The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecast for the upcoming hurricane season on Thursday.
NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA has a 70% confidence in these ranges.
.@NOAA predicts “near-normal” 2023 hurricane season. Technically, last year was “average” with 14 named storms. And it was anything but normal in SWFL. All it takes is one. Now is the time to prepare, ahead of the storm. #flwx pic.twitter.com/Dj7sAbhSUR— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsTV) May 25, 2023
This is after three back-to-back La Nina events in 2020, 2021, and 2022. This year, we are expecting an El Nino to develop during the peak of hurricane season in August, September, and October. While that would traditionally lessen the number of named storms, we have to account for the exceptionally warm sea-surface temperatures and ocean heat content.
Last year there were 14 named systems, which is the average number of named storms. Those storms cost $117B in damage, the costliest being Hurricane Ian.
Next month, NOAA is launching a new hurricane model, which will eventually become the primary model. It provides a 15% improvement in track and intensity versus other forecast models.
Along with tropical outlooks extended to 7 days, excessive rainfall outlooks will be extended to 5 days, versus the prior 3-day outlooks.
This will give more people a heads up for deadly flooding potential during tropical systems.
As we’re seeing now with “Typhoon Mawar” in the Pacific, the first storm of the season can be devastating, which is why it’s so important to prepare now
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad reminded everyone that it's still imperative to prepare by making a plan and gathering disaster supplies. "It only takes one hurricane to impact a community."