The 2023 Hurricane Forecast by Xubin Zeng and Kyle Davis was featured in UA News on April 26, 2023. You can read the original article by University Communications Journalist Niranjana Rajalakshmi here.
After two years of relatively mild hurricane seasons, Zeng and Davis predict an above-average season similar to 2017 in terms of the number of hurricanes. However, because they expect fewer landfalls this year, this season is predicted to be less destructive than 2017 when Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria severely affected tens of millions of people living in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida. That said, people should still be prepared to deal with these storms.
Zeng and Davis predict this year will be particularly interesting because there will be a fight between two big ocean basins over which will have the greater influence on hurricane activities. Due to warmer sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific this year, they expect a good El Niño pattern to return. Typically, a warmer El Niño would indicate a less active hurricane season over the Atlantic; however, the ocean surface temperature over the Atlantic is also expected to be very warm, and that tends to increase hurricane activity.
Which side will prevail? That is yet to be determined. Zeng and Davis will continue to fine tune their model and, based on observational data from March through May, update their forecast in June.