Hurricane Season 2023: El Niño vs. SSTs Tug of War, Season Expected to Be More Active

The 2023 North Atlantic hurricane season has been more active than expected, with 14 named storms already forming so far.

Forecasters are now predicting a more active season than initially thought, with the potential for up to 21 named storms and five major hurricanes.

The key factors driving this activity are record-warm sea surface temperatures and atypically favorable upper-level wind patterns.

These conditions have helped fuel the formation and development of nine named storms between mid-August and mid-September.

While El Niño conditions are present in the tropical Pacific, the atmospheric response has been minimal so far.

This lack of coupling between the ocean and atmosphere has allowed the North Atlantic basin to shift into a more active phase.

However, forecasters say it's only a matter of time before El Niño takes its toll on the hurricane season.

As El Niño strengthens in the equatorial Pacific, it will likely lead to more unfavorable conditions for tropical storm development in the North Atlantic.

The key question is, when will this happen?

If El Niño occurs in time to silence the remaining peak weeks of the North Atlantic hurricane season, then the total number of storms and hurricanes will likely be lower than the current forecast.

However, if El Niño delays its impact, or if the record-warm temperatures persist, then the North Atlantic basin could see a very active hurricane season.

If you live in a coastal area, make sure you have a hurricane and emergency plan in place.

Do work on your water and food supply and storage!

You can also help your community prepare for hurricanes by volunteering with a local disaster relief organization or donating to one of these organizations.