After a busy hurricane season last year, Central Florida may be looking at a less impactful hurricane season for 2023. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting between 12 to 17 named storms this year. Of those storms, NOAA predicts between five to nine could become hurricanes, including up to four of those storms becoming major hurricanes. A storm becomes a hurricane when winds exceed 73 mph, and is considered a major hurricane when winds exceed 110 mph. The agency has a 70% confidence in these predictions.

NOAA attributes the change in activity to the high potential for El Niño to develop this summer. El Niño can suppress Atlantic hurricane activity. However, NOAA cautions that El Niño’s potential influence could be offset by favorable conditions local to the Atlantic Basin. Those conditions include warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, which can create more energy to fuel storm development, according to NOAA. As a result, there is some variability to NOAA’s prediction and may result in a more active hurricane season.

Do you know what to do before, during and after a hurricane? OUC’s Storm Center can help you prepare an action plan, show you how to report an outage and enroll in proactive alerts. Our online resource also offers safety tips, storm videos and a tropical weather guide in English and Spanish.

Now’s also the time to stock up on supplies you may need when severe weather hits, as the 2023 Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday runs until June 9. Click here to see a list of items that qualify for the sales tax exemption.