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Near-normal hurricane season predicted for 2023

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The Atlantic should see near-normal hurricane activity, according to US forecasters.

The United States-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Centre says that the outlook for the 2023 hurricane season, from June 1 to November 30, has a 40 per cent chance of a near-normal season, a 30 per cent chance of an above-normal season and a 30 per cent chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher and, of those, five to nine could become hurricanes with winds of 74mph or higher, including one to four major hurricanes, category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111mph or higher.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be less active than in recent years owing to competing factors — some that suppress storm development and some that fuel it — driving this year's overall forecast for a near-normal season, according to NOAA.

It said: "After three hurricane seasons with La Niña present, NOAA scientists predict a high potential for El Niño to develop this summer, which can suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.

"El Niño’s potential influence on storm development could be offset by favourable conditions local to the tropical Atlantic Basin.

"Those conditions include the potential for an above-normal West African monsoon, which produces African easterly waves and seeds some of the stronger and longer-lived Atlantic storms, and warmer-than-normal sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea which creates more energy to fuel storm development.

"These factors are part of the longer-term variability in Atlantic atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development — known as the high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes — which have been producing more active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.“

NOAA forecasters say they have a 70 per cent confidence in the ranges.

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Published May 27, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated May 27, 2023 at 7:59 am)

Near-normal hurricane season predicted for 2023

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