What’s the Outlook for 2023’s Hurricane Season?
The early predictions for the Atlantic hurricane season are here – but a couple of conflicting signals make it more uncertain than usual.
Colorado State University and The Weather Company have both released their preliminary forecasts for the Atlantic hurricane season that runs from May through November. CSU is predicting 13 named storms, including six hurricanes and two major hurricanes (category 3-5). The Weather Company’s predictions are similar, forecasting 15 named storms, seven of which will become hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Currently this is an average season, on par with last year’s predictions and the overall average from 1991-2020. However, two factors could change the season for better or worse.
On the one hand, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center assigned a 61% chance that an El Niño will be in place by August through October, the peak of the season. In previous El Niño seasons, stronger shearing winds often occur over in parts of the Atlantic Basin, which can limit the number and intensity of storms.
On the other hand, ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Basin are trending as warmer than usual this spring, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico. The warmer the ocean water, the stronger a hurricane can become – and right now, the overall warmth is right now resembles the spring just prior to the highly active hurricane season of 2020.
No matter which way the weather shifts, now is the time to prepare your organization and employees for the extreme weather that’s certain to create challenges as the season progresses.