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2023 Atlantic hurricane season ends; finishes 4th for most-named storms

NASA satellite imagery showing an approaching Lee moving northward past Bermuda. Lee would eventually make landfall in the southwest of Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm on Sept. 16. NASA satellite imagery showing an approaching Lee moving northward past Bermuda. Lee would eventually make landfall in the southwest of Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm on Sept. 16.
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The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end on Thursday.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association of the United States says in a statement they rank the season as fourth for most-named storms in a year.

The final tally includes 20 named storms, seven of which obtained hurricane strength, and three of those seven became a major hurricane, which is defined as Category 3 or higher.

Hurricane Lee was the only one to impact the Maritimes. Lee made landfall as a strong post-tropical storm on Sept. 16. Not nearly as destructive as Fiona a year prior, there were nonetheless associated power outages and instances of localized flooding due to heavy rain with Lee. The region also had some weather contributed by the remnants of tropical storm Phillipe. Phillipe became post-tropical well to the south of the Maritimes, but, with the remnants combining with a weather front out of the west, moved through as some heavy rain and gusty winds Oct. 7 into 8.

NASA satellite imagery showing an approaching Lee moving northward past Bermuda. Lee would eventually make landfall in the southwest of Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm on Sept. 16.

Initially forecast to be a near-normal season in May, that was revised in August to be an active season expected by the NOAA. The reason for the revisions given was the presence of much warmer than normal ocean waters and lower wind shear. Warmer ocean waters made more energy available to developing storms and lower wind shear allowed those storms to develop the structure necessary to sustain themselves long enough to become tropical storms or hurricanes.

This was a bit of surprise as in a typical El Nino year enough wind shear over the Atlantic is often produced to help restrict the development of tropical storms and hurricanes. In fact, Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane forecaster at the NOAA, noted “the Atlantic basin produced the most named storms of any El Nino influenced year in the modern record.”

The list of names used for the tropical storms and hurricanes of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season will begin on June 1, 2024. The NOAA will likely have their first prediction for that season issued around May 25, 2024. 

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