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NOAA expects 12-17 named storms for hurricane season

As Earth’s oceans warm and the calendar flips to June, so ensues the Atlantic hurricane season. These massive storms range from slow soakers to high-speed wind events capable of carrying waves of water and destruction. The best defense against these beasts of nature is preparation and response planning. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System urges everyone to be ready for 2023’s hurricane season.

2023 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook

Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30 every year, and each season comes with its own set of challenges and bruising storms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season. These predictions are created using research on global atmospheric conditions, water temperatures and weather trends.

In 2023, NOAA is forecasting 12 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater). The organization also predicts five to nine of these storms will have the potential to become hurricanes (winds 74 mph or greater). More intensely, one to four storms are expected to become major hurricanes (winds 111 mph or greater).

Overall, the Atlantic hurricane season has a 70% probability of being near or above normal activity levels. The past three seasons have been exacerbated by La Niña (a period of cooler Pacific Ocean surface temperatures), which increases activity in the Atlantic basin. NOAA scientists are expecting El Niño (a period of warmer Pacific Ocean surface temperatures) to potentially suppress Atlantic hurricane production as long as tropical ocean waters also remain cooler in temperature.

It is important to note that annual NOAA outlook data is representative of seasonal activity predictions as a whole and not landfall event forecasts. For example, according to 2023’s outlook, one to four major hurricanes may form in the Atlantic Ocean. However, every storm is not guaranteed to make landfall.

Alabama Extension’s Role

Alabama Extension plays a proactive role in preparing Alabama residents for disaster response and resilience. Serving as a resource for everyday life information–in this case natural disasters–Extension has solutions and measures for all communities to partake. Alabama Extension’s Emergency Handbook: Preparation and Recovery features a variety of preparation and recovery resources related to the following topic areas:

People and Pets
Home and Business
Landscape and Garden
Farm and Livestock

Alabama Extension has a presence in all 67 counties, and residents are encouraged to contact their local Extension office for resources and life-improving information as well as program opportunities. There is no such thing as too early of a time to create a plan to ensure your family is ready for any disaster.