NOAA’s forecast for the hurricane season rises in the latest update as more storms are expected
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season has been fairly quiet over recent weeks, but forecasters say there are strong signs that it will start to build up and this could end up being a year with more named storms than usual.
Increased tropical activity is common during this time of summer, as hurricane season usually peaks in late August and early September.
- to update: Hurricane season is heating up with 3 tropical storms and 2 more storms brewing
Tropical storms and hurricanes don’t increase every year, but experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expect a slight increase in tropical activity over the next few weeks.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently updated its original seasonal forecast, saying it now expects an “above normal” hurricane season in the Atlantic instead of a “near normal” season. One of the main factors driving this change is the record warm sea surface temperatures that are boiling in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Warm water is one of the main components that help tropical depressions transform into tropical storms or hurricanes.
Although early seasonal forecasts greatly affected the persistent El Niño weather pattern — which typically hinders the formation of strong storm systems in the Atlantic hurricane basin by creating strong wind shear — forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) now say temperatures Warm waters and other “unpredictable” weather trends. It is likely to offset the normally restrictive weather conditions associated with an ongoing El Niño event.
“Below-than-normal wind shear forecasts, slightly lower-than-normal Atlantic trade winds, and a West African monsoon close to or higher than normal were major factors in shaping this updated seasonal outlook,” NOAA said.
NOAA’s original seasonal forecast, released in late May before the hurricane season officially began on June 1, called for 12 to 17 named storms in the Atlantic hurricane basin this year, with five to nine of those becoming hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, forecasters believe between one and four will become major hurricanes, with maximum winds of 111 mph or higher.
The agency’s updated forecast says there is 60% to 70% chance The Atlantic Ocean will witness from the 14th to the 21st Named storms with six l 11 become hurricanes and 2 through 5 become major hurricanes.
So far this season, five storms have reached at least tropical storm strength (with sustained winds from 39 to 73 mph), including one Hurricane (Don). The average hurricane season generates 14 named storms, seven of which become hurricanes and three of which become major hurricanes.
Potential tropical disturbances are brewing
The National Hurricane Center is currently monitoring two tropical disturbances that have a 60% chance of becoming a tropical depression within the next seven days, according to the Tropical Cyclone Center’s forecast Thursday.
This disturbance is located in the far east of the Atlantic Ocean, near the islands of Cabo Verde, hundreds of miles off the west coast of Africa.
The hurricane center said that another potential system being watched is “a broad area of low pressure (that) could form in the central or western Gulf of Mexico by the beginning of next week.” “Some slow development of this system is possible after that as it moves west and approaches the west coast of the Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week.”
However, the agency says there is only a 30 percent chance that the Gulf system will turn into a tropical depression or something stronger within seven days.
current weather radar
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Len Melisurgo can be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com.