Above Average Forecast for the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Written by Mary Wasson, Meteorologist

Last updated 4/24/2024, 12:49:06 AM

It's that time of the year when we need to start keeping an eye out for Hurricane Season. Colorado State University's recently released 2024 forecast predicts that it will be an exceptionally active year ahead. The report clearly states that the record-breaking warm tropical and eastern subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are the leading factors behind their above-average forecast of 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes.

This is the highest prediction for hurricanes that CSU has ever issued with their April outlook. 

The Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperatures have been warmer this spring than normal. When this happens, it tends to force a weaker subtropical high and weaker winds blowing across the tropical Atlantic.

“These conditions will likely lead to a continuation of well above-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic for the peak of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season,” the CSU forecast states.  “A very warm Atlantic favors an above-average season since a hurricane’s fuel source is warm ocean water. In addition, a warm Atlantic leads to lower atmospheric pressure and a more unstable atmosphere. Both conditions favor hurricanes”

The tropical Pacific is still under El Nino conditions but we are expected to transition to La Nina by the summer. La Niña tends to decrease upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic. These decreased upper-level winds result in reduced vertical wind shear, favoring Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification

 As the hurricane season approaches, it's crucial to be prepared and take action to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones. This year's National Hurricane Preparedness Week is from May 5-11, so it's an ideal time to begin getting ready for the season.

By understanding the risks associated with hurricanes and taking necessary precautions ahead of time, we can be better equipped to deal with the worst-case scenarios. So, let's interpret forecasts and alerts properly, and know what to do before, during, and after a storm. Take action to be better prepared when the time comes.