NOAA releases 2023 hurricane forecast

COLUMBUS, GA (WRBL) – NOAA has released its forecast for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The agency expects a near-normal season of 15 to 17 named storms — five to nine of those hurricanes and one to four becoming major hurricanes.

Due to the end of La Nina, the numbers are slightly lower than previous years. This year, a few competing factors could keep the number close to normal: a transition to El Niño and favorable local conditions in the tropical Atlantic basin.

During an El Niño year, the water in the central and eastern Pacific becomes warmer. There is also less wind shear in this area and therefore increased hurricane activity. Meanwhile, in the Atlantic, El Niño is causing an increase in upper winds known as wind shear. Unlike La Niña years, hurricane activity is suppressed by increasing high pressure, resulting in more atmospheric stability.

A neutral phase will last throughout the summer, with El Niño getting underway in the peak months of August and September.

It’s important to remember that it only takes one step and be prepared no matter what the prospects say.

The hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th.

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