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Forecasters predict a well-above-average Atlantic hurricane season

In their April report, researchers at Colorado State University forecast 11 hurricanes, five of them major storms of Category 3 intensity or higher.
Forecasters predict a well-above-average Atlantic hurricane season
Posted at 8:56 PM, Apr 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 11:29:09-04

Hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University report that 2024 is likely to be an extremely active year for Atlantic Basin tropical storms and hurricanes.

In their April report, researchers forecast 11 hurricanes, five of them major storms of Category 3 intensity or higher. Overall, 23 storms may become intense enough to be named. Each of these values is well above their 1991-2020 average.

Forecasters say extremely warm ocean temperatures and a decrease in wind shear brought on by upcoming La Niña conditions will both contribute to what is likely to be an above-average season for hurricane activity.

The report also measures the probability of storms making landfall. There is a 62% chance of at least one major hurricane making landfall somewhere on the U.S. coastline, with a 34% chance on the East Coast specifically, and a 42% chance on the Gulf Coast. There is also a 66% chance of a major hurricane tracking through the Caribbean. All of these values are higher than the measured average probability from 1880 to 2020.

"Given the combined hurricane-favorable signals of an extremely warm Atlantic and a likely developing La Niña, the forecast team has higher-than-normal confidence for an April outlook that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season will be very active," forecasters wrote. "This is the highest prediction for hurricanes that CSU has ever issued with their April outlook."

SEE MORE: La Nina signals the potential for an active hurricane season ahead

CSU develops its hurricane forecast using statistical models and historical data from other leading forecasters: the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the UK Met Office, the Japan Meteorological Agency, and Italy's Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici. 

CSU will publish additional refined forecasts in June, July, August and November and will issue two-week forecasts from August through October, during the historical height of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will publish its own seasonal outlook in May.


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