Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Now Underway

Weather authorities expect 12 to 17 named storms and up to four major hurricanes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2023 4:05 PM CDT
Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Now Underway
In a satellite image provided by NOAA, a tropical depression is seen in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida late Thursday, June 1, 2023, the first official day of the hurricane season.   (NOAA via AP)

It's time for residents along the southeastern US coastlines to make sure their storm plans are in place: The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season formally got underway Thursday, and the AP rounds up some things to know:

  • Predictions: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in late May a 40% chance of 2023 being a near-normal hurricane season, a 30% chance of an above-average season, which has more storms than usual, and a 30% chance of a below-normal season, which has fewer.
  • Specifics: “We're expecting a busy season with 12 to 17 named storms,” said Mike Brennan, the new director at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, adding that five to nine of those storms could become hurricanes, with one to four growing into major hurricanes.

  • Meet Arlene: Already, the first named storm of the season formed on Friday in the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters say Tropical Storm Arlene is heading due south toward the western tip of Cuba, and could fall apart before reaching any land.
  • What's new: This year, the hurricane center is rolling out a new storm surge model that Brennan said “helps push real-time storm surge prediction out to 72 hours in advance of the storm" in hopes of getting life-saving information to emergency managers regarding evacuation orders. In addition, tropical weather outlooks have been extended from five days out to seven days, providing “an additional heads up” for residents to make decisions about whether to evacuate in advance of a storm, Brennan said.
  • El Nino: The term refers to a natural temporary warming of the Pacific Ocean that occurs every few years, including this one. Generally, the Atlantic is quieter and has fewer storms during El Nino years, though Brennan noted there are other factors at play, including warm sea surface temperatures, weaker low-level easterly flows, and a more active African monsoon season. “So these forces are going to kind of fight it out over the course of this hurricane season,” he said. “We don't know how this season's going to play out.”
(Read more hurricane season stories.)

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