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First Hurricane of 2023 Expected to Form Later This Week

First Hurricane of 2023 Expected to Form Later This Week

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 29532
June 19, 2023

The NWS National Hurricane Center is forecasting the first hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Forecasters have been watching this system since last week when it moved off the west coast of Africa.

An update today from the National Hurricane Center said the system has now formed into Tropical Depression Three over the central Atlantic. The depression is forecast to strengthen and move across the Lesser Antilles as a hurricane on Thursday and Friday, bringing a risk of flooding from heavy rainfall, hurricane-force winds, and dangerous storm surge and waves.

Maximum sustained winds are currently near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts.

Tropical Depression Three will take on the name “Bret” if and when it reached Tropical Storm strength.

“Given the larger than usual uncertainty in the track forecast, it is too early to specify the location and magnitude of where these hazards could occur. However, everyone in the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands should closely monitor updates to the forecast for this system and have their hurricane plan in place,” the National Hurricane Center said.

June marks the first official month of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, despite being a historically inactive month for storm development.

Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this year are calling for a 40% chance of near-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season, however its outlook notes there is significant uncertainty with a 30% chance of both an above-normal and below-normal season.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season will be influenced by various factors that either suppress or fuel storm development, including an El Niño which typically suppresses hurricane activity in the Atlantic. However, the influence of El Niño may be offset by favorable local conditions, including an above-normal west African monsoon and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, conditions that provide more energy for storm development.

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