NOAA Forecasters Predict "Near-Normal" Atlantic Hurricane Season

Satellite view of hurricane from space

May 26, 2023 |

Satellite view of hurricane from space

Forecasters with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting near-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean this year.

The forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center division of the National Weather Service predicted a 40 percent chance of a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season, and a 30 percent chance of a below-normal season.

The NOAA forecast calls for 12 to 17 named storms, of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher. NOAA said it has 70 percent confidence in those ranges.

A NOAA statement said this year's Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be less active than those of recent years due to competing factors—some that suppress storm development and others that fuel it—that drove this year's forecast of a near-normal season.

After three hurricane seasons with La Niña conditions, NOAA scientists predict a high potential for an El Niño to develop this summer, which can suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.

"El Nino's potential influence on storm development could be offset by favorable conditions local to the tropical Atlantic Basin," the NOAA statement said. "Those conditions include the potential for an above-normal west African monsoon, which produces African easterly waves and seeds some of the stronger and longer-lived Atlantic storms, and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea which creates more energy to fuel storm development."

Those Atlantic Basin factors are part of the longer-term variability in Atlantic atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development that have been producing more active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995, NOAA said.

May 26, 2023