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NOAA's 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. NOAA predicts a near-normal season.

Atlantic hurricane season is almost here. It begins on June 1st and runs until November 30th. The outlook for this Atlantic hurricane season was just released by forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

NOAA forecasters predict a near-normal hurricane season that would result in 12 to 17 named storms, the first of which would be named Arlene. Tropical storms must have winds at or stronger than 35mph. The list of storm names is repeated every six years. If the storm develops into a hurricane they will sometimes consider retiring that name, if it caused a significant amount of damage. For example, we will never have a storm named Katrina because of how devastating Hurricane Katrina was. Out of the total number of named tropical cyclones, they predicted that 5-9 will become hurricanes and 1-4 of those could become major hurricanes. A major hurricane is category 3 or stronger. The hurricane season may be less active than the past few seasons if El Nino develops because it’s less favorable to the development of storms. NOAA says El Nino is much more likely to develop this season due to the fact that we have been in La Nina for the past few years.

Even if El Nino develops, it doesn’t mean that we will see a below-average season because conditions in the Atlantic Basin are ideal for storm development. NOAA says the Atlantic has an above-average temperature which could strengthen developing storms. NOAA also predicts that these favorable conditions could cause above-normal West-African monsoons which can lead to the formation of long-lived intense storms in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricanes can be devastating for those who live or own property near the coast. However, the impacts of hurricanes are also felt further inland. While storms weaken as they move over land, many can still produce strong winds, thunder, lightning, hail, and tornadoes. So as we near the start of this hurricane season please keep an eye on the weather and be on the lookout for any watches or warnings.

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