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Atlantic Hurricane Season 2023 Begins

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My least favorite time of the year, Hurricane Season 2023, has begun. June 1 is the official start for the six-month season.

If you consider yourself a weather geek, you’re probably happy that Hurricane Season 2023 has officially begun. The Atlantic hurricane season runs every year from June 1 through Nov. 30, but there have been times when hurricanes have formed outside of that six-month window.

The Hurricane Season 2023 storm names

The practice of giving tropical storms and hurricanes human names dates back to 1950. There are currently six different lists of names that rotate.

This year’s list includes these:

  • Arlene
  • Bret
  • Cindy
  • Don
  • Emily
  • Franklin
  • Gert
  • Harold 
  • Idalia 
  • Jose
  • Katie
  • Lee
  • Margot
  • Nigel
  • Ophelia
  • Philippe
  • Rina
  • Sean
  • Tammy 
  • Vince
  • Whitney

There’s usually one name on each list that you have a feeling about. Sometimes, it’s because you know someone with that name who might be some kind of trouble. Other times, the name itself just sounds like it could be.

I don’t know anyone named Gert or Gertrude. But of all of this year’s names, Gert definitely sounds like it could be trouble. That, of course, is not a scientific observation, so take it with a grain of salt, especially if your name happens to be Gert.

Good news about the forecast…sort of

Every meteorologist I’ve worked with over the years has tried their best to discourage too much reliance on the annual storm projection forecast that comes out before hurricane season begins. That forecast, oddly enough, usually gets at least one update during hurricane season. That gives the hurricane experts another chance or two to correct any forecasting missteps.

This year’s forecast, though, sounds a little better than last year. There are actually fewer storms forecast.

Colorado State University says Hurricane Season 2023 should be a slightly quieter season than normal. Note the keyword slightly

They predict 13 named storms, which would take us through Margot. They predict six of those could become hurricanes — which means maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or greater. They’re calling for two of those six to become “major hurricanes.” They define a major hurricane as Category 3 or higher. A Category 3 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph. 

The good news here is that each of those three numbers is one below the average for hurricane season. (That’s why I said the forecast called for a slightly quieter season.) 

The other good news is that forecasters are saying an El Niño weather pattern is taking over. El Niño means warmer waters in the Pacific, where scientists determine whether we’re seeing El Niõ or La Niña. Hurricanes tend to like warmer waters. But on the Atlantic side, an El Niño pattern generally includes upper wind shear. That wind shear can limit an Atlantic hurricane’s ability to form, forecasters say. 

Hey, I’ll take that any year on the calendar.

But meteorologists do insist that you shouldn’t focus on the counts. After all, it takes only one bad storm to cause lots of damage and even loss of life. Even a below-normal season can feature a devastating storm. 

I’m already looking forward to Nov. 30.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.