CSU Issues Highest-Ever Initial Hurricane Forecast

Daniel Cooperhurricane, Weather

*Colorado State University’s (CSU) first hurricane forecast of the season was issued on April 4, 2024.

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers on April 4 predicted an extremely active Atlantic hurricane season in their initial 2024 forecast. The team cites record warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a likely developing La Niña as primary factors for their prediction of 11 hurricanes this year.

This is the highest prediction for hurricanes that CSU has ever issued in its April outlook. The prior highest April forecast was for nine hurricanes, which has been predicted several times since the university began issuing April forecasts in 1995. However, considerable changes can occur in the atmosphere-ocean between April and the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season from August to October.

The CSU hurricane forecast is similar to an AccuWeather hurricane forecast issued March 27. The AccuWeather forecast called for eight to 12 hurricanes.  

The CSU Tropical Weather and Climate team is predicting 23 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Of the 11 expected hurricanes, five are predicted to reach major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

The team predicts that 2024 hurricane activity will be about 170% of the average season from 1991 to 2020. By comparison, 2023’s hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season.

The CSU report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall:

  • 62% for the entire U.S. coastline (average from 1880 to 2020 is 43%)
  • 34% for the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida peninsula (average from 1880 to 2020 is 21%)
  • 42% for the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville, Texas (average from 1880 to 2020 is 27%)

The CSU forecast is intended to provide an estimate of activity in the Atlantic during the upcoming season, not an exact measure. Forecast updates will be issued on June 11, July 9 and Aug. 6.

Source: CSU

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