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That’s a wrap: Why Central Florida was mostly spared during the very busy 2023 hurricane season

ORLANDO, Fla. — Thursday marks the final day of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season.

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For the second straight year, the Sunshine State took another direct hit from a major storm.

In August, Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 in Florida’s Big Bend.

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Early projections put losses from Idalia between $3 billion and $5 billion.

And while residents of Central Florida may have felt minimal impacts from hurricanes in 2023, it was actually one of the most active seasons on record in the Atlantic.

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There were 20 named systems this year.

How common are off-season storms?

The last time we saw a named storm in the month of December was in 2013, meteorologist George Waldenberger said.

In the past 10 years, 10 storms were recorded between December and May, one of which happened in January 2023, according to meteorologist Tom Terry.

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In 2022, Central Floridians felt the wrath of Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, suffering property damage from flooding, winds and beach erosion.

But did you know 2023 actually saw six more named storms than 2022?

Persistent dips in the jet stream, also known as troughs, helped keep most of this year’s storm activity offshore.

The troughs consistently altered the overall steering flow and directed the majority of storms back out over the open Atlantic, with Idalia being the exception for Florida, Waldenberger said.

However, Terry said El Niño — part of the reason for the trends we saw this hurricane season — could produce a very wet and stormy pattern for us this winter.

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