Colorado State University is now forecasting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season Ship’s crew

Colorado State University hurricane researchers have upgraded their forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season, forecasting an above-average season for 2023 due to record-warm sea surface temperatures across most of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic.

However, researchers note that there is more uncertainty than normal due to conflicting signals between the much warmer waters of the Atlantic and an expected strong El Niño.

El Niño causes increased wind shear in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, which can cause damage when storms form. However, the unusually warm temperatures in the Atlantic can partially offset this effect.

The CSU team updated hurricane forecast The 2023 season now has 18 named storms, nine hurricanes, and four major hurricanes forecast, up from the previous forecast of 15 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

This compares to NOAA’s May forecast of near-normal activity with 12 to 17 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes, and 1 to 4 potentially severe hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater. The NOAA also found a high level of uncertainty in the forecast.

The CSU forecast includes an unnamed subtropical storm in January and tropical storms Arlene, Bret and Cindy in June.

Long-term seasonal averages are 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

The CSU researchers estimate the probability that a severe hurricane will hit the USA is above the long-term average.

The CSU hurricane forecast is based on statistical models that analyze 25–40 years of historical hurricane seasons and assess various conditions such as Atlantic surface temperatures, sea level pressure, vertical wind shear, El Niño, and other factors.

This marks the 40th year that the CSU hurricane research team has issued a seasonal Atlantic Basin hurricane forecast, which is intended to provide a best estimate of Atlantic activity during the upcoming season, rather than an exact measure. As always, the researchers are warning coastal residents to take reasonable precautions.

The CSU team will release a forecast update on August 3rd.

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