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CSU researchers predict ‘above-average’ 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Colorado State University hurricane researchers are forecasting an extremely active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, predicting 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes in their initial outlook released Thursday. […]

Colorado State University hurricane researchers are forecasting an extremely active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, predicting 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes in their initial outlook released Thursday.

The CSU Tropical Weather and Climate team cites record warm tropical and eastern subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures as a primary factor for their above-average forecast. The team expects these warm water temperatures to persist into the peak of the hurricane season from August to October, fueling hurricane development.

“Our analog seasons were all very active Atlantic hurricane seasons,” said Phil Klotzbach, senior research scientist at CSU and lead author of the report. “This highlights the somewhat lower levels of uncertainty that exist with this outlook relative to our typical early April outlook.”

  • The team predicts that hurricane activity will be about 170% of the average season from 1991-2020. By comparison, the 2023 season was about 120% of average, with Hurricane Idalia causing $3.6 billion in damage and eight direct fatalities when it made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend region.

In addition to the warm Atlantic waters, the likely transition from current El Niño conditions to La Niña conditions by the peak of the hurricane season is expected to reduce vertical wind shear, further favoring hurricane formation and intensification.

The CSU outlook also includes landfall probabilities, with a 62% chance of a major hurricane making landfall along the entire U.S. coastline (average is 43%), a 34% chance for the U.S. East Coast including Florida (average is 21%), and a 42% chance for the Gulf Coast (average is 27%).

The team cautions that it only takes one storm to make it an active season for coastal residents and urges proper precautions. CSU will issue forecast updates on June 11, July 9, and Aug. 6.

ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2024

Forecast Parameter1991–2020 AverageApril 2024 Forecast
Named Storms (NS)14.423
Named Storm Days (NSD)69.4115
Hurricanes (H)7.211
Hurricane Days (HD)27.045
Major Hurricanes (MH)3.25
Major Hurricane Days (MHD)7.413
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)123210
ACE West of 60°W73125
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC)135%220

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