Super Storms Forecast Due To The Oceans Being Hotter Than Ever?

By Kevin C. Neece | Published

The Perfect Storm

While there is a current lack of tropical storms, warm oceans are causing climatologists to predict more super storms and a more extreme Atlantic hurricane season than normal. As CNN reports, the Atlantic basin has not seen any tropical storms in the past month or so, with no such storms approaching the US so far this year. However, within the coming week, the hurricane season is due for an uptick in storm frequency.

2023 has been the hottest year in human history, and now those temperatures may create super storms that form over the oceans before making a devastating landfall.

Super storms are more likely during this period because the temperature of the oceans is unusually high, prompting experts to encourage people to increase their preparedness. On Thursday, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released a report predicting increased hurricanes this season. It was a change from the May forecast, which had predicted a storm season closer to normal.

That means more super storms will likely develop over the Atlantic ocean in the coming weeks. A news release from the Climate Prediction Center at NOAA includes an estimate from Matthew Rosencrans, the center’s lead hurricane season forecaster, that the chances for storm activity being above normal now sits at 60%, in increase over the previous prediction of 30 percent. A below-normal season, according to Rosencrans, now has just a 15 percent probability.

The chance of a super storm is increased by multiple factors, with the warm oceans only one of many factors.

There are a number of climatological factors increasing the risk of super storms, but warmer oceans are a major culprit since they give storms the fuel they need to increase in strength. According to NOAA, the sea surface temperatures have risen higher than was originally predicted. In fact, ocean temperatures around the world are the highest in recorded history.


The Atlantic Ocean is particularly warm, especially in areas where hurricanes and super storms tend to develop. While temps in the Gulf of Mexico only need to reach around 80 degrees Fahrenheit to trigger storms, in some areas, they presently sit between the mid-80s and lower 90s. Near the coast of Florida where the waters are more shallow, temperatures have ben recorded of late in excess of 100 degrees.

Though tropical development and super storms have not occurred in the Atlantic Ocean since the end of Hurricane Don in late July, the season has still been more active than normal, with five named storms so far. Two things have been impeding storms from developing further so far this year, despite several that have attempted to spool up: wind shear and dry air. That’s a fairly typical occurrence at the beginning of the hurricane season, but it usually starts to taper off in August, meaning things could be picking up soon.

Super storms have not formed in the last few weeks, but hurricane season continues for another month, meaning ocean acitivty is likely to pick up soon.

Once wind shear drops off over the Atlantic Ocean, it will kick off a period that tends to see 96% of all super storms and major hurricane activity for the season. From the middle of August to the middle of October, the sea temperatures will be higher while wind shear will die down, leading to increased tropical activity.

But even without an increase in tropical activity in the coming weeks, warm waters near high-population areas mean that there is the potential for disaster along the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf, leading experts to warn residents of those areas to be well prepared.