NOAA Predicts “Near-Normal” Hurricane Season for 2023
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released their forecast for the 2023 hurricane season and is predicting a “near-normal” season in the Atlantic. While this forecast may not seem significant, it’s important to note that the agency predicts there could be 12-17 named storms, 5-9 potential hurricanes, and 1-4 major storms.
El Nino and Warmer Sea Surface Temperatures
NOAA’s Matthew Rosencrans explains that after three straight La Nina seasons, there will be an El Nino in 2023, leading to warmer than usual Pacific water temperatures near the Equator. This is significant because warmer waters in the Pacific lead to stronger “shearing” winds in the Caribbean, which can tear apart hurricanes before they develop or keep them from intensifying. However, there are also warmer sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, which provide fuel for hurricanes, helping them develop and gain strength. The two factors could cancel each other out, leading to an uncertain forecast for the 2023 hurricane season.
Uncertainty in the Forecast
Rosencrans notes that the combination of a strong El Nino and an active era with warm sea surface temperatures is rare, stating that he has only seen this combination one other time in the historical record. This uncertainty is reflected in NOAA’s probabilities, which are not 60 or 70 percent as in previous years but are lower to reflect the uncertainty. The agency’s tropical analysis team has over a couple of hundred years of experience, and upon analyzing the data, they realized that this year’s forecast is quite uncertain.
The Importance of Storm Paths
While the number of storms predicted is important, where they go is even more critical. The past few years have seen several destructive hurricane seasons, including last year’s hurricanes Ian and Fiona. Therefore, it’s essential to hope that any storms that do develop stay out at sea.
The official start of the hurricane season is June 1 and runs through November 30. NOAA will release updated predictions in August, just before the peak of hurricane season. With the uncertainty in the forecast, it’s essential to stay vigilant and prepared for any potential storms that may form in the Atlantic this year.
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News Source : Matt Brickman
Source Link :How Many Expected – NBC New York/