NOAA reveals outlook for 2023 Atlantic hurricane season

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - Hurricane season and the start of meteorological summer are right around the corner.

Both will start on June first, and today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - commonly referred to as ‘NOAA’ - gave us the tropical forecast for the Atlantic Basin.

NOAA’S outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season shows that we’re in for a near normal pattern.

This means we could see anywhere between twelve and seventeen named storms, five to nine hurricanes, and up to four major hurricanes.

There is still a 30% chance of either an above normal or below normal season.

The reason for this is a result of El Nino, which normally leads to a below average hurricane season,

This year, abnormally warm ocean temperatures are also present, boosting the risk of stronger hurricanes.

Earlier on Thursday, Matthew Rosencrans, the Lead Hurricane Season Forecaster from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said “It’s definitely kind of a rare kind of set up this year. That’s why our probabilities are not 60 or 70%, they are a little bit to reflect that uncertainty.”

NOAA will also be utilizing new technology this year.

A new weather model, called the Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System or HAFS, will debut in late June

This model will be used concurrently with the current operational models, but will eventually end up as NOAA’s primary hurricane forecasting tool.

Dr. Rick Spinrad the NOAA administrator said “Once implemented, the system will be able to perform 29 quadrillion calculations per second. The expansion will provide the supercomputing power that’s necessary to support forecast model upgrades for years to come.”

There will also be upgrades to the probabilistic storm surge model, which will help better forecast flooding scenarios.

Some other advancements include upgrading the instruments on the Atlantic buoy array to better detect ocean temperatures.

The list of names for this season are the same as the 2017 season, with Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate being retired.

Last year’s hurricane season was projected to be above average. It ended up costing the country $117 billion dollars in damages. There were fourteen named storms, eight of which became hurricanes, and two of which were major hurricanes.

On average there are about 14 named storms during a season, seven hurricanes, with three of those being major storms.