Updated Forecast Now Projects Above-Average Atlantic Hurricane Season

Satellite view of hurricane from space

July 07, 2023 |

Satellite view of hurricane from space

In their latest update to their 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, researchers from Colorado State University have increased their forecast and now call for an above-average hurricane season.

The change is due to record warm sea surface temperatures in most of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean. However, the Colorado State team noted that uncertainty around their outlook is larger than normal.

The updated Colorado State forecast said that the probability of a major US hurricane landfall is now estimated to be above the long-period average.

The latest update calls for 18 named storms this season, including 9 hurricanes, 4 of which are expected to be major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater. The updated forecast is an increase from the 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes the Colorado State researchers predicted in their last update on June 1.

The average hurricane season activity for the period from 1992 to 2020 is 14.4 named storms, including 7.2 hurricanes with 3.2 major hurricanes.

"While we continue to anticipate a robust El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, most of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic now has record warm sea surface temperatures," a Colorado State Tropical Weather and Climate Research statement said. "El Niño increases vertical wind shear in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, but the extreme anomalous warmth in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic may counteract some of the typical El Niño-driven increase in vertical wind shear."

The Colorado State team will issue its next hurricane season forecast update on August 3.

July 07, 2023