Hurricane Forecasts Differ in Severity

Tacy Callieshurricane, Weather

The Weather Company and Atmospheric G2 on April 13 forecast 15 named storms for the Atlantic hurricane season. That’s two more than the 13 that Colorado State University (CSU) projected on the same date.

The Weather Company and Atmospheric G2 also projected seven of the storms will become hurricanes and that three will become major hurricanes. By contrast, CSU forecast only six hurricanes and two major hurricanes during the 2023 season.

T​he Weather Company and Atmospheric G2 forecast matches the 30-year average tally for hurricanes and is close to the average number of named storms in a hurricane season. The CSU forecast was slightly below the 30-year average.

The 2023 hurricane season outlook is more challenging than usual, stated the outlook from the Weather Company and Atmospheric G2. That’s because there are a couple of conflicting signals. First, an El Niño is increasingly likely, which tends to tamp down the number of storms. However, Atlantic Ocean water is very warm in most areas, which could enhance storms.

The first signal forecasters are watching isn’t in the Atlantic Ocean, but rather the waters near the equator in the Pacific Ocean. “During the past three hurricane seasons, these Pacific equatorial waters were cooler than average — a condition known as La Niña,” the outlook stated. “B​ut that long-lasting La Niña finally disappeared, and this patch of water is now warming toward its counterpart, El Niño.” The reason this strip of water far from the Atlantic Basin matters is that it’s one of the strongest influences on hurricane-season activity.

A​s of mid-April, a large majority of forecast models suggested an El Niño is likely to develop, possibly as soon as this summer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center assigned a 61% chance that an El Niño will be in place by August through October, the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season.

See the full Weather Company forecast here.

Source: The Weather Channel