Predictions for the 2023 Hurricane Season

Tacy Callieshurricane, Weather

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers are predicting a slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2023, citing the likely development of El Niño as a primary factor.

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 13 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Of those, researchers expect six to become hurricanes and two to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3, 4 or 5) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

So far, the 2023 hurricane season is exhibiting characteristics similar to 1969, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

“Our analog seasons exhibited a wide range of outcomes, from below-normal seasons to hyperactive seasons,” said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of the report. “This highlights the large uncertainty that exists with this outlook.”

The team predicts that 2023 hurricane activity will be about 80% of the average season from 1991–2020. By comparison, 2022’s hurricane activity was about 75% of the average season. The 2022 hurricane season will be most remembered for its two major hurricanes: Fiona and Ian. Ian caused massive damage to the Florida citrus industry.

CSU’s report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall. The probability is 44% for the entire U.S. coastline (average from 1880 to 2020 is 43%); 22% for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula (average from 1880 to 2020 is 21%); 28% for the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas (average from 1880 to 2020 is 27%); and 49% for the Caribbean (average from 1880 to 2020 is 47%).

The CSU forecast is intended to provide an estimate of activity in the Atlantic during the upcoming season — not an exact measure. The CSU team will issue forecast updates on June 1, July 6 and Aug. 3.

See the full CSU hurricane forecast here.

Source: CSU