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Forecasters predict 19 named storms this hurricane season

Near miss: Hurricane Fiona, a Category 4 hurricane, brushed past Bermuda last year.

Warmer waters in the Atlantic could lead to a stronger hurricane season this year, according to the University of Arizona.

While the UK- based Tropical Storm Risk this month forecast a quieter-than-average year, the University of Arizona’s Department of Hydrologic and Atmospheric Sciences estimated that high sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic could fuel a busier season.

“For our April forecast, we expect an active season over the North Atlantic,” the report said. “Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are forecast to be the highest since 2010 and even hotter than 2020.”

While the University said El Niño conditions could help to limit storm development, there would be an “interesting battle between the two sides” over the summer months.

The university compared to the median of 13 since 1980, with a 74 per cent chance of between 16 and 22 storms.

Of those storms, the university estimated that nine could reach hurricane strength and five could become major hurricanes, reaching at least Category 3 strength.

Last April, the University of Arizona estimated that the 2022 hurricane season would feature about 14 named storms while forecasting seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

The 2022 hurricane season saw 14 tropical storms and eight hurricanes, two of which became major hurricanes.

The 2023 hurricane season starts on June 1 and continues until November 30. Storms can also form outside that window.

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Published April 22, 2023 at 7:43 am (Updated April 22, 2023 at 7:43 am)

Forecasters predict 19 named storms this hurricane season

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