As Hurricane Idalia takes aim at Florida, it’s no surprise that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a revised hurricane forecast earlier this month, changing it to above-normal storm activity. The updated forecast now predicts 14 to 21 named storms, with six to 11 storms becoming full-fledged hurricanes. NOAA also predicts two to five hurricanes will see winds greater than 110 mph.
When NOAA released its hurricane season outlook earlier in May, the forecast predicted a 40% chance of a near-normal year. The estimates released earlier this year predicted between 12-17 storms, with five to nine storms becoming named hurricanes.
Looking back at the 2022 hurricane season, there were 14 named storms. While this number is what we could have expected during an average hurricane season, the total cost of damages was $118 billion. Two of the 14 named storms became major hurricanes, resulting in billions of dollars in damage and hundreds of deaths.
During the 2021 storm season, there were 21 named storms, including Hurricane Ida – a Category 4 storm. Hurricane Ida caused billions in destruction across Louisiana and neighboring states. Louisiana bore the brunt of the damage from heavy rainfall and sustained winds of 150 mph, which led to flooding, extensive power outages and damaged infrastructure and property.
Why Did the 2023 Hurricane Forecast Change?
Several factors have influenced the revised storm forecast. With the increase in ocean temperature around the globe, scientists believe that the record-breaking ocean temperatures and delayed El Nino could lead to a more active season.
Typically, storms that can become hurricanes form in warmer-temperature waters, which fuels hurricanes. As storms enter warm bodies of water, they become more humid, stronger and larger. El Nino plays a role because it increases storm behavior in the Pacific Ocean but reduces hurricanes and storms in the Atlantic Ocean. As reported in the Associated Press, while El Nino is going strong in the Pacific, its effects in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic aren’t showing up yet. “The impacts of El Niño have been slower to emerge over the Atlantic,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane season outlook forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. This delay could mean a more active Atlantic hurricane season.
Prepare for an Active Louisiana Hurricane Season
Hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30 each year. As we are only partway through the season, Louisiana residents must remember how vulnerable we are to hurricanes. Hurricane prep should be routine for those who live in storm-prone areas,
In addition, preparing for the aftermath of a Louisiana hurricane is equally important. As a storm passes, infrastructure will likely require restoration, and damage to homes and businesses may require filing Louisiana hurricane insurance claims. Unfortunately, insurance companies may act in bad faith and not cover what a policy should. They may delay, deny, or only partly pay a claim. If you struggle with your insurance provider after a storm, remember that a Louisiana hurricane attorney with expertise in holding insurance companies accountable can help ease hurricane recovery.
As attorneys who have lived in Louisiana for decades, we know firsthand how hurricanes affect us. Despite best efforts to prepare for a storm, we know your property might still be damaged. Please keep these updated NOAA hurricane predictions in mind. Remember to review your hurricane plan and insurance policies, and stay informed as the 2023 hurricane season continues.
The Louisiana hurricane attorneys at Herman Herman Katz have thorough experience in standing up to insurance companies to help those affected by damaging storms get the compensation needed to make repairs and rebuild their lives. If you ever need a hurricane insurance case consultation, contact us online or at 844-943-7627.
Jed Cain is a partner with Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC. He has dedicated his career to representing injured folks and their families.