What to Expect from the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Weather forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting that the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season will be near normal. However, several factors, including El Niño and sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, could lead to more uncertainty than usual. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming hurricane season.
NOAA Predictions for the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season
The NOAA predicts that there will be:
- 12 to 17 named storms
- 5 to 9 hurricanes
- 1 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher)
Factors Impacting the 2023 Hurricane Season
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
The ENSO is a weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean that can impact the formation and intensity of hurricanes. NOAA scientists predict that there is a 62% chance of El Niño developing during May-July 2023. El Niño typically inhibits hurricane activity while La Niña or ENSO neutral conditions create a more favorable environment for tropical storm development.
Sea Surface Temperatures
Sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic are essential for hurricane formation. The warmer the ocean, the more fuel available for the storms to tap into. Currently, sea surface temperatures are much warmer than normal, which means the potential still exists for a busy Atlantic hurricane season, even if El Niño does develop.
Impact on the US Coastline
US Landfall Probability
The odds of a US landfall appear to be as high as in any normal year, despite slightly below-average activity predicted for the season overall. The NOAA anticipates a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental US coastline and in the Caribbean.
Regions Affected by El Niño
The effect of El Niño on different regions of the Atlantic is varied. In El Niño years, Caribbean storms tend to get knocked down due to increases in vertical wind shear. But, there is a strong reduction in hurricanes making landfall in Florida and along the East Coast, especially when the El Niño is fairly strong. The reduction of storm activity along the Gulf Coast is actually weaker.
Preparing for Hurricane Season
Coastal residents should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted. NOAA offers several tips, including:
- Know your evacuation zone and follow evacuation orders
- Have a family communication plan and emergency kit ready
- Consider purchasing flood insurance
Despite the prediction of a near-normal season, the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season could still bring significant damages to coastal regions. It’s essential to take precautions and stay informed of any updates during hurricane season. Remember, it only takes one landfalling storm to be impactful.
1. When does the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season officially begin?
The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1st and ends on November 30th.
2. What is El Niño?
El Niño is a weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean that can impact the formation and intensity of hurricanes. It typically inhibits hurricane activity while La Niña or ENSO neutral conditions create a more favorable environment for tropical storm development.
3. What should I do to prepare for hurricane season?
NOAA offers several tips, including knowing your evacuation zone, having a family communication plan, and emergency kit ready, and considering purchasing flood insurance.
4. How do sea surface temperatures impact hurricane formation?
Sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic are essential for hurricane formation. The warmer the ocean, the more fuel available for the storms to tap into.
5. How accurate are hurricane season forecasts?
Seasonal forecasts in April always have lots of uncertainty, but this one has even more uncertainty than normal due to several factors.