Colorado State: Near/below average hurricane season upcoming

2023 Hurricane Season Outlook
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 9:04 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2023 at 5:27 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Citing a potential strong El Niño this summer, forecasters at Colorado State are calling for a hurricane season slightly below the seasonal average.

As a part of the National Tropical Weather Conference, Colorado State University forecasters put out one of the more respected tropical outlooks, along with NOAA a little later in the spring.

A stronger El Niño roughly translates to stronger upper level winds in the tropical Atlantic, which can be detrimental to hurricane formation. The past three years have given us a La Niña pattern, resulting in well above average numbers of named storms in all years but 2022. With a strong signal that El Niño returns, a general assumption would be that tropical activity in the Atlantic would be well below average, but CSU forecasters note above average sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic could counteract those higher upper level winds, and still provide a somewhat favorable environment for development.

It’s important to remember that regardless of how “active” a hurricane season, it only takes one to make a very large impact.

“Gulf of Mexico abnormally warm temperatures don’t necessarily correlate to more activity,” Philip Klotzbach, a scientist at CSU says. “Mainly because the Gulf of Mexico is plenty warm to generate storms throughout the summer and fall.”

Hurricane season begins in June and lasts through November. August to October tends to be the peak of the Atlantic season, with August and September being bigger months for the state of Texas.