The 2023 hurricane season is expected to be “close to normal” with at least 12 named storms, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists predicted Thursday.
NOAA said it expects 12 to 17 named storms and five to nine hurricanes this year, including one to four major hurricanes.
“It is absolutely critical that all Americans living in the potential path of this storm, even those inland from the coast, follow NOAA’s guidance for preparedness and determine your risks, create an evacuation plan and gather the disaster supplies you may need,” Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves announced this information at a press conference on Thursday.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. When a tropical depression reaches maximum sustained winds of at least 39 mph, it is considered a tropical storm and receives a name. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its sustained winds reach at least 74 mph, while major hurricanes — categories 3, 4 or 5 — are more intense.
Climate change, the burning of fossil fuels, is warming ocean temperatures and other atmospheric conditions that scientists say are making hurricanes more intense.
The 2022 hurricane season produced 14 named storms, including eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes. According to NOAA, the average hurricane season consists of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Although the number of storms last year was about average, the intensity of those systems was extremely destructive. just a storm Hurricane IanIt killed 150 people and caused more than $112 billion in damage after it made landfall as a Category 4 in southwest Florida on September 28. It is the costliest hurricane in Florida history and the third costliest hurricane in US history.
NOAA via Getty Images
Its emergence has been reported by researchers El Nino this summer Could potentially make for a weak hurricane season. El Nino and La Nina are naturally occurring climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean that can affect global weather forecasts. An emerging El Niño means waters off the West Coast will warm and storm activity will be more active in the Pacific, while Atlantic hurricane activity may weaken. However, Atlantic water temperatures are currently above average, which could prevent an El Niño.
Officials touted upgrades to NOAA operations and forecasts they hope will save lives this hurricane season. This year, NOAA will employ two new enhancements to better predict the track and intensity of hurricanes and storm surges.
The National Weather Service provides resources for real-time updates on hurricane preparedness and active weather systems at www.hurricanes.gov.