2023 Atlantic hurricane season winds to close as 4th busiest since 1950

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends Thursday, Nov. 30, was the fourth busiest season since 1950.

The season was "characterized by record-warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a strong El Niño," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its report on the season that was released this morning.

WeatherTiger wrapup: Blow-by-blow account of hurricane season 2023: Did we start the Cat 4 fire?

How many named storms were there in the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season?

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

The Atlantic basin — which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico — saw 20 named storms in 2023, which ranks fourth for the most-named storms in a year since 1950.

Seven storms were hurricanes and three intensified to major hurricanes.

An average season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

It was El Niño vs record-warm water temperatures in 2023

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season saw 20 named storms.
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season saw 20 named storms.

“The Atlantic basin produced the most named storms of any El Niño influenced year in the modern record,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

“The record-warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic provided a strong counterbalance to the traditional El Niño impacts.”

While El Niño typically increases tropical Atlantic and Caribbean vertical wind shear — which inhibits tropical cyclone development — vertical wind shear was below-normal across most of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean from August through October, according to Colorado State University.

Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures were at record warm levels during the peak of the 2023 hurricane season. These anomalously warm waters and associated low pressures in the tropical Atlantic were likely the reason why El Niño" did not have its normal effect across the tropical Atlantic, CSU forecasters said.

How many hurricanes made landfall in the US in 2023?

Hurricane Idalia was the only hurricane that made landfall in the United States in 2023.

It made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Aug. 30 near Keaton Beach, in Florida's Big Bend region, NOAA reported.

Storm surge of 7 to 12 feet and widespread rainfall flooding hit Florida and spread across the Southeast.

Ophelia hit North Carolina as strong tropical storm

Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall as a strong tropical storm with 70-mph winds on Emerald Isle, North Carolina, on Sept. 23, causing widespread heavy rainfall, gusty winds and significant river and storm surge flooding in portions of eastern North Carolina, NOAA said.

Colorado State University calls 2023 season above normal

2023 Atlantic hurricane season projections compared to actual storms.
2023 Atlantic hurricane season projections compared to actual storms.

Colorado State University also released its 2023 season report Nov. 28, describing the Atlantic hurricane season as "above-normal season based on NOAA’s definition, with named storms and named storm days well above the 1991–2020 average."

CSU also cited the season’s most significant continental U.S. storm as Hurricane Idalia.

Looking back at the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season by month

June: As hurricane season predictions inch upward, let's look back at June's named storms

July: With busiest time of Atlantic hurricane season ahead, here's what happened in July

August: Six named storms developed in tropics in August. Let's look back at 'above-normal' month

September: September saw 7 named storms in tropics, including 3 hurricanes

October: Florida saw a slower tropical month in October, with 2 named storms and 1 hurricane

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: NHC issues 2023 Atlantic hurricane season report: 20 named storms