NOAA predicts 'near-normal' hurricane season, with 12-17 named storms

May 25 (UPI) — This year is likely to be a “near-normal” hurricane season, the National Weather Service’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s estimate for hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, forecasts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of a below-normal season and a 30% of an above-normal season.

Additionally, the NOAA predicts that between 12 and 17 named storms will occur during the 2023 season, and that between five and nine of them could become hurricanes.

After three consecutive hurricane seasons with La Nina weather patterns, which are affected by Pacific Ocean water temperature, the World Meteorological Organization predicts a high likelihood of an El Nino weather event occurring in 2023.

Currently, the NOAA is planning a series of upgrades to their forecast models for the 2023 hurricane season, including a 20% upgrade to the supercomputer system tasked with predicting weather patterns. Additionally, the new Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System will be rolled out to supplement the existing Forecast Model System and Hurricanes in Multi-scale Ocean-coupled Non-hydrostatic model and Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast System.

The NOAA says the new system has a 10-15% better success rate in modeling weather patterns than the previous model. While the new system will be deployed alongside the prior models it will eventually replace them completely.

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