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Hurricane season forecast update: Above average activity expected

One month into the Atlantic hurricane season, researchers at Colorado State University have again amended their seasonal forecast for tropical cyclone activity. They now call for an above average season.

In April, the Tropical Weather and Climate Research group at the Colorado State University (CSU) released their first forecast for the 2023 hurricane season, which called for below normal activity. This report reflected the anticipation that a developing El Niño would dominate the Atlantic Basin and inhibit tropical cyclone development. However, sea surface temperatures in the main development region (the lower latitudes of the Atlantic Ocean) have been warmer than average, and such conditions support the development of tropical cyclones. Therefore, on June 1 the CSU group updated their forecast and predicted a near average 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. Since then, observational data continues to indicate that SSTs in the main development region are well above average. The researchers predict in their July 6 update that the warm waters are likely to overpower the impact of the developing El Niño, and the 2023 Atlantic season will likely be marked above average activity.

The forecast update now calls for 18 total named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes), four more than the normal of 14. Of those 18 forecasted storms, nine are expected to be hurricanes, and four of those are expected to be major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). The average hurricane season produced seven hurricanes, three of which are major. So far this season, there have been three named storms, all of which were tropical storms.

Again, readers must be reminded that this forecast is a prediction of the hurricane in its entirety. It does not predict when storms will develop, where they will develop, or where they will track. States along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic seaboard are encouraged to ensure their families and properties are prepared for potential tropical impacts this hurricane season.

Another forecast is expected to be released from CSU researchers in August.