2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season Will Be Unusually Active, Experts Warn

Atlanta Hurricane

Experts at Colorado State University (CSU) have issued a warning for an “extremely active” 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. This may be due to warm sea temperatures and the lack of wind shear to break up storms in the current season. 

Released on Thursday, the forecast predicts a total of 23 named storms, 11 of which are hurricanes, for the upcoming hurricane season. Five of these are expected to reach the status of major hurricanes, with winds exceeding 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

In the previous year, seven hurricanes and 20 named storms wreaked havoc across various regions. This was the fourth most active hurricane season since 1950. Three of these storms became major hurricanes. 

This was a significant increase from the average Atlantic storm season, which typically produces around 14 named storms ranging from minor to major. Only 7 of these storms turn into hurricanes, three of which are major. 

Hurricane Idalia from 2023 hit the western coast of Florida, making landfall a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

The Causes of the Forecasted Hurricane

Phil Klotzbach, the primary investigator behind the CSU forecast, also stated that 2024 seems eerily similar to other historically active hurricane seasons. He credited these findings to warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, which are known to intensify hurricane activity. 

“It would take something pretty crazy for the Atlantic to not be substantially warmer than normal for the peak of the season. The signal certainly points quite strongly toward a busy season this year,” he added. 

The season typically peaks between August and September.

Another major factor contributing to the upcoming hurricane activity is the anticipated end of the El Niño weather pattern. El Niño typically alters wind patterns and speeds across various altitudes within the Atlantic basin. 

As El Niño fades and gives way to the incoming La Niña pattern, conditions become more favorable for the formation of cyclones. La Niña also promotes the development of towering clouds and potent low-pressure systems, intensifying tropical storms and hurricanes.

The Expected Consequences of the Hurricane

Coastal communities and energy firms are vigilantly monitoring the situation. The Gulf of Mexico, the main hub for US energy production, could be significantly affected. It currently contributes at least 15% of the nation’s crude oil and 5% of its dry natural gas, with the coastlines holding nearly half of the country’s oil-refining capability. 

In the event of a major hurricane, energy production and distribution could be severely disrupted, leading to major economic losses and energy shortages.

According to Colorado State University (CSU), there is a high likelihood of major hurricanes hitting the coastlines of the continental US and the Caribbean. That means these powerful storms may make direct contact with these regions, potentially affecting the residents and infrastructure.

CSU’s prediction aligns with other early forecasts. Recently, AccuWeather indicated a 10-15% likelihood of at least 30 or more named storms during the upcoming 2024 hurricane season. This season spans from June 1 to November 30, with a potentially heightened period of tropical storm activity.

The prediction suggests that there is more than a 33% chance of a major hurricane hitting the East Coast soon.

 

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