave their outlooks for the season.
  • The hurricane season outlook for 2023 is tougher than usual.
  • That’s because there are a few opposing signals.
  • Atlantic water is extremely warm in many areas, which can intensify hurricanes.
  • However, strong El Niños are increasingly likely, which tends to reduce the number of hurricanes.

A new outlook from The Weather Company adds to forecasters’ expectations for the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season to be slightly higher but more unpredictable.

The new outlook from The Weather Company and Atmospheric G2 is for 17 named storms, nine hurricanes and four hurricanes reaching at least Category 3 status. This is an increase of a named storm, a hurricane. and one major hurricane since their previous forecast, published in mid-May. This increase in named storms and the overall outlook of the 17 named storms include an unnamed subtropical storm that formed in January, but was not added to the official record for to May.

Other recent forecast updates can be found below.

Since mid-spring, we’ve been suggesting that two competing factors will vie for control this year: an intensifying El Niño and extremely warm Atlantic water temperatures.

But that balance is continuing to shift in favor of warm Atlantic waters as those waters warm relative to average. in the Gulf of Mexico and the subtropical Atlantic Ocean.

We’ve had two named storms this season through mid-June, including an unnamed system in January that was retroactively upgraded by the National Hurricane Center in May. The third storm of the season usually doesn’t arrive until early August, but did occur as early as June 2 (Cristobal 2020).

The Atlantic Ocean is very warm

Hurricane season usually begins when the water temperature reaches 80 degrees, which usually occurs between June 1 and November 30. If other factors are in balance, the deeper and warmer the ocean water is, the more likely a storm could be. stronger.

The water temperature is at such a warm level that it feels more like August than June with plenty of time to warm up further.

Usually, early in the season, a cold rift exists between the Cape Verde Islands and Bermuda and north of the Leeward Antilles. Tropical waves traveling to these colder waters often fail to withstand the extreme conditions.

This year, however, warmer-than-average water has created a bridge across the Atlantic that systems have (as of June 17) been forecast to cross. This will open the door to more tropical waves this season.

Phil K​lotzbach, a tropical scientist at Colorado State University and head of their forecasting team, noted their forecast. should have been lower if the water temperature is close to the average due to El Niño.

El Niño is developing

Another factor in this outlook that could have the opposite effect is the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in 2023.

The equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean have been cooler than average for the past three hurricane seasons – a condition known as La Niña. But that lingering La Niña is finally gone, and this patch of water is now heating up rapidly.

An El Nino has been declared and can become strong in the middle of hurricane season: August to October.

The reason this stretch of water far from the Atlantic Basin is important is that it is one of the strongest influences on hurricane season activity.

During El Niño hurricane seasons, stronger wind shear is common at least over the Caribbean Sea and some adjacent areas of the Atlantic Basin. This tends to limit the number and intensity of hurricanes and hurricanes, especially if El Niño is stronger, as we investigated in a March article.

The AG2 forecasting team also noted a trend during El Niño seasons that fewer hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and more hurricanes will roll north, then northeast into the open Atlantic or impact to areas of the East Coast.

According to AG2, that’s because the Bermuda High tends to be weaker, and also because the upper winds are more consistently reduced over the southeastern United States during El Niños.

A typical “curve” pattern can occur during hurricane season.

Same repair every hurricane season

What these outlooks can’t tell you is whether your area will be affected this season and when that might happen.

A season with fewer hurricanes or hurricanes can still bring a hurricane that makes that season destructive or devastating.

In 2015, one of the strongest El Niños on record reduced the total number of hurricanes to four that season. One of them, however, was Joaquin, who ravaged the central Bahamas.

In this aerial photo, homes are submerged in floodwaters caused by Hurricane Joaquin in the southern part of Long Island, Bahamas, Monday, October 5, 2015. Hurricane Joaquin caused severe flooding as it swept across the sparsely populated eastern Bahamas last week, as the Coast Guard searched for crew members of the US container ship El Faro, which they concluded was sunk. near the Bahamas during the storm.  (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

In this aerial photo, homes lie under floodwaters caused by Hurricane Joaquin in the southern part of Long Island, Bahamas, Monday, October 5, 2015.

(AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

And I don’t consider a hurricane to be influential, especially in relation to flooding caused by rain.

Also during the 2015 season, Tropical Storm Erika was ripped apart by wind shear and dry air near the Dominican Republic. But before that happened, it caused deadly and devastating flooding in Dominica.

These outlooks serve as a reminder that it’s time to get ready for a storm. Information on storm preparedness can be found here.


​Changes you’ll see in this season’s storm forecast

When the ‘Quiet’ Storm Season Finally Happens

Action on each name of the Atlantic hurricane season of 2023

‘Ian’, ‘Fiona’ retired when naming storms

2022 Hurricane Season Summary: Florida’s Luck Is Out

Jonathan Erdman is a senior meteorologist at and an incurable weather enthusiast since a tornado almost missed his childhood home in Wisconsin last year. at 7 years old. Follow him on Twitter And Facebook.

The Weather Company’s primary journalism mission is to cover breaking news about weather, the environment, and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the views of our parent company, IBM.


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