2023 Hurricane Season Forecast: Above Normal Season Remains Likely


By Dale C. S. Destin – Published 19 May 2023 |

268Weather has released its updated forecast for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which continues to project above-normal activity with the potential for hyperactivity. The forecast covers the full season from June to November, including May, and is based on data available until May 18, 2023.

Forecast Details

The forecast predicts:

  • 18 named storms or a range of 13 to 23
  • 8 hurricanes or a range of 5 to 12
  • 4 major hurricanes or a range of 2 to 6
  • Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 153 or a range of 89 to 241

The ACE is a measure of the total energy generated by all tropical named cyclones during the season, the universal measure of the overall activity of a season.

The probabilities associated with the forecast include a 68% chance of an above-normal season (ACE greater than 152), a 24% chance of a near-normal season (ACE 75 to 152), and an 8% chance of a below-normal season (ACE less than 75).

A typical season, based on the new standard climate period 1991-2020, has 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) and an ACE of 123. Looking at other forecasts for the season, most organizations are going for a near-normal season with three outliers, one of which is 268Weather. However, we are in good company with the very reputable ECMWF forecasting similarly.

Warmer Than Usual Sea Surface Temperatures

The main reason for the above-normal forecast is the prediction of warmer than normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the tropical North Atlantic (TNA) Ocean. Although El Niño is forecasted, the warmer SSTs in the TNA are expected to outweigh the suppressing effect of El Niño and lead to an above-normal season. El Niño typically suppresses hurricane activity, while La Niña has the opposite effect. Warm SSTs across the TNA favour an active season, while cool SSTs tend to suppress hurricane activity.

Uncertainties and Conflicting Conditions

Despite the forecast, there are higher-than-usual uncertainties regarding how the season will unfold. Conflicting conditions between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans add to the uncertainty. While Atlantic conditions favour an above-normal season, Pacific conditions suggest the opposite. Additionally, the timing and strength of El Niño, which is challenging to forecast during this time of the year, further contribute to the uncertainties.

Potential for Super Hyperactive Season

There is a 33% chance of the ACE exceeding 223, placing the season in the top 10 percentile based on the 1991-2020 reference period. Additionally, there is a significant probability for more extreme activity levels, such as more than 19 named storms (38% chance), more than 11 hurricanes (29% chance), and more than 6 major hurricanes (37% chance). Previous seasons with such high activity levels include 2017, 2005, 2004, 1995, 1933, 1926, and 1893.


Based on the 268Weather forecast, the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is likely to be above normal, with the possibility of hyperactivity. The forecast is driven by the prediction of warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic, counterbalancing the potential suppressive effect of El Niño. However, uncertainties remain due to conflicting conditions between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the challenges in forecasting El Niño/La Niña during this time of the year. Nevertheless, it is important for individuals and authorities in hurricane-prone areas to stay informed and prepared throughout the season. Regardless of the forecast, you should always be well prepared each season, as it only takes one hurricane to ruin your year and or life. Click here for the full forecast. The next update will be June 18. Please share this blog, if you found it useful and follow me for more on the upcoming hurricane season and for all things weather and climate – TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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  1. Every year it’s the same old adage, ABOVE AVERAGE hurricane season. Give it a break will you.

  2. And here in the states the predictions are for a below normal hurricane season because of a building El Nino.

  3. Great analysis by 268Weather. The water in the Atlantic is warmer than 2017 at this point. That’s the year that gave us Irma. At this point, the El Nino Forecast will be a busts. Be prepared.

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