2023 hurricane season begins

  • Published
  • 96th Weather Squadron


EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -The 2023 hurricane season is here, bringing with it the potential for significant weather events.

The 2021 hurricane season was the third most active on record, while the 2022 season continued the trend of above-average tropical cyclone activity for the seventh consecutive year. As we enter the 2023 hurricane season, it is crucial for the base to remain vigilant and prepared.

Experts predict the 2023 hurricane season may again bring above-average tropical cyclone activity. Though we are likely transitioning to a El Nino climate pattern, which traditionally favors less tropical cyclone development, warmer-than-normal water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico set the stage for potentially busy months ahead.

The 96th Weather Squadron stands ready to face the challenges of this hurricane season.  In collaboration with the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service, Eglin’s Crisis Action Team and the installation Emergency Operations Center, the squadron continuously monitors the vast expanse of 41 million square miles across the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico for any potential tropical weather threats.

Once the NHC generates an official track and intensity forecast, the 96 WS tailors this forecast to local impacts and communicates routine tropical updates.  The 96 WS provides Hurricane Condition recommendations to Team Eglin leadership.  HURCONs indicate the timing of the onset of sustained winds in excess of 58 miles per hour. 

A common misconception exists with the tropical cyclone’s forecast cone; that if a location is not inside the cone, severe impacts from the hurricane will not be experienced at that location.  In reality, the forecast cone represents probable track of center of storm, which can change drastically especially in the storm’s formation stage.  Impacts can be felt well outside the forecast cone and can have devastating consequences.

Based on storm information from the past decade, the NHC found the top four causes of 442 direct deaths from tropical cyclones were flooding from rainfall, surf/rip currents, and wind and storm surge. 

Storm surge is the rise of rise of water generated by a storm over the predicted tides. Surge factors include tide timing, shoreline slope, and relative storm strength and positioning (due to atmospheric pressure changes and resulting winds). Even a small variation in the forecast track can cause a very large change in the surge forecast.

It is crucial for all personnel and their families to prioritize hurricane preparedness.  Now is the time to review and update your hurricane supplies, and ensure you have the necessary resources to weather any storm.  It is equally important to have well-thought-out evacuation plans in place, taking into account the specific needs of your family and pets.

Stay up to date and current on all hurricane matters affecting the base by visiting the base website or following Team Eglin on Facebook. By remaining informed and proactive, we can be better prepared to take immediate action when threatening weather approaches. Remember, it only takes one hurricane to significantly impact our operations and lives.

For more information, visit Eglin’s hurricane information page.