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NOAA GOES satellite captures Last Year's Hurricane Ian as it made landfall on the barrier island of Cayo Costa in southwest Florida on September 28, 2022. Photo credit: NOAA

NOAA GOES satellite captures Last Year's Hurricane Ian as it made landfall on the barrier island of Cayo Costa in southwest Florida on September 28, 2022. Photo credit: NOAA

NOAA Predicts Near-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2248
May 30, 2023

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its forecast for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, predicting near-normal activity. The Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, expects a 40% chance of a near-normal season, with a 30% chance of both an above-normal and below-normal season.

According to NOAA, the range of named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher is expected to be between 12 and 17. Of those storms, 5 to 9 could intensify into hurricanes, with 1 to 4 potentially becoming major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. NOAA has a 70% confidence level in these projections.

Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo thanked the Commerce Department and NOAA for their investments in scientific advancements in hurricane modeling, which will enable more accurate forecasts and helping communities prepare for and respond to the economic and ecological impacts of Atlantic hurricanes.

2023 Hurricane Season Names

2023 Hurricane Season Names

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is anticipated to be less active compared to recent years, influenced by various factors that either suppress or fuel storm development. NOAA scientists highlight the potential for El Nino to develop this summer, which typically suppresses hurricane activity in the Atlantic. However, the influence of El Nino 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. These conditions provide more energy for storm development. These factors are part of the long-term variability in Atlantic atmospheric and oceanic conditions, known as the high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes, which has led to more active hurricane seasons since 1995.

“With a changing climate, the data and expertise NOAA provides to emergency managers and partners to support decision-making before, during and after a hurricane has never been more crucial,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “To that end, this year we are operationalizing a new hurricane forecast model and extending the tropical cyclone outlook graphic from five to seven days, which will provide emergency managers and communities with more time to prepare for storms.”

NOAA will implement a series of upgrades and enhancements this summer, including a 20% expansion of its operational supercomputing system. This investment will enhance NOAA’s ability to provide accurate and timely forecasts.

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell urged individuals to understand their risk and heed the warnings of state and local officials, emphasizing that even a single hurricane can have devastating consequences. “As we saw with Hurricane Ian, it only takes one hurricane to cause widespread devastation and upend lives,” she said.

It is important to note that NOAA’s seasonal outlook provides an overall view of expected activity and does not offer specific landfall forecasts. In addition to the Atlantic outlook, NOAA also issues seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern Pacific and central Pacific hurricane basins. The Climate Prediction Center will update the 2023 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just before the historical peak of the hurricane season.

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