Updated Hurricane Season Forecast Says More Storms Likely for Louisiana, Gulf Coast
LOUISIANA (KPEL News) - The 2023 Hurricane Season officially starts today, and the Colorado State University forecast has been revised upward, suggesting more storms than previously thought could appear in the Atlantic this year.
According to CSU researchers, Atlantic waters are warmer than previously expected, and despite the imminent arrival of El Nino - a weather system known for causing wind shear that weakens and deters tropical activity - those warmer waters could allow for more tropical development.
The report, which you can read in full here, goes into further detail.
While we anticipate a robust El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, the tropical and subtropical Atlantic have continued to anomalously warm to near-record levels. El Niño increases vertical wind shear in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, but the anomalous warmth in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic may counteract some of the typical El Niño-driven increase in vertical wind shear. The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be near the long-period average.
Originally, the CSU forecast issued in April called for 13 named storms, but that number ticked up slightly as those warmer waters make it easier for storms to form.
Along the Gulf Coast, most states were spared any serious storm damage. Florida received heavy damages from Hurricane Ian last year, but Louisiana caught a break after several previously bad years.
Parts of the state are still recovering from the worst of the damage over the last few years, and several cities and towns are still in need of funding to assist with rebuilding efforts. With warmer Atlantic and Gulf waters, the chances for storms grow, causing worry among coastal states.
"Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them," the CSU report states. "They need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted."
The CSU forecast is in line with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast released last week, which called for a "near-normal" season.
Named Storms for 2023
The list of names used for storms is rotated every year. This year's storm names are Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margot, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.