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Atlantic likely to have El Niño for 2023 hurricane season

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — While the U.S. southern coast will likely want to keep their eyes open for storms, Mexico’s Caribbean may be able to be slightly less vigilant. According to AccuWeather’s 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, this year will be very similar to what was experienced in 2022.

The agency says Florida will again likely be at risk for land-falling tropical systems, systems that did not affect Mexico’s Caribbean last year. As a matter of fact, the region hardly felt the hurricane season due to a lack of tropical systems.

Aside from a few heavy days of downpours, which are common during the summer-time rainy season, there were no hurricanes or even named storms to hit the Cancun-Riviera Maya area in 2022.

According to AccuWeather, a similar fate could await the Atlantic again this year due to El Niño.

Last year, the season saw a low number of named storms when compared to 2020 and 2021. This year, the Atlantic season is also forecast to be less active than 2022. The agency is forecasting 11-15 named storms, four to eight of those to reach hurricane strength and one to three of those reaching major hurricane status.

“We are also projecting two to four direct impacts on the United States including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” said Senior Meteorologist and Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

He says for 2023, El Niño will play an important factor in influencing the season since the pattern is known to disrupt the development of tropical storms. Kottlowski says that hurricane seasons with emerging El Niño patterns tend to be less active than normal, but notes that does not mean favorable conditions won’t develop.

He says there are “many breeding grounds for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast of the U.S.,” as well as off the coast of Africa.

A typical hurricane season usually consists of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1.