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Colorado State University predicts 'extremely active' Atlantic hurricane season

2024 forecast released Thursday calls for 23 named storms, 5 major hurricanes
Hurricane season
Posted at 10:25 AM, Apr 04, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — We could be in for an "extremely active" hurricane season, researchers at Colorado State University said Thursday.

The university released its annual Atlantic hurricane season forecast — considered one of the top predictors of hurricane season — calling for 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or greater.

An average hurricane season has approximately 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

"Current El Niño conditions are likely to transition to La Niña conditions this summer/fall, leading to hurricane-favorable wind shear conditions," Colorado State University said in its report.

In addition, CSU researchers said sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central Atlantic are at record warm levels and are anticipated to remain well above average for the upcoming hurricane season.

"A warmer-than-normal tropical Atlantic provides a more conducive dynamic and thermodynamic environment for hurricane formation and intensification," the university said.

Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University, said his department predicts a 62% chance of a hurricane hitting the U.S. coastline and a 34% chance of one hitting the East Coast, including the Florida peninsula.

"So, no one can say months in advance when or where storms are going to strike, but what we can say is that, in general, more active seasons have more land-falling hurricanes," he said.

WPTV First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Steve Weagle said that's an extremely busy hurricane season.

Steve Weagle says he can't recall a year when more than 23 storms were forecast, April 4, 2024
"I don't remember a time where they had more storms forecast than 23," WPTV First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Steve Weagle said of the Colorado State University 2024 Atlantic hurricane outlook. "That would be busier than last year, and last year was the fourth-busiest in history."

"I don't remember a time where they had more storms forecast than 23," he said. "That would be busier than last year, and last year was the fourth-busiest in history."

The most significant hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season was Hurricane Idalia. That storm made landfall as a Category 3 storm in Florida's Big Bend region. Idalia caused billions in damage and resulted in numerous deaths.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season will run from June 1 through Nov. 30.

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2024 STORM NAMES

Alberto

Beryl

Chris

Debby

Ernesto

Francine

Gordon

Helene

Isaac

Joyce

Kirk

Leslie

Milton

Nadine

Oscar

Patty

Rafael

Sara

Tony

Valerie

William

TERMS TO KNOW

TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.