ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season has arrived, and 10 Tampa Bay wants to make sure you have the vital information necessary to prepare for Mother Nature's worst weather.
Although cleanup continues in the wake of last year's powerful tropical systems, most notably Hurricane Ian, it's necessary to be ready for the next storm.
Watch 10 Tampa Bay's hurricane special, "Storm Ready," to learn about the key lessons from last season and the important steps your family can take right now to stay safe.
Please also take note of important resources we've compiled — from everything you'd need to know about tropical systems, what to have in your supply kit and evacuation maps.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, in late May released its official forecast for the upcoming season, predicting 12-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 1-4 major hurricanes — considered Category 3 or higher.
An average season would bring 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
A transition to El Niño this summer is expected to limit the number of storms and the strength of those tropical systems.
El Niño normally brings the Pacific Jet Stream farther south, bringing high wind shear across the Gulf and Caribbean. Strong wind shear can rip apart tropical systems, which is why typical El Niño years tend to bring below-average activity.
However, it only takes one storm to cause catastrophic damage. The 1992 Atlantic hurricane season was considered well-below average, but it had one of Florida's more infamous storms: Hurricane Andrew.