Colorado State University Updates Hurricane Forecast

Josh McGillhurricane, Weather

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers on June 1 increased their Atlantic hurricane forecast. They are now predicting a near-average 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane Forecast

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 15 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season. That’s 14 anticipated storms in addition to a subtropical storm that the National Hurricane Center says formed in January.

Of those 15 storms, researchers expect seven to become hurricanes and three to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3, 4 or 5) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

In April, CSU predicted a slightly below-average season with 13 named storms and six becoming hurricanes. See the April forecast.  

The CSU team said El Niño development appears imminent, as water temperatures across the eastern and central tropical Pacific have anomalously warmed over the past couple of months. However, there remains uncertainty as to how strong El Niño will be.

Additionally, waters across the tropical and subtropical Atlantic have warmed over the past couple of months and are near or at record levels in the eastern part of the basin. Given the conflicting signals between a potentially robust El Niño and a much warmer-than-normal tropical and subtropical Atlantic, the team stresses that there is more uncertainty than normal with this outlook.

The team predicts that 2023 hurricane activity will be about 100% of the average season from 1991–2020. By comparison, 2022’s hurricane activity was about 75% of the average season.

The report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall:

  • 43% for the entire U.S. coastline
  • 21% for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula
  • 27% for the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas
  • 47% for tracking through the Caribbean

See the full June 1 Colorado State University hurricane forecast here.

Source: CSU