2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be above-normal, NOAA predicts

The frequency of storms may be higher this year, but that does not promise or determine that these storms will impact our communities directly.

Mike Rizzo

May 24, 2024, 4:49 PM

Updated 20 days ago

Share:

According to a recent forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this upcoming hurricane season is expected to forecast to be above normal with a total of 17-25 named storms. Normally, we see about 14 named storms per season.
Out of those named storms, 8-13 are predicted to become hurricanes categorized by winds of 74 mph or greater. Of those expected to become hurricanes, four to seven are expected to become “major hurricanes” which are identified as Category 3 or higher with winds of at least 111 mph.
This season’s above normal conditions are attributed to the presence of the following three features:
  1. La Niña – which slows the trade winds over the Atlantic Ocean. Slower trade winds weaken “shear” which is a feature that stints tropical cyclone development. Shear is defined by wind that may move too fast or change in direction with altitude.
  2. Sea temperatures – which are running at near-record warm temperatures. Warm oceans, especially waters over 80 degrees contains enough energy to help spark thunderstorm clusters that can produce tropical cyclones.
  3. African Monsoon – which is expected to run above normal, producing easterly winds that carry the right unstable conditions known to fuel longer-lived Atlantic hurricanes.
Given the attributes above, the more favorable conditions within the Atlantic Basin may incur a higher frequency of rapid intensification cycles within tropical cyclones that develop.
Rapid Intensification (RI) occurs when tropical cyclones move into an incredibly supportive environment with low wind shear, warm water temperatures, and high atmospheric humidity. Storms that undergo RI cycles can surprise forecasters as they usually overperform from calculated weather predictions. Fortunately, according to NOAA, there are new technologies to help better predict RI cycles that will be used in tropical cyclone forecasting this year: The Modular Ocean Model (MOM6) and SDCON model.
Currently, it is impossible to predict where the next landfalling hurricane will strike. Predictions for individual storms will depend on the conditions at the time of their formation and the then prevailing weather patterns influencing its track. Steering currents change throughout the year along with storms’ breeding grounds. However, it is incredibly important to be prepared for a landfalling hurricane every year – regardless of if the season runs above normal, at normal, or even below normal.
The frequency of storms may be higher this year, but that does not promise or determine that these storms will impact our communities directly.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 with the peak during the month of September.


More from News 12