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April 7, 2024

ATS researchers predicting well above-average 2024 Atlantic hurricane season

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.

More information on how the forecast was generated and implications for the coming season can be found in this Source article, written by Josh Rhoten.