Thursday, December 8, 2022

Hurricane season 2023 could be more dangerous


Hurricane seasons have brought mild weather for several years now, and the latest forecast suggests that El Nino will not return, at least through April 2023.

But there seems to be roughly an even chance of El Nino conditions showing up for the start of the 2023 hurricane season—the summer of 2023.

Forecasting that far out is fraught, so the Climate Prediction Center’s latest formal forecast, issued December 8, 2022, does not carry all the way into the 2023 Hurricane season. But there are indications that the climate may be shifting in the direction of El Nino.

Forecasters predict a roughly 50% chance that 2023’s hurricane season will have El Nino warming conditions, which are associated with more and stronger hurricanes for the Hawaiian Islands.

For many months, we have been in a La Nina ocean condition, which reflects cooler mid-Pacific waters less likely to promote hurricane development. Today’s prediction suggests there’s an even chance that through April 2023—the non-hurricane season--it will remain La Nina or neutral.

That said, there are indications the climate could be swinging in a warmer direction.

“In November 2022, negative subsurface temperature anomalies weakened, reflecting an eastward expansion of the above-average subsurface temperatures in the western and central Pacific and contraction of the below-average temperatures across the eastern Pacific,” the CPC/National Centers for Environmental Prediction said in its El Nino/Southern Oscillation Diagnostic Discussion

El Nino conditions have warmer waters around the Equator in the Pacific, and are associated with more and stronger hurricanes in the Central Pacific.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2022

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