Experts are out with a warning with two months to go until our hurricane season once again starts. If we've learned anything from past storms, it is to heed the warnings. Accuweather is projecting two to four direct impacts on the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island.
Current projections indicate that the 2023 season will be near the historical average with 11-15 named storms. Four to eight of those named storms are expected to reach hurricane strength, with one to three of those hurricanes achieving major hurricane status. A major hurricane is one that has maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or greater and is rated 3-5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Accuweather meteorologist Bill Deger adds that one factor impacting these projections are La Niña phenomena going away making way for El Niño.
With a Niña , the vertical wind shear becomes less prevalent over the traditional breeding grounds for tropical storms and hurricanes. Wind shear can inhibit a tropical cyclone's formation, so when there is less wind shear in the atmosphere forecasters tend to predict a higher number of tropical systems to develop when issuing seasonal prognostications.
With El Niño, it’s the opposite.