NOAA Upgrades Hurricane Forecast To Project Above-Average Activity

Hurricane from space

August 15, 2023 |

Hurricane from space

Scientists at the Climate Prediction Center of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have increased their prediction for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. In its latest update, NOAA is now calling for an above-normal level of activity rather than the earlier forecast of a near-normal level of activity.

A NOAA statement said its forecasters believe that current ocean and atmospheric conditions such as record-warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures are likely to offset the usually limiting atmospheric conditions associated with the ongoing El Niño event.

NOAA forecasters have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year to 60 percent, up from a 30 percent chance in their May forecast. The likelihood of near-normal activity has decreased to 25 percent, down from the 40 percent chance forecast in May. The latest NOAA update projects a 15 percent chance of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season.

The NOAA update calls for 14 to 21 named storms, of which 6 to 11 could become hurricanes, with 2 to 5 of those hurricanes possibly becoming major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater. The updated forecast includes storms that have already formed this season.

The NOAA statement noted that the Atlantic basin experienced an active start to this year's hurricane season with five storms that have already reached at least tropical storm strength, including one hurricane. An average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes, with three of those becoming major hurricanes, NOAA said.

In July, researchers at Colorado State University also increased their 2023 hurricane forecast to project an above-average hurricane season.

August 15, 2023