NOAA’s 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season begins in one week, and NOAA has released its outlook for the upcoming season. NOAA predicts a near normal season this year. 

What You Need To Know

  • NOAA’s outlook predicts 12 to 17 named storms, 5 to 9 of which could become hurricanes
  • NOAA researchers also expect 1 to 4 to become major hurricanes of at least Category 3 strength
  • The 30-year average is 14 named storms, with 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes

NOAA’s outlook predicts a 40% chance of a near normal season, a 30% chance of an above normal season and a 30% chance of a below normal season. 

NOAA forecasts a likely range of 12 to 17 named storms, of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes, which are a Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.


In April, Colorado State University released its 2023 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, and it predicts below normal activity this season. N.C. State University researchers predict activity to be near normal. 

NHC determined that a subtropical storm formed in January off the coast of the Northeast U.S., but the agency will not retroactively give it a name. 

Researchers look at a variety of factors to make their prediction.

El Niño conditions will likely return this summer around the peak of hurricane season, which would be the first time since 2018 and 2019. El Niño leads to stronger upper level winds, or wind shear, in the Atlantic, which is less favorable for tropical development.

On the other hand, sea surface temperatures are well above normal in the tropical Atlantic, including the main development region. The warm ocean water helps fuel tropical systems, which could help counteract some of El Niño’s influence. 

Remember, predictions of the season’s activity are not predictions of exactly how many storms will make landfall in a particular place. Individual storms make impacts, regardless of how active (or not) a season is. Coastal residents should do what they can to make sure they’re prepared every year.

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season will come with some new changes and a new list of names.

You can learn more about 2023’s list of names here.

This forecast comes after last year’s season, which had near-normal activity in terms of named storms and hurricanes, but below-normal ACE.

Of the notable storms, Hurricane Ian and Fiona both got retired after causing significant death and destruction in Central America, the Caribbean, the United States and Canada. 

Learn More About Hurricanes

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