Hurricane season outlook: Here’s what’s driving the 2023 season

El Nino likely to develop for the peak of hurricane season

An outlook of this year's hurricane season. (WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – There is an interesting battle setting up for the 2023 hurricane season. One one hand, the Atlantic Ocean is abnormally warm and is expected to stay to that way through the peak of hurricane season.

Tropical systems get their energy from deep, warm ocean water.

On the other hand, it is increasingly likely that El Nino, perhaps a moderate or even strong one, develops by the peak of hurricane season. El-Nino tends to increase upper level wind shear which helps to suppress tropical development in the Atlantic basin.

El Nino and hurricane season

These negative impacts to storms are most commonly observed in the Caribbean.

Long rage climate models for the peak of hurricane season, August, September, October suggest above normal activity is possible in the Main Development Region. The MDR is the area of the Atlantic in between Africa and the Lesser Antilles.

Precipitation anomaly for August, September, October.

A plausible scenario for the peak of hurricane season would be storms developing off of the coast of Africa eventually succumbing to increased wind shear in the Caribbean.

There are also increased rainfall anomalies off the Southeast U.S. so that area would have to be watched for storms curving around the Bermuda High.

Colorado State University issued its first outlook for the 2023 hurricane season. Forecasters there are calling for a slightly below normal season. The university states that there is a great deal of uncertainty in their initial forecast due to significant limiting factors and very warm water being present at the same time.

Even with the number of storms currently forecast to be below normal, it is important to remember it only takes one.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will release its outlook for the 2023 season in late May. Hurricane season officially begins June 1. The daily tropical weather outlook from the National Hurricane Center begin May 15.

The 2022 season broke a seven-year streak of having a storm develop before the official start of hurricane season.

About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.