Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University are now predicting an “above-average” season, with at least four major hurricanes and 18 named storms. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo
July 6 (UPI) — Hurricane researchers are now predicting an “above-average” season with at least four major hurricanes and 18 named storms after record-warm sea surface temperatures were recorded following previous predictions.
The researchers, with Colorado State University, said in a news release they had previously forecasted 15 named storms in the season with a total of seven hurricanes, three of which they predicted would be “major” hurricanes at the beginning of June.
“The researchers estimate the probability of a major hurricane making landfall in the United States to be above the long-term average,” the statement reads.
The CSU hurricane research team has issued a seasonal forecast each year for the past four decades based on statistical models that evaluate Atlantic sea-surface temperatures, sea level pressures, vertical wind shear levels and El Niño, among other factors.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in May predicted that the 2023 hurricane season had only a 30% chance of being an “above-normal” season.
The NOAA forecasted a range of between 12 and 17 named storms with 1 to 4 of them becoming major hurricanes with wind speeds of 111 mph or faster.
“The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be less active than recent years, due to competing factors — some that suppress storm development and some that fuel it — driving this year’s overall forecast for a near-normal season,” the NOAA said in May.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the World Meteorological Organization on Tuesday declared that El Niño conditions have developed for the first time in seven years and could lead to a surge in global temperatures and disruptive weather and climate patterns in the second half of 2023.
“The onset of El Niño will greatly increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and triggering more extreme heat in many parts of the world and in the ocean,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas
“The declaration of an El Niño by WMO is the signal to governments around the world to mobilize preparations to limit the impacts on our health, our ecosystems and our economies,” Taalas said.