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Colorado State University said Thursday it expects the 2023 Atlantic basin hurricane season to be slightly less active than average as it released its initial forecast.
The forecast calls for 13 named storms, compared with a 1991 through 2020 average of 14.4. Named storm days are forecast to be 55, compared with the average of 69.4.
Six hurricanes are forecast, against an average of 7.2, and hurricane days are projected at 25, compared with an average of 27.0.
Two major hurricanes are forecast with five major hurricane days, compared with 3.2 and 7.4, respectively.
Researchers cited the likely development of El Niño as a primary factor for their below-average forecast but noted an elevated uncertainty due to the behavior of meteorological indicators.
“Given the conflicting signals between a potentially robust El Niño and an anomalously warm tropical and subtropical Atlantic, the team stresses that there is more uncertainty than normal with this outlook,” the CSU report summary said, adding “there is considerable uncertainty as to how strong El Niño would be if it does develop.”