The Atlantic hurricane season is upon us, and we can expect a near-normal year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said This Thursday.
In a forecast for the 2023 hurricane season, NOAA projected that there was only a 30% chance of an overactive season. The probability of a near-normal season is 40% and a 30 percent chance of below-average storm activity this year. Hurricane season officially runs from June 1st to November 30th And reaches its peak in late summer. Expect 12 to 17 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes, and 1 to 4 major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf, and East Coast.
The storms mentioned are tropical cyclones where wind speeds exceed 39 miles per hour (62 kilometers per hour). These storms are upgraded to hurricanes when wind speeds exceed 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour). This hurricane becomes a major hurricane when wind speeds exceed 111 miles per hour (178 kilometers per hour). This year’s naming list features fairly basic names, including Cindy, Don, and Harold. There are some cooler options including Idalia, Philippe, and Ophelia.
Last year, NOAA predicted one above average hurricane season with 14 to 21 named storms. Why the difference? Last year was a La Niña year that brought together all the right ingredients to fuel more hurricanes across the Atlantic. During these years, the polar jet stream moves closer to the United States, making for warmer, drier conditions in the southern part of the country. That does that ideal environment for more numerous And stronger hurricanes occur. Do you remember the 2020 hurricane season? The one where we ran through the names at LMNOP speed and had to start using Greek letters for names? That was during a La Nina year. But that’s very likely El Niño will form this summerwhich changes global air currents and phenomena The Atlantic hurricane season is less active.
The Caribbean and the East Coast might Taking a break from last year’s hurricane season. Some of the storms in 2022 were quite violent. Hurricane Fiona knocked out Puerto Rico’s power gridand then it traveled north and completely devastated communities along the east coast of Canada. Hurricane Ian destroyed Southwest Florida and wrecked homesand the floods that followed spread carnivorously bacteria.
While the storm season is likely to be milder this year, communities should brace for high winds, flooding and the possibility of evacuations. “Remember, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” Rick Spinrad, the NOAA administrator, said during one press conference this week. “If any of these named storms hit your home or community, it is very serious.”
Interested in more climate and environmental stories? Check out Earther’s guides Decarbonizing your home, Phasing out fossil fuels, Pack a disaster bagAnd Overcome climate anxiety. And don’t miss our coverage of it Current IPCC climate reportthe future of carbon dioxide removaland the non-greenwashed facts about it bioplastics And plastic recycling.