24th September 2023

2023 North Atlantic Hurricane Season: El Niño Versus SSTs Tug of War continues-Moody's RMS

With just two and a half months left until the end of the 2023 North Atlantic hurricane season, the question expert commentators are wrestling over is, what is set for the remaining season?
James Cosgrove, a senior modeller at Moody’s RMS, seeks to answer this question in a newly published blog, which uses key seasonal oceanic and meteorological factors to re-examine factors affecting the hurricane season to date. It also updates us on fresh forecasts from international agencies which provide further insights into the weighing up of the tug of war between El Niño Versus SSTs.
Cosgrove points out that the spur of hurricane activity since mid-August means that the current season is already within the lower ranges of NOAA’s ‘average’ season. This already meets the criteria for 2023 to be considered as at least an average season, per the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 1991–2020 Climate Normals, with over two and a half months to go.
But the key question in terms of the rest of the season is one of timing, warns Cosgrove. Will the El Niño occur in time to silence the remaining peak weeks of the North Atlantic hurricane season, or might budding tropical systems emerging from West Africa and take advantage of the record-warm temperatures while they have a chance?
"As of mid-September, the North Atlantic basin has produced 14 named storms, five hurricanes, and three major hurricanes, and has already reached the lower ends of these ranges with two and a half months to go." James Cosgrove, senior modeller at Moody’s RMS.

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