Today is the first official day of the 2023 hurricane season and NOAA forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, predict near-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which goes from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
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.
Meanwhile the annual prediction from Colorado State University also predicts a normal or slightly below normal season is expected this year.
Current neutral ENSO conditions look fairly likely to transition to El Niño this summer/fall. However, there is considerable uncertainty as to how strong an El Niño would be, if it does develop. Sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central Atlantic are much warmer than normal, so if a robust El Niño does not develop, the potential still exists for a busy Atlantic hurricane season. Larger-than-normal uncertainty exists with this outlook. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.