The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast a near-normal level of activity during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially commences on June 1st, 2023.
For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, the NOAA says that there’s a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of above-average activity, and a 30% chance of below-average activity.
The organisation is expecting to see anywhere between 12 and 17 named storms form in the Atlantic, and of these, five to nine are forecast to become hurricanes, of which one to four are forecast to become major hurricanes, so category 3 or higher.
Of course, it only takes one major hurricane making landfall to drive significant losses to the insurance and reinsurance industry, as seen with the devastating impacts caused by last year’s Hurricane Ian – one of the costliest natural catastrophe events recorded.
The NOAA forecast follows that of Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers, who in April said that they’re expecting activity during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season to be slightly below-average, but warning that conflicting signals between “a potentially robust El Niño and an anomalously warm tropical and subtropical Atlantic”, creates greater uncertainty than normal.
CSU researchers forecasted 13 named storms, six of which will reach hurricane strength, of which two are expected to become major hurricanes.
Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) also provided its forecast in April, predicting that activity in 2023 will be 25-30% below the 1991-2020 30-year norm, and around 20% below the long-term 1950-2022 norm.
The company expects to see two intense hurricanes, six hurricanes, and 12 tropical storms.