HOUSTON (KIAH) – It’s that time of year when we start to get an idea of what the upcoming hurricane season might look like. The initial report from the tropical weather experts at Colorado State University suggests that the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season will feature fewer storms than normal.

2023 hurricane season forecast from Colorado State University

The forecast calls for 13 named storms, including 6 hurricanes, 2 of which will be major hurricanes. If 2023 were to pan out with these exact numbers, it would be the fewest number of storms since 2015.

A key factor in the number of storms in the Atlantic is the water temperature of the surface of the Pacific Ocean near the equator. We recently moved out of La Nina, and we’re likely headed into an El Nino pattern this summer or fall. El Nino means the ocean surface water temperature in the Pacific near the equator is warmer than normal, which influences global weather patterns.

What El Nino means for the Atlantic hurricane season: increased wind shear, meaning stronger winds in the atmosphere that tend to make it more difficult for hurricanes to form.

NOAA: El Nino increasingly likely by summer and fall

NOAA’s official hurricane forecast will be released on May 25th. Colorado State University will revise their forecast on June 1st. The forecast from Dr. Phil Klotzbach and the team at Colorado State University has been highly-regarded for several years. Click here to read the full report.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts through the end of November, with the most active part of the season from mid-August through mid-October.

Atlantic tropical climatology