MIAMI (CMC) – The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a 'near-normal' hurricane season in the Atlantic this year, which begins on June 1.
According to the NOAA forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends on November 30, calls for a 40 per cent chance of a near-normal season, a 30 per cent chance of an above-normal season and a 30 per cent chance of a below-normal season.
NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. It said of those storms, five to nine of them could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including one to four major hurricanes with winds in excess of 11 mpg or higher.
“Thanks to the Commerce Department and NOAA’s critical investments this year in scientific and technological advancements in hurricane modeling, NOAA will be able to deliver even more accurate forecasts, helping ensure communities have the information they need to prepare for and respond to the destructive economic and ecological impacts of Atlantic hurricanes,” said Secretary of Commerce, Gina M Raimondo.
The experts say that the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be less active than recent years, due to competing factors, some that suppress storm development and some that fuel it, driving this year’s overall forecast for a near-normal season.
After three hurricane seasons with La Nina present, NOAA scientists predict a high potential foe El Nino, which is a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures, in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, to develop this summer, which can suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.
El Nino’s potential influence on storm development could be offset by favourable conditions local to the tropical Atlantic Basin. 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.