Researchers Predict Well Above-Average 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

By Colorado State University.

Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting an extremely active Atlantic
hurricane season in their initial 2024 forecast. The team cites record warm tropical and eastern
subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures as a primary factor for their prediction of 11
hurricanes this year.

When waters in the eastern and central tropical and subtropical Atlantic are much warmer than
normal in the spring, it tends to force a weaker subtropical high and associated weaker winds
blowing across the tropical Atlantic. These conditions will likely lead to a continuation of well
above-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic for the peak of the 2024 Atlantic
hurricane season. A very warm Atlantic favors an above-average season, since a hurricane’s fuel
source is warm ocean water. In addition, a warm Atlantic leads to lower atmospheric pressure
and a more unstable atmosphere. Both conditions favor hurricanes.

While the tropical Pacific is currently characterized by El Niño conditions, these are likely to
transition to La Niña conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season from August to
October. La Niña tends to decrease upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the
tropical Atlantic. These decreased upper-level winds result in reduced vertical wind shear,
favoring Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification.

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. This is the highest prediction for
hurricanes that CSU has ever issued with their April outlook. The prior highest April forecast
was for nine hurricanes, which has been called for several times since the university began
issuing April forecasts in 1995. However, the team stresses that the April outlook historically
has the lowest level of skill of CSU’s operational seasonal hurricane forecasts, given the
considerable changes that can occur in the atmosphere-ocean between April and the peak of
the Atlantic hurricane season from August–October.

CSU Researchers Predict 23 Named Storms in 2024

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 those, researchers forecast eleven to
become hurricanes and five to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson Category 3-4-5)
with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

The team bases its forecasts on a statistical model, as well as four models that use a
combination of statistical information and model predictions of large-scale conditions from the
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the UK Met Office, the Japan
Meteorological Agency, and the Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici. These
models use 25-40 years of historical hurricane seasons and evaluate conditions including:
Atlantic sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, vertical wind shear levels (the change in
wind direction and speed with height in the atmosphere), El Niño (warming of waters in the
central and eastern tropical Pacific), and other factors.

So far, the 2024 hurricane season is exhibiting characteristics similar to 1878, 1926, 1998, 2010
and 2020.

CONTINUE READING AT Colorado State University Tropical Weather & Climate Research