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NOAA officially releases the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook. Here's what to expect

Hurricane graphic (7News)
Hurricane graphic (7News)
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Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have released their prediction for how active the Atlantic hurricane season might be.

The announcement came from a news conference Thursday --- only six days before the official start of the season on June 1.

This year's season is expected to be near average, according to forecasters at the NOAA.

READ | Subtropical storm formed in January, first storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season

NOAA predicts between 12 and 17 named storms this season. Fourteen is the average based on data from 1991 - 2020.

Five to nine of those named storms could become hurricanes.

One to four of those could be major hurricanes, which are Category 3 or higher with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

NOAA said the confidence in their outlook is 70%. There is also a 40% chance that the season will be near-normal and a 30% chance that the season will be above or below normal in the number of storms.

The last time the Atlantic basin saw a below-normal number of storms was in 2015.

There are other factors this season that may limit tropical development, including a fast-forming El Niño.

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NOAA's 2023 Atlantic hurricane prediction comes nearly six weeks after Colorado State University released its outlook, which predicts a slightly below-average season.

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