Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) have raised their hurricane season forecast. An above-average Atlantic hurricane season is now expected in 2023, although there is a higher level of uncertainty than normal.
The CSU team is currently forecasting 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes – those with Saffir/Simpson categories 3-5 and sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. The long-term seasonal average is 14 typhoons, 7 typhoons and 3 major typhoons.
A strong El Niño is still expected for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, with much of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic at record warm sea surface temperatures.
El Niño increases vertical wind shear in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, according to CSU, but extreme anomalous warmth in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic may offset some of the usual El Niño-driven increase in vertical wind shear.
“Large parts of the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic are at record warm levels, favoring the Atlantic storm activity. This anomalous warmth is the reason why CSU’s seasonal hurricane forecast has been raised, despite the likely strong El Nino,” CSU hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said in Twitter.
The updated forecast is an increase from the 15 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes the CSU predicted on June 1.
The forecast includes an unnamed subtropical storm in January and Tropical Storms Arlene, Bret and Cindy in June.
Researchers have shown that the probability of landfall of major hurricanes in the US is estimated to be above the long-term average.
The updated forecast will be released on August 3rd.
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