Ratings agency Moody’s is forecasting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season as it expects the El Niño weather phenomenon to mitigate the effects of high sea surface temperatures.
But the agency added: “However, it only takes one event to make a season costly or memorable, as seen during last year’s near-normal season with Hurricane Ian, anticipated to be one of the costliest US hurricanes on record and to reshape insurance markets for years to come. “
Moody’s findings are broadly in line with other forecasters, stating that El Niño would typically result in a quieter hurricane season, but the higher sea surface temperatures would fuel more activity. The season could conclude with below- or above-normal activity if one of these competing factors exhibits a greater influence.
It added: “Beyond the US and the Americas, the outlook includes forecasts that predict typhoon activity in the Western North Pacific Basin in Asia-Pacific will be above average, given El Niño’s particular impact on the region, resulting in an increase in atmospheric instability.