Triple-I Update: Atlantic Hurricane Season to Have 'Near-Average' Activity
An updated 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecast released today by Colorado State University (CSU) envisions a "near-average" level of tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic basin between June and November.
Led by Phil Klotzbach, PhD, also a non-resident scholar at the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), the CSU forecast team released its initial 2023 seasonal outlook on April 13. In its updated 2023 forecast, CSU now anticipates 14 additional named storms rather than 13, seven hurricanes instead of six, and three major hurricanes as opposed to two. Major hurricanes are those with wind speeds reaching Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
On May 11, the National Hurricane Center indicated an unnamed subtropical storm formed in the Atlantic in mid-January 2023. However, that system will count as this year's first storm.
A typical season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season officially started today and continues through Nov. 30.
"With the updated forecast released today, all signs point to a hurricane season that will impact the continental U.S.," said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. "Residents who live in coastal states from Maine to Texas are vulnerable to the direct impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms. All it takes is one storm to make it an active season for you and your family so now is the time to prepare."
Two hurricanes made continental U.S. landfalls last year, including Category 4 Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida's southwest Gulf Coast in Lee County on Sept. 28 with 150 miles per hour (mph) sustained winds. On Sept. 30, Ian made a second landfall as a Category 1 with 80 mph winds in South Carolina. Florida was also struck by Category 1 Hurricane Nicole aong the state's Atlantic Coast on Nov. 10, a rare November landfalling hurricane that made landfall near Vero Beach with 75 mph winds. Additionally, Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico as a Category 1 on Sept. 18.
"Homeowners and business owners should review their policies with an insurance professional to make sure they have the right types, and amounts, of insurance to protect their properties from damage caused by either wind or water. That also means exploring whether they need flood coverage since flood-caused damage is not covered under standard homeowners, condo, renters, or business insurance policies. In addition, homeowners should take steps to make their residences more resilient to windstorms and torrential rain by installing roof tie-downs and a good drainage system," Kevelighan recommended.
Private-passenger vehicles damaged or destroyed by either wind or flooding are covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.
The updated CSU forecast indicates there is a 43 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall in the continental U.S. this year. This includes a 21 percent chance for the U.S. East Coast, including the state of Florida, and a 27 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall between the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas.
"While we anticipate a robust El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, the tropical and subtropical Atlantic have continued to anomalously warm to near-record levels," Klotzbach said. "El Niño increases vertical wind shear in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic, but the anomalous warmth in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic may counteract some of the typical El Niño-driven increase in vertical wind shear."
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