Tropical forecast changes

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 6:38 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Today is May 15 and it was the first day the National Hurricane Center began issuing its tropical weather outlooks. Now, we are going to be seeing some changes heading into this season.

The first one for example, “no tropical development is expected for the next seven days.” This has been changed from five to seven days, and the NHC is also issuing these outlooks before the season officially starts.

So why is that? Starting off first, the season officially begins June 1, but they’re issuing these beginning May 15. One reason that prompted this was from 2015 to 2021, at least one named storm formed before the season officially began. They started this change in 2022, and luckily none formed during the month of May during that time. Also, storms tend to form near the coast of the US in May. This is due to decaying cold fronts, pushing off the coast of the U.S., and gaining new life due to the warm water temperatures. Due to the close proximity to the U.S., it has also contributed to the change.

Another big difference is that the outlooks have gone from five to seven days. The NHC has actually been testing this for the past several years and is now introducing it to the public. Due to the accuracy of the tests, the improvements to weather models and satellite imagery, along with confidence in the forecasts, that’s what led to this change.

These outlooks will be issued daily from May 15 to June 1 at 1 a.m., 7 a.m., 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. CST. There could be special tropical outlooks issued in between, but as always, we will keep you updated right here on FOX10, on-air, online, and on the FOX10 weather app.