NOAA predicts above-normal 2024 Atlantic hurricane season

May 27, 2024
NOAA predicts above-normal 2024 Atlantic hurricane season due to La Nina and warmer-than-average ocean temperatures.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center predict above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin for 2024.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season spans from June 1 to November 30. NOAA predicts 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.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher. This includes 4 to 7 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher, considered to be category 3, 4 or 5 storms.

Forecasters at NOAA have a 70% confidence in these ranges.

Many factors contribute to the above-normal activity for the hurricane season. These include near-record warm ocean temperatures, 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 one of the strongest El Ninos ever observed nearing its end, NOAA predicts 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.

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.

Light trade winds allow hurricanes to grow in strength without the disruption of strong wind shear, and also minimize cooling.

Climate change is warming the oceans 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 influence on the damage potential from a given hurricane.