Download our app.

NOAA forecasters predict above-normal Atlantic hurricane season

Forecasters from theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’sNational Weather Service Climate Prediction Center issued a predictions today for an above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year.

With the 2024 hurricane season just over a week away, NOAA’s outlook predicted an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of a below-normal season. The season spans from June 1 to November 30.

NOAA forecast that there will be from 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters have a 70% confidence in these ranges.

NOAA’s forecasters said that the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have above-normal activity due to a confluence of factors, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, development of La Nina conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds and less wind shear, all of which tend to favor tropical storm formation.

“With another active hurricane season approaching, NOAA’s commitment to keeping every American informed with life-saving information is unwavering,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “AI-enabled language translations and a new depiction of inland wind threats in the forecast cone are just two examples of the proactive steps our agency is taking to meet our mission of saving lives and protecting property.”

“Severe weather and emergencies can happen at any moment, which is why individuals and communities need to be prepared today,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik A. Hooks. “Already, we are seeing storms move across the country that can bring additional hazards like tornadoes, flooding and hail. Taking a proactive approach to our increasingly challenging climate landscape today can make a difference in how people can recover tomorrow.”

As one of the strongest El Ninos ever observed nears its end, NOAA scientists predict a quick transition to La Nina conditions, which are conducive to Atlantic hurricane activity because La Nina tends to lessen wind shear in the tropics. At the same time, abundant oceanic heat content in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea creates more energy to fuel storm development.

This hurricane season also features the potential for an above-normal west African monsoon, which can produce African easterly waves that seed some of the strongest and longer-lived Atlantic storms. Finally, light trade winds allow hurricanes to grow in strength without the disruption of strong wind shear, and also minimize ocean cooling. Human-caused climate change is warming our ocean globally and in the Atlantic basin, and melting ice on land, leading to sea level rise, which increases the risk of storm surge. Sea level rise represents a clear human influence on the damage potential from a given hurricane.

NOAA stressed that their “outlook” is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. In addition to the Atlantic seasonal outlook, NOAA also issues seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern Pacific, central Pacific and western north Pacific hurricane basins.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2024 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, prior to the historical peak of the season.

Rapid intensification a concern

Meanwhile, an advisory from AccuWeather expert meteorologists this week expressed concern about a serious threat of rapidly intensifying storms during the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane season, which could leave families, businesses, and government leaders with less time to react and prepare.

Rapid intensification of tropical storms and hurricanes is defined as a tropical storm or hurricane that quickly gains wind intensity of at least 35 mph in 24 hours or less.

AccuWeather Lead Hurricane Forecaster Alex DaSilva says rapidly intensifying tropical storms and hurricanes pose a major threat to life and property along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines.

Many large coastal cities require 48 to 72 hours to announce mandatory evacuations, organize shuttles, and activate highway contraflow for evacuation traffic. State and local leaders are being urged to prepare for tropical threats that could quickly escalate into major storms this hurricane season.

“This year we’re exceptionally concerned about the Texas coast, Florida Panhandle, South Florida, and the Carolinas,” warned DaSilva. “Storm surge and rainfall flooding are the deadliest threats from a hurricane. More people die from storm surge and flooding than the wind.”

Area being watched




Additionally, the National Hurricane Center’s Seven-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook showed a tropical wave situated between Cuba and Haiti and having a 10% chance of developing through those seven days.

The NHC said the large area of cloudiness and showers over the southwestern
Atlantic was associated with a surface trough. An area of low pressure is expected to form within this system a few hundred miles north of Hispaniola in the next day or so. Environmental conditions are not expected to be conducive, however, some slight tropical or subtropical development is possible while the low moves northeastward through the weekend.

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.