COURT HOUSE – Annually, one of the most respected hurricane season forecasts comes from Colorado State University (CSU). CSU revised its earlier forecast for 2023, July 6, and now predicts an above average Atlantic basin hurricane season.
The new forecast projects 18 named storms, up from 15 in the earlier forecast. It calls for nine of those storms to be hurricanes, up from seven, with four instead of three of those hurricanes forming into major hurricanes.
CSU admits that the uncertainty associated with the revised forecast is “larger than normal.”
One big element increasing the uncertainty for the 2023 season is the formation of an El Niño following three years in which we had a La Niña. An El Niño, of yet uncertain strength, was declared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) June 8.
Normally, an El Niño means increased storm activity in the Pacific, while strong vertical wind shear in the Atlantic Basin reduces the formation of storms.
This year, CSU says that anomalous warmth of waters in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic may counteract the historic role of the vertical wind shear in lowering the tendency for hurricane formation.
The revised forecast goes on to state that “the probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be above the long-period average.”
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