Latest Weather Blog
CSU: 2023 hurricane season predicted to have below average activity
The first outlook for the 2023 hurricane season is out. Colorado State University is predicting a slightly below average number of named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes. The probability of a major hurricane strike is average.
Dr. Philip Klotzbach and the research team cited the current neutral phase of ENSO is likely to transition to El Niño this summer and fall. There are still high levels of uncertainty when forecasting the strength of the El Niño phase.
As defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific—the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or “ENSO” for short. Keep in mind that El Niño and La Niña do not “cause” any one specific weather event; rather the two phases of ENSO influence change in global climate patterns that then increase the likelihood of specific weather events. Once again, ENSO is not “to blame” for any one storm system, temperature anomaly or hurricane.
El Niño typically reduces the amount of storm activity in the Atlantic basin because it increases the amount of vertical wind shear. Vertical wind shear is strong winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere that typically work to prevent circulations like tropical systems from becoming fully formed.
The forecast is based on an extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that was developed using over three decades of past data. These seasonal forecasts were originally developed by the late Dr. William Gray, who was lead author on these predictions for over 20 years and continued as a co-author until his death in 2018. You can review the entire prediction, the scientific explanation and the reason such a forecast is made, RIGHT HERE. Seasonal updates are issued on June 1st, July 6th, and August 3rd.
The researchers at Colorado State University and the WBRZ Weather Team remind that “it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for you,” so prepare accordingly. NOAA’s official outlook is expected in Late May. For more on the season ahead and preparedness, visit wbrz.com/weather and click on the hurricane center.
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