The start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is just around the corner—it officially begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. And, while the outlook isn’t as bleak as in years past, it still warrants people’s attention and preparedness. This is especially true for those who live and work along the coast and those inland where the potential for flooding exists.  

Earlier this year, Colorado State University (CSU) meteorological researchers released their prediction of a slightly below-average season. It calls for 13 named storms and six hurricanes (two of which are major, i.e., rated category 3 or higher). Following is the list of names for the 2023 season: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margo, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.  

A typical Atlantic hurricane season averages 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, with three becoming major. CSU researchers believe the transition from La Niña to El Niño will result in less tropical activity in 2023. While this is good news, it does not mean anyone should let their guard down.  

In fact, it’s just the opposite. Researchers are only human, and predictions are just best guesses. While there is considerable scientific research to support these forecasts, Mother Nature, as we know, has a mind of her own.  

Who can forget the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its Climate Prediction Center may have predicted an above-normal season, but no one expected it to shatter previous records. It ended with 30 named storms, 11 of which made landfall in the continental U.S.  

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, too, was expected to be an above-average season but wound up being the third-most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. In fact, with 21 named storms, it became the second season in a row (and third overall) in which NOAA’s designated 21-name list of storms was exhausted.  

Last year, NOAA predicted yet another above-normal season, with 14 to 21 named storms. As it turned out, 14 n