AccuWeather Expects Highly Active Hurricane Season

Daniel Cooper hurricane, Weather


The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season has the potential to rank as one of the most active in history, AccuWeather predicted on March 27. The season officially runs from June 1 through the end of November.

AccuWeather meteorologists are forecasting 20 to 25 named storms across the Atlantic basin in 2024. This includes 8 to12 hurricanes, four to seven major hurricanes and four to six direct U.S. impacts. These figures are all above the 30-year historical average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, three major hurricanes and four direct U.S. impacts.

“The Texas coast, Florida Panhandle, South Florida and the Carolinas are at a higher-than-average risk of direct impacts this season,” AccuWeather Lead Hurricane Forecaster Alex DaSilva said.  

Crop damage from Hurricane Ian
Courtesy Mongi Zekri/UF-IFAS Extension

Last hurricane season featured 19 named storms, but there were only four direct U.S. impacts. 

Warm water is fuel for tropical systems, and there will be plenty of warm water for fledgling systems to tap into and strengthen, according to AccuWeather.

“Sea-surface temperatures are well above historical average across much of the Atlantic basin, especially across the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and the Main Development Region (for hurricanes),” DaSilva explained.

The Atlantic water temperatures observed in March were around or even warmer than they were in March ahead of the blockbuster 2005 and 2020 hurricane seasons.

Unusually warm water could also help to spawn tropical systems in November when the Atlantic hurricane season is winding down.

The other major factor in AccuWeather’s Atlantic hurricane forecast is hitched to the Pacific Ocean. Water near the equator of the eastern Pacific is in the process of quickly flipping from El Niño, when temperatures in this area are higher than historical averages, to La Niña, when temperatures in this zone are lower than long-term normal temperatures. This swift transition may have significant implications across the Atlantic Ocean.

La Niña results in less disruptive winds, known as wind shear, over most of the Atlantic basin. La Niña was present during the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Atlantic hurricane seasons, all of which featured near or well above the historical average of 14 named storms. The 2020 season is tied with the historic 2005 season for the highest number of named storms, with 30.

See the full AccuWeather hurricane forecast here.

Source: AccuWeather

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