According to Accuweather’s 2023 Atlantic hurricane forecast which was released in late March 2023, Florida is at risk and should expect the worst in the upcoming hurricane season. The 2023 season will be less active than previous years, but Accuweather expects this year will be an average one with between 11 and 15 named storms.
The agency further predicts that between 4 and 8 of the storms could reach hurricane strength. They also expect up to 3 of these storms to reach major hurricane status. Storms reach major hurricane status when they are between categories 3 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Although the north-eastern states of the US are not expected to see many devastating hurricanes, Florida is at risk for impact. Residents in the state should start preparing now, for any tropical systems that will pop up in the next few months.
Reason Why Florida is at Risk
Senior meteorologist Dan Kottlowski explained the reason for the enhanced risks of hurricane impacts in Florida. He said that climatology and an evolving El Nino pattern from August to October will influence the season thus cause significant impacts throughout the entire state. This means that residents in the Florida Panhandle and right up to the Carolina coast should be on the alert.
Florida’s Hurricane History
In 2022, one of the memorable tropical storms to impact the state was Hurricane Ian. It reached category 4 strength and killed at least 148 people. Many of the fatalities were coastal residents who drowned as a result of storm surge. Hurricanes Fiona and Nicole also made landfall in the state.
Florida has been impacted by several storms since 1851, the year forecasters began to keep track of tropical storm activity. Since then, the state has been struck by 39 hurricanes. Records indicate that there have been 3 category 5 storms, 13 category 4 storms, and 22 category 3 storms.
Create a Hurricane Plan
Kottlowski also implored residents living near on the coast to create a hurricane plan to deal with a “a life-threatening or very damaging hurricane.” He also said that even if the 2023 season is less active than predicted, warmer waters could lead to the formation of a couple strong hurricanes.
For reference, 2022 was not as active as previous years, but because the waters were very warm, a couple strong storms formed in the Atlantic. One of those storms was Hurricane Ian.
Image: Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash
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