First Atlantic hurricane season forecast issued on the same day as El Niño watch

Although the Atlantic hurricane season is set to begin in seven weeks, this season appears to have more unpredictability than usual due to the presence of El Niño, CNN reported.

On Thursday morning, Colorado State University released its forecast for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which predicts 13 named storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

While these numbers are slightly below the average for a typical season, which includes 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

“We anticipate that the 2023 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have slightly below-average activity,” said Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at CSU, as reported by CNN.

“Current neutral ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) conditions look fairly likely to transition to El Niño this summer/fall. However, there is considerable uncertainty as to how strong an El Niño would be, if it does develop.”

According to Klotzbach, the uncertainty is caused by various factors, including sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central Atlantic, which are crucial for hurricane formation.

As warmer oceans provide more fuel for hurricanes, the current sea surface temperatures, which are higher than usual, could create the ideal conditions for a busy Atlantic hurricane season, even if El Niño develops.

Written by staff