AccuWeather issues 2023 hurricane season forecast, predicting 11-15 named storms
With the official start of the 2023 hurricane season just over two months away, one of the first early predictions of what the season could bring has been released.
And after a devastating 2022 season, Florida may not catch a break.
AccuWeather forecasters predict the 2023 season will be a little less active than most seasons since 1995, but with about the same number of storms as seen in 2022. Forecasters predict two to four storms will impact the U.S.
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AccuWeather is the first of several agencies that issue predictions on what the upcoming season could bring. Colorado State University and the National Hurricane Center will issue their forecasts in the coming weeks.
Seasonal forecasts are updated throughout the hurricane season.
AccuWeather's 2023 hurricane season forecast
Current projections indicate that the 2023 season will be near the historical average with 11 to 15 named storms.
Four to eight of those named storms are expected to reach hurricane strength, with one to three of those hurricanes achieving major hurricane status. A major hurricane is one that has maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or higher.
“We are also projecting two to four direct impacts on the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” said Senior Meteorologist and Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Florida expected to be at higher risk for storms in 2023
AccuWeather forecasters said Florida will once again be at a higher risk than other parts of the country.
“Based on climatology and an evolving El Niño pattern during August through October, the highest chance for direct and significant impacts will be from the Florida Panhandle around the entire state of Florida to the Carolina coast,” Kottlowski said.
How many storms were there in the 2022 hurricane season?
There were 14 named storms in the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Eight became hurricanes, and two grew into major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one in which winds reach 111 mph or greater.
An average hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
3 hurricanes made landfall on US soil in 2022
Hurricane Ian: Hurricane Ian made landfall first as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph in Cayo Costa on Sept. 28 and again as a Category 1 in Georgetown, South Carolina, on Sept. 30. Hurricane Ian tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the U.S., according to NHC.
Hurricane Ian slowly moved over the Florida peninsula, bringing widespread rainfall that ranged from 10 to 21 inches. Daytona Beach saw 21.49 inches and New Smyrna Beach received 20.95 inches.
Significant parts of many coastal communities, including those along the barrier islands of Captiva, Sanibel, Pine and Fort Myers Beach, were washed away by the winds and surge. The Sanibel Island causeway, which provides the only roadway access to the island, was partially washed away.
It is anticipated that economic losses from Hurricane Ian will reach well into the billions.
Hurricane Nicole: This storm made landfall as a Category 1 storm just south of Vero Beach on Nov. 10, becoming the third November hurricane on record to make landfall in Florida, according to the Hurricane Center.
Strong swells in combination with astronomical high tide caused devastating storm surge and coastal flooding along the east central Florida coast. Surge impacts were most notable along the Volusia coast where communities were still recovering from Hurricane Ian.
Peak wind gust recorded was 75 mph at New Smyrna Beach. Highest rainfall was 7.11 inches north-northwest of Orlando.
Hurricane Fiona: This storm made landfall outside of the mainland U.S. as a Category 1 near Punta Tocon, Puerto Rico.
When is the Atlantic hurricane season?
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. The Pacific hurricane season is two weeks longer, running from May 15 through Nov. 30.
The National Hurricane Center begins issuing its daily tropical outlook on May 15.
If a storm or potential for a storm develops, an outlook is issued no matter what the date is. That's what happened Jan. 16 when the NHC issued an advisory about a system of non-tropical low pressure north of Bermuda. The system was short-lived and didn't develop.
What areas are included in the Atlantic basin monitored by the National Hurricane Center?
The Atlantic hurricane basin covers the Atlantic Ocean north of the equator, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
What is in a tropical outlook issued by the NHC?
A tropical outlook describes what sort of system is in the Atlantic basin that has grabbed the attention of forecasters. The Hurricane Center then forecasts where and when the system is going and its chances for development over the next two to five days.
When does the Hurricane Center start issuing advisories?
The National Hurricane Center ramps up its advisories when a storm receives a name, or strengthening is imminent and it's close to land.
Those advisories — issued every three hours starting at 2 a.m. — provide more details on a storm, including its strength, predicted path, potential for strengthening, and any watches or warnings that have been issued.