After what has been a relatively quiet start to the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season the National Hurricane Center has gone ahead and issued an updated outlook for the remainder of the season.

Thus far, a strong El Nino pattern which is expected to continue into early 2024 has brought along an environment filled will stronger wind sheer which has been detrimental to significant tropical development. To this point, only five storms and one hurricane have formed.

Still, the latest outlook by the NHC paints a picture of a much more active second half of the season, so active in fact that a 60% chance of an above-average season has been projected. The final storm count is forecasted to hit between 14 and 21, including 6-11 hurricanes and 2-5 major hurricanes.

Interestingly, while the updated storm numbers do not increase by a tremendous amount, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) rises by over 30 points in the new outlook. Given that we are nearing the climatological peak and given the immensely warm and above-average Gulf we have it is likely that the NHC considers any storms that do form to be primed for rapid development.

In our case, the rest of this year’s hurricane season remains a wait-and-see situation. The strength of the Bermuda high-off in the Atlantic will be one of the primary driving factors to whether a tropical cyclone gets steered in our direction. More likely is the prospect of a tropical storm remnant making its way up to the northeast from the Gulf after making landfall. Of course, as hurricane season progresses we will have updates for you on the latest in tropical developments.