Warm weather brought on by the El Niño weather phenomenon could agitate and activate many Atlantic Ocean hurricanes near the U.S.
It could make the 2023 hurricane season more active.
That is the prognosis from NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. In a recent update, NOAA said that there could be as many as 20 storms, 10 of which could become hurricanes.
NOAA forecasters said there is now a 60% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
This can be seen in the pie chart above that NOAA published in August.
How El Niño Affects Hurricanes
El Niño weather patterns are typically associated with high winds and high sea surface temperatures (SSTs).
Normally, these winds can reduce the probability of hurricanes. This is because the winds affect the tops of storms before they start circulating. So El Niño tends to limit the number of storms.
However, the high SSTs can act to counteract this lower wind shear effect. But this effect has apparently already been played out.
"A below-normal wind shear forecast, slightly below-normal Atlantic trade winds, and a near- or above-normal West African Monsoon were also key factors in shaping this updated seasonal forecast."
NOAA has started using a new model to forecast hurricanes. It remains to be seen how well this new model will be in predicting Atlantic storms.
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